A liberalized Islam is the best Islam. A liberalized Christianity is the best Christianity. What is at the heart of modern progressivism is the desire to unhook religion from its doctrine. It is not because progressivism has any vested interest in religion. In fact, it is just the opposite. The vested interest of progressives and the liberal elite is to gut religion of all of its doctrine and to reduce its practice to a casual living out of a relative truth. All of those coexist bumper stickers and ads desire to eliminate from religion anything and everything that is distinctive but especially those things that conflict with the values and goals of the liberal and progressive elites who put them up.
Sadly, some of us have bought into this idea. There are those who would insist that the future of Christianity lies not with a renewal built upon the distinctives of its holy book but with a distancing of that faith from its revelation. In other words, the less seriously we take the Scriptures, creeds, and confessions, the better it is for the faith. Progressive Christianity has bought this hook, line, and sinker. It has willingly surrendered the truthfulness and factual basis of Christianity in the Bible and that has led to a surrender of the values and morals of this Christianity, especially with respect to the GLBTQ agenda. In fact, this embrace of much of Christianity as myth and legend has led to the situation today in which orthodox and creedal Christianity is seen as sectarian, narrow, judgmental, and discriminatory.
Certainly this has been the shape of Judaism. Now more than ever, Judaism has become an enthnicity, a culture, and a history more than the distinctive doctrine and identity of the Old Testament. Judaism is typically very comfortable with liberal values and causes. Even forty years ago a pointed question at a ministerial association meeting on Long Island found the Jewish representatives unable to agree if the Messiah was ever thought to be a man, an individual, in place of a movement (either for education and service or for the protection of the Jewish State). It was shocking to me that modern day Judaism was reduced to personal improvement or the protection of Israel when describing who Messiah is and what He has come to do.
Whether or even if Islam might ever have a liberal rebirth, whole or in part, remains an open question. Yet, if progressivism prevails, Islam will have to rebuke its own holy book in the Quran and reduce the things that once were taken as fact and truth to myth and legend. It will have to take as symbolic the many things now treated by most Muslims as truth. Some of us might hope for a day when Islam will, as Judaism and Christianity before it, offer up its doctrine and truth on the altar of expediency for a higher goal of tolerance and peace. As attractive as this might seem to some, I find it hard to believe that the hope for world piece depends upon all religion abandoning its truth. In fact, I refuse to sacrifice the truth of the Gospel for any earthly cause, even world piece.
Instead I believe that the best future for all religion is to examine the truth and the revelation it claims. I have full confidence in the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit to work as the Lord has promised to engage all religions and show the truth of the faith that confesses Jesus Christ as Lord. I believe that the Gospel has shown its power and vibrancy. I welcome the opportunity to speak the whole counsel of God's Word and not some watered down version of Christianity to meet all religions and their adherents. The peace that matters is the perfect peace that passes understanding.
Some may think that hope of tomorrow lies in Jews being bad Jews and Christians being bad Christians and Muslims being bad Muslims. I think the hope of tomorrow lies in Judaism and Christianity and Islam examining their truth and I am confident that the Word Incarnate will guide and the Jew and the Muslim to the one saving Name.