In his newest book, Hope for This Present Crisis, bestselling author Dr. Michael Youssef notes the disturbing trend in modern Christianity of many orthodox Christians abandoning thousands of years of orthodox Christian doctrine and tradition in favor of the new woke, progressive agenda promoted by the world today.
"Whereas orthodox Christianity is now labeled intolerant and narrow minded, progressive Christianity has taken hold of our society and gained popularity because it makes no moral judgements against sin and aligns with the dominant secular-left political agenda," Youssef says.
While it certainly feels a lot easier to go along with the crowd, this is not the Christianity that Christ preached in the Gospels.
"These so-called progressive Christians do not hold to the Lord's teaching. They openly reject everything Jesus said about His blood, His death and His atonement for sin," Youssef says. "They openly reject His claim to be the way, the truth, the life—the only way to God the Father. To them, Jesus is a way, but not the way."
Youssef's book notes some helpful signs to watch out for, since these hidden "progressives" can look and speak like orthodox Christians, but their words have very different meanings. For example, "Progressive Christians say they believe that God is love. So do we, because God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for us. But progressive Christians don't believe the cross is an expression of God's love. Instead, they teach that a loving God would never punish sinners or judge sin or condemn an unrepentant, unbelieving sinner to hell," Youssef says. That would be too harsh, progressive Christians object, in an attempt to be approved by the dying world.
"Progressive Christians say they believe in the resurrection. So do we. But if you press them about whether they affirm that the resurrection was a literal, physical, historical event, they will tell you that the resurrection of Jesus is a powerful spiritual metaphor, and a metaphor doesn't have to be literal and historical to convey important truth."
This can go on and on, with progressive Christians using the same words, but with very different meanings. With our society's adamant demands for political correctness, progressives have fallen for the age-old trap of being esteemed by one's peers—but at what cost? Unfortunately, what appears easier in the short run ends up being detrimental in the long run.
"If you adopt a secular social and political agenda, the world will love you," Youssef says. "You'll have many friends in this fallen and dying world. But the price you will pay is a state of enmity between you and God."
For this reason, these progressive Christians act as proverbial wolves in sheep's clothing, devouring the church from within. With the church's foundations actively being destroyed, what can the righteous do?
"It sometimes takes a great deal of discernment to distinguish a progressive Christian from an orthodox, Bible-believing, evangelical Christian," Youssef says.
The best place to start is to learn your faith. Read the Scripture to see what Jesus did and taught.
Jesus warned, "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. ... Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit. But a corrupt tree bears evil fruit" (Matt. 7:15-17).
We must do what Christians have done since the early days of Christianity: Stand firm for the truth and hold fast to Jesus' teaching. As Youssef advises:
"Ask God to strengthen you as you contend for His truth at home, at work and in your community. Ask God to empower you to witness boldly for His truth," Youssef says. "Pray that He will give you the wisdom and discernment to resist the alluring falsehoods of progressive Christianity and other forms of apostasy so prevalent today. If you hold to the teachings of Jesus, then you will know His truth, and His truth will set you free."
Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia, and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, with a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. He founded The Church of The Apostles, which was the launching pad for Leading The Way's international ministry. Youssef has authored more than 40 books, including popular titles like "Jesus, Jihad and Peace" and "Saving Christianity?"
Youssef is the host of the popular TV and radio broadcast Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, which airs more than 13,000 times every week across six continents in 26 languages—reaching audiences in nearly every major city in the world. His programs attract tens of millions of viewers weekly in the U.S. on major TV networks, including TBN, Daystar, Fox Business, Lifetime, GOD TV, CTN, NRB TV, and more.
Equipped with a keen understanding of the Bible, the Middle East, sociological trends in the Western world, and popular Christian worldview issues, Youssef is a sought-after voice whose expertise is regularly requested on both secular and Christian media, including Huckabee, Fox & Friends, Eric Metaxas, The Hugh Hewitt Show, The Christian Post, Fox News, Hannity, Glenn Beck, The 700 Club and more. He and his wife reside in Atlanta and have four grown children and 10 grandchildren.
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