Enjoying the Journey
Let’s clear the air…No, this is not a post about politics. And, no, I am not a progressive.
With our current political climate the term “progressive” has been in the news a great deal of late. In fact, the term progressive refers to a broad philosophy that says progress is vital to the advancement of civilization as a whole. It may refer to the economy, technology, science, or society in general.
Sadly, much that is called progress today is anything but. There are the moral progressives who think that same-sex marriage is a great breakthrough in our world. It is instead a great breakdown of all that is foundational to a civilized society. The pro-choice activists fight for what they believe is progress in the field of human rights. In reality it is a regression to the days of barbarism and murder of the innocent.
While modern culture proposes to make great advances in so many areas, God says, “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). Movement is not always progress. Change is not always advancement. New is not always better.
Yet this same subtle progressivism has found its way into the Lord’s work in many places. A better way. A newer path. A cultural breakthrough.
My generation has become the Athens of America. We spend all of our time in either to tell or to hear “some new thing” (Acts 17:21). This Athenian nature is in all of us. It may be rooted in many things: curiosity, boredom, pride, discontent. But whatever the motive, it is dangerous.
The only progressiveness that is needed in the New Testament church is progress in the carrying out of Christ’s great commission. Novelty has become the scourge of our day and a fitting distraction from that which truly matters.
Progress is a relative term. It may only be measured by a fixed point of reference. As followers of Christ that fixed point of reference must be Christ and not our culture. Our guidebook must be God’s Word and not what others are doing.
Fads will fade. Trends will change. Only truth will last. And only by the truth can we make real progress for the Lord’s kingdom in this world.
Let God define true progress. Perhaps this would be a good goal: “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Or to progress in our comprehension of the love of God (Ephesians 3:18-19). When we stand before the Lord Jesus very soon the only progress that will matter is that which brought us nearer to Him and to His purpose for our lives.
Some change is inevitable. Some change is unnecessary. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment to know what is progress and what is a detour. All paths do not end at the same place.