MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next, an excerpt from Listening In. This week, a conversation with pastor Michael Youssef.
Early in his ministry, he founded an Episcopal Church in Atlanta. But in the 1980s, he realized he could no longer stay in that denomination. So, he and his church left.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Host Warren Smith talks with Youssef about the real dangers of so-called “progressive Christianity.” Let’s listen.
WARREN SMITH: You witnessed that firsthand, because when you founded the Church of the Apostles, it was an Episcopal church, which you know, has a beautiful and storied history of faithfulness to the gospel. But then…
MICHAEL YOUSSEF: Starting back when I was part of the Episcopal Church of God, a man named John Spung said the reason he was “changing Christianity”—basically gutting it—from the virgin birth to the resurrection. He said, I’m doing this to “save it.”
Everyone ever since when they come to change it, water it down, modify it, tinker with it. Every one of them said, well, “it’s just not accepted anymore—all biblical Christianity—so we need to change it.”
Today, so many evangelical churches said, we need to reinvent Christianity. We need to reinvent church. And so having lived with that in the 70s, in the 80s, and I saw what it did to the Episcopal church and Presbyterians and now the Methodist and mainline denominations, and I’m seeing the same language is creeping into the evangelical pulpits.
Hopefully, that I can sound the alarm for those who are teetering about changing and following some of these young pastors who are really disarming the gospel from its supernatural. To the younger generation to not fall into that trap, because it’s easy, because it’s so popular, and it’s liked by the culture and accepted by society. I understand what that temptation is because I was offered positions. I was thinking, “but I’m going to face Jesus one day. Well, what am I going to say to him?” So having been through that temptation and overcome by the grace of God and the power of the Holy spirit, I’m able to warn others. Please don’t do this.
REICHARD: That’s Warren Smith talking to Michael Youssef. To hear their complete conversation, look for Listening In wherever you get your podcasts.