Research: Progressive (Social Justice) ‘Christianity’

Do not be fooled by professing Christians who prefer either “progressive Christian” or “social justice Christian” to evangelical. It matters not what trendy terms people use to describe themselves, a progressive by any other name is still a liberal. So it should not come as a surprise to learn that some PC’s are avowed Marxists. Marxism is the theory of economics and politics of atheists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that holds that “actions and human institutions are economically determined, that the class struggle is the basic agency of historical change, and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism.” Clearly, this theory is unbiblical.

The Center for Progressive Christianity’s homepage makes it abundantly clear how PC’s view themselves: By calling ourselves progressive, we mean we are Christians who 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.

That, brethren, is moral relativism.

So here’s the bottom line: Progressive is simply a euphemism for socialism.

Authority of Scripture

  • PC’s do not hold to a high view of Scripture. They out right reject the notion that all Scripture is God breathed — inspired, inerrant, infallible.
  • PC’s will tell you that in their view a large part of the scriptures do not present a true understanding of God’s mind and heart, and much of the Bible is not inspired by the Spirit of God.
  • PC’s hold to a non-traditional view of the Bible. Because they question tradition, they’re willing to re-write Scripture to ensure that God’s written Word is cutting-edge and meets their politically correct criteria.


Besides an emphasis on caring for the poor through social justice, PC’s are environmentally conscious and believe followers of Jesus are commanded to be the guardians of the Earth.

We Are One

Many PC’s believe in the “Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life.”

Who Are These People?

From “Liberals Created the Culture of Evil and Death.” Progressive Christians are: ubiquitous, aggressive liberals many of whom are renowned pastors, authors, conference speakers, missionaries, televangelists, radio hosts, and CEOs of Christian organizations. As of late, even some of our most beloved evangelical leaders appear to be morphing into theological liberals. The extent of the movement to liberal ideology varies with each individual, but in certain cases they have gone completely off the rails. False doctrine abounds in books, Bible studies and Bibles authored by notable Christians and promoted by so-called Christian publishers and book sellers. We have been duly warned about this sort of thing happening: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Tim. 4:1 (Source)

Social Justice 

According to Jeff Maples:

The social gospel advances ideas such as racial justice, open borders, and left-wing political ideology that has a facade of Christlikeness, but under the surface, merely replaces the gospel with social activism. Moreover, Social justice is not a missing piece of the gospel that has been recently discovered by progressive elitists in evangelical leadership positions. It’s a mass effort to appease large numbers of people who view biblical Christianity negatively by appealing to their sense of self-entitlement. Progressive entitlement ideology is rampant in liberal circles. It’s all about what society can do for me, and how society, instead of me, can take the blame and responsibility for my wrongdoings. (Source)

The religious left demands the redistribution of wealth under the guise of social justice. Beware when you hear terms such as “social reform” and “social justice” because those terms are doublespeak for the transfer (redistribution) of wealth.

Critical Race Theory (CRT)

CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color. (Source)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to CRT:

In broad terms, the narrative tends to work along the following lines. The Gospel is less about God saving sinners from eternal condemnation through the righteous life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection of his Son than it is about God’s solidarity with the oppressed and his demand for justice. God identifies with the poor, the victim, the minority, the immigrant. God picked a particular group, the Jews, liberating them from slavery. He sent his prophets to speak truth to power, offending exploiters and giving hope to the exploited. He came in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, as an impoverished peasant, a refugee threatened by a murderous king, an immigrant born to an unwed mother. He sought social justice. He refused to submit to the privileged of his day and called them to let loose the chains of greed and power. So they killed him. They hung him on a tree. He was lynched because he refused to conform. But by his life and death, God himself says to the world that he is One with the victim, the stranger, the outcast, the refugee, the woman, the person of color. Wherever there is inequity, Christ is the victim. He calls all those occupying privileged social places to repent of their racism, sexism, and exploitation.  (Source)

CRT’s ultimate goal:

Few Christians even knew what critical theory was before it came crashing on the scene, nor that it’s a philosophy that is at odds with the Christian worldview. Instead of teaching that humans are valuable creatures made in God’s image, it says we are defined by our classification in groups: sex, race, class, and gender identity, to name a few. Instead of the main problem being sin—breaking God’s laws—it says the main problem is the oppression of others. Instead of the solution being divine (and human) forgiveness, it says the solution is activism to overthrow those in power and correct the inequality. Instead of the ultimate goal being a restored relationship with God, it says the goal is liberation from oppression. — Alan Shlemon, Stand to Reason

The following falls under CRT’s big umbrella (for a complete explanation click on the Source link):

Social Justice – a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and  social privileges. (Source) (See how Jeff Maples’ defines progressive/social justice Christianity under the heading “Social Justice theology, Social Justice Gospel” above)

Intersectionality – a theory developed by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. The term is used to describe how different forms of discrimination can interact and overlap with each other. In recent years, it has become a feminist buzzword. As a concept, intersectionality deals with the cumulative societal effects of systemic discrimination on people who belong to more than one disadvantaged group. For example, a woman is oppressed by the anti-women crowd; a black woman faces anti-woman and anti-black bias; a black lesbian woman faces anti-woman, anti-black, and anti-gay discrimination, etc. The point of intersectionality is that the victim of only one type of discrimination may have a hard time identifying with those who face multiple types of oppression. (Source) (Intersectionality examined by Josh Buice)

Cultural Marxism – cultural Marxism is a revolutionary leftist idea that traditional culture is the source of oppression in the modern world. Cultural Marxism is often linked to an insistence upon political correctness, multiculturalism, and perpetual attacks on the foundations of culture: the nuclear family, marriage, patriotism, traditional morality, law and order, etc. Cultural Marxists are assumed to be committed to establishing economic Marxism, in which case their cultural attacks are a necessary preparation for their ultimate goal. (Source)

Black liberation theology – refers to a theological perspective which originated among African American seminarians and scholars, and in some black churches in the United States and later in other parts of the world. It contextualizes Christianity in an attempt to help those of African descent overcome oppression. It especially focuses on the injustices committed against African Americans and black South Africans during American segregation and apartheid, respectively. (Source)

Deconstructionism – a term tied very closely to postmodernism, deconstructionism is a challenge to the attempt to establish any ultimate or secure meaning in a text. Basing itself in language analysis, it seeks to “deconstruct” the ideological biases (gender, racial, economic, political, cultural) and traditional assumptions that infect all histories, as well as philosophical and religious “truths.” (Source)

Rauschenbuschism – the Social Gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor of a congregation. “His work “Christianity and the Social Crisis” may be “the finest distillation of social gospel thought.” Rauschenbusch railed against what he regarded as the selfishness of capitalism and promoted a form of Christian socialism that supported the creation of labour unions and cooperative economics.” (Source) Emergent Christianity

From “Doublespeak: The Language of Deception, Part 5″:

Progressive Christians brought us the emergence/emergent/emerging Church movement (EC). “The words Emergence and Emergent are often used synonymously,” says Carl Teichrib. “There is a difference: Emergence refers to the larger context of global change. Emergent is the new Christian reaction to this world shift. There are various degrees attached to this church movement, making it difficult (and dangerous) to use a single brush stroke when dealing with this issue. This does not negate ‘contending for the faith,’ it does mean, however, that we must be careful when attaching labels. I have no problem labeling the EC apostate. I’m not alone. Listen to how Pastor Ken Silva describes EC: The term Emergence Christianity, which adherents such as Phyllis Tickle see as the new reformation, itself incorporates more than just a nod to emergence theory of evolutionary science; and many in the EC believe that, right now, mankind is evolving upward into a higher state of consciousness. For such as these, their practice of neo-Gnostic Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism is where they think that they’ll actually be receiving this “transformation” from God; that’s why, in their minds, meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer is so important. To some EC leaders, words mean pretty much whatever they want them to mean. They are in fact master wordsmiths. (Source)

Political Activism

According to Wikipedia:

Progressive Christians have a deep belief in the centrality of the instruction to “love one another” (John 15:17) within the teachings of Jesus Christ.[1] This leads to a focus on promoting values such as compassion, justice, mercy, tolerance, often through political activism. Though prominent, the movement is by no means the only significant movement of progressive thought among Christians.


Emerging ‘progressive Christianity’ is changing the way evangelical/Protestant missions is being conducted,” observes Roger Oakland. “The idea is that you can go for Jesus, but you don’t have to identify yourself as a Christian or part of the Christian church. This concept spills over into some missionary societies too, where they teach people from other religions they can keep their religion, just add Jesus to the equation. They don’t have to embrace the term Christian. (Source)

Gary Gilley reveals: The social gospel became the hallmark of the liberal church because the liberals had emptied their message and ministry of biblical truth and were left with no other ‘good news’ than solving physical problems. Sadly, evangelicals today are increasingly adopting the missional, social gospel of liberalism. (Source)

What Progressives Say About Themselves

The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity–We are Christians Who… What is Progressive Christianity? What Do they Believe? Is It Biblical?

Progressive “Christian” Leaders (in no particular order) Pope Francis, Richard Rohr, Marcus J. Borg, Gregory Boyd, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, John Dominic Crossan, Diana Butler Bass, Rob Bell, Alan Chambers, Hillary Clinton, Nate Collins, Greg Coles, Bart Ehrman, Peter Enns, David Gushee, Rachel Held Evans, Brandon Hatmaker, Jen Hatmaker, Bill Hybels, Lynn Hybels, Tony Jones, Timothy Keller, Ann Lamott, Brian McLaren, Bekah Mason, Carol Howard Merritt, Chrissy Messick. Beth MooreRussell Moore, Barack Obama, Doug Pagitt, Elaine Pagles, Fred Plumer, John Shelby Spong, Warren Throckmorton, Carrie Underwood, Matthew Vines, Rick Warren, Ken Wilson, Karen Swallow Prior, Scot McKnight and a host of others. Also included are same-sex attracted (SSA) “Christians”; gay “Christians”;   LGBTQ+  “Christians.”

Following is The Statement On Social Justice & The Gospel, September 2018

In view of questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church, we wish to clarify certain key Christian doctrines and ethical principles prescribed in God’s Word. Clarity on these issues will fortify believers and churches to withstand an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.” If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles. We submit these affirmations and denials for public consideration, not with any pretense of ecclesiastical authority, but with an urgency that is mixed with deep joy and sincere sorrow. The rapidity with which these deadly ideas have spread from the culture at large into churches and Christian organizations—including some that are evangelical and Reformed—necessitates the issuing of this statement now. More Initial Signers:  John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, Phil Johnson, James White, Tom Buck, Anthony Mathenia, Michael O’Fallon, Tom Ascol, Darrell Harrison, Craig Mitchell, Justin Peters, Jeremy Vuolo and Josh Buice.

Be A Berean

Bible believing Christians must compare each claim of people who are in the Progressive Christian (social justice) movement with what God’s Word says. “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment. He has promised wisdom to all who seek it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5).


Helpful Articles

The Resistance Will Be Organized by Aaron M. Renn NEW

A Culture of Unholy Christians by Marsha West NEW

When Christians Tolerate Anything and Everybody, You Cannot Guard the Flock Against Wolves by Marsha West

The Legend of the Social Justice Jesus by Greg Koukl

Is Progressive Christianity Christian?  by Don & Joy Veinot

Evangelicalism has been hijacked by ‘woke’ elitist progressive ‘Christians’ by Marsha West

Racism and Critical Race Theory Part 1 The Current Conversation by Gary Gilley

Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality and the Gospel by Tom Ascol

Mere ‘Christianity’: How Social Justice Is Corrupting the Faith by Ben Hall

Recognizing Critical Theory by Matt Kennedy

Social Justice Is An Attack On the Sufficiency of Scripture by Josh Buice 

Slouching to Ancient Rome (Follow up to Revoice: Sliding Into Heresy) by Peter Jones 

Revoice: Sliding Into Heresy by Peter Jones 

Tim Keller’s Full Endorsement of Being Gay & Christian

5 Facts About Tim Keller/Follow up to ‘Tim Keller’s Full Endorsement of Being Gay & Christian’ 

Albert Mohler Forbids SBTS Faculty From Signing “Social Justice Statement” 

The Life & Teaching of Social Justice Jesus (satire) 

Bart Campolo says Progressive Christians turn into atheists. Maybe he’s right

Have your cake and eat it too Christianity by Greg Koukl

Heil to the Coming Progressive Utopia by Peter Jones

How the Social Gospel is Becoming the Dominant Theology in Evangelicalism by Jeff Maples

Jim Wallis, Progressive “Cleric” Tortures Bible to Promote Intolerant Islam – Berean Research

The Immorality of Liberals by Selwyn Duke

The Left vs. Reality by Lee Duigon

The Social Gospel Yesterday and Today, Part 1 Part 2 by Gary Gilley

The Usurpation of Evangelicalism by Social Action Warriors by Al Baker

Helpful videos

Are Progressive Christians Hijacking Jesus? Alisa Childers interviews Jason Jiminez NEW

Engaging Tim Keller on Theistic Evolution: Part I & Part II — Jon Harris

The Rise and Fall of The Gospel Coalition – Chapter 1: The Guild AD Robles

Voddie Baucham responds to 5 Pastors who caved | John Piper, David Platt, Matt Chandler, Tim Keller, Mark Dever

Calling Out “WOKE” Preachers By Name! | A conversation with Jon Harris

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – Theological Liberalism: The Classic Collection with R.C. Sproul — We are living in a day when liberal theology has made deep inroads in the church. Many professing Christians and even ordained ministers no longer believe in the authority of Scripture or the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How can people deny these essential doctrines and still call themselves Christians? In this message, Dr. Sproul explains that liberal Christianity is not Christianity at all. It is nothing more than unbelief.

Social Justice and the Gospel — The Statement Framers panel. In this informative panel discussion with Dr. Josh Buice, Dr. James White, Dr. Voddie Baucham, Tom Buck, Phil Johnson, and Dr. Tom Ascol, Sovereign Nations Founder Michael O’Fallon leads the presenting scholars in a exploration of the postmodern crisis within the Christian Church.

R.C. Sproul teaching from the book of Amos on the biblical meaning of Social Justice 

How The Gospel Coalition is Destroying Justice and the Church–Jon Harris

Defining Social Justice: meaning, movement, mission–Voddie Baucham

Phil Johnson examines Virtue Signaling


How Social Justice Is Corrupting the Faith and Moving Christians to The Left – David Wheaton interviews Ben Hall 


Social Justice Goes To Church: The New Left In Modern American Evangelicalism by Jon Harris

The New Missiology – Doing Missions Without the Gospel

Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity Bringing together the voices of top [progressive] Bible scholars and church leaders–including Diana Butler Bass, John Dominic Crossan, Amy-Jill Levine, Brian McLaren, Helen Prejean, and John Shelby Spong–pastors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy present a lively and stimulating tour of what it means to be a “progressive” Christian.


Views  expressed by individual authors and/or sources don’t necessarily reflect those of Marsha West 

  Copyright by Marsha West, 2015