Progressive Christians are Saving Jesus from Extinction

It’s easy to be fooled by loud things.

American Bible Belt Evangelical Christians have gone all-in with this Presidency, and in order to do so, they’ve had to sell their souls, abandon their namesake, and remove any semblance of Christlikeness from their corporate faith expression.

He has been rendered largly nonexistent in their midst.

Conservative Evangelical Christianity in America is now marked by a poverty of compassion and an abundance of cruelty; inextricably tied to this Administration, purposefully disfigured and remade in its own ugly image. It has become synonymous with hostility to outsiders, with contempt for the poor, with privilege and supremacy, with rabid nationalism, with a Christianity of might.

In other words, practically speaking, Jesus of Nazareth is extinct in this supposed community of Jesus followers—and I’ve fully grieved it all.

With great sadness I’ve watched it all unfolding over the past eighteen months; high-profile pastors, Conservative politicians, and once reasonable pewsitters, all slowly succumbing to the seductive pull of power and the cheap high of nationalistic war rhetoric. They’ve made a series of small or quite substantial moral concessions along the way, leading them here: miles away from their spiritual center—to a Christianity that has no need for Jesus.

It’s all been fairly disheartening to see one’s faith tradition swallowed up by a violent, bullying, gun-toting, whitewashed, “don’t tread on me” cultural smallness, that has nothing in common with the generous, open-hearted, least-loving Christ of the Gospels.

I’d started to believe that this Jesus was gone forever—but I was mistaken. I’d been paying too much attention to this loud, hateful clanging cymbal. Thank God for the heretics.”

The Jesus I knew as a child and came to aspire to in adulthood is still here, and it is the heretics who are preserving him.
It is the maligned backsliders, the Godless heathens, and the derided social justice warriors who are replicating his compassion for hurting people, his welcome for foreigners, his generosity toward the hungry, his gentleness for the marginalized.

I’ve been visiting these local Progressive faith communities every week, and they are doing joy-giving, life-affirming, wall-leveling work—alongside people of every color, orientation, and nation of origin.

They are providing Sanctuary for refugees, making meals for multitudes, offering embrace to the estranged, standing between the vulnerable people and the opportunistic predators around them—you know, like Jesus would.

And in our gatherings, Atheists and Muslims and Jews and Agnostics have stepped into these communities and found something they have not found in the counterfeit Christianity so loud in this country: they have found welcome.

It’s all been fully and beautifully surprising, to see this Jesus still alive here in these people.

You may have given up on a Christianity that resembles Jesus, and I can’t blame you. The people claiming his name right now who have the microphone, the platform, the headlines, and the legislative pull—are providing good reason to lose hope, ample cause to imagine Jesus’ extinction, great evidence that this thing is devoid of goodness.

But there is a quieter, more loving, less self-seeking, less headline grabbing expression of faith in this country, that is everything Jesus said he would be: good news to the poor and the disenfranchised, hope for those feeling tossed by the storms of this life, refuge for the oppressed—and trouble for the wolves who come to devour them.

In these progressive Christian communities all over this country, the peacemaking, neighbor loving, foot washing, leper-embracing Jesus is not only still present, but being multiplied by kind people determined to perpetuate him here.

There is a Jesus here who invites women into ministry, who feels compassion and not contempt for the poor; one who calls disparate people to join him, one who destroys all barriers.

There is a Jesus here of justice and mercy; one championing diversity and equality, one committed to altering the planet in a way that gives voice to the voiceless and resistance to the hateful.

This Jesus is here, and he will never be driven to extinction so long as there are heretics, heathens, and backsliders who refuse to let him die simply because religious people have no use for him.

These people are still reaching out a hand to this hurting world because they are compelled by their faith to do so.

If you are a person of faith and you’re exhausted from a Christianity of cruelty and malice; if you’ve given up on finding anything more redemptive or anything worthy of your presence and time, seek out a Progressive faith community this week—and allow yourself to be beautifully surprised by a radically loving, lavishly welcoming, compassionate activist Jesus you thought was gone for good.

Be encouraged.

71 thoughts on “Progressive Christians are Saving Jesus from Extinction

  1. I agree that there is a very big problem in modern day Christianity, and I don’t need to recount those here.

    However, it is frustrating that you continue to lump all conservative Christians into one category. You seem to separate Christians into two categories: Conservative and Progressive (maybe different labels are used from time to time), and the “progressive” Christians are the ones who are truly reflecting Christ, and conservatives are hypocrites.

    I would simply like to bring this to your attention. There are many, many, many “conservative” Christians who adhere to historical orthodoxy and who are not guilty (in a human sense) of the things you claim. We think abortion is wrong; we also think killing someone because he is gay is wrong. We think homosexuality is a sin; but we also think that masking our bigotry with a veneer of Christianity is wrong. We think that those who don’t work shouldn’t eat; we spend time and money in homeless shelters. We think we should pray and respect our leaders; we think this does not excuse them from sexual assault. We think that the Church should be welcoming; we also think the Church should help us become sanctified and cleanse ourselves from our sin.

    Let me point out a few links:

    Here is John Piper telling us how to live under the unqualified President Donald Trump.
    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-to-live-under-an-unqualified-president

    Here is an article by Tim Keller:
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/can-evangelicalism-survive-donald-trump-and-roy-moore

    Obviously, we disagree on some key theological positions. But, in my experience, many of the complaints you have against conservative Christianity do not apply to the people with whom I commune. And I think it is disingenuous to make it seem as though the only people who are not hypocrites or that the only people who are actually trying to follow Jesus are the “progressives”. Christianity has been twisted from the very beginning by those who want to remain in (or gain) power.

    As a side note, I bought your book. I really liked it. I have this one question though: once the people are at the bigger table, what then?

    • Hi Bob. I get what you are saying. If there are about 90,000,0000 Americans of your religious persuasion, and John Pavlovizt picks two of you out of a hat, and he finds that one person believes something a little bit different from the other person, then it becomes unfair to speak generally about the characteristics of the 90,000,000 as a group. Therefore, if a person wants to discuss or criticize a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical, the only truly fair way to do that in a three-paragraph paper is to talk about all 90,000,000 of you fundies INDIVIDUALLY, and them compare and contrast the views of all 90,000,000 individual people. Then and only then is it truly FAIR to criticize fundies And of course, because it is impossible to discuss 90,000,000 people individually in three paragraphs, or even a whole library full of blank books, then the only right and proper thing to do is just give up and never criticize a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical—and thus left totally alone and without any criticism, you people can get on with your usual business of being arrogant, condescending, militant, heartless , merciless, evil, two-bit b*astards for Jesus—like most of you have been for the past 100 years.

      Have you ever heard the old term “smack the wall.” You people smacked the wall when you voted for Trump. By voting for him, you showed the world who you really are at heart, and in the process, lost any little bit of Christian credibility you might have had left within you. Now, you fundies are inextricably tied to Trump and his evil ways in the general American mind. When Trump smacks the wall (and he will), you, your fundie friends, and your real-Jesus-devoid “isms” are going to smack the wall with him. After that happens, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men will never be able to put the Humpty Fundies back together again.

      Feel free to come over to my place and read some really good and accurate general criticisms of Fundieland and its inhabitants. Every word I say there is related to numerous fundie things and numerous fundie people that I have experienced firsthand (in one way or another) across my life. Here is the safe link:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

      You can start with the first blog article on the great fundie hero David Barton. Can you say the term “compulsive liar”? Give it a try. I know you can do it—“compulsive liar” for Jesus.

      • As a matter of fact, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I voted for Clinton. And I linked an article by “fundie” John Piper criticizing Trump before he even took office and a similar article by “fundie” Tim Keller.

        My problem with the article (and your response) is that I don’t see any space in your categories for the Christians I described. It seems that you are setting up two mutually exclusive categories into which every Christian belongs. On the left are the progressives and on the right are “fundies”. The fundies are evil (your word); the progressives are saviors.

        • I am so confused by this dyitribe of jibber.
          Nothing in it quotes scripture. It sounds like John is very angry, Bc he followed the wrong god, the god of igotism. No one should, go to listen, too an angry self-centered, self described Pastor. If he is spending time going to other churches, to only tear down the church, then, when does he have time to study and teach the whole Word of God, from cover to cover, chapter by chapter, verse by verse?
          Poor John, take heed in what you are practicing, in your heart. Go back to John 3:16-18, the healing starts with your heart. Even if your firing was wrong, you weren’t serving, for that church, but you were serving an awesome God. Move on from your anger. God is still on the throne, He will never move away, but guess who has? Stop preaching hate, and get back to teaching the Word of God! Get back to the “mind of God”. Let God speak to you again. Personally!

      • The problem I have with the article (and your response), is that you seem to make two categories: one is the “fundies” and one is the “progressives”. Every Christian is in one of these two categories (it seems you are saying). The differences among people in the categories (at least in the “fundie” category) are small – according to you.

        However, my point is that there is a great diversity in the “fundie” category. And it is dishonest to connect me to everyone in this category, especially when you are the one who made the category. This is a very elementary logical fallacy.

        Your entire reply basically misses my point.

          • I disagree. There is a lot of diversity in the the “evangelical” label and it is intellectually lazy to fit us all into the “bad” category. Even more, you have taken one part of this group to represent the entire group. Then you blame the rest of us for their actions; even though I never asked to be grouped with them.

            It is a very dishonest thing to do. You group me with people you don’t like (against my wishes), and then get mad at me for “associating” with them, but the only “association” is the one you invented.

            In that Tim Keller article I posted, you would find that many people who call themselves “evangelical” are very far away from orthodoxy. Indeed, many don’t believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God, they don’t believe in the virgin birth or the resurrection, etc. Theologically, that seems much closer to a progressive view than it does to mine.

        • That’s how those progressives are. If you’re not with them you’re against them.

          It’s not Christianity. It’s politics dressed up as a religion.

        • So Rob, my guess would be if you can’t respect my family (homosexual) and women (my reproductive freedom) you’ve lost track of Jesus and what following Jesus means.

          • Elizabeth:
            Why do you think I can’t respect your family? It is true that I think homosexuality is a sin. It is not true that this causes me to lose respect for you (which is essentially what I said in my first post; except maybe I should have said: I believe homosexuality is a sin; I believe homosexual people are image bearers and worthy of respect. Or something like that.) I also thing abortion is a sin (because I think it is murder; not because I want to control women’s bodies; let’s disagree on this for now), but I don’t “lose respect” for those who have abortions (it is a situation I’ve never even faced.)

            The reason I don’t lose respect is this: when I examine myself and see how sinful I am, it is really hard for me to get really worked up about someone else’s sin.

            I disagree that I have “lost track of Jesus” because I call homosexuality and abortion sin. Why do you say that? Surely you don’t think that it is un Christlike to call sinful actions sin (correct me if I am wrong; but I think we can agree that – say – greed is a sin and we would call greedy people sinful?)

          • Being a follower of Jesus does not mean to have a disordered sexual relationship or defending the right of an abortionist to kill the least of these. Your perception of Christianity is very distorted, and self-serving.

    • You lost me at “We think those who don’t work shouldn’t eat.” THATS just an example of why we condemn you as NOT Christ-like. When Jesus fed the 5000 (or more accurately when he led the crowd to feed each other) there is no mention that he checked everyone’s work record before he supplied food.

      • Christian conservatives are always scared that some person out there is getting more out of life than they are—-stomping out happiness is one of their biggest historical enterprises. Just because they are miserable, they feel a duty to make sure everyone else is just as miserable as they are—all in the name of Jesus—of course.

      • I didn’t mean that literally the only people who eat are those the ones that work. I realize that is a reasonable way to interpret what I said, but I was just quoting 2 Thess. 3:10. We are also commanded to help the poor and to give to the person who asks, etc. That’s why I said the other thing I said.

    • Huh?! Both John Piper and Tim Keller are Christian leaders who claim that God creates people to do evil, that God plans this evil and makes it happen for his “glory”!

      Furthermore, according to them, God only loves to save a limited number of humans. And no humans have any choice. Most of us billions of humans were foreordained to “eternal damnation” by this God before creation!

      Does sound “welcoming” at all.:-(

  2. Good advise John and adding to that, get a divorce from the so called christian religion. In fact do away with religion and become a spiritual seeker capitalizing on the words and acts of the great teachers who emphasized responsibility to the planet and to people with kindness and respect. Jesus is one of the best known for acts of kindness but there are others who said the same things before and after Jesus.

    • John does a good job, but he yet has to make the final leap to universalism. Without that final key, he’ll be stuck in the us vs them of Christianity, forever. That’s the final step of total forgiveness that most Christians can’t make, because it makes everyone else equal to them. Virtually every other wisdom path knows that the Supreme Power does not punish, it forgives, accepts, and gathers. This flaw is not from Jesus. . . it’s from his followers’ reconstruction of his message to suit their politics, and it keeps them distant from God.

  3. John, I am grateful you are realizing that Jesus is still here – and we are his hands, doing his work. We’ll survive this ridiculous attempt to turn Christianity into corporate greed – it has survived much worse. We just need to keep pulling along and doing what’s right.

  4. John, you have spent a long time railing against injustices which need to be railed against. Still, it is good to see the other side of that coin, the good that is being done by those that want to carry out the spirit of Jesus’ teachings, rather than the literal letter of laws written two to four thousand years ago for a very different society. It is said that literal understanding is the lowest form of understanding. Perhaps this is why Jesus spoke in parables that could be understood within the context of any society throughout the ages. Thank you for turning the coin over today, seeing where Jesus most important message is being followed.

  5. I am glad to see that John P Has limited his criticism to “American Bible Belt Evangelical Christians have gone all-in with this Presidency” instead of painting all white evangelicals with the same broad brush because there are white Evangelicals in the USA who don’t deserve to be blamed for what others do.

    Once again though, I would go further and say his words should be addressed to all of the Religious Right who support the Liar-In-Chief and the GOP because there are those who are so hung up on a single issue that they are blinded to the way this administration would destroy the living and, indeed, prevent the planet itself from supporting life.

    Every single freaking day of every single freaking month in the freaking year that the GOP have been in charge, the poor of the USA have their faces rubbed in their poverty. We are blamed for it, punished for it, mocked at and scoffed at for it.

    Please contrast this behavior with that of Jesus in the Gospels and the counsel of the New Testament writers and other Christians through the centuries.

    There is nothing new about Progressive Christianity just as there is nothing new about the New Age. Progressive Christianity is merely the new terms for the same old apostolic Christianity we have always known just as New Age is the new term for the same old gnostic, neo-platonic theosophy we have always known since Simon Magus.

    So let’s not be put off by the words “progressive Christianity.” Instead let us look past them to see what they inviting us to: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, welcoming the stranger, providing for needs.

    If you wish to see exactly how old progressive Christianity really is, I invite you to read a wonderful document called “To the Fathers They Shall Go: Poverty and Wealth in Early Christian Thought” by Clive Barrett. It’s hard to find but is out of copyright and so I have posted it in the files section of both of my Facebook groups.

    You are invited to join one or both, please answer the screening questions, and please take the pinned posts and descriptions seriously>

    Celebrate What Christians Have in Common:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409874399270377/

    Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

    • I never heard any of that stuff about the poor from Trump supporters. Be glad for Trump. With a booming economy there is more for the poor and not less. Don’t begrudge workers who support you earning more for their labor.

      But just remember that the unfortunate foundation of the twisted and morally bankrupt progressive christians is that killing the inconvenient unborn is not a sin and that goes totally against common sense, compassion, and God’s Holy Church.

  6. Hi John,
    I’m glad I found you online and I subscribe to the blog. I agree with almost everything you write and yours is a refreshing and important voice. However, I’m a little concerned and would like some clarification. In today’s post, you leave out any mention of the Jesus who saves our souls. His redemptive work on the cross is the most important part and I sometimes get afraid that progressive Christians don’t emphasize that enough. I get it that so many leave out the part of loving our neighbors — truly loving people well and all that means — and I deplore and grieve the fact that many evangelicals have embraced this administration. It sickens me. But we need the complete Jesus, the whole Jesus, in all His works. Please don’t leave that out!

    And, of course we know that Jesus will never become extinct. The church will never become extinct — the church being the body of believers who are true Jesus followers. It’s entirely possible that it would become extinct in the United States. But not in the world. We need to pray consistently and earnestly for revival that would penetrate the hearts of all who claim to follow Jesus, including mine and yours because we all need that everyday.

    Thanks for your courage and faithfulness in speaking out.

    • AY:

      Pastor John purposely leaves out the redemption that Jesus offers to anyone that has an ear, anyone that wishes to repent & believe.

      Pastor John is interested in this World, not the next. No where in his writings will you find anything different.

    • I never heard any of that stuff about the poor from Trump supporters. Be glad for Trump. With a booming economy there is more for the poor and not less. Don’t begrudge workers who support you earning more for their labor.

      But just remember that the unfortunate foundation of the twisted and morally bankrupt progressive christians is that killing the inconvenient unborn is not a sin and that goes totally against common sense, compassion, and God’s Holy Church.

    • Sigh. I agree with you but…

      I think what you are really saying is that nonfundie Christians APPEAR to ignore evangelism because you do not see us doing old-time, down-home, rural cornball, 19th century, backwoods, tent revivals led by a fire and brimstone preacher (with a huge lard belly and sweaty clothes), and 10,000 rural rhubarbs with an eighth grade education packed under a huge tent like sardines in a can and ready to be scared out of their wits by the up-front preacher who hops around like a grasshopper screaming about how everyone in the tent is going to Hell—including all the ones who have already been saved and baptized seven different times. You know:

      “Oh!!!!!!! I tell you my friends. If we could only once again recreate them old-time tent revivals of the three Great Awakenings this morning. If we could just capture that spiritual magic of them old-time days down on the farm. If we could just see the Holy Spirit move again like he did in them old-time days—overcome people with powerful emotions—and send them rolling around like twist tops on the dirt floors under our tents—Wassa meeta-toota, wassa meeta toota, bazuta davuta—Lord Jesus—I am overcome by you!!! Weezuns is God-smacked before you, and we roll around like wallowing alligators in your Holy Name.”

      That is why we Mainline Christians do not do what you want us to do with evangelism This is not 1833, most people live in cities now rather than down on the farm, many people are highly educated today, and they do not like rural rhubarb things—and the whole picture I just painted above, quite frankly, is just as stupid-looking to us as anything in this world could possibly be in a church on a Sunday morning.

      Furthermore, we do not believe that most people get “truly saved” in those kinds of old-time tent revival environments on Sunday morning. People get frightened out of their minds about Hell and heed the altar call at the end of the service to save their own skins—in an act of personal selfishness—rather than coming forward with true love in their hearts for Jesus and a real and knowledgeable desire to actually follow Jesus for a lifetime. I would bet you good money in any fundie church that 90 percent of those who heed the altar call at the end of a service do so frightened out of their wits of Hell—but without any desire whatsoever to truly love and follow Jesus for a lifetime. All they are doing is “going through the motions” to quell their momentary fright.

      That is why we Mainline Christians approach evangelism on a smaller scale and use a “confirmation process” rather than a revival tent. We seek to induct authentic, committed disciples who have a real and well-earned knowledge of Jesus, who He is, and what his mission on Earth was all about—the whole mission—the whole salvation—the whole words and deeds of Jesus—all fully understood and truly committed to—and no fright is necessary to get there.

      People like you call us apostate, denigrate us, call us names, use terms like “progressive” (without even knowing what that term means), and accuse us of not doing evangelism—when we really are doing evangelism. You do that simply because you do not see fire and brimstone preachers, a huge tent on a church lawn, and 100 scared-to-death people who heed the altar call crying like babies to escape from Hell—rather than desiring to truly follow Jesus for a lifetime. This is why you can honestly say—and I know this because I was once a Southern Baptist in a conservative church—-that “only about 15 percent of the members in any church are truly saved and truly committed to Jesus.” That other 85 percent of church members are simply the people you scared witless preaching about Hell, fire, and brimstone. They came to the altar for one thing and one thing only—to save their own skins—and no real love for or any desire to follow Jesus. They might be at church on Sunday morning—but that is about it—just at church and going through the motions.

      Please leave me alone now Amanda. You fundies have been so mean to us over the past 100 years that I really have no desire to type more words for you. Just take it or leave it.

    • I’m curious, triggerman: could your Jesus say, “I forgive you and choose to have mercy on you all because I pass out my mercy to whomever I please?”

      He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
      And what does the Lord require of you?
      To act justly and to love mercy
      and to walk humbly[a] with your God. (Micah 6:8)

      Quit behaving like the two-bit Pharisee that you are. The question you posed to John above is the exactly the kind of question the Scribes and Pharisees used with Jesus—and it was a “major fail” way of doing things.

  7. Either YOU believe or YOU dont
    NO middle ground
    No maybe
    No not sure
    Jesus died for all , not all want his way
    some want to work for it
    some like to feel like they have a part in it
    some like to stroke thier ego and do all they can to get thier
    but
    The Bottom Line is Jesus Christ died so all may be free and those who trust, obey, follow, seek after, lein on , the true Bible , The whole word , not works so some may take gods credit , but by his grace
    Unmerited Grace , Given by God , For God, And Because of God alone
    all the other ways are false and empty, leaving you with a false sense of peace that has no end. Just Temporary
    Gods Word , The whole Word will not come back in Vain.
    Mans words, works will .
    Today is the day of salvation in Jesus Christ , no waiting
    Today is the day to heal the broken Fence or the broken relationship to God , Thru Jesus Christ
    Read : John all the way thru , then mathew , then luke , then mark
    test God to see Him True.
    He alone is worthy

  8. Blessings on you John. Jesus is still real as ever. The Bible belters have sold their souls and maybe they never had them to sell. Not my problem. I cannot be angry with them or feel hate to them or even to the president, although outside of faith I have a love for my country which he has trampled on and discgraced. We must remember compassion over anger for these fallen away brethren. We must not sell Christ to politicans that play to our prejudices either. Democratic politicans sell America out to wall street while seducing progressives with love for gay marriage in exactly the same way right wing politicans give away the coutnry to the Kochs by seducing the right wing person with anti gay rhetoric. We must live by faith not childlish literalism.

  9. Wonderful. Thankfully, we have a wonderful progressive Church that makes it plain in word and deed that all are welcome, and all are loved. May everyone find such a church near them!

  10. Progressive Christians are just a flash in the pan. They are a bizarre spin-off of Protestantism. They are more of a political movement than a religious movement. Their “doctrine” conflicts with Christian doctrine in the most basic aspects such as the right to live and in their rejection of sexual morality.

    It further seems that their existence is founded on hatred of Donald Trump, and Donald Trump isn’t forever so they will need a new object of hatred eventually to keep their misguided enthusiasm going.

    The Church lives on exactly as established by Christ, founded on Peter and the Apostles, and continuing this day through his successors.

    Evangelicals have part of this Truth, but not all of it. Progressives seem to have rejected all of it, and just use the name of Jesus as a means to endorse whatever they want Christianity to be–what feels good and what requires no discipline, self denial, or embracing of the Cross, while they demonize anyone who believes differently, their favorite tactic being to call anyone not on their team a “racist.”

    Here’s a place to start if you want to know something about the Church Christ started and sustains:

    • Trump once bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose a vote. Who exactly would Trump have to shoot to lose your vote?

      • He would need to have a better opponent to lose my vote. Hillary was worse by far. So long as he keeps his promises regarding pro-life legislation and Judges, he gets my vote. Even if he did shoot someone, which of course he wouldn’t, it would be just one person, while our unjust abortion laws kills millions of people.

  11. John, I’ve heard from some friends that you did a great job with this message here in Louisville last week. I’m sorry that I could not be there to hear you speak, but I appreciate so much your honesty and passion each time you post here on your blog. Please do not stop.

  12. This article is patently false. I’ve been battling with progressive Christians for almost ten years now and I have consistently found them to be extremely pompous and slanderous and this article only confirms this. And progressive Christianity is the side that is destroying faith in Christ in our land by its advocacy of so many heretical doctrines. I don’t like Trump, I don’t support Trump, and I didn’t vote for Trump (and no I certainly didn’t vote for Clinton either). But a lot of what Trump is fighting for, even though I am not convinced he is sincere in these fights, are things that do resonate with a huge portion of our community and so yes a lot of people within my community support him as a politician while often being disgusted by him as a person. There are unquestionably far too many racist fundamentalists, especially in the old South, that do support Trump in totality and I agree that we have to question the orthodoxy of such people. But to say that just because we have different approaches and beliefs to keeping our country safe, feeding and helping the poor, and welcoming outsiders, does not mean that we are the nasty people you guys so often portray us as being. I have been a part of and have witnessed countless conservative evangelical churches all over this country and all over this world who spend countless hours and money helping the poor and the downtrodden. I ran a homeless ministry in Santa Cruz, CA for two years and I have sat in piss so as to better talk to the hurting and I was hardly a rarity or some anomaly. Right now I attend a church that is predominantly white, but we also have black people, Hispanic people, and Asian people attending as well. Many of the members are former atheists, agnostics, drug addicts, and liberals. I myself was not raised conservative evangelical, but was raised by amazing albeit liberal Protestant parents. So again, so much of what is said in this article is contrary to fact and is making sweeping generalizations. And yes the church is still far too segregated in our country and we do need to do far more to lessen this serious problem. But it is so frustrating when progressive writers constantly act like people of color are all liberal theologically. It is true that most do strongly disagree with us on how to deal with social problems and that this feeds the problem. But it is also true that a lot of the segregation (although I fully admit this doesn’t account for the entirety of the problem) has to do with location. The country as a whole is still very segregated geographically and so the churches often unfortunately reflect this. But there are tons and tons and tons of churches and people of color who are also robustly conservative theologically and want nothing to do with progressive Christianity and its zeal to overthrow historic Christianity and the true Jesus of the Bible. I was a high school history teacher at a conservative evangelical school in Honolulu for almost ten years. Honolulu is one of the most diverse places on the planet and also has a decent sized conservative evangelical population. And yes most within this community voted on racial lines and this was terribly unfortunate. This reality was reflected in the school. Almost all of the black students, Hispanic students, Polynesian students, and the poorer Asian students had parents that voted Democrat. Almost all of the white students and the wealthier Asian students had parents that voted Republican. And the students often debated these issues. The Democrat students were often so confused how other Christians could vote for a party that they perceived as against the poor. And the Republican students were often dismayed at how other Christians could vote for a party that they perceived as pro-choice. But at the end of the day all of the these students and parents were united on things like the inerrancy of Scripture, the Trinity and the deity of Christ, the miracles of the Bible especially those of Christ and His resurrection in particular, the infinite attributes of God, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, that homosexual acts and abortion are grave sins, and many other core teachings. So yes it is true the conservative evangelical church has many problems and one of them is the divisiveness that exists within our community regarding politics. But the idea that this means we have abandoned the biblical Christ and that progressive Christianity with all of its heresies is the only one proclaiming Him is absolute folly.

  13. Dear God
    How crushing is this??? That those who are led by the love of God are with out faith in the Lord for whom he gave his life? I am broken by what I see and hear…broken inside and completely bewildered.
    I love Jesus and I love the poor, sick, the needy, the broken, the lost, the struggling, the hurting of which I am one. And I have left my pew and I have begun to quietly and not so quietly withdraw from the Christians who continue to think Trump and his agenda is the best thing. I can’t reconcile any of that with Jesus. (Even the anti-abortion part of Trump which I believe is politically not morally driven) feels like hate to me. I am pro choice and I am anti abortion. I do not think a government tells a woman what to do with her body. That is between her and God. Period
    As far as all of the other hate that spews from his mouth, the lies, the manipulation, the seduction of money over the morality of people and their basic rights to live a fair and decent life??? OMG I am beyond the ability to reconcile any of that with Christianity and yet there they are…spouting hate..
    I am broken by it..
    Sincerely
    a Jesus follower

    • Is the embryo or fetus the woman’s body or the body of her child? Hiring an abortionist to suck out its brains is something you can reconcile with Jesus, and those who oppose this atrocity are “hateful”? Boy are you mixed up.

  14. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

    We Trust God, Thru Jesus Christ , so We believe in what he ( God is doing )
    We Believe so we obey what the bible says
    so as believers we have confidence in Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith.
    Thank You Jesus for no judging america for our sins
    Thank You Jesus for Forgiveness for our sins
    Thank You Jesus for our wealth , health , understanding so we can see clearly
    My savior , Jesus Christ who died for me so I am clean , no matter what the world around me says. I am saved by faith and that not of myself so I cannot boast , it is a gift of God who loves me and always is there to take care of his own , those who want him , and want his ways. his salvation.
    The rest dont know him or belong to him.

  15. Republicans cling to abortion to hide behind Jesus. They don’t have much else to cling to Jesus besides abortion. In short,they have nothing.

  16. John P. said:

    “But there is a quieter, more loving, less self-seeking, less headline grabbing expression of faith in this country, that is everything Jesus said he would be: good news to the poor and the disenfranchised, hope for those feeling tossed by the storms of this life, refuge for the oppressed—and trouble for the wolves who come to devour them.

    I would just like to say that one of the main functions of the “Flee from Christian Fundamentalism” blog is to be one of the shepherds who stands guard over the flock of Jesus with a rod to shed light, uphold truth, and provide great “trouble for the wolves who come to devour them.”

    One of those wolves is a man named David Barton. You can watch us snatch off this sheep’s wolf hide in the following new post at the blog:

    https://faith17983.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/chief-proponent-of-the-christian-nation-myth/

  17. But you know what? No matter how much the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals try to twist or squash Jesus to fit into their mold, he is the square peg that will never fit into that round hole. No matter what they do to malign Jesus or destroy him, they will never succeed. One day their bleached bones (all that is left of them) will fill the floor of an entire valley one day, and Jesus will be standing on top of a high place, still alive, and looking down on them—and He will be heard to say:

    “What a bunch of two-bit jerks they were!!!”

    Then He will sigh in regret at all that was loss and go off somewhere for a nice Chinese lunch.

  18. There is very little difference between fundamentalists of any sect. Give any of them a taste for power and they will surely twist themselves in knots with the power of faith and a helping of circular logic to justify any means to their divine cause.

    In Buddhism, upon finding the one true Buddha, one must destroy it because it could be a false Buddha. If only other religions had done a copy and paste on that little feature along with virgin birth myths, solstice celebrations, and magic sky fairies the world might be a more sane place.

    There is no talking sense to anyone that believes their own death is a win/win. It doesn’t matter if the streets are paved with gold or virgins in their vision, you are still arguing with a lunatic.

    • The single and most powerful driving force within all the different religious fundamentalisms today (Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.) is an overwhelming FEAR OF ANNIHILATION. It is a fear of the annihilation of both religious beliefs and the religio-secular subculture in which they are rooted. The lust for political power and other kinds of worldy power is a desperate attempt to stave off impending and inescapable doom.

      “There is both good news and bad news in this. The good news is that some of these fundamentalist religious belief systems are so antiquated and out of touch with the modern world that they are already destined to disappear in their current form because they no longer have any significant meaning for the present or the future. The bad news is that assorted fundamentalists tend to forsake peaceful engagement with their fellow human beings for violence when their fear of annihilation reaches a fever pitch. This is what has happened with Islamic fundamentalism. The superorganic, 1000-foot-high tidal wave of western technological innovation, western cultural innovation, and economic globalism have overwhelmed Islamic fundamentalism. As a result, its eventual annihilation is a near certainty—not by anyone’s willful malice—but simply by the normal passage of time and the normal process of human cultural change that is well understood by cultural anthropologists. ISIS and Al Qaeda are not so much a danger as they are ephemeral symptoms of impending and inescapable religious and subcultural death.”

  19. Not just Progressive Christians John. I’m a Unitarian Universalist and we’ve been doing this work for a very long time. Come visit Eugene, OR. Come to the Lane Interfaith Prayer Service on the 11th of every month. You will see Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, UUs, Hindus, Native Americans, Earth Based Religions, and so many more praying and worshipping together. You will see youth groups on field trips visiting other youth in their spiritual homes. I invite you to come visit our city and restore your faith in humanity!

    • You had it right the first time. Go back to the Catholic Church. Progressive Christians aren’t Christians. They are a subset of liberal democrats who want to feel religious. It’s all about politics and not about sin and redemption, the Cross, the Sacraments, etc.

  20. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—

    Read all of 1 Corinthians 2:9 all of chapter
    It really does not matter what is going on in the world around me , My Job is to live like a true , real Christian Believer and be accountable to the bible, God, Jesus Christ .
    NO other
    Not man
    Not mans laws over Gods Laws
    But God 1st , The Jesus Christ , The law last
    Then by following this , and only then will we, I , you fully understand Gods Will, Gods Love, Gods Way s

  21. To All

    Please Note that Gods Judgement has been held off for the sake of the gospel and those who truly love him.
    as you obey , follow, trust in Jesus Christ
    He and only He rewards , blesses, gives wealth abundantly
    as history has show and we see all over the world now ,
    God , Holy God will have no other False Gods, False Religeon, False idols , False Teachers of Law, and slavery to thier way of life
    For God is Holy and must be worshiped in spirit and Truth .

  22. I’m uncomfortable with the conflation of Christian values and secular Government voting. The Evangelicals tried this in the ’80’s, where it was repeatedly asserted that “true” believers would vote in favor of laws eliminating abortion (or attempting to). In my opinion, this movement was bad for Christians, and bad for Americans for many reasons.

    Now it’s a flip to the idea that to be a Christian you have to support liberal/progressive government programs. But the notion is no different: Christians involving themselves in politics, striving for political power in the name of a Grand Vision ordained by Christ himself.

    There HAS to be a space for people to believe deeply in Christian principles yet NOT believe in secular Government to implement them. As well there HAS to be space for Christians to believe differently about how government programs should address things. Where are the Christians extending grace toward their “non-believing” political foes? I marvel at the arrogance required to unquestionably assert that someone ELSE is not a Christian because of how they voted.

    Americans are remarkably inflexible intellectually. It’s either/or, in/out, especially in politics. Our penchant for intellectual certitude and intolerance of nuance is breathtaking. Many are obsessed with political power, which is really just a cover for forcing others to believe and do the same thing. In droves, Christians are absolutely no different. It’s tiresome.

    Jesus is tired of it too. He told me.

  23. Hey JohnP, I just want to say how much I admire your ability to keep focused on engaging lovingly while sharing your passionate concerns and deep insights. I share that challenge, but I fear I often don’t keep that balance as well. When dealing with the willfully ignorant or frightened I find it’s so easy to get sucked into the name-calling, the reduction and stereotyping, and the mocking, the temptation to give-back-in-double-measure, and it makes me especially sad when I see other progressives fall into that trap, which certainly does happen. It’s so much more difficult to keep prophetically loving one’s adversaries, to try to see things from the “other” side and then go on to build bridges toward them, as I see you doing so well, and so persistently. Thank you !

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