I mentioned yesterday that I see two non sequiturs used by the Christian liberal establishment to pole vault over the chasm of reason to the fantasy world of progressive utopianism. Not only are these arguments illogical; they also fly in the face of biblical revelation, which is part of what makes them attractive to the theological left.
First is the idea that change = progress. Any change must be a step forward. But a moment of thought should wake us up from this flight of fancy. Liberals cling to the idea that the theory of evolution proves this. But Darwin’s theory only argues that for organisms to survive they must adapt to their changing environments. The ones that adapt the best are the ones which thrive and presumably pass on their adaptations to their offspring. However, whether adaptation means progress is open to question. Suppose that creatures blessed with eagle-eyed vision are plunged for generations into total darkness where they breed over many years and their offspring adapt well to the dark, losing their visual capacity as their hearing sharpens. Every observer would agree that they had adapted, but would we argue that in losing their sight they had progressed to a higher level of life? Hardly. Because change does not in itself imply progress.
Second, even if we could swallow the non sequitur that in the world of physical evolution change does indeed always indicate progress, it is a leap of fantasy to assume without hard evidence that the world of human social history would operate according to the same model. What evidence can be cited to buttress the claim that the human spirit has progressed in the last, say, 4,000 years? Have human beings as a race grown more noble, compassionate, wise, loving, generous, courageous, selfless or holy? Somewhere I remember hearing that historians have labeled the 20th century the most violent and bloody war-torn period in recorded history. Where is the evidence that would overcome this assessment and lead us to conclude that on the contrary human beings have outgrown and risen above all those prehistoric, animalistic urges to become enlightened, godlike beings? Sure we’ve banked huge terabytes of knowledge and developed amazing technologies. But all this has done is to magnify what has always dwelt naturally in the human heart. Now we can through technology spread blessing to greater numbers or people, or we can destroy vast masses. No evidence supports the notion that human nature has evolved ethically or spiritually. The human heart remains a fallen moral organ — capable of great good, but shot through and through with great evil.
“Progressivism” dresses up the lie that the human race is on the yellow brick road to an inevitably perfect world and society, if only we will join hands and hearts to pursue justice and peace. It is a failed human vision built upon the crumbling bricks of unregenerate human souls. As we will see, it rejects the need for Jesus as Savior and Redeemer, making him instead the suggested pattern by which we measure our own self-styled progress. Progressivism is an attractive lie — like the wizard of Oz in the Emerald City (“Don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain!), or in more biblical language like the apparent angel of light who finally morphs into his true form as Satan.
That is why in my own communications I typically refuse to use the term “progressive” to address liberals. Progressivism implies advancement — but I’m convinced from a spiritual point of view that this is a retrograde movement, leading folks further from Christ rather than toward him. If those in this camp want to truly progress, they need to repent (that is, turn around) and head in the opposite direction, back to the fold of orthodoxy. When you are headed the wrong way, progress means going backward, not speeding up into oblivion.
At least the term “liberal” has some truth to it. It implies freedom — in this case freedom from the shackles imposed by Truth as revealed in the Bible. As a movement, it still leads to the same oblivion, but at least it does so with less subterfuge….