Our Christianity is wrapped up in a relationship with Jesus, who lives in/with us through His Spirit. We have this truth on good authority: The Bible.
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I just finished reading a book called, “A Grand Illusion,” by Pastor David Young. It’s about “How progressive Christianity undermines biblical faith.” The first question to answer is, “What is progressive Christianity?”
On page 19 of his introduction, David lists four ways of progressivism:
- A rewrite of historic Christianity to accommodate those who want some version of religion and ethics in their lives but who prefer American sensibilities to historic Christianity;
- An unnatural way of reading Scripture to make it fit into the prevailing values of the Anglo West;
- A less-than-forthright use of the great Christian creeds, where the same words might be said but new North American meanings are applied;
- A rereading of Christian history that often understates the great stream of orthodoxy and focuses, instead, on minor Christians streams in support of American progressive particularities.
I’m not as much concerned with people’s bad teaching (intentional or unintentional). What I am concerned with is learning what true teaching is according to the Bible and our Christian heritage. David Young has done a great job of teaching those truths, and I would like to share some of them with you over the next several days.
There are a few things to keep in mind:
- We are focusing on the truth rather than the counterfeit. People who look for counterfeit money never study counterfeits, but the real deal so that they know a fake when they see one. That’s our goal, too.
- We never speak of anyone in a derogatory fashion, nor do we defame or dishonor them. Our goal is ALWAYS to show love. If we can’t say something in a loving manner, then we’d better not say it.
- If you choose to purchase this book and read it, you will come across some quotes by fellow Christians. We must remember that none of us has a monopoly on the truth. They may be considered wrong in their teaching, but they may not fit the above list of what a progressive is. Go and read/listen to where the quote came from, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). Let’s not take someone else’s word for what someone said; find out for yourself and compare it to Scripture.
Tomorrow, we will look at what makes Christianity so unique. Hint: It’s about a Person…
Abba, as we enter into this topic of truth vs. heresy, may we enter with a sense of gravity. I have great faith in two things: One is that You pursue everyone to trust in You; two is that, among Christian brothers and sisters, You will make all things clear eventually (Philippians 3:15). May we live up to what we have already attained, and be humble enough to change what we “attained” wrongly.