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Every now and again there will be a remark made about those who are “progressive amongst us.” Who are the progressives, and exactly what is it that makes one progressive? The Scriptures teach, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 7-11, NKJV).

In the context of which John speaks, a progressive is one who does not feel constrained by that which the Lord said. In other words, a progressive is one who thinks what the Lord said does not prohibit in all cases. For instance, the New Testament expressly declares that saints under the authority of  the new covenant will sing with the heart (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16); there is no express prohibition to the use of the mechanical instrument of music. Progressives will assert this does not, therefore, prohibit its use in the congregational setting.

Look at what John said again; to “transgress” or “go beyond” means that one does not stay within the constraints of the New Testament. The NET reads this way, “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God” (2 John 9).

Those who are progressive in religious matters can be just as sweet, courteous, genuine and have all the appearance of godliness as any, but in this mistaken approach of theirs they have put themselves in a precarious position with the Lord. What shall we do then? Let us stay within the constraints of the Lord, and encourage (insist) others do the same. Doing so, with the right heart, means we can KNOW we are right. Those who refuse (or don’t) can’t know anything; they can only THINK they are right. There is a difference. RT