In terms of progressive ideals, what we see is not a new or improved culture, but rather, an anti-culture. As a whole, the presuppositions of the movement are grounded upon that which is anti, or against, traditional, biblical norms. In this, the appeal to affirming sexuality as a fluid construct is wholly dependent upon one’s personal desires and completely dismisses the ideals set beforehand. It is anti-history, anti-religious, and more clearly, anti-Christian.
What makes this noteworthy is that the positive claims to moral relativism are not epistemologically rooted; they are squarely placed upon subjective grounds. This ultimately provides the fodder for its own undoing – as the criteria for progress is set within a victim narrative. If you rank higher within this caste system, you have the necessary currency to set the barometer determining truth. If you do not rank high within the caste system, but play the cards well enough to validate the victim class, you too will have currency to exchange.
The point I am driving toward here is that the locus of truth itself is bound within the framework of personal experience and feelings, and empathy to said experiences and feelings. Thus, moral truth is likewise bound within this framework whilst those deemed unfit are excluded from the table. This plays in heavily with the debate over sexual ethics in the modern age simply because the determinate for the morality of same-sex attraction, transgenderism, and sexual identity is bound within the constituents.
In other words – most converts to these progressive sexual ideals are not won on the grounds of intellectual rigor. To be sure, that is often the feigned argument, but in reality, it is an eclectic assortment of things appealing to the emotions. This is especially true of Progressive Christians, as there is absolutely no evidence of biblical, historical, or traditional fidelity found in their argument.
Rather than deal with the text at hand, the best example of “exegesis” one finds on the progressive sexual ethic is a plain denial of the text. There is no positive assertion being made, a victim-class is levied, and emotions are elicited rather than an appeal to the text. The reason for this is simple: there is, unequivocally, no biblical case for affirming the progressive sexual ethic.
A Personal Example
Self-dubbed Progressive Christians have long abandoned an understanding of God’s supreme holiness and justice, which plays out in virtually every sphere of ethics within their reach. Be it the church affirming homosexuality, the gay clergy blessing abortion clinics, or any other variation wherein they call evil “good” and good “evil” – it is set upon a foundation denying Scripture’s clear teaching on these things.
When someone comes along to say the historic church has unanimously agreed such teachings are clear, another rises up to sufficiently muddy the waters by appealing to a sort of pseudo-intellectualism. If you read this delightful little piece, you will see it is textbook Bulverism coupled with an appeal to authority. More clearly, it is a person touting his own credentials whilst simultaneously defaming the person he argues against, which happens to be me in this case, in order to discredit the whole argument.
I bring this up for the simple reason that I earnestly believe Progressives deal with such disagreements in terms of volume rather than logic. The man simply couldn’t resist in running a smear campaign – all because he was duty-bound, but duty-bound to what? Ultimately, I sense the duty he felt bound to was, in essence, seeking to shame me in front of as many people as his sphere of influence would allow.
Now, this is no new thing in the days of globalization; this is precisely how others have lost their jobs due to inappropriate tweets. Yet it remains important because the goal in this case wasn’t to defend one’s academic discipline (academics rarely resort to such gimmicks). It was the desire to lobby a mob, complete with pitchforks and torches, to decry the village idiot. Only a backwoods-inbred would think in such terms – and he was sure to make this point several times.
Slippery Slope, Meet the Ball Rolling Downhill
In many recent cases, progressive ideals are driven by the need to censor conservative voices on the issues of human sexuality and reproduction. One of the most familiar tactics in this is that unless you’ve attained status as a victim, you do not have the currency to enter into the discussion. Yet secondarily, it often involves another highly subjective aspect of personal experience: it doesn’t affect you, therefore, shut up. Progressive is a rather ironic moniker then, given the movement itself will invariably go down in infamy for being more totalitarian-driven than anything.
You don’t think human sexuality being up for negotiation is a good thing to be celebrated? Keep your mouth shut and toe the line; you aren’t affected by it at all. Well, except when you’re the CEO of a large company, a fire chief, or when your spouse decides they would be suited a member of the opposite sex. Interestingly, it seems even having the audacity to say people should be confronted by contrary views within the university setting is enough to be subjugated to a lengthy tribunal.
While it is certainly not a monolithic movement, as no movement is, the more interesting conundrum is found within those claiming Christ. For those professing Christians who affirm a progressive sexual ethic, they too are not actually making a positive case, but a negative one. The interesting point in this is that the line of acceptability is ever-shifting. The base of this argument? Place truth within the victim-class, appeal to emotion, jettison those particular “clobber-verses” to their historical context, and villainize the traditional crowd by highlighting their non-victimhood.
These are literally the cases conservative institutions were making against a liberal sexual and procreative ethic less than ten years previously. While not every prediction has come to fruition, there is little evidence to the contrary to suggest the concerns were entirely invalid, as many a progressive insisted then and still does now. There is, however, a growing acceptance of the “fringe” deviancies that progressives swore would never come to be.
Progressive Ideals are Already Dead
Despite the continued onslaught against Christian ideals in the realm of sexuality and procreation – the progressive movement will go belly up. It will flop for the same reason every movement counter to Christianity has flopped beforehand; Christ is Victor and His truth reigns supreme. Truth itself testifies against the lie on a continual basis, shedding light upon the contradictory nature of logic bound within such a set of ideals.
While we might be tempted to look upon anecdotal evidence, there is evidence enough within the Scriptures to demonstrate the nature of what is to come. There is perhaps no better place to go in this discussion than Romans 1:16 and following. It is incredibly interesting that for Paul, being unashamed of the gospel of Christ is what sets up his discussion on the wrath of God being revealed.
The gospel is the power of God for salvation to all those who believe, and it reveals the righteousness of God. Out of this focus, the wrath of God is now presently being revealed against the godlessness and wickedness of men, who suppress the truth by these same qualities. This goes hand in hand with what I was saying above; submitting to the truth is not the desire here, but rather, the thing they wish to conquer and subjugate.
Yet God has made His character and being readily apparent to all mankind so that they are without excuse. Rather than acknowledge God, embrace the truth, and give Him the thanks He is due, their hearts and minds became things of futility. To the one who has access to proper teaching, they are bound in even greater folly, for they are in greater measure, without excuse.
The greater indictment is that man exchanged the immortal God for the mortal things of this earth and because of this, they were given over to a depraved mind. In this depraved state, they not only know such things are worthy of death according to God’s decree, but actively sanction others doing such things. In other words, though progressivism is built around the notion of love – the love shown is no love at all.
The key here for us to see is that God’s wrath is very real, and the demonstration of that wrath is in the revelation of mankind’s debauchery. These agendas, though often moving at an alarming pace, only hasten to remind us that the Lord’s judgment is upon this world and His final judgment is drawing near. The more power, influence, and “progress” made – the more God’s wrath is being made self-evident upon the earth so that all men are without excuse. Deny as they might, all men are worshippers, and all men will be judged for the object of their affections.
People are often embarrassed over the wrath of God, yet the Scriptures paint this picture without any qualms. God is a vengeful God and His retribution will be fierce for the unrepentant. The book of Revelation describes eschatological judgment taking place on an epic scale – wherein millions of people die at the blink of an eye. God will “tread the winepress of His wrath so that the blood reaches the horse’s bridle (reigns)”.
Thus, the reason I say progressive ideals are already dead and that the biblical sexual ethic will outlast them is simple and clear. They will not be a part of the new heavens and the new earth. Yet even on a more immediate timetable, they are not really in power today. Surely, such tools are used to blind the eyes of unbelievers, yet the powers and principalities behind them have already been defeated at the cross. These enemies of the gospel shall undoubtedly continue to pull many people away (and willingly so), yet Christ continues to pull His own out of the thick of it, for His purposes and glory.
All we must do is continue to be a light in the darkness, preaching the fullness of the gospel. That is, we must preach the wrath of God as well as the salvation of God through Christ crucified. We must preach the fullness of sin, yet the fullness of the Savior who removes the stain of sin. We must likewise preach the penalty for sin, which is death, yet also the reward of the faithful, which is the resurrection from the dead. In all of this, we must emphatically preach Christ and His truth as it applies to all spheres of life – for there is not one thing in all of existence over which He has not declared jurisdiction.