The Anti-Human Obsession of Progressive Christianity

The Anti-Human Obsession of Progressive Christianity November 7, 2022

This is a Guest Post by my friend and colleague Logan Zeppieri. Logan holds an MA in Philosophy from Talbot School of Theology, a BA in Philosophy of Science and is a current graduate student in Clinical Psychology. His work includes political and business research, pastoral training, animation, and essay contributions to several publications like the Claremont Institutes, “The American Mind.”


“The most extreme opposites have some qualities in common.”

Plato, The Protagoras

In every sea-faring movie, there arrives a “moment of truth.” The heroes in the story must make a monumental decision, either continue the desperate attempt to flee from the closing grasp of their enemy, or drop anchor, swing the ship round and engage the approaching enemy force. It is a “now or never” decision. To run seems to only delay the inevitable. To turn and fight appears to be certain doom. 

As one begins to survey the inroads progressive Christianity has made into the evangelical church—the open and proud support of transgenderism and the LGBTQ+ political agenda, the mind-boggling defense of abortion rights, the support for neo-racism in the form of critical race theory, and the disregard for basic sexual ethics and moral well-being—conservative Christians who attempt to anchor evangelism and discipleship in the moral heritage and spiritual foundations of the Church find themselves hounded by a tenacious foe.  And so here we are, at our “moment of truth.” We must decide for either direct confrontation or slow demise. 

It is time to drop our moral anchor. The moment has arrived to swing our churches about at their absolute breaking point, and to confront what has become the Church’s existential enemy: the anti-human obsession of progressive Christians.

Is it Really That Desperate?

Each year, in the holy month of June, rainbow flags are hung across our nation, entertainment companies air their LGBTQ+ specials, and we listen to the liturgies of their oppression. In the face of such cultural celebration of sin, how many churches deign to publish a defense of traditional marriage? Similarly, when the Dobbs decision came down from SCOTUS, undoing an atrocious interpretation of the United States Constitution that abortion was a constitutional right, how many churches celebrated this legal victory for pre-born children? When St. George Floyd perished in an act of heroic struggle against an omnipotent oppressor, when there was broad support for burning and pillaging the homes of our neighbors, how many churches publicly defended the rights of those being attacked? When our educational institutions began teaching a metaphysics of the human person grounded in neo-racist prejudices, reducing people to mere social categories, how many churches openly reaffirmed the doctrine of the Imago Dei, asserting that all humans are fundamentally equal by divine creation?

There has been no widespread response because no widespread response is possible. We dare not oppose the Holy Month of Queerness, because we must have compassion on those with different sexual preferences. We dare not support the Dobbs decision, because we must have compassion on those who are now “forced” to be pregnant. We dare not criticize St. George Floyd, because we must show compassion to the oppressed. We dare not fight against the rising neo-racism of progressive Christianity, because we must have, not compassion, but a righteous fury against all who are white (whatever that may actually mean).

There is no widespread opposition from conservative Christians because we have already assumed the progressive Christian’s position as fact. Conservatives have already ceded the ethical high ground to the moral iconoclasts of the land. We assume it is true every time we hedge our own moral convictions in the shadow of the progressive Christian’s condemnation. We defend their presuppositions every time we lean in close during a public conversation to say what we fear may be overheard. Even in our churches we hesitate to mention what we know to be the case—that progressive Christianity is obsessively anti-human and we probably should say something about that. 

Confronting Anti-Humanism

The mire of madness which encompasses every debate concerning the well-intentioned heart has been clearly avoided by the simple, yet biblical, phrase, “You will know a tree by its fruit.” When we consider the human condition, prima faci, we come to know basic truths about our nature in much the same way we can obtain basic truths about plants and animals. Under what conditions can they properly flourish? How can they propagate their species? And so on. We may say things such as the proper function of sex is the production of children, or that the best environment for raising children is a place that has a stable and continued relationship for the parents. We might say that humans, possessing a universal nature, ought to be treated in similar fashion to one another. We even go on to say, “these are the characteristics of a good and flourishing human life.”

But when we consider the positions of the progressive Christian, this idea of a “good and flourishing human life” is besieged on all points. According to Progressives, the proper function of sex is not the production of children. In fact, there is no proper function of sex for progressive Christians, just as there is no right to life for human children. In addition, the enforcement of a stable environment for raising children—one that is monogamous and aimed at stability—is asserted as a restrictive relic of patriarchy and a man’s fragile, reactionary ego. Further, according to Progressives, humans are not fundamentally equal, and so it follows that they should be treated fundamentally different and with active prejudice. In contrast to what one would discover by observing humanity and the human condition, we are assaulted by a dystopian vision unhinged from the divinely appointed natural order.

How much longer can we allow this anti-human obsession to continue to dominate our churches, our seminaries, our culture?  

Ignore their Pieties and Kill their Sacred Cows

Some would reduce our situation to merely capitulation through compassion—which is to entirely misunderstand our desperation. Something benign has grown under the terms that we use, something has completely redefined the grounds we stand upon. In response, some would prescribe the grave mistake that we ought to reassert the true meaning of compassion (and therefore every other proper Christian doctrine), much like every fabled story of reasserting the true meaning of Christmas. We have failed to understand that we are no longer debating whether Santa has a belly button or a bright red coat (for which we may have overlapping conviction). We are not even debating whether St. Nicholas is a good saint (for which we may have overlapping rituals). Instead we are debating whether St. Floyd is the best Christmas saint, which is to concede the debate for an entirely new Christmas with entirely new rituals.

Nietzsche, at the end of parable of the madman, asks what is to become of us once we realize that God is dead? “What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?” “What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?” The Holy month of June is set-apart to celebrate alternative sexuality; that is to celebrate sexuality apart from God. The Dobbs decision is supposedly an attack on a woman’s right to kill her child; that is, we must mourn the right to life as established by God. St. George Floyd is the saint by which we vigilantly seek to fight against oppression by white people; and so we must affirm that all are not created equal by God. And, of course, our cries must go out for the oppressed race class and anger against the oppressor race class.

Thus,  there is a new original sin: one determined not by our rebellion against God but by the color of our skin. Yet we have seen this before in history, have we not? Making some isolated aspect of humanity into the universal sin, instead of seeing sin as that which affects all humanity universally. 

In response our churches, under the progressive Christian banner, have not only become tombs and sepulchers of God (for God, as the divine foundation of the natural world, has already returned to dust). No, they have become tombs and sepulchers of human life. It is a dystopian vision of human progress where everything human is anathematized and all that makes us human reviled. Once we realize that our current evangelical situation is not one between those who have differing interpretations of a divinely ordained natural order, but between those who believe in a divinely ordained natural order and those who do not, then we will understand that a confrontation with progressive Christianity is not merely a debate among ‘separated brethren,’ but an existential conflict. 

Progressive Christians have erected their own religion. We must confront them for having done so. We must disregard their moral outrage. We must not shudder in the face of their moral condemnation. We cannot lean in close during a public conversation to say what we fear may be overheard. Would we shudder at what a Muslim may think of Christ, or a Hindu of Jehovah? As conservatives we would not, because we recognize the real difference in worldviews; we understand the vast chasm between the claims to truth of our co-religionists. Whatever may support the moral outrage or moral condemnation of the progressive Christian, it is not Christianity.

Thus, the moment we realize that the compassion of the progressive Christian is not our compassion, that their indignation is not our indignation, that their god is not our God, only then will we have gained the advantage in battle. After having dropped our moral anchor, swinging around our churches at their near breaking point, we will have confronted an enemy that will fall to want and ash. Progressive Christians will buckle under the weight of their own nightmare, an anti-human terror of their own construction. 

The Great Moral Reset

The great contest within the evangelical church—between the progressive Christian and the conservative Christian—always comes back to a false common ground of “compassion.” And so I rest my case with an observation.

The progressive Christian will always put forth their vision of compassion as a global call to salvation, a heroic conquest of the natural order. If it is either helping the homeless or comforting the transgendered teen, there is no fickle reality by which their judgements must be measured. As Thomas Sowell has remarked of progressivism—all they need is more time and more money. For the progressive Christian, all they need is more time and more compassion, which is it say, “more license.” With only more time and more compassion, all kinds of things yet unmentioned, but not unconceived, could be enabled—license could be granted, allowing for ever more permutations of an infinitely malleable human nature to be realized. 

In contrast, the conservative Christian will always put forth their vision of compassion as a concrete call to help an individual or a project. There are limits to human achievement because there are limits to the created order. There is no grand vision, no heroic conquest of the natural order. There is only a redemption that comes from God at the breaking of the old world and the dawning of the new. For the Conservative, there is reverence for what God has made, and a humble acceptance of the sufficient grace God gives, which allows us to overcome the effects of sin. For the Conservative, this grace is enough to experience life and love and joy even in the midst of this world’s privation. 

The difference between the progressive Christian and the conservative Christian, as it pertains to compassion, is the difference between Nietzsche’s madman and Jesus’ Good Samaritan. The progressive Christian is living in the last days of Nietzche’s prediction of the death of the Church. The conservative Christian must continue living-out their compassion through the parable of Christ– not of the madman—lending true aid to whomever appears on our path through life, and doing so without compromise to the anti-human obsession of those who make false claims of progress. 

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