The Illusion of the “Modern Progressive”

I have this hobby that I like. It is about as nerdy of a hobby as I can think of. I love reading philosophy books. I know, don’t judge me too harshly. I enjoy reading them from different cultures and times.

I have a few eras that I am interested in, but one of my favorite eras and subjects is atheistic writings of the 1500’s to around the first half of the last century. I like to figure out why people think that there not being a God seems reasonable to them. But, I have to explain why I cut off my time at about 1950’s or so. The reason is the intellectual side of Atheism has taken a dive for the worst; Russell was much more compelling then Dawkins. That is not to say there are not some mildly compelling modern Atheistic philosophers today, it just seems as if Atheism has already reached its zenith and is in slow decline. Time will tell if it makes a comeback.

So, what does this have to do with the Modern Progressive? Before we explore this, we need to look a little into the past. At the time of the Reformation, spiritual information was taken out of the hands of the Catholic Magisterium. This put sacred knowledge out of the hands of Latin speaking clergy and into people outside the Church’s influence. The domino effect of this eventually put education out of the influence of the Church as well. Yet, things remained “Christian” for a while. But, then a new birth was happening, a new light. It was thought that we were moving from the darkness into the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was fundamentally a separation of what was viewed as “subjective” things (like purpose and meaning), from “objective” things (like logic and sense perception). While Christianity sought to combine all these elements, the Enlightenment broke them apart and dissected them. Then we put “subjective” ideas into the realm of personal preference, and made “objective” ideas discussed in the public square. Things like religion were relegated to the home, while things like science were allowed in political arenas. Thus, the creation of the “Secular State.”

The Scientific Method grew during this time and became a force in schooling, eventually gaining such stature that if you were to be thought of as “educated” you needed to subjugate your thinking to a “scientific” system. To be an educated man was to be a scientific man. And few could deny the promise of this new science. It opened up new lands, new inventions, and a new Utopia. Instead of waiting for the New Heavens and the New Earth, we set about creating it. Utopian literature sprang up and dotted the literary landscape, with authors presenting their view of the new scientific age to come, the perfect society. Science was now the new religion that promised a better world and people were very optimistic. But, two events happened to change this; World War I and II. As the terror fell on two cities in Japan, the idea of a scientific utopia was shaken. We saw that science could be to our ruin instead of our savior. Replacing earlier utopian visions, were now stories of supposed scientific Utopias where the hero fought against all odds to topple this now evil “Utopia”. We became suspicious of precisely what we had always hoped for.

So, what does my extremely poor history lesson have to do with Modern Progressives? Well, first notice the word “modern.” By this, I am meaning people who define themselves as “progressive” that are born sometime after World War II. This is the era where the Utopia was in ruins, Marx fell with the Wall, and there was no objective goal mark for us to reach. Second, we look at the word “progressive.” This word denotes movement towards a goal. Here we have a problem, what is the goal we are to move towards? The Utopia has been burned to the ground by two atomic bombs. For every Utopia set up, a hero comes and brings it down. So, how can we know any movement we make is “Progressive”? Sure we can change things up, but with no goal in sight, how can we know progression had been made?

Some might think that anything which is new is “progressive.” We allow for abortion and this makes us a “progressive” society. Unless a society has some end goal in mind, a Utopia if you will, then movement away from existing societal norms can hardly be thought of as “progressive”. This is merely movement. Is this regression? Is it lateral movement? How can we know? The moral of the today’s age is that perfection is unknowable. Progressives have some fuzzy ideal in mind, possibly looking a little like the lyrics of “Imagine”, but this is hardly something we can use as a measuring rod.

With the death of God in our society, we built our Utopias. When these fell, we killed any concepts of progression. Progressives are therefore in an illusion, they push for movement but there is little indication they are progressing. The term is meaningless to the Agnostic or Atheist, but this is the group that most often uses this term to describe themselves. Odd, don’t you think?

Psalm 51: A Bible Study

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (verse 5).

 It was a lively discussion that morning on the mission field. The students of the Bible School found the words of Psalm 51 hard to understand, especially that word: “In sin did my mother conceive me.” What did that mean? Was David born out of adultery? Or was his mother a decent woman, but did God consider the deed of procreation as such as something sinful? Or had David himself committed a certain sin before his birth? The students struggled with that verse but just could not come to a conclusion. Can you?

An impressive psalm

Psalm 51 is a very impressive psalm. Just like Psalm 6, 32, 38, 79, 102 and 130, it is a so-called penitential psalm. Having a deep and humble tone, these psalms are expressions of a contrite heart. They show us what happens when God works repentance. Then a desire is born for remission of sin, reconciliation with God, and renewal of our life. We can clearly see this in Psalm 51. Again and again the poet asks the Lord to blot out his guilt and to show him a token of His favor. Fervently he prays that he may be cleansed and learn to serve God with a sincere heart. Is that also your prayer?

A sad background

Why did David bow so deeply in this psalm? The reason can be found in 2 Samuel 12. The king of Israel had fallen into a double sin. Not only had he committed adultery with Bathsheba; he had also caused her husband to die on the battlefield. As a result, the man after God’s heart had lost the joy of his salvation and the peace of his conscience. Yet he could not find the place of true remorse until the prophet Nathan had confronted him in a personal way. Then David broke down and became a guilty sinner before God. What a blessing it is when we may come to that place. Ask the Lord much to bring you there by the power of His Spirit!

Sinful from our conception

David had made a deep fall. It grieved him that he had sinned so horribly. But there was something else that grieved him: he had fallen in Adam long before he fell into actual sin. He had already fallen in Paradise. Consequently, he had been conceived and born in sin. Do we now understand what he means? David says, I did not become a sinner by committing adultery, but I’ve always been a sinner from my earliest beginning. God’s holy anger rested upon me when I was still in my mother’s womb.” How necessary it is for all of us to learn this. Martin Luther called this truth “the heaviest doctrine of God’s Word.” If we never learn this, there will be no room for that sinless Child of Bethlehem, for Him who is able to cover our original sin and guilt.

No soul?

It is hard to see how people who read Psalm 51 can deny that man has a soul right from the time of conception. Would God’s wrath really rest on something that is merely “beginning life”? If an “embryo” or “fetus” does not have a soul, can it ever be called “a child of wrath” (Ephes. 2:3)? Can “a piece of tissue” or “cluster of cells” be held accountable when it is not a human being in the biblical sense of the word? Moreover, denying an unborn baby his or her personhood leaves us basically helpless in the debate with the abortion movement. Let us realize that and take a firm stand on this issue. But above all, do not rest until you may know by experience what Psalm 51 means for your own soul.


  1. Upon David’s confession of guilt he immediately received a word of pardon (see 2 Sam. 12:13). Why then did he still have to bow so deeply in the dust and write Psalm 51?
  2. Many believe that also Psalm 32 was written after David’s fall. Read this psalm with attention. Is there a difference with Psalm 51?
  3. What does Lord’s Day 14 of our Heidelberg Catechism teach us about the profit of “Christ’s holy conception and nativity”?
  4. The truth of Psalm 51 verse 5 is a strong plea against abortion. In Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1 and Luke 1, there are similar passages. What do they tell us about life before birth?

The New Tolerance

News Story: Government-funded ‘registry of homophobic acts’

Gai Ecoute has launched a new registry that will put people on a list that commit what they feel are homophobic acts.

This registry was launched in partnership with and receiving funding from Quebec’s Justice Department. People will anonymously tip this agency towards groups or individuals who commit actions which are deemed homophobic. In describing what a homophobic act is, the organization gives the following description; any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general: physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, offensive graffiti, abuse, injurious mockery, inappropriate media coverage and discrimination.”

Some of these descriptions I think are very reasonable. No one should tolerate “physical abuse” based on someone’s sexual preference for example. This is indeed criminal. However, we can see how the New Tolerance plays itself out here. If “any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general” is considered homophobic, then the New Tolerance is very intolerant. If you accept the homosexual lifestyle you are “tolerant”, but if you say anything negative about homosexuality, you are “intolerant”. Is this a very tolerance position? I cannot see how even advocates of the homosexual lifestyle can fail to notice that this vision of “tolerance” is about as intolerant as you can get. This is an obvious contradiction.

To further show how intolerant this group is, they even define homophobia as “inappropriate media coverage.” It will be interesting to see what they mean by “inappropriate”, but it is sounding like even giving media coverage to this discussion will black-ball you. It seems that they are trying to intimidate people who have different views as they do about homosexuality, and also squash all public discussion as well. This doesn’t sound like a free democratic society, but more like a totalitarian regime. Yes, this is the true face of the New Tolerance once you look past the mask.

Another troubling aspect of this is that the tipsters can remain anonymous. This is not how law works in a democracy. Having the ability to face your accuser is a fundamental aspect of Canadian law, yet this very basic ideal is skirted in the name of “tolerance.” No need to make a homosexual advocate have to show some responsibility for his or her accusations, the New Tolerance takes care of their own. The accuser should at the very least be made to show his or her face when acting in a way that might greatly affect someone else’s life. This will allow the person being accused (or lawyer) to cross examine the accusations of the accuser. This seems obvious.

And this leads me to my final consideration. What is the registry for? Will it be used to legally trample on the people or organizations that are on the list? Will the list be public? Its’ close ties with Quebec’s Justice Department is a bit unsettling. Their intentions should be made public, if they haven’t done so already.

All this is just another example of the New Tolerance. This whole movement is a contradiction and should be exposed as such. Otherwise, real human rights will be chipped away while fabricated human rights will be championed and promoted. As we stumble down the rabbit trail, we are starting to find ourselves in Wonderland where things just don’t make much sense anymore.”