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 ...
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.
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