“Progressive Christianity is Dangerous”

Christianity, although a fairly old religion, continues to be reinterpreted as new eras and perspectives comes along. In a YouTube video posted by Capturing Christianity, Alisa Childers takes on the ideas of progressive Christianity. In this post, I will be summarizing some of her points, as well as giving a brief reflection on what I learned. I encourage you to watch it for yourself, as she gives much richer explanations than I have included here.

Progressive vs. historic Christianity

In the first part of the interview, Childers explains the difference in core principles of progressive and historic Christianity.

Historic Christianity

Historic Christianity corresponds to how the earliest Christians defined and practiced Christianity, as dictated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. In this creed, Paul writes about the atonement of Jesus, his resurrection, how Christian beliefs are to be rooted in Scripture.

Childers discusses how she settled on the word ‘historical’, as she struggled to find the most fitting word. ‘Traditional’, she said, could be negatively related with specific traditions people have been raised in, and traditions tend to differ between sects and denominations. ‘Conservative’, on the other hand, has too much of a political undertone. Therefore, ‘historical’ seemed the most appropriate fit.

Progressive Christianity

Progressive Christianity is the idea that core Christian beliefs are changing or should change. Plainly, it questions what exactly Christian beliefs should include. Because of this, she contends that some might not even consider it Christianity at all. Because it disagrees with the fundamental beliefs historical Christians hold, progressive Christianity could therefore be considered secular humanism.

What Progressive Christians believe

Childers found that progressive Christians often came from within the Christian church, as opposed to being converts from a different religion or worldview. They were picking apart what they were taught to believe, a process she referred to as ‘deconstruction.’ She found that progressives tend to:

  1. Fixate more on the human life rather than the afterlife,
  2. argue that the Bible was not wholly written by God,
  3. and assert that Jesus was not required by God to die as a substitution for our sins. Rather, He gave himself because the humans of the time demanded him to.

Cosmic child abuse

Childers explains that some progressives believe Jesus was helpless and had no say in the matter. She counters this by explaining that Jesus is also God, and therefore it was not a passive action. In general, some may be equating God’s wrath to their own human fathers or experiences. This potentially causes them to see what God did negatively or as ‘harsh’, going as far to denote Jesus’ crucifixion as ‘cosmic child abuse’.

Experiences of today

Along with defining the differences between progressive and historical Christianity, Childers delves further into gray-area topics.


Doubt is not always a bad thing. Actually, when seeking truth, it may be just the thing to make you firm in your beliefs. However, Childers clarifies two separate types of doubt: “honest doubt seeking real answers” vs. “seeking justification for unbelief”. She mentions the ‘sin of certainty’, and gives examples of people equating ‘not knowing for sure’ with ‘humility.’ However, there are things we can know for sure, and some people may be afraid of the answers for a variety of reasons.


She addresses the progressive Christian LGBT community and their beliefs, as this is a popular point of contention in the progressive church. She illustrated how those identifying as such take it on as a personal identity. Thus, they tend to believe that those condemning the behavior are also condemning the individual. This fallacy is what she describes as an “error culture has informed us to believing.”

What love is

Childers goes on to explain how God gave his Son out of love for us, and describes the misunderstanding of God’s love in today’s context. Many progressive Christians associate love with acceptance, whether from God or from fellow humans. If you have a Muslim friend, she counters, it is not loving them to let them believe the wrong thing. Rather, it is loving to help them find the truth, even if it is uncomfortable or creates tension between the two of you.

What to do about progressive Christianity

Her solution to the teachings of progressive Christianity is to hold fast to the real truths of the historical view, as this is what Christians have had to do since its inception. There have always been cultural pushbacks, so this is nothing new. Although they may have differed in what they were, these beliefs have always deviated from what the true, core Christian beliefs are.

However, she urges those who believe the historical view to encourage progressive Christians out of love. Ultimately, to seek the root causes of their beliefs so they can be guided in the right direction. Ease up on the dogma, as this will push people away, and pursue understanding with patience.


I really enjoyed listening to Alisa talk, as she gave a succinct and overarching introduction to progressive Christian beliefs. As I was not very informed on the subject, it was a great place to start learning about what their beliefs are and how they got that way.

What I took away from this video was some tips to combat progressive Christian ideals, and how they are actively fighting to change the church. Most notably, it helped me realize that fundamental Christian beliefs do not change with the times. Societies have pushed agendas that do not align with God’s will well before the progressive movement was born. Furthermore, her journey of searching for truth and going through phases of doubt was a great testimony. It encourages people to stay strong in following the will of God as it has been spelled out in the Bible.

As with most interviews, this only scratches the surface. There is much more to be learned about progressive Christianity, and the arguments for historical view being the true one. Again, I encourage you to watch the video for yourself, and listen to her speak on this somewhat controversial topic.

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