According to the News & Observer of Charlotte, North Carolina, “there is more than one way to be a Christian.” Well, actually that’s according to 14 churches in that area who formed the group Progressivechurches (sic). (I guess it’s “progressive” to leave out spaces in your name. To be fair, it is possible that the article has it wrong.)
Alas, it’s the usual suspects: United Methodists, United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Community Church, Episcopalians, etc, etc. Guess what their three “common issues” are? Three guesses… You’re right!: “the inclusion of gays and lesbians, the need to protect the environment, and a desire to be more responsible global citizens.”
Silly evangelicals, inclusion is for liberals. While I’m certainly not always on board with the progressives’ [by the way, that’s such a ridiculous self-designation. Don’t you have to have some defined goal in order to be progressing toward it?] favorite whipping boys Dobson, Falwell, and Robertson, at least they sometimes mention Jesus, and not just to point out that God likes orphans and widows and “love.” Besides that, it seems well nigh impossible for progressives to make distinctions among those who think abortion is bad for children (they die) or those who can advance beyond “God hates fags” in their argumentation.
Perhaps, perhaps (just for the sake of argument), many Christians have not focused on the state of the environment or being “global citizens” (just as laughable as “progressives”). Well, let’s think about that. If the only thing one is concerned about is the present “schema” of things (see 1 Corinthians 7:31), it would make sense to make the top three priorities things that have to do with this world.
On the other hand, perhaps those who are most concerned about the next world (to steal an argument from C.S. Lewis) are those who act in ways concerned about this world. Maybe we just don’t have to make sure everyone knows we like green things in order to recycle and not litter. As far as my global citizenship is concerned, Paul had something to say about that as well. I’m a little confused, though; how does one act as a citizen of the world? No doubt it has something to do with never going to war, even against those who want to destroy our part of the globe and deport us from this world to the next. Or, maybe it just means that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Could we define that, please?
Sorry, I’ve already wasted too much space on fourteen congregations in North Carolina. If you agree that we should love homosexuals, love the environment, and love the Iraqi people, and you live in the Charlotte area, request tickets—, I mean, try out one of those churches. I guess the question is, what if we think Jesus died to save homosexuals from their sin, to redeem the creation that groans under the weight of our sin, as well as for Muslims so that they might turn from their false god and serve the true–somehow I don’t think that qualifies for the progressive agenda.