Progressive Proof-Texting: Defending a Libertine Spirit With Matthew 15

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by John Ellis

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Then the disciple came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” And he said, “Are you still also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passed into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:10-20

Recorded in Matthew 15, Jesus’ words cut two ways. On one hand, the passage challenges legalism (Neonomianism), but on the seemingly-opposite hand, it confronts antinomianism, especially the self-proclaimed progressive kind. Sadly, many legalists ignore this passage and many progressive Christians rip Jesus’ words out of context in order to justify their libertine-loving antinomianism.

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Progressive Proof-Texting: Did Jesus Come to Judge or to Save?

triumphal entryby John Ellis

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” John 12:47

In the West, claims to exclusivity in reference to religion are one of the quickest ways to engender cries of disapproval from the curators of society. In fact, the concept of exclusion has been relegated to the closet of offensive by many progressives who claim to be Christians. The notion that anyone should be required to recognize that something is broken inside of them, find a new identity, and come to God on God’s terms may be the one and only heresy in the progressive church. During the Easter Prayer Breakfast, declaiming the thesis statement of progressive Christianity’s soteriology, Vice President Joe Biden said, “We all practice the same basic faith but different faiths.”

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Progressive Proof-texting: Rich People and the Eye of a Needle

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by John Ellis

The charge of proof-texting is one of the sharpest pejoratives inside Progressive Christianity’s rhetorical toolbox. It’s often used to support the accusation of legalism. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not denying that Progressive Christians have a point; conservative Evangelicals are not immune from the temptation to pull a passage of Scripture out of context in order to support a specific pet issue.

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Christians and Judging

judge notby John Ellis

“Judge not, that you be not judged.” Matthew 7:1

If Buzzfeed contacts me, asking for an article titled “Top 5 Bible Verses Misused by Liberals to Prooftext Their Nonsensical Polemics,” Matthew 7:1 will undoubtedly make the list.[1] The phrase “judge not,” from the verse, is misused so often in online discussions that it should have its own Godwin’s Law. For those of you unaware of Godwin’s Law, it states that the longer an online discussion goes on, someone is highly likely to compare another thread participant to Hitler, or Nazis in general. Well, I posit that the longer an online discussion goes on, and one of the participants self-identifies as a conservative Christian, the odds make it worth placing bets on the chance that someone else will trot out “judge not” as a response to the conservative Christian. I want that law to be named Ellis’ Law.

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