Skip to comments.Barack Obama's evangelicals close the God gap in Presidential race
Posted on 03/08/2008 1:20:54 PM PST by FocusNexus
Progressive evangelicals believe they can end the dominance of the religious right
A group of American evangelicals are on a mission to put moral issues at the heart of the most intense presidential campaign in years. Those used to the thundering rhetoric of the religious right will expect a tirade against abortion and gay marriage. But in an interview this week Jim Wallis says: "Top of the list is what happens to the poor. Poverty is the principal Biblical political issue." He adds: "climate change is now a mainstream evangelical issue. Human rights, Darfur too."
Wallis is one of the leading figures in a group known as progressive evangelicals, or Red Letter Christians. They are theologically conservative, but strikingly radical on poverty, the environment and Iraq. Inspired by William Wilberforce and Martin Luther King, they believe theirs can be a popular movement to transform US society.
But they say it is precisely this focus on Christ's message which gives them their radical edge. Wallis has written that he found the Sermon on the Mount "more revolutionary than anything I had read in Karl Marx, Che Guevara or Ho Chi Minh".
"There are 2,000 verses in Scripture that deal with poverty - this is the dominant social concern," says Tony Campolo, a professor at Eastern University and author of Red Letter Christians. From these verses stems a passionate commitment to social justice. From Jesus's ideals of peace, comes a heartfelt opposition to the Iraq war. "War is an ethical issue," says Campolo. "You can't foster a war mindset and call yourself a Christian." And scriptural verses emphasising's man stewardship over nature are the spur to take action on global warming.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
Progressive evangelicals?? Those two words don’t go together.
“You can’t foster a war mindset and call yourself a Christian.”
Glad the Founding Fathers of this Country did not think that way.
Remember who the barbarians are. The barbarians come, C.S. Lewis told us, not over the parapet, not carrying their clubs and wielding their weapons, but they come with polished fingernails and blue pin-striped suits, gathering in well-lighted conference rooms. They are the good people who say that they know how to make life better for all of us. They are pharisaical mentalities.
This quote most effectively exposes them for who and what they are:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under live robber barons than under omnipotent moral busibodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good, will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Aye. They do. Unfortunately many do not know their own faith and its teachings. They listen only to their hero, the pastor or minister, and do not think for themselves. There are enough of these leaders about to lead to a large number of misbelieving voters.
Red Letter Christians sound more like Red Communists.
The religious left - who they are and what they believe:
“The New Face of Marxism - The Religious Left / Jim Wallis-Sojourners
Issues, Etc. ^ | Monday, October 11, 2004 | Ronald Nash, PhD
Campolo is not a theological conservative.
“So I think that the apostle Paul would be a lot more generous towards Islamic people than most of my evangelical brothers and sisters are. If both sides are willing to live up to the truth as they perceive it and if both sides are willing to say we are not going to compromise what we believe but we are convinced that in the end the other side will have a chance to respond in a positive manner to what we believe. I think we can live together in peace and without attacking each other and without condemning each other.
Catholicism would say that at the moment of death every person is confronted in that split moment with Christ and is given the opportunity of saying yes or no. To say otherwise is to say God has got to be a pretty unfair deity, to condemn three quarters of the human race to hell without them ever having a chance
I’ve got to believe that Jesus is the only Savior but being a Christian is not the only way to be saved. A student at Princeton once asked Protestant theologian Karl Barth, “Do you think that other religions can be valid avenues to God and His salvation?” Barth answered, “No! No religion can provide a valid avenue to God and His salvation. Not even the Christian religion. Only Jesus Christ can serve as mediator to God.”
“going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia....There are many ways....It doesn’t make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place.”
It's in their true Bible "Das Kapital".
Progressive evangelicals = you can’t be both except in the liberal media.
This movement is led by people who have always been poltiical liberals. Have they suckered a few weak conservatives over to their side with arguments that use bible words in a distorted way to deceive people? Sure. Some. But then there have always been those that waver back and forth with the winds. Mostly the religious left is made up of the same people who have always liked the label of Christianity without its demands. Any claim of a shift is more about perception than reality. In other words, see these stories as marketing, not news.
This is a result of the Emergent Church movement in America.
“thundering rhetoric” ?
“Only capitalism operates on the basis of respect for free, independent, responsible persons. All other systems in varying degrees treat men as less than this. Socialist systems above all treat men as pawns to be moved about by the authorities, or as children to be given what the rulers decide is good for them, or as serfs or slaves.
The rulers begin by boasting about their compassion, which in any case is fraudulent, but after a time they drop this pretense which they find unnecessary for the maintenance of power. In all things they act on the presumption that they know best.
Therefore they and their systems are _morally stunted_. Only the free system, the much assailed capitalism, is _morally mature_.” ~ Dr. Ronald H. Nash
In Defense of Capitalism (Debunking The Religious Left)
The Schwartz Report - Volume 39, Number 3; March 1999 ^ | Excerpted from his 1996 Book | Dr. Ronald H. Nash
the liberals tried that in the 1970’s when churches started to play rock music, stayed away from socially unpopular issues addressed by the Bible. Protestants practiced ommission, and later lost membership and gave rise to the more conservative evangelical churches. if progressive evangelicals stay within the teachings of the Bible on gay behavior, adultery, and the narrow criteria for Salvation then they may have a chance. Unfortunately they will not and they will eventually die out like the liberalized main Protestant denominations.
“There are 2,000 verses in Scripture that deal with poverty - this is the dominant social concern,” says Tony Campolo, a professor at Eastern University and author of “Red Letter Christians. From these verses stems a passionate commitment to social justice. From Jesus’s ideals of peace, comes a heartfelt opposition to the Iraq war. “War is an ethical issue,” says Campolo. “You can’t foster a war mindset and call yourself a Christian.” And scriptural verses emphasising’s man stewardship over nature are the spur to take action on global warming.”
“Ought not that that box of perfume had been sold and the money given to the poor....” Judas Iscariat...the BETRAYER
Every time I see some group of “believers” castigate the whole group for their supposed unkindness to the poor, I expect the temple soldiers to come crashing in to send us to our crucifixions, while out of the corner of our eyes we spot just who are receiving their 30 pieces of silver!
I could be wrong, but I always have believed the main theme of the Bible was the salvation of man kind. No sin in Eden, no Bible, no need for man’s salvation. This appears to me to be an agenda driven group who have, as so many others, gleamed what is needed for their agenda. I personally believe the Bible and therefore look at Genesis 8:22 and let Al Gore worry about Global Warming and Matthew 26:11 for these misled and blinded people.
Read St. Augustine
The “God gap?” I didn’t know we had one of those. It sounds as though the Rodent Party is now exploiting God in it’s drive to rise to power and dominance over the people living in this country. That’s NOT a “good thing.”
“Wallis is one of the leading figures in a group known as progressive evangelicals, or Red Letter Christians.”
I don’t think that there a large number of them. Porbably very small,
Robin Hood Christianity
There’s no foundation for it in the Bible, but more and more liberals are using it as the basis for their liberalism.
So Heaven is going to run by unions and Democrat thugs?(;
“muslim call to prayer is one of the prettiest sounds on Earth. “
Always sounded to me like men being slowly castrated and allowed to scream ungagged!
see my post at 20
Trying to lead Evangelicals to anything other than lunch at Luby’s is a project that will fail as we are a fractious lot and we distrust centralized thinking. They are trying to split the Evangelical vote but all I see is that Evangelicals who voted Demo last time will do so and the greater majority of Evangelicals will continue to vote Republican.
This is probably a waste of time and money for the Demos. And it is generating a lot of distrust for anyone who is not conservative.
Evangelical scientologist maybe.
Jim Wallis is editor and founder of the liberal evangelical magazine Sojourners, the author of The Soul of Politics, and the head of “Call to Renewal,” a faith-based anti-poverty organization.
The Reverend Jim Wallis (b. June 4, 1948, Detroit, Michigan) is an Evangelical Christian writer and political activist, best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine and of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian community of the same name.
Wallis actively eschews political labels, but his advocacy tends to focus on issues of peace and social justice, earning him his primary support from the religious left. Wallis is also known for his opposition to the religious right’s fiscal and foreign policies
In discussing the 2004 American presidential elections, Wallis said “Jesus didnt speak at all about homosexuality.
In February 2007 he wrote in Time about the post-Religious Right era and the resurgence of mainstream Christianity, with evangelicals “deserting the Religious Right in droves”.
He spent his student years involved in the civil rights and antiwar movements at Michigan State University.
Wallis is a part-time instructor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
Jim Wallis lectures and teaches at Harvard
Still don’t know where Jesus professes homosexual marriage on the sermon on the mount.
From Discover the Networks - www.discoverthenetworks.org
A self-described activist preacher, Jim Wallis was born into an evangelical family in Detroit, Michigan in June 1948. In the 1960s his religious views drove him to join the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement. His participation in peace protests nearly resulted in his expulsion from the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, a conservative Christian seminary where he was then enrolled. While at Trinity, Wallis founded an anti-capitalism magazine called the Post-American which identified wealth redistribution and government-managed economies as the keys to achieving “social justice.” He also railed against American foreign policy.
In 1971 Wallis and his Post-American colleagues changed the name of their publication to Sojourners, and in the mid-1970s they moved their base of operation from Chicago to Washington, D.C. Wallis has served as Sojourners editor ever since.
In parallel with his magazine’s stridently antiwar position during the Seventies, Wallis championed the cause of communism. Forgiving its brutal standard-bearers in Vietnam and Cambodia the most abominable of atrocities, Wallis was unsparing in his execration of American military efforts. Demanding greater levels of “social justice” in the U.S., he was silent on the subject of the murderous rampages of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge. Very much to the contrary, several Sojourners editorials attempted to exculpate the Khmer Rouge of the charges of genocide, instead shifting blame squarely onto the United States.
In 1979, Time magazine hailed Wallis as one of the “50 Faces for America’s Future.” That same year, the journal Mission Tracks published an interview with Wallis, in which the activist evangelical expressed his hope that “more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes.”
Wallis blamed America entirely for the political tensions of the Cold War era. “At each step in the Cold War,” he wrote in November 1982, “the U.S. was presented with a choice between very different but equally plausible interpretations of Soviet intentions, each of which would have led to very different responses. At every turn, U.S. policy-makers have chosen to assume the very worst about their Soviet counterparts.”
To this day, Wallis remains fiercely opposed to capitalism and the free market system. In many interviews, he has stressed his belief that capitalism has proven to be an unmitigated failure. “Our systems have failed the poor and they have failed the earth,” Wallis has said. “They have failed the creation.”
In 1995 Wallis founded Call to Renewal, a coalition of religious groups united in the purpose of advocating, in religious terms, for leftist economic agendas such as tax hikes and wealth redistribution to promote social justice.
After the 2004 presidential election, Wallis acknowledged that he had cast a vote for the Democratic candidate, John Kerry. Owing to the popular post-election consensus among Democratic Party members that their defeat could be attributed to their party’s disconnect from religious voters, Wallis became an overnight celebrity within Democratic ranks. Democratic strategists and politicians turned to him as the man who could sell their party to the coveted religious demographic. In January 2005, Senate Democrats invited Wallis to address them in a private discussion. Meanwhile, some fifteen Democratic members of the House made Wallis the guest of honor at a breakfast confab whose subject, according to The New York Times, was devising ways to instill support for the Democratic Party into the hearts of the religious faithful.
On December 14, 2005, Wallis organized an event where some 115 religious activists protested a House Republican budget plan’s spending cuts (of about $50 billion over a five-year period) by refusing to clear the entrance to a congressional office building. “These are political choices being made that are hurting low-income people,” said Wallis. “Don’t make them the brunt of your deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility.” Wallis and his fellow demonstrators were arrested for their actions.
According to a March 10, 2007 Los Angeles Times report, in recent years Wallis has sought to re-brand traditional slogans of the religious right, like “pro-life,” to refer to such leftist agendas as working with AIDS victims in Africa or helping illegal immigrants in America achieve legal status so they can continue to live with their U.S.-born children.
I was thinking maybe it should be “Red Star,” Christains.
Jim Wallis likes to call himself a nineteenth-century Evangelical born in the wrong century.
How would you define a fundamentalist, as opposed to an Evangelical?
Wallis: There is fundamentalism in all of our traditions. Islamic fundamentalismwe see their profile more than everJewish fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism...
“Could someone please point out where does it say in the Bible that the government should force income redistribution to “help the poor”.”
No where. Jesus wants US to help the poor. Having the government do it is cheating.
Jim Wallis founded Sojourners and now advises presidential candidates and world leaders in what he calls the "post-Religious Right" era. He is determined to put poverty at the top of America's "moral values" agenda.
“But in an interview this week Jim Wallis says: “Top of the list is what happens to the poor. Poverty is the principal Biblical political issue.” He adds: “climate change is now a mainstream evangelical issue. Human rights, Darfur too.”
whatever “evangelical” background wallis ever had has long since been abandoned in his many years at the marxist ‘christian’ rag ‘sojourners’
he and other recently molded “progressive” evangelicals are crypto-evangelicals
From The Weekly Standard - www.weeklystandard.com
Wallis’s 35-year history of effectively pacifist, anti-capitalist, pro-socialist positions. With the exception of abortion and family values, the political issues that animate him today are the direct descendants of those that launched him into a career of activism back in his student days, when he and his friends were being tear-gassed protesting U.S. involvement in Vietnam, in the heyday of the New Left.
WALLIS IS NO STRANGER to fledgling movements. For starters, he was born into one. Wallis grew up in Detroit’s Plymouth Brethren Church, an independent neighborhood evangelical church of which his parents were founding members. Asked about his adolescent religious development, Wallis, 56, tells the same story, nearly word for word, in most venues. Talking to Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air at the beginning of his book publicity blitz, Wallis said:
“I was 14. . . . I had these questions about, you know, why we lived the way we did in white Detroit and why life seemed so different in black Detroit. . . . I went into the city and I found the other church, the other evangelical church. The black churches loved the same Jesus, read the same Bible, sang out of the same hymn book, but made it sound so much better than we did. . . . I got kicked out of [the Plymouth Brethren] church, found my home in the civil rights movements and the antiwar struggles of
my generation and came back to faith later on.”
In 1970, after graduating from Michigan State, Wallis enrolled in the theologically conservative Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. He soon dropped out, and he and several other disaffected divinity school students founded a commune of sorts. Starting in 1971, the group chronicled its own tumultuous history in the pages of a semi-regular publication originally called the Post-American, and later renamed Sojourners.
The first issue of the Post-American had on its cover a picture of Jesus wrapped in an American flag, over the caption “ . . . and they crucified Him.” Inside, Jim Wallis authored the manifesto of his movement, announcing what would remain one of his central themes: “The American captivity of the church has resulted in the disastrous equation of the American way of life with the Christian way of life.” Over the years, his magazine would devote reams of copy to refuting that equation and proving that “to be Christian in this time is to be post-American.” The early volumes are filled with earnest discourses on Christian pacifism, civil rights, anti-Vietnam protest, anti-Israel polemics, and all-around anti-Americanism, complemented nicely by Boogie Nights typefaces and an angry hippie aesthetic.
It was around this time, with liberation theology hot in leftist Christian circles, that Wallis performed the exercise that would form the basis for his subsequent career: He went through the Bible with a pair of scissors and cut out all of the passages pertaining to the poor, to show how little was left when these were removed. When he was finished making this “holey” Bible, he had found his ministry: Jesus cared most for the “least of these,” and “so should America.”
Wallis was eager to get started disseminating his new message, but things weren’t going well at home. His post-American commune had suffered its first crack-up in 1975, and Wallis and about 20 others had transplanted what was left of the enterprise from Chicago to Washington, D.C. But community living didn’t flourish in Washington either.
The January 1977 issue of Sojourners ran the transcript of a discussion of the community’s evolution. A youthful, bearded “Jim” recalls the moment of “a real shift” in his worldview when the first commune was falling apart. “It first came, I remember, while speaking at a conference on global justice and economics.” He realized that while their goals were admirable, rule-based communal living was not working out. The group’s “discussions turned into arguments and real disagreements over what model of community we would choose. . . . [We] literally began to lose faith and hope.” At the moment of his deepest despair, Jim recalled: “I frankly admitted to the group of people I was speaking to that I wasn’t really sure I had anything to say to them at all.”
Caesar (the government) is not Lord, Jesus is. Neither is the Tower of Babel (globalism), the emergence of the Kingdom of God.
Counterfeits are easy enough to recognize, if we know our history. These liberal Christians, of whom I know a few, operate in profound ignorance.
So therefore global warming shouldn't be taught in school, right? For the same reason the ACLU fought abstinence education in schools. Because it was "religious".
What this UK paper forgets is that Conservatives have been dealing with the Reverend this or that for generations and their claim to be “evangelical Christians” ain’t necessarily so. These ‘preachers’ are Marxist agitators with religious rubric.
Oh that’s right! How silly of me! I forgot that Evangelicals would support a man in favor of gay marriage, partial birth abortion and born baby euthanization by the state! Yes how silly of me to forget that! What could I have been thinking?
Progressive “Evangelicals”. Evangelical is becoming a more and more useless and meaningless term, hijacked by anyone to cloak their agenda. If these people are real Christians they are in dire need of Church discipline for their views on baby killing (abortion), stealing (collectivism), and support of sodomy (gay marriage) all of which Obama is passionate about.
Thinking the same thing. The the hammer and the crescent are a very good fit, but not the cross and sickle. Leftist evangelicals have not really thought the implications of an Obama presidency on home schooling, the 1st Amendment (return of the Fairness Doctrine), how increased taxation will impact charitable donations, support for Israel, etc.
Yes. He is a first class chump, isn’t he?
Campolo is an exemplar of the so-called Emerging Church, which is nothing more than theological liberalism in a skimpy bathing suit, one that does not disguise her as being identical to that theologically liberal whore of yesteryear. To use an even older term, Campolo is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Yeshua and His apostles warned us the likes of Campolo would be a thick as thieves in the last days.
Ahem...Professor, I seem to remember reading that a noted Jewish religious leader some 2100 years ago, shortly before his death by crucifixion, was quoted as advising his followers, in so many words, "if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one". Would you care to hazard a guess as to his name?
I remember one of the first things I saw was an interview with him around 1992 or so where he said Jesus said nothing about the gay thing in the Gospels.
While that’s technically true, it seemed rather odd to me like he was promoting that agenda. Further, he went on to state that he’d seen gay households (that were better for children) than many straight households.
I found it a very odd thing to say. Recently he has stated that his wife finds this justification in the Bible whereas he does not.
Hmmmm .... well I admire those that want to help the poor. However, the Gospel of Salvation is the most important part. Jesus told those after feeding them to labor for the meat which does not perish.
It has also concerned me that he has seemed to be aligned with the Christian left, that does not consider the Bible literal in general (granted there’s a lot of wild stuff in there). One “pastor” mentioned in the article ridiculed the temptation in the wilderness of Christ, saying it never happened, essentially.
I recognize the body of Christ has different gifts. However, if they’re out there promoting abortion and the gay lifestyle, I’d say they’ve left the basics of the Gospel. For that reason, I cannot understand any of them endorsing Obama.