Thursday, November 30, 2017

Jim Wallis And The Religious Left Discover The Bible....

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But they refuse to live by its teachings.

Yesterday, Jim Wallis, a leader---maybe "the" leader of the religious Left -- called on America to rise up against conservatives and evangelicals who believe helping the poor is primarily the charge of the church---not the government.

He wrote: "Great Injustice Calls for Great Action." He's calling for national civil disobedience.

Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners, former spiritual adviser to Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, and his colleague Barbara Williams-Skinner, former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote an article yesterday calling on all Americans to stand against the "injustice" of the conservative budget/tax reform plan before Congress.

What they say is important because the religious Left has discovered the Bible---but refuse to live by biblical teaching on a variety of issues.

In the name of the Lord, they are misleading many.

Jim Wallace, Tony Compolo, Rob Bell and other leaders of the religious Left have somehow twisted Scripture to affirm homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage, the removal of our national borders and have found the courage to remain silent regarding abortion---all with "Scriptural approval."

In their article, "Great Injustice Calls For Great Action," they call for America to take a stand against the conservative budget/tax legislation now under consideration by Congress.

Wallis says, "The treatment of the poor and vulnerable is lifted up in the Bible more than 2,000 times. And it is these people, the ones Scriptures call us to protect and serve, who will be most hurt by the results of this very consequential tax legislation."

He says, "The moral logic of the tax bill about to be voted on...will ultimately be paid for by the poor---literally on the backs of their children and their future---an offense to the God who hears the cry of the poor, and a call to action for those who worship that God."

I don't speak for anyone other than myself, and to the best of my ability, we do so consistent with Scripture.

However, I don't think any conservative or evangelical disregards the needs of the poor. Wallis is right. The Bible speaks clearly to the issue of the poor. Jesus Himself spoke clearly regarding helping the poor.

The issue is not about helping the poor, but who is primarily called to help them.

Wallis and his religious Left insists this is a call for government to respond to the call. The consequences Wallis warns of is already endemic among us as a result of decades of his kind of thinking.

President Lyndon Johnson launched his so-called "Great Society" in the 60s and since then we have seen the greatest expansion of government welfare in the history of our nation, while seeing more poverty and more dependence---In fact, those Leftist beliefs have created a culture of dependence---always a component in the demise of a society.

Wallis and his followers---who are many--are calling on "people of faith to take the next step."

His next step is "nonviolent, faith-based civil disobedience to call attention to the great injustice about to occur."

He says, "91% of Congress members profess to be Christian, and we will remind them what the Bible says about justice for the poor."

Earlier this year, in April, the Washington Post ran a story by Caitlin Dewey with this headline: "GOP Lawmaker: The Bible says the unemployed 'shall not eat'."

I won't link the WAPO story because it requires a paid subscription to access, but Ben Shapiro responded in The National Review with this: "The Left Can Site Scripture for Its Own Purpose."

In the WAPO story, the lawmaker at issue was Representative Jodey Arrington (R-Tex) who spoke at length about means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps.

In his speech, he quoted II Thessalonians 3:10: "For even when we were with you we gave you this rule: If a man will not work, he shall not eat...We hear some among you are idle."

Arrington went on to say "every American---Republican or Democrat---wants to help the neediest among us---. and offered an alternative to the SNAP program which is sinking in corruption and misuse.

The WAPO story suggested biblical conservatives are cruel and overbearing---but true Christians would stand for government expansion in the name of following biblical teaching.

At the time, the New York Times also ran an article by "theologian" Nick Kristof which contained a satire piece titled, "And Jesus said unto Paul Ryan," which placed Ryan and biblical conservatives in various comprised scenarios with Jesus.

Throughout my life as a pastor and careful observer, I've noticed that the actions and needs of the religious Left always override the needs of the individuals they claim to help, and the existence of voluntary true biblical charity.

I don't know the motives of the Left, but certainly, some of them see the expansion of government as a desired result---the great goal of the Left.

Many of the religious Left agree.

However, the great concern is that too many have been spiritually misled by Jim Wallis and others on the Left.

Social media---Facebook, etc., is a showcase of people who once stood for true biblical beliefs: marriage between one man and one woman, the sanctity of life, homosexuality as sin, and helping the poor as the primary responsibility of the Church---biblical Christians, not government.

Obviously there is a place for a safety net within our government structure, but it has become, under the leadership of the far Left secular progressives, a method of government expansion, increasing personal and political power of those who control it---while destroying families under the guise of "helping them" in the name of the Lord.

Under big government welfare programs, the government can force nunneries to provide birth control, require Christian bakers, photographers, and florists to celebrate same-sex "marriage" and prevent prayer in public schools.

The beliefs of the religious Left dismiss the biblical command---"thou shall not kill" under the guise of "choice" or "women's rights" or whatever, while empowering the government to affirm the killing of unwanted unborn children who are truly "the least of them," created in the image and likeness of God Himself.

Jesus was not kind toward the Pharisees who represented much of what the Left represents today, nor would He be approving of Wallis's call to action on behalf government expansion and intervention in social issues pertaining to marriage, human sexuality and the sanctity of life.

Christianity is primarily a call to accept Jesus Christ as one's personal Savior---to be forgiven and freed from the very things the religious Left is advocating for. And to be God's hand extended to the poor, the needy and the least among us.

Ben Shaprio says, "In regard to the role of government in preventing the murder of the unborn, the Left insists that a vague reading of 'the least of these' results in a moral injunction to steal the wealth of some and hand it over to others."

And he says, "This is the theocracy of the causally religious..." who don't even have a book (the Bible) for guidance, but merely follow the dictates of their own heart, imputing those dictates to God when the opportunity arises. This makes them not merely tyrants, but heretical tyrants.

Without a true spiritual revival, liberty fades into collectivism and dependence with a focus on social groups and political power with little regard towards the individual.

And it creates a government that gives rise to those who purposefully twist Scripture, allowing the government to become the ultimate god-like arbiter of all moral issues.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.