Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Religious Left Jim Wallis: "Iran Deal the Christian Thing to Do"

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Jim Wallis identifies himself as a "Christian leader for social change."

He is the Founder and President of the Sojourners organization, an organization focused on social justice.

Well known as a leader among the religious Left, he considers himself an "evangelical."

He is also an adviser to President Obama---the president often refers to him as "an evangelical friend and adviser."

Just prior to the Iran Deal being consummated, Wallis and his colleagues led an effort to influence the American public and lawmakers with letters and petitions to support the deal---whatever it turned out to be.

He also wrote a feature article in the left leaning Huffington Post titled, "Why the Iran Deal is a Good Option---and a Christian One."

He began with this: "We have a deal. And many of us in the faith community are relived."

"Many in the faith community" are also deceived.

Wallis says he understands some of the skepticism toward Iran, "so the 'verify' component is critical to those of us who ascribe to Christian realism."

Does he really believe Iran will actually allow outsiders to "verify" anything other than that staged for the verification?

David Cortright, Director of Policy Studies at University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a close Wallis associate, says, "The deal isn't perfect, but it is very good."

It is neither "good" nor "Christian."

He says, "We should be under no illusion that Iran will instantly change its destructive and disruptive behavior because of this agreement. We must therefore insist that Iran cease funding armed groups throughout the Middle East, improve its human rights record and end its hostility toward Israel."

This is illusion in its highest form. And the "armed groups" he refers to are normally called "terrorist organizations" by those not living under an illusion.

Asking Iran to "end its hostility toward Israel" is asking it to renounce one of the core principles of its religious belief.

"Death to America and death to Israel" is their Sermon on the Mount.

Prior to the "deal," Wallis and Cortright led with letters and petitions in support of the "deal," now they are turning to "educating the America people as to why it is a "good deal"---and the premise is that it is good because it is "Christian." And "biblical."

Joining Wallis and Cortright in this effort are Ronald Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action, Shane Claiborne, executive director of Red Letter Christians, and Tony Campolo, founder of Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education.

These and other religious left leaders are regularly speaking in churches, colleges and universities to advance this and other far left ideology under the guise of "biblical teaching."

Incidentally, Campolo came out last month publicly supporting same-sex marriage. He is telling Christian colleges, churches and the general public his decision is based on biblical teaching.

Wallis concludes his Huff Post article with this: " We need to make it clear to our leaders that many Christians favor practical and pragmatic steps to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, not merely rhetorical flourishes that demonstrate at best a desire to oppose the Obama administration at any cost, or, at worst, a desire to go to another war. Continuing the military strategies that have failed for decades is not a good option. Giving serious diplomacy and international pressure a chance before contemplating military action is both a better strategic option and a more Christian one."

This is offensive because it suggests that (1), those of us who oppose the "deal" do so because we refuse to support President Obama, and (2), we oppose negotiations and want to rush to war.

Neither are true.

This "deal" is not a "Christian one." And it certainly has little merit politically by most opinions.

I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy, is also criticizing these and other leaders on the so-called "religious left."

He says their "pacifistic tendencies are not reassuring or 'relevant' counsel on the topic of national security."

Yet they are counseling the president.

He says, "Christians in sync with historic church teaching and human reality must appreciate the dangers of this accommodation with Iran's Shiite theocracy."

Tooley says, "Serious Christians can't just cry peace, peace, peace. We have a sacred duty to think through unintended consequences and advocate policies that seek approximate justice and security, which requires diplomacy and capacity for effective force."

If this "deal" was truly a "Christian one" as the religious left says, why did the administration not even address the release of 4 American hostages as part of the deal?

In fact, President Obama was so focused on not seeking their release that he scoffed and reacted negatively to a question asked by Major Garrett with CBS News last week wondering why the administration left them behind.

When John Kerry was asked, he said the topic never came up during the negotiations.

Every Middle East neighbor to Iran is expressing concern over this deal. Israel and the United Jewish Organizations of America and Christians United for Israel are expressing deep concern for Israel and the world.

The Vatican is expressing approval.

This issue once again reveals the deep divisions in our country---and even within the Christian church itself.

Beyond simple common sense, how can we find the Truth in this kind of confusion and chaos?

Millions sometimes follow the song of the pied piper.

There is, however, a better way: "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. And the entrance of Your Words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple" (Ps. 119: 105,130).

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.