The Nashville Statement: A Rant About the Religion of Progressivism and the Failure of Protestantism

I’m ranting. Deal with it.

Several days ago Internet Progressivists and Sola-Feel Christians lost their minds in response to the Nashville Statement.  Apparently this is the first time they’ve been made aware of what Christian teaching has pretty much always said about the homo stuff. Needless to say, they had plenty of tears and outrage while actual Christians stared incredulously.

But what concerns me here are two things: The religion of progressivism and the failure of Protestantism. Let me now deal with the first.

The writers of the Nashville Statement wrote a theological statement about what they believe and affirm Christianity teaches. Objectors were quick to proclaim that the Nashville Statement is bigoted, hateful, non-loving, homophobic, and an instance of virtually every other negative ideograph used by progressivists. The writers were thus treated as heretics, but heretics of what? They’re certainly not heretical Christians, for what they said is still orthodox.  So what’s the deal–what did they foul?

My guess is that these writers ran afoul of some thesis of progressivism, where egalitarianism and equality are lord. What makes this sort of progressivism so interesting, and even quite scary, is that it is treated as a meta-religion, where Christianity is subsumed and subject to its dictates. So is every other religion. It is not that progressivism competes with Christianity, no. Progressivism just regulates it. Christians are thus still permitted to believe that Jesus was resurrected and that God exists, and all that other stuff, but there can be no belief that infringes upon the ideas of modern progressivism, or else you’re a bigot (read heretic).

So my point here is that what we are dealing with is a sort of religion, a meta-religion. Progressivists are thus a religious people – believe that. But more importantly, we are dealing with a sort of inquisition, where “bigoted” Christian belief and its believers are publicly punished. On this system, Christians will not be able to secure their belief as personal or private, or a matter of individual conscience, for it is the belief itself that is treated as subject to progressivist dogma. Christians will thus have a choice between hiding their conviction or being punished for it.

With that said, let me rant on about something else. Protestants, this is basically your fault. Well, maybe not entirely your fault, but you share some blame. Your rejection of a central authority left  the perspicuity of Scripture a steaming crock of poo. There must be a gajillion different Protestant denominations with serious doctrinal differences, leaving the impression that just about anything in Christianity is up for grabs, including the longstanding position on homo stuff.

What is more, you guys embraced divorce and the contraceptive mentality, which helped clear the conceptual path for homo “marriage” and “sex”. Seriously, guys, it’s true. Really true.

Once you helped conceptually divorce the natural, proceative end of sex from the genital act, proclaiming the autonomy and entitlement to have sex for your own ends (self-idolatry, the first sin), the conception of sex was freer to become recreational and hedonistic. Baby-making is thus now understood more as a risk of sex than its natural end. It is a risk you can still aim for, of course, but it is understood that a baby is your end, not the end of sex itself. Sex understood this way leaves the conceptual door open for gay “sex”, for there is nothing that clearly and essentially prohibits it.  What the heck, Prots?! 😤

A reoccurring problem with Protestantism is a trust in the human individual to be faithful to scripture, not to push the limits. But since Eden, that has just never been the case, which is partially why we need a rock upon which we can stand and build (Matt 16:18). All that jazz about each person being led by grace and the Holy Spirit, how is that working out for youse? Kind of shitty, I’d say.

End rant.

 

12 Comments

  1. Romanists are such inveterate liars and deceivers that there’s just not enough time in the day to keep them in check. But as a humble service to the readership of Rightly Considered I’ll answer.

    i.) If the the rampant moral degeneracy of man is the fault of Protetants, as alleged, then the blame boomerangs back upon the Romanists for insufficiently murdering our theological forbears, despite some quite notable efforts. See “Foxes Book of Martyrs” for some light reading on the subject.

    ii.) Apropos i.) we have difficulty explaining the selfsame moral degeneracy which has pre-existed the church age itself. Apparently Protestants possess time-travel capabilities and were able to corrupt human culture across the ages.

    iii.) Interestingly data demonstrates majority Romanist countries are among the most accepting of homosexual behavior and same-sex unions based on studies conducted in more than 39 countries across at least 5 continents.

    iv.) As for the charge against Protestantism of the rejection of central authority, Catholic Hulk is simply ignorant, or is being disingenuous. Charity would hope for the former, but since he’s a Romanist philosopher we must conclude the latter. Protestantism certainly *does not* reject central authority as one of the Solas of the Reformation is “Sola Scriptura”, Scripture alone. We reject Rome’s popes and Magisterium as a central authority because they arrogate that authority unto themselves by fiat.

    v.) Apropos iv.) How does Catholic Hulk establish with certainty the authority of the Roman Magisterium in the first place? How does he sidestep private judgment at that preliminary stage of the argument?

    He apparently abominates “private interpretation”, but Romanism doesn’t avoid individualism. Rather, Romanism simply privileges the outlook of *select individuals*, viz. popes, bishops in ecumenical councils, Latin Fathers, church Doctors and so forth.

    Moreover, there’s a zigzag trajectory to Catholic teaching. Take the current crisis precipitated by Francis. Bishops and cardinals are accusing him of changing dogma by green-lighting the admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to communion.

    Or take opposition to capital punishment by recent popes. Or salvation outside the church. Or how the anti-modernist positions of the Leonine PBC have been mothballed. And so on and so forth. So the faithful end up following the erratic peregrinations of the papacy. Which is precisely what one would expect from a merely human organization being led by the zeitgeist of the age.

    vi.) And notice the Catholic Hulk’s shameless bait-n-switch, a “gajillion” fractured, every-man-for-himself denominational free-for-all is nevertheless somehow able to coordinate together in order to collectively embrace a “divorce and contraception mentality” which paved the way for homosexual unions. Talk about having ones cake and eating it too! Protestants sure are a handy punching bag when one is making fact-free invidious accusations! And again I refer the reader to point iii.) above.

    vii.) The upshot of something like The Nashville Statement is that it helps to smoke out the Oreos within the broader professing church who are evangelical/orthodox on the outside, but progressive/heretical on the inside. This is a useful exercise. Plus the dialogue it generates can help to clarify what actual Christians believe because of what the Bible, and hence God Himself, actually says.

    And it can even help us unmask the hypocrisy of patisan religious hacks like Catholic Hulk.

  2. Someone sounds triggered.

    Just a note, when I spoke about a central authority, I mean an interpretative authority to whom Christians are obliged to follow. Luther himself, particularly after the Peasants Revolt in 1525, quickly learned that individual men aren’t well trusted as interpreters of scripture.

    Does RC deal with this problem? Nope. The laity have no say in doctrinal matters, scripture or Tradition. These are the exclusive burdens of the living magisterium of the church who, as we see it, have been entrusted by JC. That’s not individualism. That’s a hierarchy leading all the way up to Christ. We are thus not faced with the I-am-my-own-authority problem, which is quite unlike modern Protestants who can church jump until they find a flavour of Christianity that gives them warm, fuzzy feelings and then call it “Christianity”.

    Does that mean Catholics and catholic countries will listen on matters concerning gays? Nope. But that’s no fault of the RC church. They are just acting as bad Catholics. and we can say this because we actually have an objective, authoritative and universal teaching on this.

    • “There must be a gajillion different Protestant denominations with serious doctrinal differences, leaving the impression that just about anything in Christianity is up for grabs, including the longstanding position on homo stuff.”

      Yeah, because there’s no confusion regarding these things in the Catholic church under the current pope. Puh-lease…

    • You are correct; there is absolutely no confusion on the position of homosexuality within the Catholic Church. This issue has been long settled and requires no clarification.

  3. Urban II,

    Unless or until the Pope proclaims otherwise, in which case the world’s Catholics would be obliged to accept homosexuality as fine. The fact alone that’s even thinkable is a reductio ad absurdum of the notions of the Magesterium and papal infallibility.

    • It’s no reductio. If the pope were to speak ex cathedra, saying that homosexual behaviour is coolio, then it would be coolio. However, the pope can’t and would never say that, for that would lead to contradiction in matters of fact and Catholic truth. There’s nothing logically incompatible or inconsistent with this, nor is papal infallaibility falsified in any way.

  4. While I agree with the spirit of what you’re saying here, it conveniently misses the point. The current pope _is_ causing confusion. He hasn’t answered the dubia brought forward regarding his Amoris Laetitties. And he has James Martin running around saying, to put it very mildly, confusing things about the church’s stance on sexuality. So, while you’re technically correct in that the teaching has been settled for quite a long time, it doesn’t appear that way to the public, to fence sitting catholics, to progressive “catholics” or to non-catholic Christian observers like myself.

    • Martin isn’t saying confusing things about the church’s stance on morality of sex. He is offering what he thinks should be the church’s teaching / approach. What’s confusing about this is that he differs from the church even as a priest.

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