Marsha West
December 3, 2016
Progressive Christians and their doctrines of devils
By Marsha West

Do not be fooled by professing Christians who prefer either "progressive Christian" or "social justice Christian" over evangelical. It matters not what trendy terms they come up with to describe themselves, these folks are leftists. Some are Marxists. And others are Communists. As I said in a series of essays I wrote entitled "Liberals created the culture of evil and death" the visible Church has been infiltrated by:
    ...ubiquitous, aggressive liberals many of whom are renowned pastors, authors, conference speakers, missionaries, televangelists, radio hosts, and CEOs of Christian organizations. As of late, even some of our most beloved evangelical leaders appear to be morphing into theological liberals. The extent of movement to liberal ideology varies with each individual, but in certain cases they have gone completely off the rails. False doctrine abounds in books, Bible studies and Bibles authored by notable Christians and promoted by so-called Christian publishers and book sellers. We have been duly warned about this sort of thing happening:

    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Tim. 4:1
One such liberal is Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners. For the remainder of this piece, my focus will be on Mr. Wallis who leads a pack of liberal wolves who cover themselves in sheep skin. Forewarned is forearmed. Once we're aware of who the wolves are, we won't be taken in by them – and we'll be equipped to warn others about the liberal social justice gospel...that saves no one.

In a blog post entitled "Progressive Christians to 'Take Back Their Faith' After Election," Derryck Green informs us that progressive Christians were apoplectic over Donald Trump winning the election. Green even "names names." For instance, he tells us that Rachel Held Evans was very unhappy about Trump's triumph over Hillary Clinton. Evans is a popular author, speaker and blogger who took to her blog to bewail the results: "We're about to witness firsthand what happens when the established Church compromises its moral authority and sells out the marginalized ― refugees, immigrants, religious and ethnic minorities, sexual assault survivors, the sick and those with disabilities, and LGBT people ― for the promise of power. It won't be pretty." Unfortunately, this progressive "Christian" has the ear of a large number of women.

Benjamin Corey is another name Green mentioned. Corey suggested that: "This election revealed that a far larger branch of Christianity has been married off to political power than we previously thought," emphasizing that the religious right is more concerned with political power than the actual gospel of Christ.

Green also mentioned Rev. Wallis:
    Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author of America's Original Sin, claimed, "White Christians voted just like white people in America did, and being Christian didn't matter much. So how do we teach white Christians, white evangelicals to be more Christian than white? That's the issue going forward."

    Wallis – reflecting on Jesus' counsel regarding the relationship between treating a 'stranger' and treating Jesus – suggested that pastors allow their churches to become sanctuaries to protect illegal aliens from deportation.

    To an extent, there's some truth about the concerns of progressive Christians. Corey's observation regarding evangelicals having become too cozy with political power, which has muted the volume, consistency, and effectiveness of their prophetic political witness, is a legitimate concern.

    But where's the moral balance and condemnation of progressive Christians for having done the same? What about Episcopalians, Presbyterians (USA), a segment of Methodists, and other left-leaning Christians who're guilty of preferring political power and cultural cache to the Christian gospel.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees, at least conservative evangelicals can be praised for attempting to clarify – or redeem – what it means to be an evangelical and have a responsible and biblically articulate political witness in the age of Donald Trump. (Source)
It seems students, faculty, staff and alumni at Fuller Theological Seminary took Jim Wallis' suggestion and ran with it. A group from the seminary got together and penned a letter to President Labberton, et. al, with the heading: "Fuller Theological Seminary Sanctuary for Undocumented Immigrants requesting that 'Fuller begins the necessary process to declare every campus a sanctuary for undocumented students and workers.'" The group collectively whined that the results of the election caused students to feel dismayed and disoriented. Moreover, the letter presented their version of the gospel:
    In the past week Dr. Labberton and Dr. Mouw wrote of Fuller Seminary's non-negotiable commitment to the evangel, the gospel, which calls us to faithfully enact God's good news of love, justice, and mercy.
Faithfully enacting God's good news of love, justice, and mercy is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. No. What this is, brethren, is the social justice gospel. Historic, orthodox Christianity has never taught liberalism's faux gospel for the reason that it's not the good news we find in Scripture, it's a lie from the pit of hell!

Hopefully this information gives you a sense of the negative impact progressive Christians are having on the visible Church. So in closing let me now re-focus on Jim Wallis and the principal role he has played in the spread of the social gospel. Here's an excerpt from part 3 of "Liberals created the culture of evil and death":
    To give readers a sense of what kind of person to be on the lookout for let me introduce one of the most dangerous wolves in Christendom, the Rev. Jim Wallis. This man wears many hats. He is the founder of Sojourner's Magazine, speaker, author and activist. He's also President Obama's "spiritual advisor." This alone speaks volumes. Rev. Wallis insists that he's an evangelical Christian even though he has abandoned the biblical gospel for the "social gospel." He believes he's on a mission from God to assist the poor and oppressed to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth.
David Noebel sheds light on some of the good reverend's activities:
    Wallis' Sojourners enterprise has been a radical, socialistic undertaking from the start. Frontpage Magazine (March 17, 2009) says, "As one of its first acts, Sojourners formed a commune in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Southern Columbia Heights, where members shared their finances and participated in various activist campaigns that centered on attacking the U.S. foreign policy, denouncing American 'imperialism,' and extolling Marxist revolutionary movements in the Third World."(Source)
Jim Wallis is also a champion of unbiblical movements such as the Emergent Church, Spiritual Formation (contemplative prayer/mysticism) and what he refers to as "spirituality." Here is his view on prayer:
    I pray, but there are many understandings about prayer. For many, prayer is talking to God, sometimes a great list of requests and needs – sort of like a child's Christmas list mailed to Santa Claus. But at least for me, prayer is becoming a time of listening rather than talking. There is so much noise in our world and our lives (much of our own making); prayer becomes a quiet space that enables us to stop talking long enough to see what God might be trying to say to us.

    The disciplines of prayer, silence, and contemplation as practiced by the monastics and mystics are precisely that – stopping the noise, slowing down, and becoming still so that God can break through all our activity and noise to speak to us. Prayer serves to put all parts of our lives in God's presence, reminding us how holy our humanity really is. (The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World, 290) (Source)
Wallis is promoting unbiblical contemplative/centering prayer.

On homosexuality he believes:
    [T]he major differences of theology and biblical interpretation in the church with regard to issues such as the nature of homosexuality, gay marriage, and ordination are not issues that should be allowed to divide the churches – that local churches should lead the way here, and that an honest, open, respectful, and, hopefully, loving dialogue should characterize the church on these very controversial questions. (Source)
Issues which are clearly unbiblical, such as the sin of homosexuality, should not be allowed to divide us? Really?

Are professing followers of Jesus Christ supposed to ignore the Bible's explicit teaching on marriage, one man and one woman for life, so that men can marry men? Should we really go against what God says in His Word regarding His plan for sexuality and marriage and adopt a "pro-gay" theology to accommodate a small group of gays and lesbians? The answer is "May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, 'That Thou mightiest be justified in Thy words, And mightiest prevail when Thou art judged.'" (Romans 3:4)

Going against God is folly! (For the biblical view of homosexuality read Answering the Gay Christian Position)

Even though Wallis is a Red-Letter Christian and a Wild Goose chaser, he poses as an evangelical. Sadly, he and his ilk have many starry-eyed, misguided followers who, like most liberals, wish to farm out their obligations to the tax payers.

Liberals such as Jim Wallis dub themselves "progressive Christians" and more recently "social justice Christians" (SJC). Social justice has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? But hold your horses! SJC has its roots in communism and has the same aim: The common good.

Sounds magnanimous, doesn't it? Don't be fooled! What these people are striving for is government transfer of wealth from one group of citizens to another to level the playing field. Some liberals use Genesis 4:9 "I am my brother's keeper" to make their case. Leftist hypocrites have no problem quoting Scripture to defend wealth redistribution, but when conservative Christians quote Scripture to defend their opposition to abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and so forth they cry foul!

In an essay entitled "A Biblical View of Social Justice," John Wheaton writes:
    [I]t is essential that Christians clearly define what social justice entails. On its face, the term has a positive connotation that conveys a seemingly strong sense of virtue and morality. Basing a claim on an appeal to "social justice" provides the claim holder with a degree of persuasive advantage – a kind of moral blessing on his or her political, theological, or social ideas. However, social justice involves much more than a superficial label or feelings of compassion. It must involve a clear understanding and delineation of each social problem, the root cause of the problem, and the best solution for the problem. In short, "Good justice requires good judgment.
For the SJC Christianity is a lifestyle. Their morality comes, not from Scripture, but from popular opinion. Although they believe that some things in the scriptures are true, the Bible doesn't hold a place of authority in their lives. As one blogger put it, "the emphasis is more on growth thru the process of work and serving others." In other words, a person must have faith plus he/she must do good "works" in order to be saved. This teaching is demonstrably unbiblical. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8, 9) (Bold added)

Many SJCs are Darwinian evolutionists, environmental extremists (save the planet, not souls), and they think nothing of co-mingling Christianity with paganism gleaned largely from Eastern mysticism. They are supposedly Christians, yet many of them support abortion, the normalization of homosexuality, and same-sex "marriage." What is most telling is their denial of basic biblical doctrines such as the inerrancy of Scripture; the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ as God's judgment for sin; Hell; and Jesus Christ as the only way to God and instead hold to collective salvation – all roads lead to God (religious pluralism).

What it all boils down to is that many SJC's are cultural Christians. They're not regenerate (born again) believers. In fact, they're hostile to the true gospel. Moreover, their goal is the redefinition of traditional Christianity.

Liberal wolves are spreading a false gospel or what Peter called "damnable heresies." (2 Peter 2:1–2) In a word, evil.

Recommended:

Part 1 ... Part 2

Emergent Church White Paper – Berean Research

Steve Lawson presents the true Gospel of Jesus Christ

© Marsha West

 

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Marsha West

Marsha West is founder and co-blogger at Berean Research, along with Amy Spreeman. For two decades Marsha was the owner and managing editor of Email Brigade website and EMB News Report, a bi-weekly report for conservative people of faith. In 2015 she took over as general editor of Christian Research Network (CRN).

Marsha is a regular contributor for several blogs including CRN, RenewAmerica, News With Views, and Web Commentary. Her articles have been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide.

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