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Retiring: Ron Sider, Social Justice Pioneer
Christianity Today ^ | October 17, 2012 | Jeremy Weber

Posted on 10/17/2012 1:20:38 PM PDT by Alex Murphy

Ron Sider, founder and president of Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), announced yesterday (Tues, Oct. 16) that he will retire in June 2013. His replacement: a "consensus model" leadership team of two co-directors.

Sider, who founded ESA in 1973, is most known for his ground-breaking 1977 book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. CT ranked the book No. 7 on its list of the Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals.

Scot McKnight, in his review yesterday of Moral Minority by David Swartz, described Sider and his influence as follows:

Sider emerged out of a quietist Brethren in Christ Canadian family; he caught fire intellectually and studied at an Ivy League school, Yale, where he studied under Jaroslav Pelikan; and Sider’s biggest influence was his radical call to evangelicals to become less consumerist, more aware of the impact of economy on the poor of this world, and the need to scale back.

[SNIP]

ESA, now part of Eastern University near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will replace Sider with two co-directors currently serving as professors at Eastern's Palmer Theological Seminary.

Paul Alexander, currently ESA's director of public policy, teaches Christian ethics and public policy at Palmer. His ESA bona fides: he "protested the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, was once fired for organizing against unethical business practices, and was jailed by the Los Angeles Police Department for peacefully protesting unfair labor standards in California."

Al Tizon, currently ESA's director of congregational ministry, teaches holistic ministry at Palmer. His bona fides: he "engaged in community development work, ministry to street children, and pastoral ministries among the poor in his native Philippines for almost ten years as missionaries with an international agency."

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.christianitytoday.com ...


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: ronsider; sider
Full headline:
Retiring: Ron Sider, Social Justice Pioneer Who Authored One of Top 10 Books That Shaped Evangelicals

Ron Sider, founder and president of Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), announced yesterday (Tues, Oct. 16) that he will retire in June 2013. His replacement: a "consensus model" leadership team of two co-directors....

....Paul Alexander, currently ESA's director of public policy, teaches Christian ethics and public policy at Palmer. His ESA bona fides: he "protested the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, was once fired for organizing against unethical business practices, and was jailed by the Los Angeles Police Department for peacefully protesting unfair labor standards in California."

Al Tizon, currently ESA's director of congregational ministry, teaches holistic ministry at Palmer. His bona fides: he "engaged in community development work, ministry to street children, and pastoral ministries among the poor in his native Philippines for almost ten years as missionaries with an international agency."

1 posted on 10/17/2012 1:20:42 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

“... he protested the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories...”

Bad smell.


2 posted on 10/17/2012 1:28:39 PM PDT by PastorBooks
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To: Alex Murphy

“... is most known for his ground-breaking 1977 book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger...”

Are you a “rich Christian”? Then don’t feel bad about it — start a business, hire people, and teach others how to do the same! Love the Lord and use the prosperity that He gave you to help and bless others.


3 posted on 10/17/2012 1:33:39 PM PDT by PastorBooks
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To: PastorBooks

AMEN!


4 posted on 10/17/2012 1:40:20 PM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: Alex Murphy

Soiunds like another leftist masquerading as a Chirstian. His god is Karl Marx and he is the spiritual brother of Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger. Remeber evangelicals for Obama? hmmmmmmm.


5 posted on 10/17/2012 2:05:12 PM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: PastorBooks
Are you a “rich Christian”? Then don’t feel bad about it — start a business, hire people, and teach others how to do the same! Love the Lord and use the prosperity that He gave you to help and bless others.

Indeed!


6 posted on 10/17/2012 2:33:47 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

I always recommend “Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators” as a biblical antidote to Sider’s book.


7 posted on 10/17/2012 3:26:50 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Alex Murphy

Sider sounds like the kind of liberal who loves humanity but hates people. I’m sure he very well doesn’t understand how the policies he advocates make sure the poor and hungry of the world stay poor and hungry.


8 posted on 10/17/2012 3:32:04 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: Alex Murphy; Persevero

“Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators”

Thank you! Added it to my list.


9 posted on 10/17/2012 3:39:13 PM PDT by PastorBooks
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To: Alex Murphy

I had another Sider, a relative of Ron Sider, as a history professor in college. Smart guy, but also a totally naive pacifist...which pushed him toward the pacifist-sounding academic Left.

This man went on and on about how utterly awful the McCarthy era was, without admitting that even at that time, in the 1980s, it was proven that there were indeed outright communists in positions of power in DC, during McCarthy’s exaggerations. He, a committed (supposedly) evangelical Christian, made fun of the pro-life movement for getting all excited over fetuses, when “killing” the poor. (We all know how all those poor people starved under Pres. Reagan, right?)

Anyway, the Sojourners magazine/Ron Sider “evangelical” left, are almost all pacifists...and they take their doctrinaire pacifism as a reason to separate from mainstream evangelicals...to support the (fake) pacifists on the Left...because of the Left’s supposed compassion for the poor.

Rather sad how stupid and gullible certain Christians can be.


10 posted on 10/17/2012 3:44:55 PM PDT by AnalogReigns (because the real world is not digital...)
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To: Persevero
I always recommend “Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators” as a biblical antidote to Sider’s book.

So do I. See post #6!

11 posted on 10/17/2012 3:57:27 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: PastorBooks
Available for free from Gary North's website.
12 posted on 10/17/2012 4:20:28 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.)
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To: SC_Pete; AnalogReigns; Alex Murphy
I don't subscribe to Sider's pacifism or his fuzzy economics, but in all fairness I'd want you to see that he's legitimately Mennonite, not Marxist. He's been a Mennonite for all his adult life (I think he was raised Church of the Brethren or somethng similar). Anabaptist ethics --- not atheist materialism and class war --- has been the major source of his conscience-formation.

Sider also writes and speaks against abortion and the sex/gender agenda of the Left, which takes significant conviction beccause his readership and audiences are prodominantly Christian liberals. Believe me, a whole lot of them don't love him for it. He's a signer of the Manhattan Declaration which is a Divine Law /Natural Law defense of the Biblical man-woman definition of marriage. Sider also signed a NY Times ad a couple of years back objecting to gay activists' violence against California Proposition 8 supporters.

So disagree robustly with his economics and pacifism, but rcognize that his ideological family starts with Menno Simons (Link), and not Karl Marx.


13 posted on 10/17/2012 4:51:23 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Quodlibet)
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To: Persevero

“I always recommend “Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators” as a biblical antidote to Sider’s book.”

Excellent book; parts will really make a liberal’s head explode!

Sider looks at the world through emotional glasses, not Biblical ones. Unfortunately, I have dear Christian friends who think Sider’s book is great.


14 posted on 10/17/2012 5:09:48 PM PDT by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Thank you very much for the clarification and I stand corrected. However, charity is a loving act. When charity is imposed by the government through a desire for “social justice” it becomes confiscatory and coercive. That’s not charity, it’s socialism. Capitalism is moral in that it allows free men to provide what others need. There may a price (sale) or not (charity) but it is the essence of wealth creation. If the government is going to take the fruits of my labor and creativity, why work so hard? The United States is the most charitable country on the face of the earth—because we are free to give. But to hear the social justice people, we are the most selfish. The truth is the opposite and capitalism is perfectly compatible with Christianity.


15 posted on 10/17/2012 5:13:49 PM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: Lee N. Field

Thanks for the link. I read this years ago and have since loaned my copy out.

I just downloaded this to my laptop. My Android phone is next!


16 posted on 10/17/2012 5:22:42 PM PDT by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: BwanaNdege

The download works great on Kindle Reader on my Android phone.


17 posted on 10/17/2012 5:34:30 PM PDT by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: SC_Pete

I think you’re right. I’ve never quite figured out where Sider’s economic ideas were coming from. At this point (I mean now, not 20 years ago) Sider might actually agree with more conservative - pro economic liberty views, or at least be agreeable to hearing them defended.


18 posted on 10/17/2012 6:23:15 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Quodlibet)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Christ was not a community organizer and Obama is not THE ONE. If you believe in the ideology of SOCIAL JUSTICE, your god is Karl Marx.


19 posted on 10/18/2012 4:17:12 AM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I’m fully aware and agree that Dr. Sider’s convictions come from the radical end of the Reformation—of the Mennonites, and he is not primarily motivated by Marx.

My point is however, that pacifism makes him—and most on the “evangelical Left”—tools of Marxists and statists of all kinds as they join the union of so many “useful idiots.”

It’s a simple fact that when push comes to shove, the evangelical left SUPPORTS Marxists, radical-feminists, the homosexual-agenda and abortion, simply in their opposition to conservatives. Their personal opposition to the social-issue Left for some reason doesn’t prevent them from publicly supporting the Left in American politics whenever given a choice.

If you pick up a copy of “Sojourners” magazine you’ll see what I mean. In spite of the religious rhetoric in it, “Sojourners” could be published by the radicals in the DNC, or even the Socialist Workers Party.


20 posted on 10/18/2012 4:47:48 PM PDT by AnalogReigns (because the real world is not digital...)
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To: SC_Pete
Depends on what yoyu mean by the "ideology of socal justice," by which some people mean"socialism." But that is a work-hijack. There is no justice in socialism. So what did SIDER mean by "social justice"? Used to be softboiled socialism (say 30 years ago) --- but he modified that over a period of time towards the Christian definition, because he was open to Christian truth.

He was/is (to my knowledge, somebody correct me if I'm wrong) -- not on Team Obama, and definitely not a Marxist.

He has his own set of biases, but those biases are more Menno Simons than Marx.

21 posted on 10/19/2012 4:42:10 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Frank and Earnest.)
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To: AnalogReigns
I agree with much of what you've said. Much of the Christian Left --- and ESPECIALLY Sojourners --- serves as "useful idiots" for the hard Marxist Left.

But Sider is to be distinguished from Jim Wallis and Sojourners. They have their similarities, but are not equivalent.

As I mentioned before, Sider has always been anti-abortion and pro-marriege as instituted by Divine and Natural Law, making him a vast nuymber of enemies on the Left. That, in itself, helped make him open to more conservative voices about economics, defense and the rest. He changed over the past 30 years -- toward more conservative views.

I give Sider credit for the elements of integrity which make him quite different from Wallis.

22 posted on 10/19/2012 4:46:45 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Frank and Earnest.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

You may very well be right. You certainly have more background on this. My experience with others on the “liberation theology” side and leftists parading as Jesuits, makes me very wary of any Christian that confuses “social justice” with charity. Obama is on record as saying there is no salvation other than collective salvation. Heaven will indeed be a classless society but certainly not what the Marxists had in mind. And we will meet our Creator one by one, not in a community organized protest.


23 posted on 10/19/2012 5:12:19 AM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: SC_Pete

Amen.


24 posted on 10/19/2012 8:31:37 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (And Amen.)
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