This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 2, 2022:
Franklin Graham, President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan’s Purse, took on the deceptive progressive theology posing as Christianity in an article published on Wednesday at Decision magazine. He called it “the Eternal Peril,” accurately portraying it as Satan’s lie dating from the serpent’s confrontation with Eve in the Garden of Eden.
The lie, he wrote, “has cropped up in the halls of seminaries, infiltrated the pulpits of thousands of churches, and been propagated by a godless liberal media. It is bent on casting doubt and undermining the foundational principles of God’s Word.”
The counterfeit theology attacks the basic foundational structure of Biblical Christianity at every point, seeking to destroy it and then replace it with a man-centered worldview. On gender identity, Graham writes:
Although Scripture clearly says that marriage is between one man and one woman, proponents of progressive Christianity twist and distort the truth of God’s Word on sexuality, focusing on such nonsensical trends as gender identity.
They deny God’s distinction of the sexes, and instead invent their own misguided standards, unguided by the Word of God.
Progressive Christianity rejects God’s plan and replaces it by affirming same-sex marriage. It accepts the use of pornography, one-night stands, and same-sex encounters — virtually any sexual activity as long as it reflects a “concern for each other’s flourishing,” according to promoter Nadia Bolz-Weber.
It accepts Satan’s assurance to Adam and Even in the garden:
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” — Genesis 3:4-5
The fruit was enticing, the promise was enthralling, and the invitation to assert her own independence from God was overwhelming. Her sin was not in itself eating the fruit of the tree; it was her decision to deny God, His warning, and especially His sovereignty.
When she ate and didn’t immediately die, Adam fell for the lie as well, thus fatally infecting their progeny right up to the present day.
From there, Progressive Christianity goes downhill. The Bible isn’t the infallible Word of God, but merely an ancient travelogue, a wonderful work of literature that reflects only what people believed about Him when the words were written thousands of years ago.
It denies Genesis 1:1 (“In the beginning, God”) and replaces it with the lie of evolution. As progressive authors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy wrote:
Far from being fallen creatures trying to return to a mythical Eden, human beings are emerging as a species from more primal and baser instincts to become more responsible and mature beings.
It denies the deity of Christ as the only son of God, and instead considers Him as just a good example to follow, more of a “big brother” than the Creator of the universe “Who made us, and not we ourselves.” (Psalm 100:3).
It denies the crucifixion’s purpose as the only possible redemption for sinners and instead declares that it reveals God as a monster inflicting unspeakable abuse on His own Son. It asks, as did one proponent: “Who originated the Cross? If God did, then we worship a cosmic abuser, who in Divine Wisdom created a means to torture human beings in the most painful and abhorrent manner.”
It reinterprets the resurrection (which it cannot deny) as an example “to show us,” writes believer Alisa Childers, “how to forgive our enemies by allowing Himself to be crucified by an angry mob.”
It denies the total depravity of man, ignoring Biblical revelations such as these:
- Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9);
- Man is “dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:5);
- Man loves sin (John 3:19; John 8:34);
- And therefore, he will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11);
- Because he loves the darkness (John 3:19);
- The depraved lifestyle embraced by Progressive Christianity reflects the gospel of Christ as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18);
- Because it is unable to accept it (Romans 8:7).
The deception of Progressive Christianity is fueled by its attractiveness, seeming to many as an option to the true faith — more acceptable, more likeable, more palatable in an increasingly sinful and declining world. Progressive Christianity is, as Will Vining noted in The Christian Post, is “most deceiving when it looks and feels like the Truth.”
Graham ended his post with this reminder from the apostle Paul’s letter to his protégé, Timothy (2 Timothy 4:2-5):
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.