I have recently been wondering what has driven me to communicate with Progressive Christians and why I still feel driven. When I began the endeavor it was to find out how they reconcile their positions which are opposed to what the Bible says with their own progressive political positions. In those conversations which I have had with Progressive Christians I got no satisfactory answers to those questions. What I received was an unwillingness to judge others based upon what the Bible clearly defines as sin, or implies would be against God's will. While I can understand this position because it is true that we all sin and we all fall short of God's glory, at the same time we should be able to identify sin as sin, not make excuses for sin because we too sin, all sin should be hated among the Christian community. This should not be confused with an attitude of hatred for the sinner, which is often the knee jerk assumption of Progressives, that by Conservatives non-approval of sin that we somehow hate those who practice it. That simply is not true and is only intended to silence those who disagree with a Progressive agenda which would embrace sin as though it is not sin at all in an effort to love the sinner. One can hate sin and love the person who commits it. We do it every day when we love the people in our families, neighborhoods and all the friends in our lives. Regardless of what men perceive as the "degrees" of wickedness, Christ says that if we are guilty of breaking one law we are guilty of breaking them all. Where the difference for me would come in, I suppose, is an unwillingness to accept certain sins as sin in the first place. There is an attempt by some to try to turn their head away from the fact of a sin because it is inconvenient to face that sin or it would be intolerant and uncompassionate to express the truth that a sin is a sin. This is something that all Christians deal with on a personal basis daily, what concerns me is a whole community of believers collectively arguing that sin is not sin if it is something they would like to embrace.
For instance, in the case of homosexuality, and this is a primary issue between the Conservative and Progressive Christian ideology, though the Bible clearly defines it as sin, as an abomination to God, many Progressive Christians would like to use the argument that, and I know I simplify, homosexuality is not a sin because there are other sins and therefore we cannot address it for fear of alienating the people who practice its lifestyle? No. Homosexuality remains a sin in the same way that a lie is no less a sin just because men consider murder to be a greater sin.
One blogger I visited recently asked the question of why fundamentalists or Conservative Christians make a bigger deal out of the sin of homosexuality than they do adultery or fornication, well the reason is quite simple, we do not spend as much time blogging about adultery or fornication because a faction of the Body of Christ is not busy denying that those sins are sins, that is not the case with homosexuality, there definitely are Progressive Christians who would like to deny that homosexuality is a sin. So, would she accept that as a legitimate answer? Nah, even that blogger refused to recognize my reasons for there being more bloggers discussing homosexuality than adultery, but who denies adultery is a sin? Therefore it is not a controversial subject, homosexuality is a controversial subject and therefore receives more attention.
At one point, in the beginning, I think I was driven to go on the offense with Progressive Christians and prove them wrong, but that was then and this is now. I have evolved from that point, I don't seek to condemn Progressive Christians but rather to understand them and understand what I view as a duplicity of ideas. As the country song said "you've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything," I have been trying to figure out what it is that Progressive Christians "stand for." I know what they claim to stand for, but what are they doing about it short of complaining that Conservative Christians and/or the Republican party isn't doing it right, aren't on the right path, aren't being very "Christian-like," aren't following Jesus as they should?
If we do not communicate, how do we unify? How does the Body work as one? How does the hand refrain from cutting itself off because it isn't the eye, or the eye plucking itself out because it is not the ear? Why does one part of the Body fight so against the other part of the Body?
I find the Progressive Christian movement not much unlike the Democratic Party. Full of complaint about Conservatives but with no solutions of their own. Is it enough to oppose the majority to juxtapose oneself into a position of power? I don't think so. I recently was listening to the Laura Ingraham show on the radio and she played a recording of Nancy Pelosi making the case that, yes, Democrats can win elections without a plan, they can win just by opposing the plans of the Republicans, she pointed to Bush's proposed Social Security reform as an example. Are the American people really so gullible as to vote a party into power which has no plan to implement the agenda for which they give lip service? Will the Christian majority swing over to the side of Progressive Christians because they oppose fundamentalism as hypocritical, and are they not being hypocritical, themselves, by condemning fundamentalists for judging others while they are busy judging fundamentalists themselves? I don't think so. I like to think that Americans, as a whole, and Christians, as a whole, can see through this sort of rhetoric to the real issues and that issue is what is the respective Democratic or Progressive Christian PLAN to implement their agendas?
There are many Progressive Christian bloggers who belittle, parody and write satire pieces on fundamentalist, evangelical, Conservative Christians. There may be Conservative sites which do the same to Progressive Christians and I am just not familiar with them. Wouldn't a better goal be to bridge the divide and communicate with each other? To find some common goal to work toward? To accept that the hand has a place in the Body as well as the eye? I don't know, I just don't get that impression when I talk to Progressive Christians.
After the recent ugliness I went through displayed by a bitter return kiss off for my efforts at communicating with Progressive Christians, I am disillusioned about the Progressive Christian Community. Why is it so difficult for some to believe that another's motive is to understand and communicate, why do some believe that good intentions are always suspect? Could it be because we all believe that others are like ourselves? If, for instance, on is primarily interested in chopping off the hand because it isn't the eye, perhaps he or she thinks that everyone else's goal is to do the same? Rather than taking each other at face value and honoring the differences between ourselves must we tear each other down? Is that what Jesus would do? I don't think so, but for now? These are many of the questions I started with and I don't have any more answers to them today than I did almost a year ago and after extended discussion with Progressive Christians.