Skip to content

The Dangers of So Called “Progressive” Christianity

July 19, 2020

“The term progressive Christian represents a broad collection, ranging from moderates who claim belief in an ‘authoritative’ Bible yet dismiss passages they deem as stumbling blocks, to liberals who barely believe in God [1A].”

The term “Progressive” Christianity has been adopted by a variant of Christianity which seeks acceptance from the culture while rejecting Biblical views on marriage and sexuality.

The Distortion of God’s Word

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another...” (Gal. 5: 17).

The distortion of God’s Word is the basis for all sin.  Since the Garden, human beings have rationalized sinful behavior.

Many factors (not all fully understood, and not all sinful) may influence the way we perceive our gender.  These are thought to range from hormone levels in the womb to child abuse [2].  Our perceptions can, however, be deceptive. 

The Bible is clear.  God intended marriage as the union of a man and a woman (Gen. 2: 24).  This definition is considered disrespectful of those who view gender as fluid and self-determined.  For that reason, it is not acceptable to the culture.

Compromise No Longer an Option

“[A]s tempting as it is for otherwise Biblically faithful Christians to seek ‘middle ground’ with the prevailing culture’s moral positions – most notably on sexual ethics – such a notion is incongruent with a faithful reading of Scripture… [1B]”

Unfortunately, compromise with the prevailing culture is no longer possible.  Christians are seen as backward, intolerant, biased, and hateful for proclaiming Biblical truth.  Conscience be damned.

The Label of “Extremism”

“At the CNN Town Hall where [Mayor Pete] Buttigieg described [VP Mike] Pence’s beliefs as a ‘kind of social extremism’ focused on ‘sexuality and rectitude,’ he also served notice to faithful evangelicals about the choice the political and social left has forced upon them:  either affirm the new sexuality embodied in the LGBTQ movement, or affirm the full authority of Scripture and be anathema to the postmodern culture…[1C]”

This is not simply political rhetoric.  The label of “extremism” is being applied to all those who adhere to Biblical views on marriage and sexuality.  Bible-believing Christians may actually come to be viewed as subversive by the state, in the same category as radical Islamists.

The Appeal of “Mystery”

“The common thread among progressive Christians is not politics…but a postmodern theology that shuns certainty and celebrates mystery for its own sake.  A belief statement at, for example, speaks of finding ‘grace in the search for understanding,’ and adds ‘[we] believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes…. [1D]’ “

Objective truth (on which Christianity rests) is being abandoned.

A Different Gospel

“[T]he progressive version of Christianity essentially becomes a different gospel.  Many young people are attracted to its social justice emphasis because they see real prejudices and biases…[However, there is] no middle ground between affirming and denying the bodily resurrection of Christ.  There’s also no middle ground between defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman and saying it can be something else…[1E]”

“Progressive” Christianity is, in effect, a new religion which readily maligns the old and those who continue to believe in it.

Challenge to the Faithful

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves…unholy… despisers of good…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!(2 Tim. 3: 1-5).

The challenge for those remaining faithful to the Word is not only to resist this trend, but to continue loving those who attack and belittle them.

[1A-1E]  Decision Magazine (published by Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc.), June 2019 Edition, “The Lie of ‘Progressive Christianity’ “.

[2]  See, for instance, “Homosexuality May Start in the Womb” at and “Does Maltreatment in Childhood Affect Sexual Orientation in Adulthood?” at


  1. Your blog is so topical and relevant at the moment, imho. Though considering myself as one who likes to keep up with what’s happening in the world and in the church and in theology today, I think much of ‘progressive Christianity’ is skating on very thin ice. I see these trends all around me. I long for the insights of the (sadly maligned in certain circles) Dr. Francis Schaeffer to be given prominence today. So also those of our beloved bro. Ravi, who was promoted to fuller glory recently. Came across these statement by Schaeffer yesterday; ‘Tell me what the world is saying today, and I’ll tell you what the church will be saying in seven years.’ ‘We should note this curious mark of our own age; the only absolute allowed is the absolute insistence that there is no absolute.’ Makes one think… thanks for your article above, Anna!

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Erroll. These are deeply troubling times. But our perspective as Christians is (or should be) eternal. Though I often write about what troubles me about the times, I try to keep that in mind.

  2. I agree that these are challenging times. We live in a world where sin is being labeled as “lifestyle”. And for Christians to really remain true to God’s Word, we should continue to resist the trend imposed by the society by speaking up but at the same time pray for those who intentionally muddle the Word in order to hide their “lifestyle”. Thanks for sharing this, Anna.

  3. It is a challenge to maintain and defend one’s beliefs; especially in today’s environment.

    The Left is hell bent on taking away our religious freedoms. How many mayors and governors have allowed these violent protests (riots) to go on; meanwhile they say it is unhealthy for people to gather in church,

    Great post

  4. Allan Halton permalink

    Anna, what has happened in our generation regarding sexuality has indeed become a crisis for Christians who hold to what the Bible teaches. We are told that our Bible is out of touch and should be mothballed or at least changed to come into conformity with more enlightened times. Those who refuse to do that are told that they are, as you said, “backward, intolerant, biased, and hateful.” Quite something, isn’t it, that the followers of the God of love are now called “haters.”

    The presentation by Ravi Zacharias is excellent. I also much appreciate your conclusion: “The challenge for those remaining faithful to the Word is not only to resist this trend, but to continue loving those who attack and belittle them.” I have taken up that challenge, Anna. While standing true to my faith, I seek to show genuine love to all others on an individual basis, regardless of what “lifestyle” they are in. This does not mean compromise; compromise is not love. Someone very dear to me is involved in this “lifestyle” as it is called. I continue to be very forbearing and loving, but I love that one too much to compromise the clear statement of Scripture. “And such WERE some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). In spite of the general drift of our society in a very strong current going the opposite direction, there are many testimonies (some can be found on Youtube) of people who have proven these words to be true. Let us continue to stand by them.

  5. Great post, Anna. I am missing Ravi. Life for those defending biblical Christianity is going to get more difficult. It’s time to surround ourselves with those who believe the Bible and distance ourselves from those who don’t. You are one of the people I am sticking with!

  6. Here, I felt sorry for Tim Farron (former leader of the Lib Dems) who was pressed into a corner to answer with just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if he thought homosexuality is a sin. I wish he’d seen how Ravi answered the question! We really need God’s Spirit to educate ourselves with the Word of God, to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

  7. I just watched a pastor who when faced with a potential protest outside of his church for his Biblical view of marriage, bought donuts, coffee, and umbrellas ready to embrace them in the love of Jesus despite their hatred of him… such an inspiration. By the way , the protest was rained out.

  8. Thank you sincerely , I’m so thankful and grateful I followed up on your comment to my comment. Scholarship and theological sharing like this is vital in the times in which we live. Passionate Faith and belief in the One who came to save us must learn and grow all the days of our lives. hope to follow and read more.Blessings!

  9. leprechaun475 permalink

    Jesus was murdered for being progressive. Never forget that.

    • That very much depends how you define the term. Although Christ took no political stance, the religious hierarchy felt He was a threat to their power and the relationship they had established with Rome. In Caiphas’ words, “[I]t is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish” (John 11: 50). Christ’s mission on earth was, of course, far greater than social justice alone. He came to die for the sins of the world.

  10. Morgan permalink

    Jesus was murdered for being progressive. Never forget that.

  11. Thanks for this, the importance of God’s word is so significant for today’s post-truth culture. I think we must come to it humbly and allow it to teach us, not our traditional or cultural heritages.

  12. The United States feels like it’s gone mad recently. This message is very relevant. I personally don’t completely understand why progressive Christians even want to call themselves such. They don’t have much actual doctrine. It’s a sort of a go with your gut feelings type of theology, in my opinion.

    • I think you are right. It is an attempt to compromise w/ the culture that sacrifices doctrine, in the process.

  13. I enjoyed as well as learned reading this. Thanks for your contribution to my faith! God bless you!

  14. You address the distortion of the Bible, but continue to quote in in English (which is a distortion). You also use “man” and “woman” but fail to define them. How do you know which you are? Most people answer that a woman has a certain set of body parts and two x chromosomes right? Well, when was the last time you had your chromosomes checked? Also, if you get a stem cell transplant, they can change. I used to think the way your article seems to read, but, once I learned biblical languages and science, those views didn’t hold. I pray that God opens your eyes.

    • I appreciate your prayers. There is no question that there are those who suffer from genetic abnormalities. Likewise, there are those who suffer from the psychological torment associated w/ sexual confusion. This post was not meant to disparage or minimize that suffering. God loves all of us, whatever our sex or sexual orientation.

Leave a Reply to Anna Waldherr Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: