Hope for Those Lost in Progressive Christianity

We live in a culture that is largely shaped by trends and comfortability. Instead of wanting to delve deeper into what is good and true, many people today, especially Gen Z, are chasing after convenience, grasping onto information that is not factual and lifestyles that are not virtuous. As believers of Jesus, we are to hold fast to what is true in Scripture and derive our beliefs and behaviors as an overflow of the gospel.

It’s heartbreaking to see people become hard-hearted towards Jesus simply because it isn’t trendy, not to mention it’s not comfortable to challenge popularity with historically proven, trustworthy Scripture. As someone who fell off in my faith, because I wanted to follow the latest fad rather than truth, my heart especially breaks for those who are simply ignorant of what living in an overflow of wholehearted truth looks like. This starts with none other than us. It is our ultimate calling to speak the truth of the gospel to those around us, especially when Scripture is being twisted to fit a mold such as progressive Christianity.

This hope today is possible through the consistent, wondrous power of the Holy Spirit, who is living and active within our souls as believers

Alisha Childers summarizes progressive Christianity as prioritizing action over belief, focusing on what we do over who we ultimately place our faith in. Thus, progressive Christianity is placing our own convenience and will above God’s, trying to place one foot in the world and one foot in the Word.

As Scripture states, this simply does not work. There are many warnings in the Bible regarding false prophets (2 Timothy 4:3-4), and much of progressive Christianity is the modern-day unveiling of this. However, with sinful actions comes glorious hope. And this hope today is possible through the consistent, wondrous power of the Holy Spirit, who is living and active within our souls as believers. So, what will we choose? Will we hide this world-changing light inside of us or overflow it outward to increase the hope of truth in our society?

Scripture & Progressive Christianity
How do we biblically address progressive Christianity in our culture? Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) states, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” We need to be reminded of Christlike love when addressing false ideas. It can become easy to be heartbroken and angry at the absence of truth in our society to the point where our anger becomes prevalent in our words and actions towards others. Especially on social media, when we aren’t face-to-face with others, we can become even more cruel in our language towards those who share differing views. However, according to Scripture, we are called to show abundant love towards others, giving grace even when it is far from easy.

But how do we do this effectively? It starts with listening before speaking. James 1:19 says, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” I am a journalism major at Baylor University, and in every single lecture discussing interviewing, the number one point professors emphasize is the importance of silence and listening. Professors tell us that it can be tempting to interject with questions and opinions repeatedly, but the best quotes and greatest content come from simply sitting back and listening to what the interviewee has to say, even if it means waiting through some awkward silence. Although interviewing for journalism looks vastly different than having a difficult conversation with someone about your different beliefs, the principles are similar. The best results come from listening, demonstrating grace and love. This is not only effective—it is foundationally biblical.

What Does Scripture Say About False vs True Teachings?
God gives us warnings in Scripture about false teachings, instructing us to avoid all false teachers and stay rooted in the Word alone. Jeremiah 23:16 says, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.” While there are false prophets proclaiming progressive Christianity as the truth, this does not outlaw all prophecy as sinful. In fact, prophecy is a gift from God himself that still has power today (Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 5:17; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 1 Corinthians 14:1; 1 Corinthians 14:3Revelation 1:3). Biblical prophecy is rooted in the truth of Scripture and used to strengthen, encourage, and comfort others (1 Corinthians 14:3).

The best results come from listening, demonstrating grace and love. This is not only effective—it is foundationally biblical.

There is a stark difference between false and true prophets. This is best summarized in 2 Peter 2:1-22. This passage provides a detailed warning about false prophecy and its dangers. 2 Peter discusses how false prophetic teachings are driven by greed, arrogance, and pride. Thus, false prophecy is focused on uplifting oneself, while true prophecy is done by uplifting Christ alone. We distinguish false versus true prophecy by evaluating if truth from Scripture is evidently being presented, especially when intertwined with Christlike love.

So, What Now?
Now that we know what much of progressive Christianity looks like and have tools from Scripture to address this issue well, we are called to live on mission. That is, simply to love others well as we speak the truth, even when it’s hard. Love is fundamental to the Word of God. The gospel is rooted in Christ’s love for us (John 3:16), and we are told to let everything we do be done in love (1 Corinthians 16:14). God himself is love, so we are to emulate it to the world (1 John 4:7-8). Love is God’s greatest commandment to us (Matthew 22:34-40). If we try to speak truth to people out of anger rather than overwhelming love, our words will not be received.

Love is fundamental to the Word of God

This burning in our hearts for the lost is biblical, for we are called to labor to build the harvest of Heaven (Matthew 9:37-38), bringing others to the truth of the gospel and a restorative relationship with Christ. However, if we come across as frustrated and confused rather than loving and patient, we are doing it all wrong. I encourage all of us, especially in this new year, to not shy away from being bold, but being bold in a Christlike manner. May our words and actions this year be saturated in love, even when we are heartbroken at the sin that surrounds us in great measure. Be encouraged today that even when it seems hopeless, there is hope in Jesus Christ alone, and we have a beautiful calling to make this known in a lost world.

Reagan Scott is a Senior at Baylor University with a heart for Jesus and others. Through her Journalism major and Film and Digital Media minor, she has discovered her passion for integrating creativity with spreading the hope of the Gospel. She serves as a College Ministry Media Intern at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, and she recently served as the Chaplain of her sorority, Chi Omega. In addition to her love for creativity and Christ, Reagan loves a quality cup of pour over coffee, exploring the outdoors, and spending quality time with her friends.