In my previous post, I acknowledged that the progressive church's efforts to reach out to groups who had traditionally been neglected by the Church indicated an admirable desire on their part. After all, Jesus reached out to prostitutes and tax collectors. Unfortunately, this desire is not matched by a respect for scripture. Indeed, they seem to be encouraging the very normalization of sin that bothered me in the previous post, and they seem to have a contempt for orthodox Christianity that is apparent on their front page:
Religion doesn't have to be irrelevant, ineffectual, repressive...
Do you find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions rather than in the answers?
Do you have religious interests and longings but cannot accept the beliefs and dogmas you associate with Christianity?
Are you repelled by claims that Christianity is the "only way"?
In their desire not to offend people who are normally offended by Christianity, they forget that Christianity is a message of offense. "And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." (Matt. 11:6) Jesus was not universally loved, and those who thought themselves sinless had the hardest time accepting him. Ignoring sin, offering acceptance without redemption, tells people that they don't really need Jesus. (Of course, this doesn't seem to bother the progessive Christians, judging from their second point: "Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God's realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.") Jesus taught the legitimacy of the law, with strong warnings for those who ignored it: "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19) While we need to love all sinners, while there is forgiveness available for them and for us, we dare not forget just how dangerous, how deadly sin is. When we do, we treat Christ's sacrifice as worthless.