Reported By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, May 27, 2021
Over the last decade, Lucas Miles began noticing what he believes is a “really damaging, antithetical to the Gospel, and certainly heretical” issue metastasizing across the Western Church.
“I’ve seen what The New York Times has called this ‘Ascendant Liberal Christianity’ invade churches. And of course, they present ‘Liberal Christianity’ or ‘Progressive Christianity’ in a positive light, but I think it’s actually extremely dangerous to the Body of Christ,” Miles, a pastor, author and filmmaker told The Christian Post.
But over the last 36 months, Miles said he began seeing this liberal ideology invade churches at an unprecedented rate, at first through the mouths of well-known professing Christian politicians, pastors and teachers, but eventually in local church leaders too.
“I would hear people start talking about Christianity using progressive language, and the Jesus they presented was more of a great social organizer than the Savior of the world,” he said.
“I live in a red state and blue county, and there are probably four or five churches right around me that are flying a Marxist Black Lives Matter flag or Christian socialism symbol or a rainbow flag, and they’re flying those higher than the cross. I think it says a lot about where the churches in America are right now.”
Like many beliefs, the Christian Left is a “spectrum,” Miles said, as “not everybody who has progressive ideas are true leftists or Marxists.” Some, like Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock and Democratic politician Pete Buttigieg, are on the “far left and have created this hybrid version of Christianity and Marxism,” he explained.
But more subtly, within the Christian world, people like Bible teacher Beth Moore and journalist Jonathan Merritt “have kept one foot in biblical orthodoxy and one foot in progressive ideology.”
“We’re seeing things like critical race theory and liberation theology very strongly pushed, and it’s becoming more and more concerning,” he said. “The Gospel is not something that’s legalistic, and it’s important that we not fall into fundamentalism, either. But if we begin to downgrade Scripture to something other than the Word of God, Christianity begins to erode.”
Feeling an urgency to help Christians discern biblical truth from dangerous ideology, Miles penned his latest book, The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church. In it, he examines church history, world politics, and pop culture to expose the agenda of the Christian Left. The Christian Left, he said, is “really good at hijacking terminology” in order to “ooze their way into being recognized” as “Christian.” One way they do this, he said, is by increasingly pushing for a “Christian Universalism” that says all paths lead to Christ.
True leftists, he said, “know that they cannot win elections unless they divide the church and win some of the religious vote.”
“The Democratic Party in years past was quite content to be referred to as the ‘godless party’ and even made efforts to take the word ‘God’ out of their party platform. Now we’re seeing sort of this doubling down on faith by the left, and it’s really a partnership with liberal Christian universities, certain mainstream media outlets, and even certain mainstream faith outlets,” he contended.
One reason progressive ideology has so easily permeated churches across the West is because of growing biblical illiteracy, Miles said. According to the State of the Bible 2020 report, the proportion of Americans who read the Bible daily also fell to fewer than one in 10 (9%), the lowest number on record during the 10 years of the State of the Bible research study. Another recent study found that only 6% of Americans have a “biblical worldview.”
“We really need to look at, what are these core beliefs of Christianity that we can find unity in, and then what are these secondary or tertiary issues or concerns that we can have some degree of difference?” he said. “What do they say about gender and sexuality? What do they believe about the Bible and about individuals?”
“One thing that we do not have the liberty to have a degree of difference on is the authority of Scripture, because the moment that the authority of Scripture is challenged, all the other aspects of our faith rooted in it are challenged as well. The moment we adopt and begin to accept forms of Christianity that downplay the authority of Scripture, it gives way to embracing things that aren’t Christian, but yet we’re calling Christian.”
Already, The Christian Left is the No. 1 bestseller in three different categories on Amazon, indicating that more and more Christians are “concerned by the number of pastors embracing LGBT and transgenderism, downplaying pro-life issues, and presenting an ‘acceptable Christianity’” from the pulpit.
“I’ve had so many people who said they are tired of going to church and feeling like it’s a commercial for the Democratic Party or having critical race theory crammed down their throats, he said. “There’s a huge concern for the future of the Church in America.”
Through his book, Miles said he hopes to equip and empower the Church to stand firm on biblical truth and elevate God’s truth, justice, and wisdom over leftist ideology. Until the Church does so, he said, there will not be unity among the Body of Christ.
“We cannot call things that are not Christian or rooted in the teachings of Christ or the unity of Christ ‘Christian’ just because we want to,” he stressed. “We’re not even worshipping the same Christ. We can both call this person Jesus, but the identity is two very, very different people. It’s important that we recognize that we cannot have real Christian unity and Christian fellowship with people that do not actually worship Christ the way that we know Him in Scripture.”
He added: “I want to see people really return to the Gospel of God’s grace, but also understand that it is not a ‘choose your own adventure novel’ where you pick your own truth. Scripture does not give us that opportunity. I believe that true love is manifested in speaking truth towards each other, and that is something the ‘Christian Left’ is missing.”
The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church is available now.