How easy would it be to deconstruct your faith?
Some Christians, especially younger ones, are getting caught up in a spiritual movement offering a feel-good appeal and freedom based on relative truth.
In her latest Fearless podcast, Cissie Graham Lynch talks about the unknown danger in progressive Christianity.
“I think most of the time we probably generalize it,” Lynch said. “[We] think progressive Christianity is … the millennial churches that maybe just focus more on love and grace and not truth. … More of the social issues.
“But there are deep theological differences.”
On Fearless, Lynch asked someone who knows this firsthand. Alisa Childers, former member of the Christian band ZOEgirl, was invited to a Bible study led by her pastor. You can imagine her confusion when he encouraged the group to abandon Biblical truth.
The experience left Childers in a faith crisis. She dug deep into historic Christianity to find what is true. Her new book Another Gospel? follows her personal journey and research into the guileful difference between historical Christianity and progressive Christianity.
“It’s a completely different religion,” Childers noted. “I think that’s what most folks don’t understand.” She calls it a ‘social justice Gospel.’
“Christians should be doing good works,” she said. “But in progressive Christianity, it’s sort of all about the good works.” The focus isn’t on the Gospel of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.
During her research, Childers listened to people talk about how their faith was deconstructed. There was a common thread.
Traditional Christian beliefs were viewed as oppressive. For example, marriage being defined as only between a man and a woman, as well as abstinence before marriage.
“You can live how you want to live sexually and still be a Christian,” she explained. “You can see why that would be attractive. You can basically be your own God and you can still have the parts of Jesus that you liked as a kid.”
“It’s based on the idea of ‘live your truth.’ … You need to go out and find your truth.”
‘Errors’ in the Bible
Progressive churches believe Christianity is progressing as mankind evolves morally and spiritually. They claim parts of the Bible are mistaken, Childers said. They say, “We’re more evolved now. We have more knowledge of God so we can correct some of the errors they made.”
“The Bible is the inspired Word of God … and is authoritative for our lives,” affirmed Childers. “[In] progressive Christianity, they don’t read the Bible as a whole, don’t think it’s inerrant [and] probably not authoritative.”
There are two other major differences—the cross and the Gospel.
To progressive Christians, the fact that God required the blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross implicates the moral character of God. “It turns God into some kind of cosmic child abuser,” she explained, with the act of atonement getting pushed to the side.
It makes the Gospel about our works, not the work Christ did on the cross.
To them, “The Gospel is more about the here and now,” noted Childers. “They’ll even use words like ‘building the kingdom of God,’ but it’s all going to be sort of focused on social justice issues.”
Christians can easily be lured in if they don’t know the Bible, Lynch said.
“As Christians, we have become Biblically illiterate and we don’t know the Scriptures,” she continued. “We don’t know the Old Testament where we get to know the attributes of a holy God.
“If we have to ask, ‘How could a loving God sacrifice His own Son? … We don’t understand the holiness of God.'”
To stand on truth, you have to know God by reading His Word, Lynch said.
“When the voice of Satan comes, that you are able to have that discernment—whether it’s the voice of God or the enemy talking.”
Have you ever made a decision for Christ? Pray now.