In the interests of full disclosure, I must expand the information given in InsideOut # 49 (“New ‘Progressive Christianity’: an Old Liberal Swindle”) The Emergent Village and “progressive” Christian liberalism are but a drop in the progressive bucket. To their left, “cultural creatives” or “new progressives” are brimming over with an optimistic vision for taking political power.
Who are the “cultural creatives”? They define themselves as the “organic food-buying, national-health-care-supporting, yoga-practicing, misunderstood counter-culturalists.” According to the high-end spirituality magazine, What Is Enlightenment? (August/October, 2008), their ranks continue to swell, thanks to Al Gore’s movie, Barack Obama’s “change”, and Eckhardt Tolle and Oprah Winfrey’s “New Earth” webinar (see Newsletter #47). This movement favors “ecological sustainability (read: green collectivism), non-traditional spirituality (neo-pagan religion), civil rights (rights for all sexual expressions) and grassroots politics (non-democratic, non-governmental organizations working under the geo-political umbrella of the United Nations). They also distinguish themselves from “modernism” (secular humanism) and “traditionalism” (Christianity).
Their appearance is of immense historical and religious significance. They explicitly identify themselves as inheritors of the “values revolution [of] the Sixties [that] is still developing and maturing.”
They are the maturing fruit of a development that no one expected. We all thought the Sixties was an ephemeral social event driven by marginal drop-out hippies. Whoops, they dropped back in! In the Left Coast New Age spirituality we witnessed the first signs of a major religious and social revolution. Its conquering march through the institutions has established as normative a worldview of drug-aided mystical, neo-pagan spirituality, radical egalitarianism and total sexual license. The marginal cult has now morphed into a master plan, a full-blown all-inclusive spiritual worldview to transform every aspect of life on the planet. The bizarre views of the Sixties counter-culturalists, though few knew it, signaled the disturbing germination, in “Christian” America, of the age-old alternative to biblical theism, namely spiritual paganism.
There has never been a religiously neutral public square. Even during the reign of secular humanism, the traditional definitions of God, spirituality, human life, sexuality and marriage persisted well into the second half of the 20th century as an unquestioned “sacred canopy.” But things are changing at this most profound level.
The cultural creatives are stitching together a new sacred canopy, what Jean Houston (channeler for Hillary Clinton, and now a leading United Nations spokeswoman) calls the “great rising myth” which will replace the traditional (Christian) myth and serve as the new defining “story” of origins and cosmic meaning. At the level of ideology and popular thinking, the “counter-culture” creatives, thanks in large part to Hollywood, have succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
Here is the shocker. Political success is within their grasp. They can smell it, taste it. Claiming “a critical mass” of around fifty million American supporters, as well as many more in Europe, they are organizing as a formidable political force. These graying ex-hippies and their disciples plan to impose, by national and international courts and laws, the Sixties “values.” “Gay marriage” laws (which “progressive”/Emergent Brian McLaren dismisses as a mere “hot-button issue”) are a burning issue for the cultural creatives. Such laws must be passed so that what was considered perversion under the old canopy, may now be legalized as perfectly normal, thus legitimizing the new sacred, pagan canopy and placing Christians and the old “theistic” canopy outside the law-all in the name of human liberation and planetary survival.
This is a spiritual coup d’état, a palace revolution of staggering implications.
Today I was reading the powerful message from Jesus, the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, to the Church of Thyatira. This is whom McLaren calls the “jihadist Jesus” of the Second Coming—a Jesus he rejects. McLaren favors the gentle Jesus of the First Coming, whom he associates with the United Nations Millennial Development Goals. While McLaren boldly denounces the old Roman Empire, he gullibly identifies the developing planetary empire as the kingdom of God.
The Christians in ancient Thyatira were attacked from without by the pagan authorities, and, from within, by an apostate prophetess calling herself Jezebel, who taught Christians, as do modern day “progressives,” to accommodate the Gospel to the spirituality and sexuality of the surrounding imperial culture (Rev. 2:20). I wonder. Could that situation repeat itself if powerful, anti-Christian forces (many using the name of Christ) take over the political reins of the planetary village?
Jesus does not want us to give up, or to follow ancient or modern Jezebels. He exhorts us to “hold fast what you have until I come,” that is, to keep the faith and speak the truth once revealed, whatever the circumstances. I am counting on his promise: “he who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” (Revelation 2:25-26). Maranatha.