A pair of articles in the most recent issue of Decision explores what the authors see as the problems with Progressive Christianity. The articles particularly focus on comments made by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old Democratic Presidential candidate who is openly gay and married to another man.
At a CNN Town Hall in April, an audience member asked Buttigieg if Mike Pence represented the views of the average person in Indiana. Buttigieg responded, “Please don’t judge my state by our former governor.” Buttigieg then went into a long and sustained attack on Mike Pence’s understanding of Christianity, the Bible, and ethics. He first brought up the 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Buttigieg said was “a license to discriminate, provided you remembered to mention your religion as an excuse for discriminating.”
Then, Jake Tapper pushed Buttigieg further, asking, “do you think Vice President Pence would be a better or worse president than President Trump?” Buttigieg used the question to draw a distinction between his view of Christianity and Pence’s before attacking Pence’s faith and personal morality. He said his “understanding of scripture” is about “protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person and that idea of welcome.” Buttigieg continued, “That’s what I get in the gospel when I’m in church. And his has a lot more to do with sexuality and, I don’t know, a certain view of rectitude. But even if you buy into that, how could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency? Is that he – is that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump? I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Both Jerry Pierce and Franklin Graham picked apart Buttigieg’s view of Christianity and the Bible in the magazine founded by Graham’s father. Graham said Buttigieg and others “are seeking to do is simply redefine Christianity in their own terms – “progressive Christianity,” as it has been called.” Graham argued this brand of Christianity does not focus on “sin, the power of the cross, Heaven or hell, the deity of Christ, or the authority of God’s word,” but rather deals with “the universal love of God, social justice and the approval of various lifestyles with no regard for adherence to Biblical truth.”
Graham called Progressive Christianity “another gospel” and alleged that it is “simply another name for theological liberalism and its accompanying permissive lifestyle that ignores God’s call to holiness and obedience. There is really nothing progressive about it, other than an increasing slide into sin and disobedience.”
In an article titled, “The Lie of Progressive Christianity,” Jerry Pierce referenced Buttigieg’s comments as an example of Progressive Christianity and labeled it as a “religious movement that claims the term Christian but denies the full authority of Scripture on which ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3, NKJV) is based.” He also said Buttigieg had “served notice” to evangelicals about the decision the progressive wing of Christianity will force them to make – “either affirm the new sexuality embodied in the LGBTQ movement, or affirm the full authority of Scripture and be anathema in the postmodern culture.”
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
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