I remember sitting in the pews of churches hearing the pastor talk about ideas like homosexuality and liberal Christianity that I was going to meet in college. I remember being warned against their ideas and that they were the enemy, powers of darkness.
I don’t think my pastor’s purpose was to make me look at people that thought differently as less than human, but that is what I walked away with. I was afraid of college professors that taught philosophy. Gay people were more sinful than I was.
It took me a long time to reorient my thoughts and to recognize that I was a sinner needing grace just as much as the people I demonized. This can be very difficult if you do not know anyone that is apart of the LGBTQIA+ community or intellectuals that are not Christians. This also goes for progressive Christians.
3 Ways to Talk to Progressive Christians
We are all fallen humans that need the love of Christ. They have a story and normally it is deep with hurt and abuses. Sadly, that hurt and abuse sometimes comes from the church. We need to be willing to suffer with them and feel their pain. Remember the height which you had fallen and show some empathy.
2. Ask authentic questions
When I was a progressive, I remember thinking that apologists were just trying to trap me with their logic and had no hearts. Apologetics is much deeper and meaningful than that. I would urge you to listen to Alisa Childer’s podcast or listen to our podcast if you have not already. We need to ask questions out of care and concern for people and stop trying to win an argument.
3. Build community
When I left progressive Christianity, I started talking to all my progressive friends about why I thought they were wrong. We then went our separate ways and I lost some friends. Now I have become interested in their lives and we get to talk like we used to and those bigger conversations seem to flow more naturally. I am no longer trying to prove them wrong, but showing them how I see reality.
If we believe that classical Christianity is true, then it should be easy to have these conversations. I have said this for years to myself, because I am prone to frustration. “There is no reason to get mad if you know you’re right.” I used to be so frustrated that people would not listen, but I was not listening either. I think that we can have people in our lives that do not believe like us, but that we should always be living and speaking the truth in love.