Progressive Christianity is as Much of a Threat to Your Kids’ Faith as Atheism
by Natasha Crain
In our backyard we used to have a beautiful lime tree.
One day I noticed that a thorny vine of some kind had started growing around it. It looked enough like the rest of the tree that I figured it was just another stage of growth. A quick Google search told me thorns often grow around citrus trees, so I didn’t think much more about it.
Then, within a couple of months, the thorns took over the tree and it began to die. A gardener looked at it and said these particular thorns weren’t part of the tree at all. It turns out they were a foreign invader.
Had the foreign invader looked more foreign, I would have realized the need to uproot it immediately. But because it shared surface-level similarities with the tree, I was fooled into thinking it was all the same thing.
I often write here about the threat hostile atheists pose to kids’ faith today. But atheism is not the only threat. In fact, there’s a particular threat that can be even more dangerous because it less obviously requires attention. It’s like the thorny plant that gradually killed my lime tree because I didn’t even realize it was foreign.
That threat is called progressive Christianity.
What is Progressive Christianity?
It can be hard to define progressive Christianity because it’s an umbrella term for a lot of different beliefs. But I think my friend and fellow blogger, Alisa Childers (who was once part of a progressive Christian church) hit the nail on the head when she summarized it this way in a recent post:
A lowered view of the Bible
Feelings are emphasized over facts
Essential Christian doctrines are open for reinterpretation
Historic terms are redefined
The heart of the gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice
Here’s the danger. To the untrained ear, the progressive Christian message can sound a lot like biblical Christianity. There’s talk of God, Jesus, the Bible, love, and compassion. If a child has never learned to think more deeply about theology and what the Bible actually teaches, they can easily mistake progressive Christianity for biblical Christianity…
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