Are progressive churches too lovey-dovey?

This is the last in my series answering the critiques of Progressive churches. The Fundagelical author from Crosswalk.com has presented “5 signs your church might be heading towards Progressive Christianity.” The first four were:

The last of the five warning signs is: Including the word love. I kid you not, that is a warning sign according to Fundagelicals. If a church starts talking about love, watch out, they are moving into dangerous heresy territory. Let’s quote the article directly:

Another word that tends to get a Progressive make-over is the word “love.” When plucked out of its biblical context, it becomes a catch-all term for everything non-confrontative, pleasant, and affirming.

Comments you might hear:

God wouldn’t punish sinners—He is love….

Sure, the Bible is authoritative—but we’ve misunderstood it for the first 2,000 years of church history…

It’s not our job to talk to anyone about sin—it’s our job to just love them….

Really? Really!

Ok, where to start? Let’s talk about taking the word love out of its Biblical context. Progressives use the word love to be non-confrontive, pleasant and affirming. So does that mean the Fundagelical author of this article thinks love should be confrontive, unpleasant and non-affirming according to the Bible? let’s look for some Biblical context. How about the famous “Love Chapter”?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Sounds non-confrontive, pleasant, and affirming to me.

This is an old dirty trick. Claim that your opponents are doing what you are doing. Fundagelicals have redefined the concept of love, so it now defined as a mean, judgmental spirit that allows an attitude of superiority and demeans others. Street preachers insulting people walking down the street and using bigoted slurs is considered loving because they are confronting sin.

Fundagelicals are very concerned about sin. Fundagelicals are very concerned about your sin not their own. They chose not to help the poor, hungry, homeless, or hurting because doing that would be enabling them to continue the sinful lifestyles that made them poor, hungry, homeless or hurting. Fundagelicals are big on not enabling people to sin.

Progressives do talk a lot about love. We follow the two greatest commandments of the Bible, to Love God and to Love our neighbor. Jesus, as God incarnate, revealed the love and mercy of God. Fundagelicals will have none of that and have recreated an angry Jesus who will torture you for eternity because you won’t accept his love.

Progressives are accused of using phrases like God wouldn’t punish sinners- He is love. . .

Sounds good to me. I read somewhere; God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. Raised Fundagelical, I was told that Jesus loved us so much he took the punishment on our behalf. I guess they forgot to tell me part two where he gives the punishment back. If Jesus really paid the price for all sins and accepted all punishment and God has poured out His wrath on Jesus instead of us, why would Fundagelicals claim God punishes sinners? Justice has already been paid, punishment has already been handed down and satisfied, Sin has already been dealt with. So what they are saying is that God poured out all his anger and wrath on Jesus, Jesus paid for all our sins, and now God is going to do it again on individual sinners? So God punishes twice? Does that sound like justice?

I can hear the Fundagelicals now, “well you have to accept the free gift. if you don’t accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, then God will punish you.” Look either Jesus paid it all, or He didn’t. If it is all paid for by Jesus, then God is double dipping into the whole punishment thing. If I pay a bill on someone’s behalf, they don’t have to accept the payment. The creditor accepts it. Can you imagine if you owed money to your bank, I paid the bill, I tell you I paid the bill, you don’t accept that I pay the bill, so since you don’t accept it, the bank sues you for not paying your bill which I paid in full?

I love the other phrase you might hear, “It’s not our job to talk to anyone about sin; it’s our job to love them.” I guess Jesus was a Progressive because he said,

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Jesus said to tend to your own sins not to go and confront everyone else’s. Wasn’t there something about “Let those without sin cast the first stone”?

Progressives just like to do the things Jesus told us to do. Fundagelicals like to redefine love to allow them to be judgmental and condemning.

That last phrase, “Sure the Bible is authoritative, but we have misunderstood it for the first 2,000 years of church history.” Two quick answers, first, this has nothing to do with love. Second, it should read we have misinterpreted for the last 2,000 years. Interpretations change. Our job this generation, like every generation, is to seek out the truth. Progressives are at least honest that there hasn’t been a singular interpretation of scripture throughout Church history and by acknowledging that fact, by admitting we are fallible, by confessing we don’t have absolute truth, it frees us to stop defending error and seek the truth.

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like the post and subscribe if you haven’t already. You can watch my vlog at Rev’s Reels on YouTube. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Join me and a bunch of other former Fundagelicals at Open Door Ministries in Westminster at the Westminster Mall.

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