Jesus was not a Progressive
Oklahoma Apologetics Alliance
If Jesus was alive today, would He be a progressive? Many progressives say that He would. They give examples of Him being a person of color, His challenging the establishment and showing care for the poor and oppressed. But how well do His teachings align with the progressive movement? Unfortunately for the progressive, when we examine the tenants of Progressivism over against explicit teachings of Christ, we see that the two are largely incompatible.
The Progressive fundamentals are:
1. The basic goodness or perfectibility of man
2. Tolerance, inclusion and religion plurality
3. Change of institutions to promote equality of outcomes and social justice
4. Prohibition against “Moral Legislation” that promotes autonomy over regulated moral standards
5. The inevitability of moral change and progress
Let’s take each of these one-by-one and compare them against the teachings of Christ to see how compatible they are.
Man’s Basic Goodness
Social progressives, like Herbert Croly, believe that human nature can be transformed through political reform. Evil is the result of a poorly organized world. To progressives, a reorganization of the world in accordance with progressive ideas will usher in a new age of freedom, equality, and peace.
Indirectly, Jesus always upheld the witness of the Old Testament which denied the basic goodness of man. The Bible claims is Psalms 14:3 “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” The Gospel is needed because Man is unable to fulfill the law or save himself. If Man was perfectible as the progressives claim, the gospel would not even be needed. Jesus himself also had several direct statements that refute the sentiment of man’s goodness. One example is Mark 10:18 (NASB) “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.’”
Tolerance, Inclusion and Religious Pluralism
According to progressivism, it is arrogant and rude for any one religious tradition to claim that it holds exclusive truth or is the only way to salvation. Most progressives claim there are many paths to God. They believe two religions can both be right at the same time. Even if their claims seem mutually exclusive. Their truth is relative rather than objective.
Jesus did not teach inclusion or tolerance…
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