'Theologians' in Sackcloth and Ashes Virtue Signal, Telling Conservative Christians to Repent

After publishing The Boston Declaration, a group of over 300 progressive religious leaders and scholars met at Old South Church in Boston to protest conservative Christianity. As part of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, the gathered progressive “theologians” wore sackcloth and ashes and demanded that conservative Christians repent of their sin. In the words of one of the attendees and signers, Susan Thistlethwaite, The Boston Declaration was written to “[condemn] the abuse of the Christian faith by many conservatives today.”

Being progressives, they don’t mean sin in the same way that the Bible means sin. In the false religion of progressivism, sin is not personal rebellion against our holy God. For them, sin is part and parcel of identity politics and intersectionality. Steering directly into that, the front page of The Boston Declaration lays out their agenda:

As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) we hear the cries of women and men speaking out about sexual abuse at the hands of leaders in power and we are outraged. We are outraged by the current trends in Evangelicalism and other expressions of Christianity driven by white supremacy, often enacted through white privilege and the normalizing of oppression. Confessing racism as the United States’ original and ongoing sin, we commit ourselves to following Jesus on the road of costly discipleship to seek shalom justice for the least, the lost, and the left out. We declare that following Jesus today means fighting poverty, economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression from the deepest wells of our faith.

The astute reader will pick up on the verbal signpost in the very first sentence that shows the group to be comprised of those who aren’t really Christians.

Many of the ancient heresies were rooted in false Christologies. An individual’s belief and confession about Jesus goes a long way to revealing whether that person is a Christian or not. By confessing that Jesus is a “Jewish prophet for justice” without any mention of the divinity of Jesus or any mention of his all-important mission to save his people from their sins is a huge red flag right off the bat in The Boston Declaration. The paragraph doesn’t end any better, though.

Ending with a declaration of what following Jesus looks like today, the progressive signers of The Boston Declaration define Christianity as a run-of-the-mill social gospel. In doing so, the closing words of the paragraph contradict Jesus’ words when he said that being his disciple means that “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Progressives aren’t about to begin denying themselves. Their ideology is predicated on the belief that humans should be allowed to fulfill the lusts of their flesh with no restraint.

One of the things that drove these non-Christian theologians to take up pen and paper and sprinkle ashes all over themselves is that, like Frankie Schaeffer, they believe that evangelicalism is synonymous with white supremacy. The overgeneralization is bad enough. However, what’s worse is that this group of supposed religious leaders and scholars are intent on silencing the true gospel of Jesus Christ by using identity politics as a blunt instrument.

Jesus’ call to repent of our sins and place our faith in him (and only him) as the only solution to escaping the wrath of God and taking part in the full and final healing of the world is anathema to the progressive agenda. They would have us believe that we can create our own salvation. In a word, progressive “Christianity” is a modern form of the old heresy named legalism.