As one of the activities for this year’s scholarship competition, I asked volunteers from our high-school apologetics fellowship to write concise summaries of book chapters and post them on my blog.
After reading Chapter 6: “Nothing New Under the Sun” of the book Another Gospel? by Alisa Childers, Claire Wilkerson submitted the following essay:
Nothing New Under the Sun – by Claire Wilkerson
“Primitive bioterrorism.” The term was said by New Testament Scholar Craig Blomberg. Of course, the term was in reference to a passage out of Matthew 13 where Jesus describes an enemy, being Satan, that mixed in weeds with the good wheat crops. Jesus tells us to let the wheat and weeds grow together and gather the weeds to burn before the wheat is harvested. It is the angels of Heaven that will be sent out with precision to root out the sinfulness and evil (Matt. 13:41).
Jesus is talking about the church in this parable. Like Childers says “good and bad ideas often occupy the same space.” It’s the same principle of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The wolf blends in with the sheep but at its core, but it wants something completely different. The weeds looked like wheat but they were most certainly not wheat. Progressive Christianity, like most false gospels, preys on the factor that it can be disguised as Christianity and not universalism. If Progressive Christianity the ideology was stripped of the factors that give it an association with Christianity, such as Jesus and a misinterpretation of the Bible, it would appear much more like a cult. It fronts as Christianity in an effort to use the word of God as proof of the ideology. The same way Mormons believe that they are Christians the same as you and I.
However, this dressing up of our faith to favor a new ideology is not new. To act like it is would be foolish. That’s why the title of the chapter, ‘Nothing New Under the Sun’, encompasses the issue completely. We as believers are quick to grow restless and weary in fighting against heresies. We convince ourselves that we as a society or nation have crossed a threshold of no return, that a depraved world has reached never before levels of depravity and all hope is lost. We can be so foolish. Read the Bible, nothing is worse than it’s ever been. It just dresses up in different fallacies.
Childers presents a litmus test for spotting heresy. It is simple, Jesus plus anything else equals a false Gospel. The circumcision party said that salvation was Jesus plus circumcision. The Gnostics believe that the only sin was ignorance, how ironic. They added existential knowledge to Jesus.
Progressive Christianity is Jesus + Social Justice, Jesus + new knowledge, and the most destructive being Jesus – judgment. It hides behind the assumption that because it is new it’s somehow right because what came before it is out of style. But I just proved that progressive Christianity is nothing new. It is just an elaborate off-shoot of heresies that have been around since Bible times. What’s most important about the parable out of Matthew 13 is that we are not the ones that root out the weeds. Because we are the wheat. And we sway in the wind, waiting to be picked, alongside the weeds. We are not the ones to cast judgment; that is God’s job. We are called to practice discernment so we can help others as well as ourselves to not be deceived by a wolf dressed as a sheep. The big idea is to proclaim the truth and rest on the fact that the snake oil salesmen will receive eternal punishment for their crimes against our Savior.