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  • Writer's picturejaredrrolston

Progressive Christianity's Unwanted Progress

Franklin Graham On Newshub

Newshub’s slanted take on Franklin Graham’s "God Loves You" tour has had the mainstream church upset for the last few days, and with good reason.

In typical fashion, Newshub called upon a progressive lady “pastor” to give her angle on Graham’s work and, of course, she declared he had Christianity all wrong.

According to her, New Zealand doesn’t need saving. Hell and punishment do not exist. God accepts all things (except for Trump voters, apparently). And we (she said, speaking for all New Zealanders) are not old-fashioned bible-believing Americans. Therefore, Graham should just go home.

The Church's Reaction and Non-reaction

The progressive Church has come under fire because of this. And rightly so. Such a clear and shameless rejection of biblical revelation proves that these progressives are not Christian. They deny the Master who bought them.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)

But while some things the lady “pastor” said were very upsetting to all, her claim to be a pastor went by like it was nothing.

I’m old enough to remember when women preaching was the issue that separated progressives from the mainstream. Feminism was the engine that drove “progress” back then. Now women preaching - a position not held for 1900 years of church history - is mainstream and acceptable. The concrete has dried on those doctrinal renovations, and the church happily stands on the old progress we made.

Unwanted Progress

But denying hell is unwanted progress. Evidently, the progressives that went further didn't know when to apply the brakes. Having abandoned clear biblical teaching in one area, they found that if they continued updating their doctrine, they would progressively become better friends with the world.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

But this new progress has made the mainstream uncomfortable. They would have been happy for it to halt somewhere between woman ordination and eternal judgment. But what they don’t realise is that the Church became a runaway train once they cut the brakes for ladies in their pulpits.

Those in the mainstream who got upset with the progressives insist on them pulling the lever they tossed overboard a hundred miles back. The authority of Scripture was the only brake capable of halting the progressive slide, since it applies to every church in every culture. But you have no right to appeal to an authority that you practically ignore yourself. If we want to rein in modern progressives, we need to allow scripture to rein in the older progressives too.

Biblical Brakes

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:12–14)

This is where most churches in New Zealand abandoned scriptural authority. The prohibition of women entering the pulpit is just as clearly taught in Scripture as eternal judgment.

Paul does not root the above prohibition in the cultural issues of his day, but in the unchanging creational order. This means that his instruction applies wherever there is a descendant of Adam and Eve.

As I’ve said in other places, for the church to give over its pulpits to women, a domain that God gave to men alone, is our own form of transgenderism. The progressives that Newshub picks are not the only progressives that think it is acceptable for a woman to act as though she is a man.

Some progressives proudly own the title, but others don’t even know that they should own it. What they all have in common is that they compromise on Scripture for cultural relevancy.

Newshub = Gift of God?

I believe God has given us a teachable moment through Newshub. Wouldn't it be great if God used this hit piece to make us assess our own progressivism?

It is time to pull the log out of our own eye so that we can see clearly to remove the shipping container from the Newshub “pastor” lady's eye (Matthew 7:5). It is time for us to bring a jackhammer to all our past biblical compromises. Only then will we have the sure footing that contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints requires (Jude 3).

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? (1 Peter 4:17–18)

May God grant the New Zealand Church repentance that leads to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:25).

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