Why the Left Is Not Right
By Jan Markell
June 10, 2009
I have major issues with what is known as the religious Left. Some people object and feel that their social gospel efforts are needed so I should keep quiet. But the underlying issues are so troubling that I really cannot stay silent. So here goes.
This past weekend I was joined on air by Dr. David Noebel from Summit Ministries. He is just as troubled by this movement also known as "evangelical progressivism" or "the evangelical Left." But there is nothing about them that rings of evangelicalism. That word has been destroyed in the 21st century.
Some who fit into the mold of the religious Left include Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, most all Emergent Church leaders including Brian McLaren, the National and World Council of Churches, and others too lengthy to list. I will focus on primarily one -- Jim Wallis. He is the most troubling because he is Barack Obama's "spiritual advisor."
Jim Wallis is an admitted Socialist and Communist. How's that for being very up front with you? He was a part of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the 1960s. That organization was always in a rampage and assaulted the police with their Communist agenda.
Dr. Noebel has written a brilliant article about Jim Wallis in World Net Daily. He says, "Wallis and his Sojourners' community of fellow travelers believe Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the other revolutionary forces are the Communist paradises the U.S. needs to emulate in order to establish 'social justice.' Wallis, together with Jeremiah Wright, rallied support for the Communist Nicaraguan regime and protested actions by the U.S. which supported the anti-Communist Contra rebels."
Ronald Nash writes in his book, Why the Left Is Not Right, "Over the years, Wallis has been pro-Vietcong and he gloried in America's defeat in Vietnam. He said, 'I don't know how else to express the quiet emotion that rushed through me when the news reports showed that the United States had finally been defeated in Vietnam.'" He also said nothing about the bloodbath that ensued in both Vietnam and Cambodia. Nash concludes, "For Wallis, a good Christian is someone who is pro-Communist and pro-Socialist."
Jim Wallis gets standing ovations at Christian colleges, seminaries, and some churches. He got one at my school, Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. In recent days, he spoke at Denver Seminary. He does not share spiritual values at these destinations; rather, he encourages his audience to drop the typical conservative issues of abortion and same-sex marriage and embrace poverty, AIDS, and global warming (even though it was 27 degrees just north of the Twin Cities this past weekend!)
Mark Tooley, President of the Washington-based Institute on Religion & Democracy says, "Clearly (these clergy) are a part of an evangelical Left crowd who are strategically attempting to shift evangelicals away from conservative social issues to liberal economic and foreign policy issues..."
Tooley rightfully argues that this so-called evangelical Left is "indistinguishable from the secular Left. Christians of all traditions are called to transform the culture -- not conform to it. But the evangelical Left repeats arguments from The New York Times' editorial page and seems to think such cultural conformity will win applause. History shows that accommodationist Christians are ultimately irrelevant Christians."
The causes of the religious Left are big government, socialized medicine, higher taxes, global warming, etc. They don't understand that big government isn't the answer to the world's problems. Jesus Christ is the answer. But as Mark Tooley says, "Why do so many (Leftist) church officials support unrestricted big government, sometimes equating the welfare state with the Kingdom of God?"
Back to Jim Wallis. As Barack Obama's spiritual advisor, what do you suppose they are going to talk about and how spiritually productive do you think the conversations will be? Don't get your hopes up.
Where is the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in all of this? At a fall planning session they will be addressed by Barack Obama. The NAE came along in the 1940s to preach the true gospel, not a social gospel. I am equally troubled that on their agenda will be more environmental messages, immigration issues, poverty, and nuclear terrorism. I don't think that the founders of the NAE had this in mind decades ago.
Who is out there totally committed to just preaching the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and not how to control greenhouse gases?
"When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3)
"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord" (Micah 7:7).To better understand some similar deceptions today, visit this category at my Web site.
RADIO: Hear the spirited discussion on last weekend's radio coming from guests Brannon Howse and Dr. Noebel found at "Radio Archives." We air live Saturdays, 9 to 11 AM CDT out of AM980 KKMS, Minneapolis/St. Paul. For podcasting information, check this link. We are in various markets and on Sirius Satellite Radio posted here. You can "listen live" at www.kkms.com or on the Web site of our other live station, www.kgnw.com, Seattle/Tacoma. They air "Understanding the Times" radio Saturday, 7 to 9 AM. All other outlets are tape-delayed.
Awaiting His return,
Other articles by Jan Markell:
A Spreading Sickness
Wait -- the Outrage Isn't Over
Inaugural Prayer to the God of Our Many Understandings!
Wait -- the Outrage Isn't Over
Footprints of a Prophet or Tracks of a Wolf?
Are Evangelical pulpits about to praise Islam?
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