Why Progressive Christians Are Ineffective and Unpersuasive by P. Heck – Also: How Liberals Can Avoid Turning Off Right Wingers

Why Progressive Christians Are Ineffective and Unpersuasive by P. Heck

I agree with some of this guy’s points, but maybe not all.

He mentions Rachel Held Evans in his post – I think she’s right, for the most part, in her opposition to gender complementarianism, but I think she’s incorrect on other topics.

I have several more things to say below this link and long excerpt:

(Link): Why Progressive Christians Are Ineffective and Unpersuasive by P Heck


… There is a reason that liberal Christian movements like those championed by Jim Wallis, Rachel Held Evans, Shane Claiborne and others are so ineffective and unpersuasive in American culture.

Rather than seeking to glorify and build the Kingdom of God, they regularly appropriate the language of Scripture to advocate for earthly, largely political causes that never address the principal need of humanity: redemption from sin.

For instance, preaching the words of Scripture when it comes to our nation’s policy towards refugees is admirable (provided it is done in context) only if you don’t ignore, downplay, or reject the counsel of Scripture when it comes to policy regarding abortion, marriage, and human sexuality.

So-called progressive Christians have long chastised their conservative brethren for cherry-picking Scripture to support certain political causes. And to the extent that conservatives have done that, it has been to our detriment.

One need only walk through the graveyard of the “Religious Right” for confirmation of that reality. The Religious Right did not fall apart because it sought to apply the truth of the Bible to politics. It was when it tied the message of the Gospel to a political agenda. Before long, the Republican Party became an idol…

But the same is happening with the Progressive Christianity of Wallis, Evans, Claiborne, Brian McLaren, and Tony Campolo that so desperately wants to be a formidable political force in America. In an effort to become such, they use the Bible as a weapon not against the sin and unrighteousness that plagues humanity, but against those who don’t share their politics.

…Progressive Christians who focus only on physical poverty while ignoring spiritual poverty are not contending for the faith

….But at the same time the progressive Christians at Sojourners are promoting that narrative, they are simultaneously running glowing accounts and magnanimous reporting about the “Women’s March” in Washington, D.C. the day after the inauguration.

This was a gathering that specifically barred many Christians, atheists, Jews, men, women and minorities for their biblically-consistent view that abortion dehumanizes innocent children. Is that the inclusivity of Jesus that Sojourners touts so often?

And speaking of looking “nothing like Jesus,” does the Wallis operation contend that

1. March organizer Linda Sarsour, who infamously attacked a fierce defender of Islamic women seeking freedom, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who suffered through Islamic female genital mutilation as a five year old, but Women’s March organizer Sarsour growled that she would take Ali’s “vagina away,”

2. Grotesque signs stating “P**** Power,” “Viva la Vulva,” “P**** Grabs Back,” “Abort Mike Pence,”

3. Placards depicting Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin engaged in perverse sexual acts,

4. The caustic rhetoric and militant feminism of Ashley Judd that manifested in a profane and coarse rant that was antithetical to the Biblical admonition of Ephesians 5,

5. Giant models of bloody tampons,

6. Posters adorned with explicitly anti-Biblical statements like, “I didn’t come from your rib – you came from my vagina,”

7. Featured speakers like Donna Hylton who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the kidnapping, anal rape with a three foot steel pole, torture, and eventual murder of a 62-year old man…

… is what progressive Christianity sees as the face of Christ?

Condemning the vulgarity of President Trump is meaningful Christian conduct (I did it in strong terms right here). Appealing to decency and respect for women is a powerful witness to the truth of Scripture. But lauding condemnation done with equal, and in some cases more disgusting vulgarity destroys that witness.

Yet that is what the Christian Left did, as evidenced on the pages of Sojourners and this Biblically offensive Facebook post from Rachel Evans:

“Seeing hundreds of thousands of pink pussy hats today reminded me of Luke 12:3: ‘Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.’ Our new president is feelin’ that one today. J”

The passage she cites is actually Jesus warning His disciples about hypocrisy — the very offense Evans commits in a post meant to condemn Trump’s crudeness while applauding it in others.

And this is the enduring problem with these liberal Christian movements. Whether flying under the banner of “social justice” or “emergent church,” the Christian Left is nothing more than what they hated in the Religious Right: political activists selectively hijacking particular words of the Divine in vanity and political approbation.

— End Editorial–

Regarding this point in his editorial:

6. Posters adorned with explicitly anti-Biblical statements like, “I didn’t come from your rib – you came from my vagina,”

// end quote

That one is actually factual, so I have no idea why the author objects to it.

When talking about women who exist today, today’s women were not crafted from a rib. The Bible talks about Eve, the first woman, being fashioned from Adam’s rib, but it does not say that all women after Eve were created from a rib.

All humans today, man and woman, come from a woman’s womb. Even the New Testament admits as much; please see this verse from the New Testament:

For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. (1 Corinthians 11:12)

The editorial author complains that some of the signs and costumes at the 2017 Women’s March were obscene.

As I said in (Link): an older post, Christians need to get over their severe sensitivity to naughty language if they hope to evangelize atheists and other Non-Christians, because the Non-Christian (including Ex Christian) world, is chock full of potty-mouthed folks who don’t see what the big deal is with dropping cuss words.

Many liberal Christians, atheists, and ex-Christians think being offended by the “F” word (and such) is quaint, old fashioned, fuddy duddy, and out- of- touch.

How Liberals Can Avoid Turning Off Right Wingers (at least one way)

On the other hand, I was a right wing Republican for many years, and while I’m now more centrist in my views (I lean right wing but not AS MUCH as previously), I still remember what it was like to be more right wing than I am now, and I know how right wingers think.

If you are a liberal and are trying to persuade right wingers to your way of thinking, or to support your cause, you definitely need to tone down the vulgarity.

If you want to hold a woman’s march to convey your concerns about sexism (or whatever related issues), you will only appear to be lunatics or laughing stocks to conservatives and Republicans when you show up to march in Women’s Rights Parades dressed up in the form of pink female genitals.

Also, if you are obese or dress like a punk rocker – with spiky blue hair and so on – you will also invite ridicule.

Right wingers will focus on your unconventional appearance, and assume you are a mannish lesbian.

Right wingers will spend so much time fixated on, and mocking, your excess weight, nose rings, black lip stick, and spiky blue hair, they are not going to take you seriously. They are too busy laughing at you to care about your protest signs or anything you have to say.

You can argue, “Well, that is shallow, immature, and unfair,” and I would agree with you in principle – right wingers should hear you out regardless of how you look or are dressed – but this is the way right wingers generally roll. It’s their paradigm, how they view the world.

I am a right winger, but I am not a typical right winger. I am actually usually willing to hear out the ‘other side,’ rather than always dismiss them out of hand over having spiked hair, or what have you.

I will say that even though I’m way more open minded compared to other right wingers, I was totally turned off by an over-use of profanity at the Women’s March, or by women dressing up like vaginas.

If you’re turning me off, there is no way in hell you will reach people who are more to the right than I am.

I am assuming here, of course, that one goal of the participants at the march was to persuade – but maybe they didn’t care about that. If they did care, dressing up as a vagina, or holding placards with vulgar terms all over them, is not the way to build bridges to conservatives and get them to listen to discussions about sexism, that is for damn sure.

Anyway, as much as I have criticized right wingers and right wing Christians on my blog, I am equally annoyed by left wingers and left wing Christians.

Left wing Christians are sometimes guilty of the very things they criticize the theologically right wing for – but they seem blind to their own double standards.

Related Posts:

(Link):  Too Cool for School: The Ex, Quasi, or Liberal Christians (and Atheists) Who Think Their Snarkiness Against Christians Makes Them Clever (But It Doesn’t)

(Link):  Regarding Tacky or Inappropriate Christian Themed Jokes, Signs, or Art by Christians or By Non-Christians

(Link):  So According to Some Feminists Believing in Female Equality Means Supporting All Actions and Behaviors by All Females Ever – Even their Pubic Hair Photos and Bloody Vagina T Shirt Designs? What?

(Link):   Sometimes the Bible is Clear – Regarding Rachel Held Evan’s Post

(Link):   ‘Check Your Privilege’ Means ‘Shut Your Mouth’

(Link):   The Marginalization of the Average Joe and Practice of Selective Compassion by Christian and Secular Americans

(Link): Warning: This Column Will Offend You – by M. Moynihan (Re: Trigger Warnings in Written Material, Terms such as slut shaming, man-splain, etc)

(Link): Celibate Shaming from an Anti- Slut Shaming Secular Feminist Site (Hypocrisy) Feminists Do Not Support All Choices


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