Over 7,000 Pastors Admit They Don’t Follow Jesus

Over 7,000 Pastors Admit They Don’t Follow Jesus September 13, 2018
Image: Pixabay

 

Over 4,400 pastors signed John MacArthur’s “Anti-Social Justice Proclamation” a few weeks ago. Over 7,000 have now added their names to that statement, making it crystal clear that they do not follow Jesus in any way, shape or form.

One of the most troubling statements they all agreed to was this:

“We emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture.”

If that isn’t sad, I don’t know what is.

Not only is it disappointing to read the news that 7,000 Christian Pastors don’t follow Jesus, it’s even more disappointing to find out that none of them are ashamed to admit it in public.

Maybe none of them have ever read that Jesus was born into poverty. Or that Jesus blessed the poor. Or that gave warnings to the rich. Or that Jesus cautioned us about the evils of wealth. Or that Jesus equated our love for him with our love for the poor.

Maybe those 7,000 pastors – who claim they believe it’s more important to “exposit scripture” than to waste time preaching about God’s heart for the poor – never actually got around to expositing those verses where Paul told us that Peter, James and John only had one requirement before sending him and Barnabus out as the very first church-planting missionaries to the Gentiles: “To remember the poor” (Gal. 2:10) and they probably also didn’t notice that Paul’s response to that single requirement was this: “It was the very thing I was eager to do.”

It’s hard to imagine the Gospel that Jesus, and the Apostles preached without any mention of the poor. But, I suppose that’s the price we have to pay for living in the world’s most powerful Empire. See, when the Gospel first arrived it was preached to the poor, and the sick, and the outcasts. The people in power resisted it. The weak embraced it.

Soon, the same people who hated Jesus were persecuting the rest of His followers. That went on for 400 years until something horrible happened: The Empire co-opted the faith and soon the Gospel was for the conquerors, not the losers; it was for the rich and the powerful, not the poor and the weak.

Over time the idea of nationalizing Christianity and manipulating Christian citizens took on enormous momentum. Eventually, it was hard to separate nationalism and patriotism from religion and faith.

And now, in broad daylight, thousands of Christian pastors are proud to publically proclaim that they have no time to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus taught. They have no interest in showing any concern for the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the outcast. They’d rather preach sermons about the Bible (while conveniently ignoring all of the hundreds of verses about caring for the poor, the orphan and the widow).

So, I guess we won’t have to listen to any more sermons about verses like these:

“By this we know what love is: Jesus laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone with earthly possessions sees his brother in need, but withholds his compassion from him, how can the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth” (1 John 3:17)

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’  “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Matt. 25:44-45)

“Sell your possessions, and give alms to the poor. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (Luke 12:33)

He has filled the hungry with good thingsAnd sent away the rich empty-handed.” (Luke 1:53)

“Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5)

I could go on, but hopefully you get the point. A Gospel without reference to God’s heart for the poor – and God’s insistence that we love them as He loves them – is no Gospel worth preaching, or listening to.

Now, I would urge Christians who attend churches like those being led by these 7,000 pastors to leave them as quickly as possible, but I don’t need to. That’s already happening. In fact, more young people are leaving the Christian church than are coming in to the faith. So, very soon, those sorts of Churches will be very dead and gone. Halleluiah!

Until then, I guess the rest of us will just have to keep wandering around in this desert of faith waiting for those churches to die. Maybe then we can enter the promised land where the Good News of the Kingdom is freely spoken – and put into practice – and those who are poor will know without a doubt that they are treasured by God, seen by God, and most of all loved by God and by the people of God.

Jesus wouldn’t recognize the Gospel being preached by people like John MacArthur and his 7,000 disciples. Maybe what they should be most concerned with is that Jesus might not recognize them when he sees them face-to-face one day.

**

Keith Giles is a former pastor who left the pulpit 11 years ago to start a church that gives away 100% of the offering to the poor in their community.

His new book Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.

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TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Matthew

    Maybe Isaiah and some of the other prophets
    need to visit these pastors and churches?

    Hold up … wait a minute … we know what usually
    happens to such prophets.

  • Timothy Weston

    On abortion: “Our most vulnerable, the unborn, must be protected at all costs and we must put in leaders who will protect them”
    On marriage equality: “It’s against God and nature.”
    On anything else: “You’re getting too political, the church needs to be focused on saving souls.”

    The whole “saving souls” dodge means accepting things as they are and they should not be changed. Only those who benefit from privilege will stick to that.

  • philliardbmt

    Agreed! I can’t imagine a pastor who would agree with a doctrine such as this. I know preaching salvation is primary, but being a Christian doesn’t end there. Something must happen after that, and that “something” is to love god and love our neighbors–with more than words.

  • Jesse Toler

    They aren’t opposed to charity, just not the racialized Gospel of George Soror.

  • Timothy Weston

    You are right in that they are not opposed to charity: They just don’t want to do it. Also, what is wrong with confronting systemic inequality? Do you feel too fragile when someone of a darker skin tone starts to become too close to you in societal standing?

  • airstart

    This is a crock of you know what. So typical of a bunch of “PATHEOS” heathens. You guys go ahead and spend all your do-gooder effort on social justice issues, since you don’t believe the Gospel any way. You’ve missed the whole purpose of the great commission. God certainly had it right when He said “my people parish for lack of knowledge”.

  • Elgin

    As the author of the book, What is Wrong with Social Justice (https://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Social-Justice-Elgin-Hushbeck/dp/1631990837), while I am not surprised by Giles’ general attitude, I was a bit surprised by his arrogance and tone. It is one thing to disagree with each other as we all follow Jesus imperfectly and struggle to do his will, but Giles equates following the teachings of Social Justice with following Jesus. Yet Social Justice is first and foremost a political and economic movement. Not everyone in the Social Justice movement is even seeking to follows Jesus.

    I have no problems with people saying what they believe the following means, or even saying that I am wrong. But for me, for someone to say that people must agree with them on politics and economics or you are not following Jesus is a classic example of breaking the second commandment, i,e., using the name of God to support one’s own positions. Granted, there is too much of this on all sides. I can disagree with someone, without calling into question their faith.

    To justify his claim Giles further equate Social Justice with mere concern for the poor and then assumes that since these pastors reject Social Justice they therefore cannot have a concern for the poor. In doing so he freely distorts many, if not all, of their positions, showing that he has little concern for truth when it comes to advancing his agenda.

    As for me, I will continue to reject much the current Social Justice movement, and I will still be concerned for the poor as I seek to follow Jesus to the best of my understanding. Still, I will not conflate my politics and economics views with following Jesus and then assume that those who disagree with on Social Justice are not following Him.

  • TinnyWhistler

    “my people parish for lack of knowledge”
    I’d HOPE they attend the local parish if they lack knowledge about God…isn’t that what it’s there for?

  • Starla Anne Lowry

    How many of those pastors knew what they were signing? I could not understand the statement that you gave.

  • Robert Hunt

    Or it could be that precisely because we’re in the midst of an Empire “social activism” is simply playing into the hands of the principalities and powers of this world. (I’m thinking of the critique Hauerwas might make.) Get serious. I don’t agree with MacArthur or his agenda, but who appointed you the arbiter of who and who is not a true follower of Jesus? MacArthur and his crowd would argue, do in fact, that you aren’t a true follower of Jesus. And so we go on throwing stones in our increasingly broken houses.

  • Jonathan M

    Great News the Messiah has come back in the form of a blog writer named Keith Giles. It has to be the Messiah cause only Jesus could judge 7000 pastors through his own eyes! What a joke this website is in regards to being a Christian site. Once again this is a leftist ideological website disguised as a Christian site to bash the fundamentals of Christianity.

  • Jonathan M

    Seriously Keith, who the hell do you think you are to judge 7000 in Jesus’s name. So you’re God now and you know the heart of all men? FUBAR!!

  • Ya know more than, Jonathan…you really do appear a tad sad in your life…no reason here to attack as ya did; there are some great points taken here.
    Now, if ya want to lash back at me, fine, no bother, but what ever level ya want to take it, this ol’ redneck West Texan will gladly accommodate.

    Ya might want to begin working on ways to rub off a bit of that hate you’re harboring, just saying…

  • Rudy Schellekens

    The problem lies in balance, action.
    Just maybe the need to ACT is greater than the need to PREACH social dogma.
    Just wondering. The focal point in preaching, the message is Christ and him crucified. Teaching how to live our lives follows that message.
    Our teaching should be focused in being imitators of God. And when we imitate God, our actions will be obvious.

  • Jonathan M

    Did you read the article. The author condemned 7000 plus preachers?? You’re nothing but a total hypocrite. I remember debating with you and you were coming to the defense of others, but someone attacks 7000 plus people you don’t like and I am the mean guy for pointing it out. Dude you’re an embarrassment to Texas and I have no desire to debate with you because I have already seen that you have no desire to bring glory to the Kingdom you just care about you ideology period. Funny how you have no problem condemning and saying nasty stuff about Trump supporters. Does God give you a pass on them since you view them not worthy.

  • Nimblewill

    This sounds just like evangelicals who say that people have turned their back’s Christ when they walk away from church.

  • LuckyTN

    After reading the comments, I have to wonder how many people actually read and focus on Jesus’ teachings? Try turning yourself off and Jesus on.

  • Kate Johnson

    Sadly, I’m completely unsurprised by this. There are always Pharisees, and they never fail to reveal themselves, with their fear based thinking, and us vs them mentality. That’s why we have to be led by Christ, not people.

  • Jessica

    The church is divided because we need both. We need to read the Word and also be able to apply with Love

  • Pastor Craig

    Feel free to correct me if I am wrong (no doubt someone will). Social Justice is a pursuit for equality whereas Social Activism is tipping the scales toward the oppressed; in this case, based on race, gender, sexual identity (and I would like to throw in political affiliation too). To hire someone, vote for someone or admit someone to college just because of their race is racist (think affirmative action); to do the same based on gender is sexist etc. These policies are, what I call, social activism and are offensive to me.

    To hire someone based on merit, with no regard to race, gender or gender identity is, to me social justice.

    Unfortunately, today’s progressives would call my definition and execution of “social justice” offensive because, to them, social justice means social activism on steroids. To today’s progressives, treating people as equal is called Nazi-ism; to show favor to their protected group is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic etc. By their standards, the only way to treat anyone in these protected groups is elevate them to exalted status and shower them with gold and jewels and rewards (you must hire them, you can’t fire them, you can’t arrest them, you must vote for them, etc).

    I am in total support of equality (my definition of social justice). I object to, and would sign my name to a letter saying as much, elevating any group to an honored or privileged status based on any external quality or label-du jour.

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” M.L. King. I guess MLK is out because he supported equality!

  • John C Holbert

    I find this to be true in so many ways! I have spent 50 years in churches as pastor and as preacher and as hearer, and even in so-called progressive places, the good news for the poor is too seldom heard.Thanks for this, and anyone who imagines that social justice is not at the very heart of the Bible is reading a very different Bible than I am.

  • BScriviner

    Oh, look, yet another so-called Christian perverting the Word of God.

  • BScriviner

    Wow. Sad.

  • Jonathan M

    I presume you are referring to the author of this ideological blog?

  • AWRM

    I just can’t understand it… how they could be so far off the mark?!

    You say SOME of the other prophets? First of all, Jeremiah would get all… well… “Jeremiah” on them. Followed by Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Amos, Joel, micah, hosea… they all went berzerk ranting at the phoney faith of the comfortable, highly esteemed and powerful religious people of their day. The parallels of the pre Babylonian Israelites and our current day church is very disturbing to me. Israel rejected the prophets and got a free trip to Babylon. We’ve rejected the words of the very Son of God… I shudder to think what lies ahead. Something “exceptional”, I suspect…

    It is so craaaazy! I actually can’t imagine that these people read the book they thump so loudly and so publicly. Lots of show and no substance… where have we seen that before?

  • SD Powell

    Should women be protected?

  • Apparently He does cowpunch…apparently he does…

    But besides that, how does the author, in your terms, condemn the 7000 preachers…do ya mean to jail, Hell, or to eternal damnation? How did he attack them…with grandpa Wilbert’s butcher knife, or did he simply express the fact that over 7,000 pastors signed onto John Macarthur’s divisive rhetoric then relayed his thoughts about it…

  • Helping the poor is probably the most important part of the gospel. Jesus said people will see our good works and glorify God because of them. It is wonderful God is glorified in lifting people up and helping our neighbors in any way we can. They will ask why we are doing this and we can point to Jesus, our example.

    In my opinion, the New Testament is clear about a Christian’s duty to government. We are to obey the laws unless the law asks us to worship anything or anyone other than our God; or if it asks us to do evil. There was only one true Theocracy in history, the Jewish Nation.

    God has not asked the United States to be a theocracy. Jesus never told Rome what they should be doing. Neither did the Apostles. Should they have? Should they have denounced the government for its cruelty, licentiousness and idolatry? Did God want them to do that? In a word, no.

    The Republicans broke the law of the land by not allowing President Obama choose a person for the Supreme Court. They want to change laws to go along with their theology. They want to force their morals on everyone in the country. They point to the founding fathers, who were mostly Deists. How about the Pilgrims who persecuted the Quakers and later those who burned witches? Not a good record for theocracy and religious governance.

  • Jonathan B. Smith

    Thank you for stating so eloquently what I was thinking.

  • Jonathan B. Smith

    Zactly! This dude is a Marxist-minded leftist who preaches a collectivist gospel. There is no repentance, no call to reject sin. The social justice movement seeks to amass worldly power, and there is no exhortation to make Christ Lord and Savior.

    Sad that Giles has rejected the true Gospel assuming that he accepted it at one time.

  • Timothy Weston

    Protected? In what way? Does that “protection” mean making their reproductive decisions for them?

  • Elgin

    While I agreed with much of what you say, I would differ on a few points. While we should help the poor, that is not, I believe, the most important part of the Gospel. I would also say that our duty does not end with the poor, although because of their need, they are a major focus. We are to care for those in prison, the sick, widows, our neighbors, in short everyone, even those we disagree with.

    As for your last paragraph, you are factually wrong. The President did nominate Merrick Garland, as was his right under the Constitution. The Senate, however also has a Constitutional role and given that it was the last year of Obama’s second term, choose not to consider the issue until after the election, thereby giving the people a voice in the process. You may not like what they did, but they were within their right under the Constitution to do so. As it turns out, the people did have a say given that surveys have shown that the Supreme Court was a significant factor in people’s voting for Trump.

    As for changing the laws to match their theology, this is also factually wrong. There are currently two competing views of the Constitution with each having many subfamilies of views. There are those who believe that the Constitution is to be understood as it was written, i.e., Originalists, and those believe the role of a Judge is to interpret the Constitution in light of the changing nature of society, i.e., the Living Constitution. The conflict is over legal theory, not theology and this is what has caused the growing political fights over Judges that Senator Kennedy launched in his floor speech against Bork in the 1980s

    The Left has counted on Liberal Judges to mandate much of their agenda that they could not get passed, or did not want to wait to get passed, into law in the normal fashion. The current uproar is because for the first time since the 1930s, it looks like there will be a majority of Originalists on the court and this puts much of the Left’s political agenda, which is rooted in the view of a living Constitution rather than the Constitution, at risk.

    You can certainly point to examples of intolerance and even evil committed by Christians in the past and sadly they are all too easy to find. But Christians or even the right are hardly the only source of such things. All have sinned and fallen short and thus such behavior is hardly confined merely to the right.

    In the modern era, it has been the Left, with their speech codes, Political Correctness, and censorship that has been forcing their view of morality on everyone. It is the Left that has tried to use the power of the state to force their version of morality on charity groups like the Little Sisters or the Poor. So maybe you should consider the beam before the splinter.

    Instead of demonizing those you disagree with, perhaps you should actually listen to them, rather than just accepting the hate-filled falsehoods spread about them. And yes, this is advice I frequently give to my friends on the right as well. Both sides need to attack less and listen more.

  • This entire document tremors with defensive anxiety over status loss in our society. It is sad, really.

  • Well, the church for the past 1500 years has not suffered for a “lack of knowledge.” Once the church began to collude with the “principalities and powers” of Rome following the Council of Nicaea, the die was cast. Faith became increasingly defined as intellectual assent to doctrinal statements designed to empower those entrenched in power positions, rather than simple faith in the work of Christ. Faith has come to mean Belief in those statements and has enabled all sorts of atrocities in the name of Christ. S. Baptists and their history of social injustices and the exploitation of people of color is one such example. Calvinism at its finest. The point is, doctrinal purity played little role advancing the Kingdom in society at large, conservative evangelicals preferring to “separate” themselves from what they saw as the evils of society in general, but refusing to acknowledge the enemy within.
    Conservative evangelicals are their own worst enemies as over the last century they have increasingly shown their hand as being at core, racist and xenophobic. The current interest in social justice, intersectionality and female empowerment is an indictment on conservatism in general. But rather than see it as an opportunity for authentic soul searching, men like MacArthur are threatened by it. They see it as threatening to the fortresses they have built, the books they’ve written, the flocks they’ve led and the theologies of complacency they so dearly cling to.
    Thank God this way of “doing church” is dying!

  • Keith, thanks for your thoughts. MacArthur brings to mind Paul’s warning in Ephesians about wrestling with “Principalities and Powers.” He is a man who has invested his life building an edifice to conservative, patriarchal and Calvinist doctrine. He has an invested, conflict of interest in maintaining that legacy. If one seriously believes that their doctrinal stance is based on an accurate assessment of an inerrant scripture, then there is no reason or cause for reassessment. It has long been my belief, and I would agree with Roger E. Olson on this, that classic reformed evangelicalism is not “reformable,” largely due to its assimilation of inerrancy for itself and its doctrinal positions. (see “Reformed and Always Reforming”)
    Intersectionality, radical feminism and social justice are, for MacArthur, competing ideologies that threaten the false narrative that he has built for himself. He may be sincere, but he is sincerely wrong. Nor does he recognize his perch built on White privilege, that in a position of privilege he believes he is best fit to lead the narrative on women, race, sexual minorities and poverty and the social interplay that leads to exploitation and marginalization.

  • M Diaz

    “Maybe none of them have ever read that Jesus was born into poverty. Or that Jesus blessed the poor.“

    Gee, let’s cherry pick the good bits from the Bible we like to keep it relevant and then whine about those who cherry pick the bits we don’t like…

    my goodness!!!
    Really? It is no secret Jesus resorted to hostility (condemnation and recieve God’s wrath in John 3) towards those who rejected him like a typical insecure bully…

  • Mary Lewis

    This is an example of how the scriptures are misinterpreted. You stated this question was sent out to Pastors, and they agreed.
    “We emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture.”

    What I see is pastors agreeing that lectures on social issues are not as vital to the health of the church as preaching the gospel. They are putting the gospel first. How can you interpret the question and answer as denial of Jesus Christ?

  • MacArthur comes from a long Christian pedigree of White males that claim the exclusive right for themselves to determine what is best for women and people of color. Those before him stoned the “prophets” like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King while years later paying lip service to the “sacrifices” those men and women payed in seeking social justice. Their forefathers stoned the prophets while their children build monuments to them, except in the South where good Christians would prefer statues to Confederate generals.
    MacArthur’s resistance to social justice is not surprising when you look into his alma mater, Bob Jones University.
    As was true of many Christian colleges and universities, Bob Jones was founded on segregationist principals, to uphold and strengthen White superiority, and separate Whites from undesirable “lesser” races. Following the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there was an explosion of private Christian schools, to avoid their precious White children from having to rub elbows with Black children.
    In the late 70’s Bob Jones risked losing government funding as a non-profit because of their segregationist policies against Blacks. A war ensued which Bob Jones eventually lost. When racism became an ugly word in society, conservative evangelicals were hard pressed to find a cause to rally their base to fight President Carter’s bid for a second term. They found it in abortion. Suddenly they had a cause that didn’t scream, “I am a racist!” Instead they began a concerted attack on women.
    It is from this Petri dish of latent racism and sexual repression of women that MacArthur arose.

  • Gregory Miller

    I didn’t sign John M.’s proclamation. But to say that those who did, “do not follow Jesus in any way, shape or form” is pure idiocy.

    Extremists like you kill your own credibility by painting with brooms and lacking much of anything that resembles thoughtfulness or sound, logical, sane reasoning.

    And your attempt to speak for Jesus is simply absurd.

  • Gregory, perfect example of White privilege “snowflakes.” When pushed back, conservative Whites get all incensed. MacArthur has been anything but shy in his incessant attacks on Pentecostals, Charismatics, Catholics, the Jesus Movement of the 70’s, the Women’s Movement, psychiatry in general, his disavowal of anything but young earth creationism. Anything that threatens or is contrary to his personal beliefs is “a threat to the Gospel.” It’s his “go to” defense.
    It is my belief that if one is going to attack others for their beliefs then they should not be all… “you can’t hit me back.” Bullies always can dish it out but seldom can take it in return.

  • SD Powell

    You know exactly what I mean. A pregnant woman is the only one capable of making a decision about an abortion. She does not need religious views inflicted on her that she doesn’t even follow. Abortions have occurred for centuries. Millions of living, breathing women who had friends and family who loved them died before Roe v. Wade. It is exceptionally arrogant that men actually think they have a say in this matter. Women will never again tolerate being subjugated by law based on religious zealotry.

  • Timothy Weston

    Thank you! I was not sure where you were coming from in your initial reply. My view is this: The decision about abortion should be up to the one who is pregnant and it should be made available safely without delay. I have seen “protection of women” as an excuse to take away that decision.

  • Mikkal VanPelt

    Yep. There’s nothing like actually quoting the words of a person to show that said person didn’t really mean what he said. So like quoting Cheebus kills his credibility. Can you say “hypocrite”?

  • Jonathan M

    Listen dude. I know you think you’re cool because you write blogs that maybe a 100 people read, but if you’re not smart enough to figure out what I’m talking about you’re not smart enough to debate. The fact is this author claimed that 7000 pastors who have dedicated their lives to serving Jesus didnt follow him. It’s funny that your leftist side cries anytime Trump or anyone says anything rude yet this person said 7000 who have dedicated their lives to something didn’t mean it. Wow what hypocrisy again and again from you. The irony is if this was a right winged article bashing abortion doctors because they dont hold up to their oath you would have your panties, yes I said panties, in a wad!

  • TxNetCop

    The Social Justice Movement was not born in heaven…that does not mean I am not a believer and follower of our risen Lord and Savior. The Social Justice movement seems to be from hell…

  • Marianne Aldrich

    “tipping the scales toward the oppressed”.

    So was Jesus being fair and balanced when he told the parable of everyone getting paid the same, whether they came to work at the beginning of the day or only toward the end?

    Equity, not equality, is the message of the gospels.

  • Joao Gemal

    This is, at the botton of the question, what is happenning, futher their social justice. There’s a person very well known that did the same, expending money with perfum while there are poors outside there. By the way his name is ( or was )Judas.

  • Marianne Aldrich

    So on the one hand the secular side of me completely agrees and is furious and disgusted with this so-called proclamation and how thoroughly it betrays the values I learned at the knees of my Christian grandmothers (one Catholic, one Methodist). But on the other hand, with the remnant Christianity that I can still lay claim too, I don’t see a blanket angry condemnation of 7000 people as having much truck with “turn the other cheek” or “judge not, lest ye be judged”. It’s true, they seemingly are not respecting those foundational tenets of Christianity either, when they issue such a statement – far less so in my personal opinion. But I believe it is *imperative* for progressive Christians to model the behavior we know is right, and demolish beliefs and actions as ungodly (to the best of our understanding), *not* other people. No one knows the truest measure of a person but God. We can reject their choices, reject their theology, reject the harm they do to others – but at the point where we reject *them* as people this categorically and unblinkingly, we are ourselves in error. (As I said, it’s an error I am prone to myself.) It seems clear to me that you are a deeply loving person in general, and that you can more clearly distinguish between your entirely reasonable wrath at this statement, and the people themselves, who will remain children of God no matter how much evil they wreak in the world. (And I say that as someone who has been the direct recipient of a significant amount of such evil….)

  • ” they do not follow Jesus in any way, shape or form.”
    these shock-jock fallacies of exaggeration had me opping out of the rest of the article. boring.

  • oh wait, i saw this crazy line, too:
    “”..deny lectures on social issues. are as vital ..as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture.” If that isn’t sad, I don’t know what is.”
    why would anyone put a man written lecture above scripture?
    what’s sad is the lack of logical argumenttation (making a valid and potentiall sound point) this author puts forward which reifies the bigotry agais the ‘social left’ as being incoherently judgmental and mean.

  • Elgin

    While I agreed with much of what you say, I would differ on a few points. While we should help the poor, that is not, I believe, the most important part of the Gospel. I would also say that our duty does not end with the poor, although because of their need, they are a major focus. We are to care for those in prison, the sick, widows, our neighbors, in short everyone, even those we disagree with.

    As for your last paragraph, you are factually wrong. The President did nominate Merrick Garland, as was his right under the Constitution. The Senate, however also has a Constitutional role and given that it was the last year of Obama’s second term, choose not to consider the issue until after the election, thereby giving the people a voice in the process. You may not like what they did, but they were within their right under the Constitution to do so. As it turns out, the people did have a say given that surveys have shown that the Supreme Court was a significant factor in people’s voting for Trump.

    As for changing the laws to match their theology, this is also factually wrong. There are currently two competing views of the Constitution with each having many subfamilies of views. There are those who believe that the Constitution is to be understood as it was written, i.e., Originalists, and those believe the role of a Judge is to interpret the Constitution in light of the changing nature of society, i.e., the Living Constitution. The conflict is over legal theory, not theology and this is what has caused the growing political fights over Judges that Senator Kennedy launched in his floor speech against Bork in the 1980s.

    The Left has counted on Liberal Judges to mandate much of their agenda that they could not get passed, or did not want to wait to get passed, into law in the normal fashion. The current uproar is because for the first time since the 1930s, it looks like there will be a majority of Originalists on the court and this puts much of the Left’s political agenda, which is rooted in the view of a living Constitution rather than the Constitution, at risk.
    You can certainly point to examples of intolerance and even evil committed by Christians in the past and sadly they are all too easy to find. But Christians or even the right are hardly the only source of such things. All have sinned and fallen short and thus such behavior is hardly confined merely to the right.

    In the modern era, it has been the Left, with their speech codes, Political Correctness, and censorship that has been forcing their view of morality on everyone. It is the Left that has tried to use the power of the state to force their version of morality on charity groups like the Little Sisters or the Poor. So maybe you should consider the beam before the splinter.

    Instead of demonizing those you disagree with, perhaps you should actually listen to them, rather than just accepting the hate-filled falsehoods spread about them. And yes, this is advice I frequently give to my friends on the right as well. Both sides need to attack less and listen more.

  • Alonzo

    It is quite apparent that Kieth Giles does not know how to read the Bible in context. It is also apparent that he imposes his own ideological interpretation onto the Bible and ignores biblical theology altogether. Giles creates a false dichotomy by placing social justice and McArthur opposite one another arbitrarily and then cherry picks biblical passages to support his faulty reasoning. The next time Giles writes an article, perhaps he should read the Bible without ignoring what it says. His approach is flat out wrong, because he totally ignores the authors’ intent in his citations and establishes his own philosophy around faulty reasoning for engaging in personal attack on a class of Christians. Bad form.

  • M Opinero

    Jesus responded to Judas and defended Mary’s actions because he is being prepared for his burial. This is the only instance it happened in the entire bible narrative. Whose burial are these people preparing now?

  • Elgin

    I am not sure what you are trying to say with the sentence, “This is, at the botton of the question, what is happenning, futher their social justice.”

  • Pastor Craig

    Are you suggesting that we should have a law that required everyone to get paid the same amount regardless of what they do? (if you are, please let me know because I would love to expound on this topic)

    I thought this parable was about how God chooses his elect. The parable starts with “For the kingdom of Heaven is like…” The moral being that He is as likely to choose a murderer who has a “come-to-Jesus” experience and seeks forgiveness over an upstanding, generous, virtuous person who doesn’t believe in Him.

    If, however, you believe that the parable is about economics, then the moral is that the landowner (business owner) has the right to pay the workers as they see fit; and if you get paid less than the person sitting next to you doing the same job, too bad, mind your own business.

    Just a thought.

    Definition of equity by Merriam-Webster: justice according to natural law or right; specifically freedom from bias or favoritism.
    Definition of equality by Merriam-Webster: the quality or state of being equal.

    Not sure I get your point, help me out! Tipping the scales toward the oppressed is “bias or favoritism” and thus not equity (or equality).

  • james warren

    Today’s Christians would rather worship Christ instead of following Jesus.

    Jesus’ parables [and he was remembered as someone who “taught ALL in parables”] overturned and dislocated the conventional wisdom of his day.

    Jesus was disturbing–then as now.

    “The Father makes his sun to shine on the evil and the good and lets the rain fall on both the righteous and the unrighteous.”
    “Why do you call ME good? Only God is good.”
    “Go and learn what this means: [God] desires mercy and NOT sacrifice.”
    “Pray to the Father in secret.”
    “Love your enemies.”

  • james warren

    Salvation is all about transformation in THIS life.
    Jesus did not announce himself as a blood sacrifice for sin.
    In his own words, he came to call people to repentance and to preach the Kingdom of God ON EARTH in parables.

  • james warren

    “Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not.”

  • james warren

    Jesus had nothing for the Gentiles. His message was to the House of Israel. He referred to Gentiles as “dogs” and mocked their praying style. His program was to send his followers to knock on peasant households and share food and do some healing.

    The so-called “Great Commission” is recorded only in Matthew’s gospel and is the first time anywhere in the gospel tradition that the risen Christ is said to have spoken any words.

    Any words attributed to the exalted Jesus are the product of the early church. No one, anywhere, at any time do people who are dead speak after they are dead.

    Matthew is the second gospel to be written. Note that in the first gospel, Mark (written in the early 70’s CE.), there is no narrative of the risen Christ ever appearing to anyone at any time and thus there is no opportunity for Jesus to be allowed to speak.

    According to the translation in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the words of the “Great Commission” are, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.”

    What do these words mean? First, let me state what they do not mean.

    They are not a challenge to become missionaries in order to evangelize the world and thus to make converts of all people to the Christian religion. That is a dreadful misconception based on the imperialism of Christianity that developed after Christianity became the established religion of the empire in the Fourth century CE.

    When Matthew’s gospel was written, the followers of Jesus were still members of the synagogue. The Christian community did not separate itself from the synagogue until about the year 88 C.E. which would have been within a decade after Matthew’s gospel was written.

  • james warren

    What specific knowledge are we talking about here?
    A focused look at Christian history tells us that everyone believes differently about who God is and what he wants.

    For me, Jesus is the “norm” of the Bible, and it is the God of Jesus that matters:

    Full of grace, mercy, justice, compassion, nonviolent, anti-tribal, and present in the corrupt and the unclean.

  • james warren

    I am a hypocrite.
    You are a hypocrite.
    We are all hypocrites.

    Jesus asked us to pay attention to the giant timbers in our own eyes before we deem to point out the tiny speck of sawdust in our neighbor’s.

    Hypocrisy is as new as today’s politics and as old as the Bible.

  • james warren

    Unfortunately, we have to be led by people’s interpretations of Jesus.

  • james warren

    Let’s get one thing straight.

    We ALL cherry-pick. We only have a limited lifetime to harvest those cherries we need from an infinite cherry orchard.

    Our personal thoughts, emotions, beliefs and character have to be picked.

    Everyone has their own unique bowl of cherries.

  • james warren

    Logic and rationality are not the ways we can express the passion and character of the God of Jesus.

    That’s why all of the world’s major faiths use the language of metaphor when articulating the divine.

  • james warren

    Sermon on the Mount shows careful readers a truly revolutionary set of teachings about poverty, debt, and other economic issues.

    It includes the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, the choice between honoring God and Mammon [Money & wealth] and God’s provision for the material needs of the people.

    The first main teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is the Beatitudes. Similar to how the phrase “the poor are with you always” has been used to justify poverty, the presence of “blessed are the poor in spirit” in the first Beatitude in Matthew (as opposed to Luke’s Sermon on the Plain, where he speaks simply of the “poor”) has often been used to spiritualize the gospel and claim that Jesus is not concerned with material/economic issues.

    Jesus was disturbing. He still is. People tend to domesticate his preaching so that they will remain comfortable and secure.

  • Thousands do chief and no I don’t think that, but I do know that I realize more substantive material than what your opinionated rhetoric could ever deliver…now back to the article, there was no condemnation…just pointing out what occurred as viewed from his lens.

    Perhaps one day, we might really have a debate in person eye-to-eye…perhaps wed both be a bit more mannerly…behave yourself ya here and lets truly debate.

    Now pray tell; where did the author of this article actually condemn those poor 7,000 wretched souls…

  • airstart

    You are so misguided, my friend. Jesus’ ministry was to the Jews, because that was His mission given to him by His Father,our God.
    You’ve obviously just read excerpts, bits and pieces from the Bible, and now you try to pass yourself off as an expert. Typical for atheists . Sound bites, out if context snippets, and hear say from other Biblically illiterate atheists. is the norm for you folks.
    If you actually read the book of Acts, you’ll see that the resurrected Jesus appointed Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul, as the Apostle to the Gentiles, while Peter, the leader of the disciples during Jesus’ ministry was sent to some Gentile people in Israel, as a result of a vision.
    If you’re going to dispute with a savvy Christian about the Bible, you should actually read it.
    Mark’s gospel may have been complete by 45 AD, and the other two synoptics were probably written and in circulation among the believers by 70 AD. John’s Gospel was probably written last of the 4. Paul’s letters had to be all written before 67 AD since Paul was beheaded by Nero about then.
    Since your obvious anti-Christian or probable atheistic worldview and your ignorance of Biblical Christianity is so pervasive, it probably doesn’t matter what I say anyway, but God is real and Jesus Christ, His Son loves you enough to die and raise again so you could avoid hell but it’s your choice, not mine. I’ve given you the truth.

  • airstart

    You continue to use the term “conservative evangelicals” like it was a social disease. Social justice is not included in the Biblical teaching , it’s an invention of the liberal Church, mostly Catholic, or main stream Protestantism. The ones that are most misguided of all. Their doctrines are predominantly preterism, amillennial, and replacement theology. and are entirely unbiblical. Jesus never taught social justice, He and the Apostles were pro charity, (especially in the early Church) but the social justice the liberals speak of, actually have nothing to do with Jesus’ teachings.
    Apart from winning converts, teaching and rescuing babies or lost souls, and praying for sick and infirm, the 1st / 2nd century Church “were” the poor and outcasts.
    If it weren’t for the Evangelical community, the Biblical truths would be lost to the Biblically illiterate, misguided liberal Christianity.
    Not that the Evangelicals are squeaky clean, but how many Baptists have you ever heard about who murder Catholics, Armenians, misguided liberal Christians, Emergent Church idiots, or even Protestants that believe they’re establishing some sort of pervasive millennial Kingdom by their social justice activities??

  • airstart

    You’re correct, however, the number of Parishes or Churches, that actually impart true knowledge, are dwindling. If you go to a prosperity gospel church like Joel Osteen’s or Kenneth Copeland, what you’ll hear is not related to the true Gospel. If you go to most mainstream protestant churches, you’ll hear the power of positive thinking taught, with a liberal dose of social justice, and a Catholic Mass you’ll get a Jesus cracker, a shot of wine to wash it down, and a lecture on the catechism.

  • jekylldoc

    I have to ask myself why a person who follows Jesus is bothering to oppose (not absent themselves from, but oppose) social justice. I am not going to read your book to find out what your answer is, but really, a proud declaration “We are against Social Justice”? What Christianity could possibly be motivating this?

    On the contrary, the obvious answer is a long history of racism disguising itself as Christianity in the United States of America. Speaking of using the name of God to support one’s own interests, standing in the community, and ultimately, oppression of others.

  • Jesus began his public ministry by quoting from the prophet Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed.” …”Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”… From the very onset Jesus identifies with the prophetic voice that is concerned with the poor, the disabled, the broken and the marginalized. The “Day of the Lord,” the coming Kingdom the prophets spoke of was not a day of Wrath (Jesus purposefully leaves that part of Isaiah out), but a day of Justice, a time when the world is made right and the physical as well as spiritual needs of all are met.
    You have brought up a lot of side issues unrelated to “social justice,” amillennialism, preterism, and replacement theology. I will not bother addressing them.

    Seriously, was the Early Church in a position economically or politically to to lobby the Roman government for social justice and equality? The fact that they were not only proves that they were not in a position to do much about it. Charity was indeed, the best a beleaguered, persecuted and poor community could muster up. No, what the real issue here is, not, what can the church do to elevate world hunger, income equality, etc., but what is the role responsible government is to play in social issues. The core issue for conservative evangelicals is a resentment of the government requiring more than simple charity to elevate human suffering. It is why most evangelicals I have encountered are Libertarians.

    Neither capitalism or democratic socialism are “Christian” systems. They are simply political ideals attempting to solve real world problems. The problem with “charity,” is that it cannot possibly meet the needs of the world’s poor, sick and economically exploited. The government is much better equipped than the church to meet those needs. The problem with capitalism is that it is basically exploitative. It leads to great wealth for a minute few, based on the sweat of a great many. In 1929 it failed and failed badly. Socialism bailed America out. Now, if conservative Christians were content with saying we will stick to a salvation message and leave social justice to the government all would be peachy. But that is not what they want. They wish to impede the government’s “intrusion” into this area, viewing it as “theft” of their pocketbooks. They are satisfied with putting a bandaid on these issues via charities. It is a me-first mentality.

    Your subsequent comments on “Baptists” reveal a total ignorance of how the church has contributed to social injustice. Read Mark Noll’s “The Civil War as Theological Crisis,” then tell me how evangelicalism isn’t a part of the problem and still is not.

  • TinnyWhistler

    How grateful we are that you and your church have figured it out.

  • DavidS

    I have always wondered why conservative evangelicals like McArthur focus on abortion as the number one topic when it is a topic the Bible doesn’t address. The Bible does address social justice , more than anything else, yet these Pastors would rather focus on the things it doesn’t talk about, like abortion and sexuality, rather than the things it does.

  • Elgin

    I would agree.

  • Elgin

    Well one of the reasons I reject the social justice movement is its placement of agenda ahead of truth. Rather than seeking what I actually believe, you simply fall back on repeating self-reinforcing demonization of those you disagree with. This is hardly an act of love, truth, or justice.

  • Elgin

    While I agreed with much of what you say, I would differ on a few points. While we should help the poor, that is not, I believe, the most important part of the Gospel. I would also say that our duty does not end with the poor, although because of their need, they are a major focus. We are to care for those in prison, the sick, widows, our neighbors, in short everyone, even those we disagree with.

    As for your last paragraph, you are factually wrong. The President did nominate Merrick Garland, as was his right under the Constitution. The Senate, however also has a Constitutional role and given that it was the last year of Obama’s second term, choose not to consider the issue until after the election, thereby giving the people a voice in the process. You may not like what they did, but they were within their right under the Constitution to do so. As it turns out, the people did have a say given that surveys have shown that the Supreme Court was a significant factor in people’s voting for Trump.

    As for changing the laws to match their theology, this is also factually wrong. There are currently two competing views of the Constitution with each having many subfamilies of views. There are those who believe that the Constitution is to be understood as it was written, i.e., Originalists, and those believe the role of a Judge is to interpret the Constitution in light of the changing nature of society, i.e., the Living Constitution. The conflict is over legal theory, not theology and this is what has caused the growing political fights over Judges that Senator Kennedy launched in his floor speech against Bork in the 1980s

    The Left has counted on Liberal Judges to mandate much of their agenda that they could not get passed, or did not want to wait to get passed, into law in the normal fashion. The current uproar is because for the first time since the 1930s, it looks like there will be a majority of Originalists on the court and this puts much of the Left’s political agenda, which is rooted in the view of a living Constitution rather than the Constitution, at risk.
    You can certainly point to examples of intolerance and even evil committed by Christians in the past and sadly they are all too easy to find. But Christians or even the right are hardly the only source of such things. All have sinned and fallen short and thus such behavior is hardly confined merely to the right.

    In the modern era, it has been the Left, with their speech codes, Political Correctness, and censorship that has been forcing their view of morality on everyone. It is the Left that has tried to use the power of the state to force their version of morality on charity groups like the Little Sisters or the Poor. So maybe you should consider the beam before the splinter.

    Instead of demonizing those you disagree with, perhaps you should actually listen to them, rather than just accepting the hate-filled falsehoods spread about them. And yes, this is advice I frequently give to my friends on the right as well. Both sides need to attack less and listen more.

  • jekylldoc

    Well, look, if I have to read your book to figure out what “truth” you are concerned about, then you are pretty much designing your own pretend proof that I am against truth. Why not just explain yourself?

    It has not been my experience that the social justice movement systematically resists or distorts truth. Like any movement (e.g. evangelical Christianity, or Progressive Christianity) there are acts of distortion and even deception in the name of furthering it. But that doesn’t mean the movement places agenda ahead of truth.

    It has been my experience, my whole life long, that Christians I knew have tried to cover their racism with weaselly quotation of Scripture, from “The poor you will always have with you” to “the sins of the fathers are visited on the children to the seventh generation.” I don’t prejudge whether you are part of it, but if you are unwilling to explain yourself, then, yes, it will probably be my default assumption.

  • Timothy Weston

    Sexuality is the most obvious: It is a tool that has been used since the dawn of man to control others, especially women. Abortion became a big deal in the late 1970s when a bunch of conservative Christians in the south lost a school segregation case and needed a new issue to rally around. That issue was abortion and it worked.

    The issues that the Bible does address holds the adherent accountable.

  • Marianne Aldrich

    The point of the parable is that the kingdom of God (in my view, the full experience of God’s love) is like that. That God loves everyone the same, and everyone can experience his love equally when they come to him with their heart open to receive it. My point was that someone who told a parable like that, and who preached the Sermon on the Mount, was very much *not* an “you get what you earn, don’t tip the scales” kinda person, but rather a “God loves the poor and oppressed and y’all should do everything you can to help them”. So it strikes me as absurd when Christian arguments are made against helping those who need it most. Which is exactly what “tipping the scales toward the oppressed” is. Just helping those who need it most. As Christians are enjoined to do.

  • I’ve been blocked by the “Spam” filter, so I will try again…
    —Jesus began his public ministry by quoting from the prophet Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed.” …”Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”… —From the very onset Jesus identifies with the prophetic voice that is concerned with the poor, the disabled, the broken and the marginalized. The “Day of the Lord,” the coming Kingdom the prophets spoke of was not a day of Wrath (Jesus purposefully leaves that part of Isaiah out), but a day of Justice, a time when the world is made right and the physical as well as spiritual needs of all are met.
    —You have brought up a lot of side issues unrelated to “social justice,” amillennialism, preterism, and replacement theology. I will not bother addressing them.
    —Seriously, was the Early Church in a position economically or politically to to lobby the Roman government for social justice and equality? The fact that they were not only proves that they were not in a position to do much about it. Charity was indeed, the best a beleaguered, persecuted and poor community could muster up. No, what the real issue here is, not, what can the church do to elevate world hunger, income equality, etc., but what is the role responsible government is to play in social issues. The core issue for conservative evangelicals is a resentment of the government requiring more than simple charity to elevate human suffering. It is why most evangelicals I have encountered are Libertarians.
    —Neither capitalism or democratic socialism are “Christian” systems. They are simply political ideals attempting to solve real world problems. The problem with “charity,” is that it cannot possibly meet the needs of the world’s poor, sick and economically exploited. The government is much better equipped than the church to meet those needs. The problem with capitalism is that it is basically exploitative. It leads to great wealth for a minute few, based on the sweat of a great many. In 1929 it failed and failed badly. Socialism bailed America out. Now, if conservative Christians were content with saying we will stick to a salvation message and leave social justice to the government all would be peachy. But that is not what they want. They wish to impede the government’s “intrusion” into this area, viewing it as “theft” of their pocketbooks. They are satisfied with putting a bandaid on these issues via charities. It is a me-first mentality.
    —Your subsequent comments on “Baptists” reveal a total ignorance of how the church has contributed to social injustice. Read Mark Noll’s “The Civil War as Theological Crisis,” then tell me how evangelicalism isn’t a part of the problem and still is not.

  • jekylldoc

    This is obvious denial. They focus on abortion because they consider it the ending of a life by another person. If you were talking about 3d trimester fetuses, I would agree with them. It’s a more complex question why it has come to take such a dominant role in their politics, but please, don’t indulge in fake condescension when the issue is a life.

    Consider the widespread use of abortion to end female fetuses. Do you think this is entirely a matter of privacy? The rest of society has no interest in those lives? I’m afraid I have some trouble with that view.

  • jekylldoc

    I live in a country where a fetus found to have Down syndrome will almost always be aborted. One response to this is: it’s a private matter. Another one is: that’s wrong. Let’s not oversimplify the actual issue because the politics have been slimy.

  • jekylldoc

    Democracy is not in the Bible, either. The question is not who is squeaky clean, the question is what we are called to support as followers of Jesus.

  • jekylldoc

    My reading is that capitalism (along with public education) has actually been the source of the great uplift of common people’s lives in the world. The democratic socialism of post-War Europe was built on the technological advances generated by crusty capitalists like Rockefeller and Ford. Unfortunately that does not mean capitalism continues to lift the average person’s life. It’s great contributions may be on the wane.

    Social justice is needed for our souls more than for the sake of equality or an end to “exploitation”. A graduate of Bob Jones University could not be expected to understand that.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Considering that 3rd trimester fetuses are usually viable, terminating a pregnancy at that stage can certainly just mean a C-section.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Capitalism must be effectively checked if it’s going to be helpful to common people. Labor laws are a great example of that.

    I don’t think that the US would be best served by tearing down the current economic system and sticking socialism in its place, but I’m frustrated enough at the rhetoric at this point that I’m no longer willing to rabbit-trail off into a discussion about definitions when someone calls me a communist for thinking that we should have a better healthcare system. The free market is not free if the consumer must buy exactly that product to survive. Insurers in a free healthcare market have no incentive to cover people who need it most. Obamacare sucks and we should do better, but what we had before was much closer to full-on social darwinism.

  • jekylldoc

    I read MacArthur’s statement. The resistance to any justice by government is dreadfully obvious, and the opening in terms of inerrancy tells you exactly where he and the others are coming from: “You must accept my doctrine because it comes from an inerrant source and I know what every verse means.” Jesus has been crucified over and over by so many Christians down through history, enslaving others, massacring others, oppressing others, dispossessing others, I’m not sure why anyone is surprised to see this popping up now. It comes in a long line of claiming the authority of the gospel even while repudiating its substance.

  • jekylldoc

    Fully agreed. Our healthcare system before Obamacare was cobbled together piecemeal, and we would all be a lot better off if we had nationalized it like much of Europe did. Ah, but that would be social justice, and we know that Jesus wasn’t really concerned with people’s health. Oh. Yeah.

  • jekylldoc

    There’s a week or two in there when viability is pretty iffy. My twins were born 10 weeks early, and were viable mainly because premature labor had been delayed so their mother could get steroid injections. My point is not to impose a time line, it is to point out that there is a “viable” issue, so to speak.

  • DavidS

    I’m not denying anything and there’s no ‘fake condescension’, just a genuine question.

  • Elgin

    Note: This is a reply to Belle Unruh post. I have posted 3 times but it keeps disappearing, so I will try posting as just a comment.

    While I agreed with much of what you say, I would differ on a few points. While we should help the poor, that is not, I believe, the most important part of the Gospel. I would also say that our duty does not end with the poor, although because of their need, they are a major focus. We are to care for those in prison, the sick, widows, our neighbors, in short everyone, even those we disagree with.

    As for your last paragraph, you are factually wrong. The President did nominate Merrick Garland, as was his right under the Constitution. The Senate, however also has a Constitutional role and given that it was the last year of Obama’s second term, choose not to consider the issue until after the election, thereby giving the people a voice in the process. You may not like what they did, but they were within their right under the Constitution to do so. As it turns out, the people did have a say given that surveys have shown that the Supreme Court was a significant factor in people’s voting for Trump.

    As for changing the laws to match their theology, this is also factually wrong. There are currently two competing views of the Constitution with each having many subfamilies of views. There are those who believe that the Constitution is to be understood as it was written, i.e., Originalists, and those believe the role of a Judge is to interpret the Constitution in light of the changing nature of society, i.e., the Living Constitution. The conflict is over legal theory, not theology and this is what has caused the growing political fights over Judges that Senator Kennedy launched in his floor speech against Bork in the 1980s.

    The Left has counted on Liberal Judges to mandate much of their agenda that they could not get passed, or did not want to wait to get passed, into law in the normal fashion. The current uproar is because for the first time since the 1930s, it looks like there will be a majority of Originalists on the court and this puts much of the Left’s political agenda, which is rooted in the view of a living Constitution rather than the Constitution, at risk.

    You can certainly point to examples of intolerance and even evil committed by Christians in the past and sadly they are all too easy to find. But Christians or even the right are hardly the only source of such things. All have sinned and fallen short and thus such behavior is hardly confined merely to the right.

    In the modern era, it has been the Left, with their speech codes, Political Correctness, and censorship that has been forcing their view of morality on everyone. It is the Left that has tried to use the power of the state to force their version of morality on charity groups like the Little Sisters or the Poor. So maybe you should consider the beam before the splinter.

    Instead of demonizing those you disagree with, perhaps you should actually listen to them, rather than just accepting the hate-filled falsehoods spread about them. And yes, this is advice I frequently give to my friends on the right as well. Both sides need to attack less and listen more.

  • Elgin

    You do not have to read my book. As for your experience, I cannot speak to that. I can only speak to my experience and what I have seen and read over last many decades and it would seem that our experiences are different. True some of this is in my book on Social Justice, some is in some of my other books, but some of it has been expressed in my post here, (though I have had to post my reply to Belle Unruh 4 times as it keeps disappearing for some reason). Granted these are replies to a blog and other comments, so there simply is not the space for a detailed exposition of my views and there a small book (my book on Social Justice) or in my larger books.

    Still my experience is that facts are not as important as the agenda for the Social Justice movement in particular and the Left in general. Sure, there are lot of exceptions on both sides, and there certainly is not enough space to go into a detailed justification here, but I believe the general rule holds and it has been my experience.

    I also believe that this is much of what lies behind the left’s demonization of those who disagree, as has been apparent in your post and many others here. For example, Giles and many of the commenters here have equated opposition to Social Justice with a lack of concern for the poor. Yet, as I say in my book, (so you do not have to read it unless you want the details), “yet this is countered by the well documented phenomena that those in groups that tend to support Social Justice give less to charity than those in groups that tend to oppose it.” Even when you control for religion, (since the secular as a rule give less) “the difference in giving is just not that significant, and if anything, actually gives the edge to those who oppose Social Justice.”

    So the facts are, even if you only focus on the religious, those who oppose Social Justice Movement are just as generous as those who support it. Yet those who oppose it are routinely and falsely attacked as not being concern, or as Giles put it, not following Jesus.

  • Pastor Craig

    I fully support helping the poor, regardless of the circumstances (I own a business–with every bill, I send a flyer and match my customers donations to selected charities). What I don’t approve of is forcing someone to give to the poor and calling it charity. I also object to the government (at any level but especially at the federal) running charities. Governments are corrupt and inefficient. Let me chose my charity and my dollar will do much much more.

  • Obscurely

    From the Rev’d Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” …

    “There was a time when the church was very powerful — in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.” But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment… By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

    “Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch defender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent — and often even vocal — sanction of things as they are.

    “But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.”

  • airstart

    Jesus was not a social worker, He didn’t actively promote social justice during His earthly ministry. He barely mentioned charitable pursuits. He said the poor will always be with us. He commanded His disciples to make disciples, not start a massive welfare state.
    The concept of liberal theology, that teaches the Church will fix the whole world, is nonsense. The world will not be fixed until the second coming. Jesus’ command was to go into all the world, preach the Gospel, make disciples. If you as a Christian can help someone in physical need, oppressed, or infirm, by all means do it, but remember this is secondary to making disciples.

  • airstart

    Charitable giving by the Church / Christians is just that, voluntary giving. What you’re advocating is gov’t coercion to force charitable giving. It ceases to be charity at that point, it’s using police power of the gov’t to take your property to give it to someone else, or even worse and more likely, to be squandered by an incompetent bureaucratic entity.
    I’m not a libertarian, but one doesn’t have to search very hard to find failed socialistic systems all over the world. This is essentially what you’re advocating. Socialism didn’t bail America out, WWII did. With the increased demand for industrialization, the US became the industrial power and world leader necessary for survival.
    Most of the so called “democratic socialists” , liberals, progressives, I know are ignoramuses, totally out of touch with reality, atheists, and completely clueless about world history, civics, US History, and are prime victims of groups like ANTIFA, and BLM. They have turned the gov’t into their god and have turned God into “the man upstairs”.
    Don’t hand me your drivel about Churches, or Baptists. If it weren’t for the religious organizations associated with Christianity, we wouldn’t have a country to be free in, and the progressive idiots wouldn’t have a decent university (full of liberal brain dead PhD’s) to further warp their already distorted little minds.

  • airstart

    Truth is true, whether you believe it or not.

  • Timothy Weston

    My guess is you’re in Iceland. If not, I am thinking that you are in a country with one of the best health care systems in the world. What happens in your country when the woman in question decides to carry the Down Syndrome fetus to full term?

  • jekylldoc

    And democracy was a waste of time? We should have just gotten all the aristocrats to be kind and loving Christian aristocrats? I don’t see it.

    In fact it is quite clear to me that Jesus did promote social justice. In many cases he did not have to: Zaccheaus understood intuively, when his heart opened. Asked how to inherit eternal life, Jesus said to sell your goods and follow him. The parable of Lazarus and the rich man tell us what will happen as we build better amusement parks and ignore the starving millions. His story of who were the sheep and the goats did not say, “you who believed a particular theology, you are sheep, and everybody else perishes.” Asked who is my neighbor (whom I am to love as myself) he gave us the story of the Good Samaritan. We are in this world to enact the self-giving love of God, which is how the Gospel is spread.

  • jekylldoc

    Not Iceland. Good medical care system, yes. I don’t know the ins and outs of the unusual cases, but one almost never sees people with Down syndrome in public here. Occasionally adults in a group home or special care context.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Again, it’s so lucky that you know exactly what that is.

  • jekylldoc

    Thanks for explaining. First, I don’t demonize evangelicals. I am aware of the alliances with racism, e.g. Lynchburg College, Bob Jones University, the founding of the Southern Baptists, and others, but I’m also aware that a lot of progress has been made, and when MacArthur, et. al. repudiate racism, I believe they are completely sincere. Their positions on sexism and LGBTQ rights are rather a different matter, but I also understand the religious roots of those views.

    Second, it appears that the statistics indicating that religious people give more are strongly skewed by including giving to church. I was not able to find studies who properly subtracted gifts to religious institutional structure (i.e. religious charities such as hospitals and homeless shelters should not be excluded) but the general shape of the breakdown in giving strongly suggests that gifts to the material and educational needs of others are actually lower for the religious. I well understand that – our gifts to church are the largest category of benevolent giving in my family, and I would give more to other human needs if we weren’t looking after our local congregation, but the fact remains it is a distortion to indicate greater concern by including church support.

    The problem creating a reaction from Giles, and to some extent from me, is overt opposition to correcting unjust social structures. MacArthur is more concerned about people claiming victimhood status than he is about police treating black people with more suspicion and hostility. From reading his statement you would detect no concern whatsoever for schools being seriously underfunded in neighborhoods with a lot of ethnic minorities. And the well-off who don’t want to pay to educate “other people’s children”? Beyond a general admonition to live a just life, these ministers of Jesus’ gospel are just crossing to the other side of the road. “Be warmed and filled and educate yourself somehow.” Honestly this is scandalous. If this is the best that Christians can do, it’s no wonder that millennials are divesting themselves of Christianity in great numbers.

  • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23e8a2108a7a3e185da739191ec9d1070b13433138877c788c6a07f45ae2b8f1.png
    “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”
    —Upstart, the problem for people such as yourself is willful ignorance of the past racist history of the church and its continuance in the presence. It is as if the enthusiastic involvement of the fundamentalist church in exploitation of people of color just never happened, or that it’s ancient history that just a few were involved in. Jesus’ message was never about reforming the Roman government. It was directed at social injustice and religious hypocrisy WITHIN RELIGION. This is what initially got Jesus in trouble. It was his prophetic indictment of the Jewish religious authorities using their power to exploit others. This is why many evangelicals will point out (correctly) that Jesus never tried to change the government or shame the government into social programs that benefited the poor, etc..
    —So here is where it gets awkward for the fundamentalist wing of evangelicalism. Historically they have been one of the prime perpetrators of social injustice in America. For the past 150 years, white fundamentalism has been a major hurdle for people of color and has systematically targeted people of color as well as Catholics, Jews, women, Gays, and a host of others. Bolstered with Bible verses and the assurance of an inerrant Bible, preachers in the South convinced their parishioners that God was behind their cause. Much like MacArthur, these pastors were convinced the abolitionist goals of the North were a threat to the Gospel and contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture.
    —As the government pushed for social justice for poor Blacks, fundamentalist Christians pushed back against reform, preferring to exploit others based on race for their own financial gain. It is almost as if the Pharisees were lifted out of first century Palestine and resurrected in the 19th century as Southern Christians. In the end Southern Christians were willing to go to war, claiming states rights. The American Civil War killed over 700,000 people. Sadly, losing the war for cessation did not change their hatred and oppression of Blacks. Instead, they sought all sorts of work-arounds to circumvent laws for Black equality. The next 100 years was spent trying to segregate and marginalize Blacks (and Hispanics) as much as possible and deny them quality of life.
    —It is sad that you see this as “drivel.” May God have mercy on your soul when you stand before him to explain what you have done about “the least of these.”

  • jekylldoc

    David, the long fight against infanticide, from the 17th to the 19th century, at times focused on social justice issues and at times on enforcement. It was a great wrong, dramatized by George Eliot’s great novel, Adam Bede. Many churches considered that battle against abortion to be taking up the same banner. On the other hand, the struggle against abortion was also a part of the Roman Catholic suppression of sexuality for pleasure, and has a nasty history of double-standard between men and women. Most evangelicals are fine with contraception and family planning, and many would like to see more done by the general society to ease the pressure that leads women to choose abortions.

    I still think the question you raised as to why evangelicals focus on abortion is looking the other way about a genuine issue. I don’t define it in the absolute terms they do, but get very tired of progressives pretending there is no moral issue.

  • jekylldoc

    Not that it has anything to do with this discussion, but you will find historians nearly unanimous that WWII was won by Joe Stalin and his command economy. By moving the factories beyond the Urals and working his people far past the point of human capacity, he turned out enough tanks to turn back the Nazi juggernaut. The Nazis used a much smaller part of their armies to deal with the Atlantic powers than against Russia.

  • DavidS

    There may be a moral issue but it isn’t an issue there is a scientific or theological consensus and and it isn’t an issue that the Bible addresses.

    The Netherlands have the lowest abortion rate in the world, not because they follow the demands of religious extremists, demonise women who have abortions and make it illegal, but because they focus on education, family planning and have contraception freely available for all. Perhaps this is an issue that is mainly about control rather than decreasing abortion.

  • Your reply to me has disappeared again, but I received it in my email. As for the left forcing their kind of morality on the country, I agee with you in some instances, namely the “bathroom law.” Unlike gay marriage, this law affects everyone. I’ve read about what happened in schools, gyms and locker room because of that law. I knew women and little girls would be subject to male nudity and sexual abuse through that law, and it has happened.

    The left is too far left and the right is in a place called, “Religion is the Answer.” I still say religion has no right to be allied with the government. We have the example of Jesus and the apostles who did not protest the government of their day.

    As for stopping President Obama from choosing a Supreme Court justice, I read many times it was illegal.

  • jekylldoc

    No doubt that is what is at the root of the evangelical obsession, but until about 60 years ago, the connection between sex outside “control” and ruined lives was pretty strong. In some countries the “control” issue is that use of abortion is controlling how many girl children actually get born. When an issue reaches a level of getting such an irresponsible person elected, it’s time to worry less about how to be right about it and more about how to communicate and persuade. Opening with “why should a Christian be concerned about that?” does not qualify as either.

  • DavidS

    So if control and power is at the root of the evangelical obsession, let’s look at things as they are today, not what they may have been 60 years ago.

  • jekylldoc

    Let’s not deny that there is a moral issue involved. After that, we can look at whatever aspects seem important. But if you try to skip over that, you are skipping over the heart of people’s moral orientation.

  • DavidS

    The moral issue isn’t black and white. But as I have said, I don’t think for the evangelical leadership, the moral issue is what’s driving them, and it is that leadership I was talking about.

  • jekylldoc

    What do you think about communication with, and possible persuasion of, individual evangelical voters?

  • I’m just going to respond to your invoking of Dr. King in this discussion. If you’re going to go there, you should be honest and not only use this popular snippet out of context from his famous speech. Dr. King was considered a dangerous extremist by most of the country when he was assassinated. And there was no love lost from the conservative white evangelical world. The famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was addressed to them remember. So, it both amuses and angers me when conservative Christians today act like they truly believe Dr. King was a great man(a ‘good negro’ as it were) and did things the ‘right’ way. That’s their whitewashed version of the man. The real MLK was much more radical than they want to admit now. http://time.com/5099513/martin-luther-king-day-myths/

  • “..In 1987, a Gallup Poll revealed that almost 75 percent of Americans had a favorable rating of King. That same year, when the Roper Center asked which American they respected and admired the most, Americans named King more than any other person (pdf), living or dead. Even now, if you ask any black person whose name do white people bring up whenever black anger gives them the heebie-jeebies, “Is that what MLK would have wanted?” is second only to “What would Jesus do?”

    White people love Martin Luther King Jr.

    For them, he is the standard-bearer for resistance while negotiating the minefield of white sensibilities. In the rewriting of history, King has been fashioned into an apologetic freedom fighter who carefully sidestepped white ire while pointing out inequality. They have cunningly backdated their admiration for King and the civil rights movement to prove that they have always stood on the side of justice.

    It is bullshit.

    In August 1966, less than two years before King was gunned down, when a Gallup Poll asked Americans for their opinion of King, 63 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of the civil rights icon. In a Harris Poll that same year, 95 percent of African-American respondents gave King a favorable rating.

    In that same Harris Poll, 54 percent of whites said that they would not march or protest if they “were in the same position as Negroes,” and two months later, in October 1966, 85 percent of whites (pdf) said that civil rights demonstrations hurt Negroes more than they helped. By December, many whites had changed their minds, but 50 percent told Harris pollsters that Martin Luther King Jr. hurt “the Negro cause of civil rights.”

    Why did King cause so much consternation among white people?

    Despite what they would have you believe, Martin Luther King Jr. never embraced “all Americans.” He was as pro-black as they came and spent much of his time calling out white people. Not only was he critical of the population of active racists, but he reserved much of his scorn for those who sat on the sidelines doing nothing.”
    https://www.theroot.com/from-most-hated-to-american-hero-the-whitewashing-of-m-1824258876

  • “While King did care about black and/or poor people in the United States and around the world, he was no American exceptionalist. “Don’t let anybody make you think God chose America as His divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world,” King once said.

    ‘It was an extraordinary speech’: the day I met Martin Luther King

    He also criticized how Americans “have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice” when “the fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor – both black and white, here and abroad”.

    And yet, modern-day Republicans and Democrats often speak as if they love King, even as they excoriate the real heirs to his legacy: the Black Lives Matter activists and other social justice warriors who fight for racial and economic liberation. But the truth is, many of these American politicians would have hated King when he was alive as much as they hypocritically dishonor his radical legacy today.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/15/martin-luther-king-jr-legacy-politicians-hypocrisy

  • And why don’t conservatives ever share these quotes?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hgwtd4X_qFM

  • DavidS

    I think communication is always good, if done in the right way.

  • Elgin

    The evangelical movement is not confident to confined to the south. True, many southern churches, have a despicable past, but then the church as a whole has not always lived up to the teachings of Jesus. Still, I believe it is wrong to slander an entire group with such a broad brush. My current church is rooted is the Midwest, and my current state was for the Union and the birthplace of the anti-slavery Republican party. I do not believe blood matters, and that skin color is no more important than hair color. Yet I have routinely been called a racist either by implication or directly over my life because I do not support liberal political positions or candidates. More recently I have been called a racist simply because I believe that blood does not matters, and that skin color is no more important than hair color. Frankly it gets a bit tiresome to try and have a discussion of relevant issues when the norm is to hardly get started before the race card, (or some other ad hominin attack) is played diverting the discussion from the issue.

    My primary points here were 1) Social Justice is a political movement and thus is not the same thing as concern for the poor. One can have concern for the poor and still reject Social Justice. 2) That I believe Giles was wrong to claim that people must agree with his views of Social Justice or they are not following Jesus. Yet here we are off on race.

    Frankly even if every other person who rejected Social Justice did so for racist reasons, that would not affect my critique one bit. That some arguments for a position are wrong, (or in this case evil) does not affect the truthfulness of other arguments, and to claim that it does is simply a logical fallacy and thus irrational.

    Frankly, I think the Social Justice movement does far more harm to the poor than good, and one of the reasons I reject it is because of my concern for the poor. But that you may disagree with me on this is not a reason for me to question your relationship with the Lord. We all follow Jesus imperfectly and I have enough issues with my own relationship to be worried about yours. I will still say what I believe to be true, but I try to avoid demonizing those who disagree. Thus, I believe Giles to be wrong here, but that is not a reason for me to question his relationship with the Lord.

    Finally I do not see the significance of removing churches from giving. Nearly all of the charity that is tracked is given to organizations. The churches I am aware of not only minister to their congregations, but also work in the community, and support people around the world, both financially, and with mission trips to various countries. I weekly work with pastors around the work in the counties of Haiti, Kenya, India, Pakistan, to name a few. I do not get paid for this, but rather work full time at a “normal job.” So churches do a lot of good in the communities and beyond.

  • Elgin

    Well I do agree the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to the human condition, but think the 1st Amendment was the correct way to deal with this.

    I have no doubt you have read it was illegal many times. It is a good example of how agenda is more important than truth. The simple fact is that the constitution give the Senate the confirmation role, and leave it up to the Senate to decide how they will handle it. Not filling a vacancy on the supreme court that occurs in the 8th year of a President’s term was not create by Republicans in Obama’s 8th year. Biden said it was the standard to be followed should a vacancy occur in Bush’s last year. So in many respects, Republican just carried out the Biden rule. Still even with Garland, you did not have the personal attacks that are so typical of Democrats. This all started with Democrat attacks on Bork. Simply compare the way each party has handled nominees from the opposite party since Bork and you will see a stark difference, the current nominee being yet another example.

  • wullaj

    How the actual F could a movement based on standing up for injustice be rooted in ‘hell’? Talk about actual heresy…

  • wullaj

    Jesus commanded it. Full stop.

  • wullaj

    It’s easy. Do what Jesus said to do. “Don’t be a douche” pretty much sums it up. If you are a being a douche, just stop it.

  • wullaj

    That last one is truly the hardest commandment to follow. Then, of course, the ‘biblicists’ say that ‘love’ could be punishment, since they believe the penal substitution hogwash (IMO).

  • wullaj

    The ‘gospel’ was to spread jesus’ message of counter-culture teachings. If you can’t see Jesus’ message of love, it’s because you have made god in your own image.

  • wullaj

    your opinions != truth.

  • Saying a person or group is “not following Jesus” is far different than saying because they don’t believe A. B. And C. They are not “Christians.” As Roger E. Olson in “Reformed and Always Reforming” the difference between the two is fences. Classic Christianity historically has been all about adherence to orthodox doctrine, about WHAT to believe. I think what is at work here is a group of people who pride themselves on orthodoxy: believing the “right” things. In practice their walk doesn’t match the talk. The obsession with right doctrine such as inerrancy has led the church further away from Christ than closer. Olson proposes we think of Christianity not as a circle with Christ at center, but rather simply as a center: Christ, to whom we can be either facing and heading towards, or as facing away and heading away from. In this scenario one can be theologically close to center but heading entirely in the wrong direction.

  • soter phile

    Jesus: “who do they say I am?”
    Peter: “some say Elijah, some Jeremiah, others say one of the prophets.”
    Jesus: “and who do YOU say that I am?”
    Peter: “you’re the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
    Jesus: “well… that’s just you. Everyone cherry picks. Everyone has their own bowl of cherries.”

    Somehow that’s not how I remember that conversation going…

  • soter phile

    Conservatives stress the preaching of the Gospel.
    Progressives stress the enacting of the Gospel.
    Jesus clearly commanded BOTH.

    Let’s quit dodging by pointing at each other’s failings.

  • airstart

    You’re totally clueless about the South, Southern Christians, or anything you associate with “fly over country”. I’d say, just from reading the foolishness you post, you’re from NY City or LA , Seattle or Portland and have never really lived or even read anything besides liberal narratives.
    I grew up in the South, during the Jim Crow era, and I’ve seen the changes. I’ve lived all over the country, both blue and red states, I’ve experienced the ignorance of liberal theology, and the total lack of the Gospel message in their Churches. As a matter of fact, a white lady (friend) tried to get married to a black man in a NW Washington protestant Church and the pastor refused to officiate. So much for your progressive worldview.
    If you had the slightest concept of Biblical theology, you wouldn’t embrace the idea of amillennialism, preterism, attempting to turn this fallen world into the Kingdom of God. It ain’t gonna happen until the King returns, which is another theological truth you’ve probably rejected.
    You may not want to go there (preterism, amillennialism, replacement theology) but these problems are associated with liberal Christianity and just another example of the bad theology like social justice.
    You refer to me as a “fundamentalist” as if you considered it a disease,. PS you’re also clueless about fundamentalism. Not that I care that a clueless liberal might call me a fundamentalist, but fundamentalists actually believe the Bible, and practice the Christianity that was taught by the Apostles. I listen to and read literature produced by a bunch of liberal theologians and one cannot distinguish the difference between their garbage and the humanist / atheist/ evolutionary crap that proceeds from the likes of Michael Muse, Richard Dawkins or a bunch of Harvard Professors of Religious Studies.

  • airstart

    I see you you’re not only a victim of relativism and public education (indoctrination) you’ve bought revisionist history hook line and sinker. You must be a very young PhD, fresh out of liberal academia indoctrination.

  • jekylldoc

    It must be scary to live in a world where every fact is hiding a left-wing conspiracy.

  • Elgin

    The evangelical movement is not confined to the south. True, many southern churches have a despicable past, but then the church as a whole has not always lived up to the teachings of Jesus. Still, I believe it is wrong to slander an entire group with such a broad brush particularly for things that happened before some of them were born.

    My current church is rooted is the Midwest. My current state was for the Union and the birthplace of the anti-slavery Republican party. I do not believe blood matters on bit, and that skin color is no more important than hair color. Yet over my life I have routinely been called a racist either by implication or directly because I do not support liberal political positions or candidates. More recently I have been called a racist simply because I believe that blood does not matters, and that skin color is no more important than hair color. Frankly it gets a bit tiresome to try and have a discussion of relevant issues when the norm is to hardly get started before the race card, (or some other ad hominin attack) is played diverting the discussion from the issue.

    My primary points here were 1) Social Justice is a political movement and thus is not the same thing as concern for the poor. One can have concern for the poor and still reject Social Justice. 2) I believe Giles was wrong to claim that people must agree with his views of Social Justice or they are not following Jesus. Yet here we are off on race.

    Frankly even if every other person who rejected Social Justice did so for racist reasons, that would not affect my critique one bit. That some arguments for a position are wrong, (or in this case evil) does not affect the truthfulness of other arguments, and to claim that it does is simply a logical fallacy and thus irrational.

    Frankly, I think the Social Justice movement does far more harm to the poor than good, and one of the reasons I reject it is because of my concern for the poor. But that you may disagree with me on this is not a reason for me to question your relationship with the Lord. We all follow Jesus imperfectly and I have enough issues with my own relationship to be worried about yours. I will still say what I believe to be true, but I try to avoid demonizing those who disagree. Thus, I believe Giles to be wrong here, but that is not a reason for me to question his relationship with the Lord.

    Finally I do not see the significance of removing churches from giving. Nearly all of the charity that is tracked is given to organizations. The churches I am aware of not only minister to their congregations, but also work in the community, and support people around the world, both financially, and with mission trips to various countries. I weekly work with pastors around the work in the counties of Haiti, Kenya, India, Pakistan, to name a few. I do not get paid for this, but rather work full time at a “normal job.” So churches do a lot of good in the communities and beyond.

  • Elgin

    I would somewhat agree. I think too often we get caught up in viewing the issue as Capitalism (little government oversight) or Socialism (at lot of government oversight). I am a free market Capitalist, but I believe government has a vital and important role. For me the issue is not should government regulate, but how it should regulate.

    I see the problem as much of Government regulation as been in the area of controlling how companies do things. This tends to limit choice and competition by creating barriers to entry that end up protecting the larger companies that can afford to play the government game. Granted there is some role for government here is terms of safety and health, but much of government regulation goes way beyond that.

    Rather I would rather see the focus of regulation move away from how companies do things and more onto ensuring that there is a competitive marketplace, and that consumers have real choices. Granted this would be a major change of focus, but I do think it would be better than the current system, though it would be opposed by the larger businesses that like the protection of the current system and those that see government as the only real solution.

    As for health care, I think there is pretty board agreement that the current system has major problems. But long before ObamaCare, it has been one of the most heavily regulated sectors of the economy. Yet, most of the innovation leading to better health care and savings have come from the areas of cosmetic surgery, one of the least regulated parts of healthcare, and because of the lack of insurance coverage for much of what they do, one that must compete in the marketplace.

  • TxNetCop

    It isn’t social justice at all..just an excuse to judge others!

  • jekylldoc

    There’s nothing revisionist about it, I am an economist, and I was born in the year of Sputnik. Want to take any more wild guesses?

  • Wow. Thank you for this post. Earlier today I wrote something on my own Patheos blog which in many ways echoes much of what you said here tho I only read yours just now. I have been so grieved by this latest MacArthur led fiasco. This year I have been focusing on learning more about what Jesus actually commanded us to do and learning how to obey those commands. Surely that should be the foundation of every Christians life wither we call ourselves evangelical or progressive.

    Does this post make me a progressive Christina I wonder? Will I find myself less welcome in evangelical circles as a result of it? What has happened to the evangelical movement of my youth and of people like david Wilkinson and Jackie Pulinger?

    My post (I’m going to go into it and link to yours).

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2018/09/jesus-gospel-of-social-justice/

  • Mr. James Parson

    I am an atheist, so as long as both of you leave me out of it, I don’t care.

  • My, what a convenient narrative you’ve built for yourself. You spout off theological views that are only a 100 years old then say as a fundamentalist you are espousing the views of the Early Church! Yeah, no chance of improving this world, so don’t even try. Very convenient. I was raised fundamentalist, dispensationalist, attended an evangelical college and graduated with a MA in Theology from Fuller, Pasadena, so you can’t bullshit me! It is you who seems blithely unaware not only of the Early Church, but even recent church history in the last 150 years. I bet you don’t even know that S. Baptists scrambled, following the Civil Rights Act of ‘64, to create private Christian schools so that their children didn’t have to be in school with Blacks.

    So like your president, deny, deny, deny! “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” Why do you think the SBC hesitated and initially turned down the resolution to condemn the Alt-Right and the roots of White Supremacy last year? What’s your alternate truth on that one? No problem condemning Planned Parenthood in the strongest terms , labeling abortion “murder.” (1) But a call to condemn an ideology that says Whites are the superior race…crickets!

    Read the SBC’s resolution on racism from 1995 to refresh your memory of how racism founded the S Baptist denomination and fueled the atrocities against Blacks following the Civil War. You don’t reform a White Nationalist organization like the SBC overnight. And you certainly don’t reform it by declaring the pursuit of Social Justice a “distraction form the gospel.”

    (1) it might be helpful to also understand the anti-abortion movement began among fundamentalists because racism was not working as a incentive to block Jimmy Carter’s second term. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/06/14/why-southern-baptists-cant-shake-their-racist-past/?utm_term=.21b50a95b0ba

    http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/897/resolution-on-racism

  • Atheists are having their own “come to Jesus” moment right now concerning social justice. Traditionally they have given even less to social causes and charities than theists (who do a pretty bad job of it themselves). This must change or atheism will become as socially irrelevant as the evangelical appeal to an inerrant Bible. Social justice is not just a religious impulse, nor is it just a religious obligation. We are all in this together.
    “Here are …the biggest mistakes the atheist movement has made, and what we can do better to fix them…
    Take diversity and inclusion seriously. The atheist movement’s roots in mostly white, mostly male, mostly upper-class people show all too clearly in its tendency to parade the same faces over and over, on the boards of influential secular organizations, on the speaker lineups of major atheist conferences and in the news stories that get written about the movement. Too often, an all-white or all-male slate is seen as the unremarkable norm.
    Pay more attention to issues of justice. Atheist organizations have traditionally focused on a narrowly defined set of causes: countering religious apologetics, debunking supernatural claims, defending separation of church and state…” (https://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_social_justice)

  • Mr. James Parson

    So are you going to leave people me out of it, or are you going to save us?

    As for me, I am mixed race and I am not particularly rich, not that that should make any difference.

  • What is it that you are asking to be left out of, social justice or the discussion of religion? Since you jumped into the discussion when you weren’t what we were discussing I am a bit confused as to your motives.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Maybe I work off a different definition of Social Justice. When I think of Social Justice, I think of compassion and empathy for people quite different that I am. Well I am different. I am a member of an minority that ignored. 20% of the population is atheist. How many member of Congress are openly atheist? Zero. Am I ever going reflect my values?

    There are Conservative Christians, Progressive Christians, and many others that don’t like those terms at all. I have to live in a society where Christians have all decided that I and people like me shouldn’t have a voice. So to expand on what I originally said,

    “I am an atheist, so as long as I don’t have be oppressed by your Gospel, I don’t care.”

    As soon as someone, like the original poster, says that the Gospel needs to be enacted, I know the oppression is coming. What are going to try to make me do for your Gospel. It makes me nervous.

  • —Well I can certainly empathize with your concerns and experience. Evangelicals have since the days of Billy Graham painted you as “the bad guys.” The truth of the matter is atheists are not a threat to theism. Theists themselves are. In the past evangelicals have declared “godless communism” is the boogie man, then it was the Women’s Movement, then it was secular humanism, then it was Gay Marriage. In between the constant was liberal theology and progressivism in general. You are not alone. I get caught between atheists AND fundamentalists, both taking shots at me.
    —As for theists being their own worst enemy, history has proven this over and over again. Your definition of social justice is the same as mine, by the way. Social justice is justice for all or it just isn’t justice. That is the basic problem with evangelical libertarian social justice. It’s highly selective. And as you have alluded to, it is power based. Those in control get to decide who benefits from their brave new world and who does not. In a theocratic “Christian America” atheists would definitely be third class citizens. We simply cannot let that happen.
    —So to answer your question about what we are trying to make you do for our gospel…nothing other than what responsible neighbors have always done, care for each other, do what one can for the poor, oppressed and marginalized.
    Peace

  • Mr. James Parson

    Thank you for your comment

  • Matthew

    @Elgin

    “It is a good example of how agenda is more important than truth. ”
    Oh there was an agenda, but you’re VERY WRONG about who was enacting it.

    “and leave it up to the Senate to decide how they will handle it.”
    The constitution is very clear on this. The presendate shall (IE must) appoint a new justice WITH advice and consent from the senate. IE the senate MUST give advice and consent. DOING NOTHING isn’t doing something, it’s not advising or consenting. In fact doing nothing is the exact opposite.

    “Biden said it was the standard to be followed should a vacancy occur in Bush’s last year. So in many respects, Republican just carried out the Biden rule.”

    Here’s the things about rules, they actually exist, and are voted on. The senate has official rules, and the ‘biden rule’ isn’t one of them. If a senator’s speech is enough to make a new rule, we’re f-ed as a country. As far as it occuring in the 8th year, so what? The rules in the constitution apply in the first year as much as they do in the last year. If you follow the constitution you don’t make exceptions just because it’s inconvenient to you.

    “This all started with Democrat attacks on Bork.”
    Bork was a horrible nomine promised a seat in exchange for political favorers who was rejected by Democrats AND Republicans. Nice false analogy though.

    The agenda is clear, it’s just not the one you’re trying to blame.

  • airstart

    Fuller Pasadena, no wonder your clueless, you probably voted for Gov Moonbeam 2 or three times. Fundamentalists and true Evangelicals are as scarce as water in Ca.
    You’ve obviously rejected Evangelicalism along with Biblical truth, and you’re extremely confused about the anti abortion movement, it began in ancient Israel, just read some of the Prophets and the Psalms. These Israelites considered a child as a blessing from God, regardless how it was conceived, or did you miss that part while you were getting all your fine degrees ?
    As far as racism goes, check out how the brown and black people of the fine Muslim faith treat non Muslims in their own country’s, regardless of their skin color.
    You spew crap about the Jim Crow south and the civil war as if you’ve actually read real history instead of the non history or the revisionist versions. I’m not old enough to remember the civil war, but I grew up in the Jim Crow south, but it’s the liberal democrats lead by Margaret Sanger’s philosophy (one of Hillary’s heroins) that has promoted abortion in the inner city. Blacks are human weeds according to Margaret Sanger.
    Jimmy Carter was a total incompetent, and one of the stupidest presidents we’ve ever elected. Just because you put an SBC in front of a name doesn’t some how translate into conservatism, Evangelicalism, or even good doctrine. If course with all your degrees, you should know that member churches in the SBC are independant, and the first century Church wouldn’t have survived if they didn’t financially support their members.
    Conservative Baptist Churches still do, but you may have noticed, we’re no longer the the first century church. Even today, struggling Christian Churches around the world are closer to the book of Acts.
    The entire Jim Crow South, most Churches included, were conservative democrats, KKK members, (including Sen Robt Byrd W.V. Grand Wizard
    of KKK chapter, another if Hillary’s heros.
    Your distorted view and errant doctrine just illustrates how liberal and out of touch your brand of Christianity is, since you really think you can fix the world with someone else’s money collected by a police power.
    And you refer to my worldview as a “convenient narrative”. Your worldview isn’t even Biblical.

  • airstart

    How about a New York liberal created in the pattern of de Blasio and Cumo or a left coast gov moonbeam clone.

  • airstart

    Facts and left wing are contradictory terms.

  • jekylldoc

    Left Coast is closer. So you are a climate denialist?

  • Yes!! I’m in the process of figuring out how it rolls, where does one’s trajectory take one once one hits a wall?… Bigotry, assumptions, prejudice,… Dry drunkenness… Cunning, baffling, powerful… Higher power giving Insight on a need-to-know basis MHO… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6cb988519b81a8d14c82c7a336109f28dbc97326c05dc6572995f0efa1942b57.png

  • I like this quote from Viktor Frankl:
    There are moments in life when we “do the right thing” and fill with spiritual joy. We don’t think about who may have been watching, if we’ll get credit, or how it may come back around. We just do it.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1fb8915816cea487de7b1325c58fe81e9c0b6b6a436177809818d3096e27d581.jpg

  • Let’s begin with a definition,
    Fact, a noun:
    “something that has actual existence”
    “an actual occurrence”
    “a piece of information presented as having objective reality”
    “the quality of being actual : ACTUALITY”
    —I think facts are important. Believing such I will attempt to bring some actual facts to our conversation.
    —Let’s look at what the Old Testament actually says about children rather than view it through James Dobson’s eyes:
    —Yes, the psalmist tells us children are a blessing from the Lord, Israelite children, that is. The children of heathen nations…well not so much. It would be like you saying fundamentalist children are a blessing from God, precious little bundles…but those little brats born to atheists, Catholics, Muslims and progressives, it would be better had their mothers wombs dried up. Lucky is the man who takes a baseball bat and smashes their little wicked heads in!
    —The Old Testament assumption was that God blessed Israel and cursed her neighbors. There was no call to love neighbor as in Jesus’ teachings. The OT taught that God approved of infanticide, rape, ripping women’s pregnant bellies open and used rape and infanticide as punishment for Israel’s enemies.
    —Hosea 13:6 “Samaria will bear her guilt because she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”
    —Isaiah 13 “Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be ravished. Behold, I will stir up against them the Medes, who have no regard for silver and no desire for gold. Their bows will dash young men to pieces; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; they will not look with pity on the children.”
    —Zechariah 14:2 “For I will gather all the nations for battle against Jerusalem, and the city will be captured, the houses looted, and the women ravished. Half of the city will go into captivity, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city.”
    —Hosea 14:10 “the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be demolished as Shalman devastated Beth-arbel in the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to pieces along with their children.”
    —Abortion, only mentioned once in scripture: Numbers 5:11-31. When a husband “suspects” his wife has been unfaithful, God tells Moses that she is to be brought before the priest and given a drink that would cause a miscarriage if she is pregnant.
    —I prefer Jesus’ teaching on children and enemies over the Bible’s.
    —Secondly, I am scratching my head over your next comment: “As far as racism goes, check out how the brown and black people of the fine Muslim faith treat non Muslims in their own country’s, regardless of their skin color.” Are you using racism in fundamentalist Muslim countries as an excuse to practice OT justice (eye for eye)? I know the Donald does.
    —Racism in the South following the Civil War. Now we get into LaLa Land. Where do you get your facts? Alex Jones? Yes the Jim Crow South were conservative Democrats, until Lyndon B. Johnson spoiled their party by initiating true racial reforms. Then there was a mass migration of good ol’ White boys to the Republican Party. The “Solid South” would never vote for a Democrat president again. The Republican Party of Abe Lincoln no longer exists. So the comparison between Jim Crow Democrats and Republicans based on 2 generations ago is no longer valid. Democrats saw the error of their forefathers. When the bad apples left to go to the Republican Party they infected it with their bile.
    —“Everyone supported the Civil Rights Act except the South. It was Southern politicians from both parties who voted against the legislation. The reason Republicans say they supported the bill is that there weren’t very many Southern Republicans in Congress in 1964.
    The Civil Rights Act was signed on July 2, 1964. In the presidential elections that year, 94 percent of nonwhite voters voted for Johnson boosting him to a win over Barry Goldwater.
    But Goldwater, a Republican, managed to win five Southern states in that election, which was unheard of for a Republican. How did Goldwater do that? He won those states by opposing the Civil Rights Act.
    After the bill passed, Strom Thurmond left the Democratic Party, as did many Southern whites. In 1968, he teamed up with Richard Nixon, the 1968 Republican presidential candidate, and convinced Nixon that a Republican could win the South if he was willing to dog-whistle racism to the Southern voters.
    Along with H.R. Haldeman, they developed the “Southern Strategy,” by emphasizing to white voters in the South that: “[T]he whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognized this while not appearing to.”
    Nixon won the 1968 election by carrying seven southern states, a remarkable feat for a Republican. In the 1972 election, he doubled down on the racist rhetoric and won every single state in the South.
    Since that election, no Democratic candidate has won a majority of the old Confederate states formerly known as the “Solid South.” The old Confederate states fused into a Republican voting block few Democrats have been able to penetrate.” (https://www.theroot.com/how-the-republican-party-became-the-party-of-racism-1827779221)
    —I hope you find these facts helpful in saving you from yourself. As always, peace.

  • airstart

    I see within a few sentences you eliminated the entiere Old Testament. When you obliterate the actual context, and sweep the entire Jewish /Gentile history away all that’s left is what the revisionists perceive as truth.

    You’ve already eliminated the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles and distorted most of the NT scriptures that even suggest we, (as Christians), should address world poverty and deprivation when we can. Compelling people to support big gov’t sponsored “social welfare”programs inspired by socialists is not what the NT teaches.

    Your version of recent American History is interesting, but not necessarily accurate. If it weren’t for republican majorities (not southern democrats ) in congress, and Vietnam, racial unrest, and the death of JFK, Johnson LBJ would have remained a third rate, crooked southern politician, (a democrat) who was so unpopular he wouldn’t even run for a second term. The infamous LBJ didn’t have a choice, he was so hated by northern republicans he had to smooze the black vote, but he stumbled up on a the secret strategy called civil rights. He said to his political allies, “If we pass civil rights, we’ll have those ni–ers voting democrat for the next hundred years” and it seems to be working. Then he followed up with all his so called “war on poverty” a failed social justice program, we’re still stuck with, that has cost the taxpayers trillions. Yes your version of revisionist history is a far cry from the reality that is. I’ve not only read true history, I’ve lived it.
    PS the majority of black voters were republicans since the civil war until LBJ adm. so LBJ was correct, except some are coming back to their senses and seeing exactly what the liberal social justice concept has done to their lives, their families, and their very independence.

  • airstart

    I just forgot to mention the left coast. Gov moonbeam is as hosed up as de Blasio. And yes, I presume you actually think Al Gore invented the internet also.

  • You know, with your imagination, you’d be great at writing children’s stories! You really should give it a try.

  • airstart

    I’ll leave the authorship of mind bending, imaginative fantasy stories to you, since you seem to enjoy it so much.

  • jekylldoc

    So you are a climate denialist?

  • jekylldoc

    It’s a great quote. Liberation from the false self.

  • But God is watching even in one’s closet MHO…
    Done secretly… Rewarded openly.. Whatever…. bring it!!

  • —“The results from a recent poll published by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Tea-Party-and-Religion.aspx) reveal what social scientists have known for a long time: White Evangelical Christians are the group least likely to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus. It is perhaps one of the strangest, most dumb-founding ironies in contemporary American culture.
    —“Evangelicals don’t exactly hate Jesus…They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can’t stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself — his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill — most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain.
    —“And this is nothing new. At the end of World War I, the more rabid, and often less educated Evangelicals decried the influence of the Social Gospel amongst liberal churches…In the 1950s, the anti-Social Gospel message piggybacked the rhetoric of anti-communism, which slashed and burned its way through the Old South and onward through the Sunbelt, turning liberal churches into vacant lots along the way…
    —“Church-to-church, sermon-to-sermon, evangelical preachers grew less comfortable with the fish and loaves Jesus who lived on earth, and more committed to the angry Jesus of the future. By the 1990s, this divine Terminator gained “most-favored Jesus status” among America’s mega churches; and with that, even the mention of the former “social justice” Messiah drove the socially conscious from their larger, meaner flock.
    —“they see in their religion what they want to see, and deny or despise the rest. That is, religion is one big Rorschach test. People look at the content of their religious tradition — its teachings, its creeds, its prophet’s proclamations — and they basically pick and choose what suits their own secular outlook. They see in their faith what they want to see as they live their daily lives, and simultaneously ignore the rest. And as is the case for most White Evangelical Christians, what they are ignoring is actually the very heart and soul of Jesus’s message — a message that emphasizes sharing, not greed. Peace-making, not war-mongering. Love, not violence.”

    Excerpts taken from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-zuckerman/why-evangelicals-hate-jes_b_830237.html?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003

  • Whaaat the?

  • Tsk, tsk. So much name calling! So much rage!

  • How does this song go?
    Who writes this music for you?
    Play another tune! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6cb988519b81a8d14c82c7a336109f28dbc97326c05dc6572995f0efa1942b57.png

  • Elgin

    I certainly would agree that both sides have agendas and act on them, but I do not see them as equally driven by them. As for “The constitution is very clear on this… the senate MUST give advice and consent.” Article 1 Section five says that “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings,” So the Senate gets to decide how it will handle its advice and consent duties. The advice was to wait until after the election and thus they did not consent. You may not like it, you can even think it was wrong, but it was not illegal or unconstitutional for them to do it.

    As for the Biden rule, true, it is not an official rule, but then do you really doubt that if Bush had had a vacancy in his last year the Democrats would not have done the same thing? The point is that Biden and the other democrats that supported him certainly did not think it was illegal or unconstitutional to do this.

    And of course you would demonize Bork, just like the Left demonizes virtually everyone they disagree with. But your demonization only proves my point. Often they justify it with tu quoque arguments, but here there is a very clear history. The politicization of Supreme Court nominees has a relatively short and clear history. It started with Bork, and continues up to the present nominee. Yet the Republican response has not been to respond with the same sort of slanderous demonization’s. One simply need to look at how nominees from both parties since Bork have been treated to see the difference.

    At the lower court it was not until Bush 43 that judges were filibustered, except in very rare cases. Still the democrats filibuster of Bush’s appointees was not illegal or unconstitutional, though it was at odds with Senate practice. Once Obama became the President the Republican did respond in kind, until Reed determined that rules of the Senate can be changed by a simple majority vote and thereby changed the rule to limit the filibuster. Thus, when McConnell used this to extend the restriction on the filibuster to the Supreme Court, he was really only completing a change that return things back where they were in 2000.

    In the current controversy, Senator Feinstein should have turned the letter over to the Chairman so it could have been investigated during the normal course of the hearings, instead of keeping it secret until the last minute. Given how this was handled by the Democrats, it hard for me not to conclude that this was all merely a pretext to try and delay the process. To them, they have their agenda, and are willing to say anything, do anything and smear anyone to achieve it. Frankly I find this dangerous.

    Oh sure, their accusations and charges sound plausible unless you understand how the process is supposed to work and has worked in the past. But the prosecution always sounds convincing until the defense starts to speak. But here in lies the problem, the left demonization mean they do not have to take any defense seriously. This is one of the key differences between the Left and the Right. As a general rule, the right looks at the Left and thinks they are wrong. The Left looks at the Right and thinks they are evil and why would you listen to anything an evil person says? Thus for the left, those on the right are guilty until proven innocent and even then evidence does not really matter.

  • TS (unami)

    Well said, Kirk

  • TS (unami)

    “Originalists”? Oh, please.
    The original founders were mostly Deists, not a specific branch of any form of Christianity.

    Do you really want to “go back” to the “original” way of legal understanding of the 1700s? You know, when people could still own slaves and women couldn’t vote or have any say in government? I don’t even have a husband to influence, so I guess I’d be a true Second-Class citizen.

    No thanks.

    The Constitution IS meant to be applied and amended to our own times.

  • TS (unami)

    I’ll bet you haven’t even read the document that MacArthur signed.

    But keep on praying for but passing by that homeless guy every day on the way to work…

  • TS (unami)

    And MacArthur, et al, feel smugly secure in their Calvinist theology that they couldn’t give a d*mn about a poor or sick person… after all, they’re probably not “The Elect” anyway…

    /#ObviousSarcasm

  • TS (unami)

    Oh, sure.
    “Preach” while watching the man in front of you for of hungry, exposure and sickness.

    And you think that actually *doing* social good for others is “bigotry”?

    SMH

  • TS (unami)

    So you think that they should not be held to public account for what they have said/signed publicly? Why not?

  • TS (unami)

    +1 Great analogy, Kirk

  • TS (unami)

    Wait… What?
    You don’t see Jesus doing social GOOD and standing up for justice for the oppressed? Seriously?

  • TS (unami)

    Not feeding the hungry is wrong? Not healing the sick is wrong? Not giving refugees a home and shelter is wrong? Not clothing the naked is wrong? Not sharing what you having willingly out of love for God and your neighbor is wrong?

    Have you NOT read the life and example and words of Christ in the Gospels?!?

  • TS (unami)

    BOOM!
    *mic drop*

  • TS (unami)

    Compare the statement with the example of Christ, please…

  • Matthew

    “The advice was to wait until after the election and thus they did not consent.”

    How odd for the ‘originalist constitution party’ to read into it something that’s never been there or done before. This is a brand new interpretation of ‘advise and consent’ that magically came into being just for Obama. If that sounds right to you, you have some thick glasses on.

    “The point is that Biden and the other democrats that supported him certainly did not think it was illegal or unconstitutional to do this”

    But they didn’t, did they? SOME democrats talked about doing it, ALL republicans did it. Conjecture vs actual. A few people on one side talked about it, the other side actually did it. Those two things are not equal.

    “And of course you would demonize Bork, just like the Left demonizes virtually everyone they disagree with. ”

    And YOU completely ignore the fact that Republicans voted against him too. It was BIPARTISAN.

    “Once Obama became the President the Republican did respond in kind”
    Democrats filibustered 10 nominees over 8 years. Republicans refused to do ANYTHING on hundreds of Obama’s nominees (A filibuster by any other name). And that’s AFTER removing the filibuster. Something that had to happen due to the judiciary being unable to process its caseload due to record obstructionism.

    “As a general rule, the right looks at the Left and thinks they are wrong.”

    Umm… Are you completely ignorant of the abortion debate? Or the religious debate? The Right looks at the Left as Baby killer devil worshiping evil atheists (Not sure how you can be an athiest and worshiping the devil, but I digress).

    “Thus for the left, those on the right are guilty until proven innocent and even then evidence does not really matter.”

    The left may do that, but remind me, how guilty is Hillary?

    Nice try.

  • TS (unami)

    Nice Dodge.
    Guess feeding the hungry and healing the sick just aren’t that important…

    /sarc

  • TS (unami)

    Try reading the article first.

  • TS (unami)

    Way to miss the point.

  • TS (unami)

    Funny that you overlook the actual example of Christ.

  • TS (unami)

    Explain how you can “serve Jesus” while ignoring His commands to care for the poor and needy?

  • TS (unami)

    (I’m totally copying “don’t be a douche” 🙂 Says it so succinctly.)

  • TS (unami)

    Why would they sign something they didn’t understand or read? Of course they did and that’s why they can be held accountable for their action.

  • TS (unami)

    The “agenda” of feeding the hungry is giving them food. The “agenda” of fighting discrimination against marginalized people is acknowledging their equal worth and dignity.

    Do you really think Jesus is opposed to those two examples of social justice?

  • Obscurely

    The New Testament puts it simply — “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

  • Obscurely

    This pastor thanks you for your boldly prophetic (and self-denying) words calling Christians back to their calling — we need more of us who can see the beam in our own eyes.

  • Obscurely

    I take respectful exception to your claim that “Christians have all decided that you and people like you shouldn’t have a voice” — there are millions of progressive Christians around the world who take heat from conservative Christians for insisting that everyone (including atheists) MUST have a voice.

    Also, since most progressive Christians and atheists are trying to build the same mutually tolerant world of justice and peace for ALL persons, why not build bridges with us instead of asking to be left alone? Thanks for listening …

  • Mr. James Parson

    Thank you for your comment.

  • TxNetCop

    Teach a man to fish and eat will eat the rest of his life, give a man a fish and he eats for one day!

  • TxNetCop

    Jesus never forced anyone to do anything…he gave imparted heavenly wisdom without forcing things down people’s throats!

  • TS (unami)

    Great.
    Refuse to give a starving man a fish and watch him die.

    SMH

  • TS (unami)

    Because walking by on the other side of the road, not helping others, not caring for them, not being the Hands of Christ to those in need is SO clearly what Jesus taught…

    /#ObviuosSarcasm

  • Alonzo

    Faulty argument of shifting the issue with an attempt of a non sequitur guilt trip.

    Try staying on topic and learn how to reason well.

  • Alonzo

    Do you always have others make your arguments for you and use non sequitur guilt trip while placing words in someone else’s mouth? Faulty arguments.

  • TS (unami)

    Did you bother to read the article? Or did you just jump to the defense of your favorite Calvinist expositor?

  • Alonzo

    Fallacy of false dilemma.

  • TS (unami)

    Like you did with your comments about the author further down the thread?

  • Alonzo

    You look white. So what does color of skin have to do with the argument? Faulty logic and guilt by association. Try using reason.

  • Alonzo

    More shifting the issue. You are blocked for faulty reasoning.

  • TS (unami)

    Your loss.
    You gloat about “faulty reasoning” while you offer none yourself.
    You claim a lack of context that the author holds yet fail to demonstrate such a lack.
    You claim to be a Christian and wish to deny social good to those in need.
    Your loss indeed.

  • Elgin

    “How odd for the ‘originalist constitution party’ to read into it something that’s never been there or done before.” Not really. That the senate sets its own rules has been there from the beginning.

    ”This is a brand new interpretation of ‘advise and consent’ that magically came into being just for Obama.” Thought it is what the Democrats said they would do to Bush. True they did not get the chance, but that hardly makes it magical.

    “And YOU completely ignore the fact that Republicans voted against him too. It was BIPARTISAN.” Sure the rejection of Bork was bi-partisan, as was the support. The parties were not as polarized then, and there were Liberal Republicans, as there were conservative democrats.

    But at least you have confirmed my statement that “Often they justify it with tu quoque arguments.”

    “The Right looks at the Left as Baby killer devil worshiping evil atheists” As someone from the right, I rarely ever hear such things said about the left and certainly do not believe it. When I do hear such things it is from the fringe, which I and most on the right reject. I try not judge either side based on their fringe. Yet I routinely see prominent leaders on the left demonizing those they disagree.

    “The left may do that, but remind me, how guilty is Hillary?”
    She is innocent until proven guilty, I simply call for a fair and equal investigation. For example, Andrew C. McCarthy has thoroughly documented the difference between the Clinton and Trump investigations. I do not point to this to say that they should go easy on Trump. Only that there not be a double standard, which there clearly is.

    But I am used to the double standard. For me this is a defining example of the difference between the Left and Right. When there was clear evidence that Nixon had committed obstruction of Justice, Republicans went to the White House and called on him to resign, and they were right to do so. When there was clear evidence the Clinton had, like Nixon, committed obstruction of justice plus had also committed perjury, Democrats went to the White House and held a pep-rally. No amount of evidence matters, and that he later plead guilty does not matter. The left defends its own in a way and to an extent that the Right does not.

  • Elgin

    No, but this is a fairly narrow and self-serving definition of Social Justice. If that was all there was to social justice, I would be on board, except that I would wonder why you needed to add the word Social.

  • Matthew

    “Not really. That the senate sets its own rules has been there from the beginning.” Oh they absolutely do, but they tend to be voted on, not magically pulled from a 20 year old floor speech. A new interpretation of the consituation, something never before seen put into practice would consituate a new rule, a new procedure. There’s a list of those, they’re called senate rules. And senate rules are voted on. But the toothpaste is out of the tube now. The standered will quickly become: Whoever owns the Senate gets to pick the new SCJ or their will not be one until something changes in the election.

    “Thought it is what the Democrats said they would do to Bush. True they did not get the chance, but that hardly makes it magical.”
    So your argument is that they theoretically would have, and that justifies Republicans actually doing it? Seriously?

    “As someone from the right, I rarely ever hear such things said about the left and certainly do not believe it”

    As someone on the left I’ve seen these attacks as the mainstream views. I’ve seen preeminent leaders on the right demonizing those they disagree with, the lynch mob out for Hillary’s blood, and the double standard you cry against being implemented by the Right. You might want to pay more attention.

    Every argument you’ve come forward with I’ve seen the Left commit, true, but I’ve seen the Right commit them as well (I’ll argue about who commits them more or to what extreme until we’re both blue in the face though. Both sides like to write off their ‘fringe’ groups as just that and mainstream their oppoints views as the truth.). The fact that you act like they’re not just as (Moreso imho) guilty shows me that you’re not paying attention, or you’re just as guilty in writing off the Right’s attacks on the Left as ‘fringe’ as the left’s attacks on the right as ‘mainstream’, which is a very biased way of justifying your own point of view and demonizing your opponents (you know, the very thing you say only the left does).

    Congratulations on being a (mostly) reasonable republican, but you’re fooling yourself if you think you’re the normal.

  • TS (unami)

    It was narrow because I only gave two examples 🙂

    We use the word social because it involves other people.

  • Obscurely

    Please don’t keep quiet — we need your voice!

  • Elgin

    Except there is just the fact that Republicans have not resorted to the same sorts of personal smears and character assignations against judicial nominees for the Supreme Court that we have seen since Democrats do since Bork, and are now seeing yet again. One just has to look at the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices since Bork.

  • Elgin

    And Justice does not involve other people? Again I go back to my main points is that Social Justice is a political movement that involves much more than just concern for the poor. We can both be concerned for the poor and differ in our belief as to how to best serve them.

  • Elgin

    That is the Living Constitution view. I disagree, because it means we are ultimately not under the rule of law, but whoever is the current majority of the Supreme Court. If the Constitution needs be changed, then amend it though the Constitutional process.

  • TS (unami)

    Wait… I just *said* that it involves other people. How could you infer otherwise?

    I really don’t care what you label it — if this group is feeding the hungry and that group is just talking about it… Well, I’m going with the hands-on group of people *actually feeding* hungry people.

  • TS (unami)

    That’s what I just said!
    Here it is again:
    >> “The Constitution IS meant to be applied and amended to our own times.

  • Obscurely

    Those 7,000 pastors might want to check with the Boss 🙂 — at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus himself explained (in Luke 4) the reason for his coming in these words (quoting the prophet Isaiah):

    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me.
    He has sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    to proclaim release to the prisoners
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
    to liberate the oppressed,
    and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

  • Elgin

    I didn’t infer otherwise. You are so quick to condemn that you missed the point. You said you add the word Social because it involves other people. My point is that justice by itself also involves other people, and as such your claim is unwarranted. In addition, some of the groups feeding the poor do not agree with the social justice movement. It is not feeding the poor that those who oppose Social Justice have a problem with. So again you conclusions are unwarranted.

  • TS (unami)

    Ummm, I’m not condemning you or anyone.
    Sounds like maybe you’re hung up on semantics?

  • Elgin

    Ok, but my primary objections to Giles main point still stands. The social justice movement is more than just concern for the poor, and therefore it is wrong to claim those who opposes social justice are not following Jesus because Jesus was concerned for the poor.

  • TS (unami)

    We can disagree and part ways peacefully.
    Have a good evening 🙂

  • Pastor Craig

    I see that I have unintentionally stirred up a hornets nest. My apologies for bringing such strong feelings to the surface.

    Over the course of my life I have quoted many, many people. Some I know well, others I haven’t even heard of. By quoting someone, I am merely noting that this person has made my point more eloquently than I could. That I use that quote certainly doesn’t imply that I support their movement or everything they ever did. I merely seek to borrow a cogent phrase.

    Also, I resent being lumped in with “conservative white Evangelicals”. Just as not all blacks are alike, not all “Black Lives Matter” followers are alike and not all Democrats are alike, not all conservatives are alike, not all whites are alike and not all Evangelicals are alike (btw, you only got one of the three right). Am I woefully ignorant of the civil rights movement of the 60’s, yes I was born in 1966. Am I woefully ignorant of the plight of blacks today, yes–I am white. Would I have joined the “oppose civil rights movement” when MLK was alive, I can’t say–it was a different time (which I am not saying is right) and I may very well have been caught up in fight for the status quo since we whites were emboldened to oppress blacks. This does not mean, in any way shape or form, that I oppose the civil rights movement of today. This does not mean I don’t sympathize with the plight of blacks today. Please don’t judge me based on my ancestors.

    In a sermon several months ago, I stated that I questioned the actions of the Black Lives Matter movement–particularly the violence. But then I pointed out to my all-white congregation, that I can’t and won’t judge because I have absolutely no clue what these people have been through. I don’t know the daily pain of being black today. I do know that they have tried and tried to change things “the white way” through letters, speeches, voting etc. and have made very little progress. If a riot is the only way to get the country’s attention, then I support them–we do what we must to initiate change.

    I have great sympathy or the plight of blacks today, but I cannot understand because I am not and never will be black. And for that reason I do not judge.

    Again I apologize for raising your ire.

  • Elgin

    Except that it is to be changed through the amendment process, not because 5 Judges can be found who think it needs to be changed. Either we are under the rule of Law and the Constitution is the ultimate law of the law of the land, or we are under the rule of Judges, and the Constitution is whatever the current majority on the Supreme Court says it is.

    I believe Judges should be bound by the Constitution. You apparently believe Judges should control the Constitution. I see your view as extremely dangerous because it destroys the rule of law and replaces it with the rule of people, and there is a very clear history where that leads.

  • TS (unami)

    NO — you STILL aren’t paying attention!

    I said “amended” which is the AMENDMENT PROCESS.
    WHICH MEANS CONGRESS, not “five judges”.

    Since you continue trying to put words in my mouth, we’re done.
    Have a nice day.

  • Elgin

    Sorry for the duplicate, I though the first one did not post.

  • Triggerman1976

    Do you normally make blatant misrepresentation of people that you disagree with or do you not care about accurately representing your opponents?

  • Triggerman1976

    Have you even bothered to read the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel? I mean it’s interesting that Giles takes one sentence (misquoted at that) out of a particular context and makes an entire (false) argument out of it. (Hint: it comes out of an argument on racism in Article XIII)

  • Elgin

    Well I apologize if I miss understood you. I outlined two theories of the Constitution and you seemed to be disagreeing with the side I hold. Now it looks like you were only disagreeing with overall label in favor of one of the sub-families. As long as you reject the Living Constitution view that is dominate on the Left, then we are in agreement.

  • TinnyWhistler

    I mean, I’d love to see some overhaul of the regulations we have in place, but I’m very wary of “deregulation for deregulation’s sake”

    In my ideal fantasy world, anyone who wants to remove a regulation has to demonstrate they understand WHY the regulation was put into place in the first place and then demonstrate why that concern is no longer a problem such that the regulation can be safely removed.

    “We promise not to” from companies really, REAALLY isn’t a good enough reason.

  • Obscurely

    Here’s a link to the Statement on Social Justice in question …
    https://statementonsocialjustice.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/SSJG-FINAL.pdf

  • Obscurely

    Thanks for your comment! Yes, I read the whole Statement. My view as a progressive pastor is that social transformation is what the Gospel is FOR — I’ll expand on this idea more at the top of this thread soon, so others can see it …

  • Obscurely

    In a section titled “Racism”, the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel states this: “WE AFFIRM that racism is a sin rooted in pride and malice which must be condemned and renounced by all who would honor the image of God in all people. Such racial sin can subtly or overtly manifest itself as racial animosity or racial vainglory. Such sinful prejudice or partiality falls short of God’s revealed will and violates the royal law of love. We affirm that virtually all cultures, including our own, at times contain laws and systems that foster racist attitudes and policies.” (Here’s a link to the full statement — https://statementonsocialjustice.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/SSJG-FINAL.pdf)

    Only AFTER stating that (and more) does the offending quote in the post appear, “we emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture.”

    The paragraph above (beginning “We affirm”) is describing a social/human condition that the Gospel is intended to TRANSFORM — or to put it the words of N.T. Wright, “In Christ Jesus the new and true way of being human has been launched upon the world.”

    As a progressive pastor, where I differ from the Statement is in my conviction that this transformation of our individual and collective human being cannot be separated from the proclamation of the Gospel itself — as the New Testament puts it, “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

  • Obscurely

    Just posted my response to you at the top of this thread …

  • Triggerman1976

    Then you’re missing the point of the Gospel because it’s NOT about social transformation. While social transformation can occur, and the good reign of God over his people in the proclamation of his holiness and justice cannot help but produce that, it is not the end goal of the proclamation of the Good News. It is about God saving a people unto himself to his glory.

  • Obscurely

    Is this your response to my longer post above? if so, do you mind if I copy it there in my reply?

  • Marianne Aldrich

    100 percent they should be held to public account. But also, ” Jesus might not recognize them when he sees them face-to-face one day.” isn’t holding them to public account, it’s poor, uncharitable theology. That’s all I was disputing. Challenge the behaviors and the beliefs- which most *certainly* includes issuing such statments – not whether or not people are known by God.

  • Elgin

    For me the issues are whether the regulation was put in to increase control or competition and whether or not it was actually effective.

  • TS (unami)

    Marianne, I *never* said anything to dispute their relationship with God!

  • TinnyWhistler

    Some of the “increase control” stuff is necessary. Some of the competition-related stuff may no longer be. That’s why an analysis of the reasons why something was deemed necessary in the first place and how the situation has changed or not would be important.

  • cipher
  • cipher

    Still even with Garland, you did not have the personal attacks that are so typical of Democrats.

  • Marianne Aldrich

    And I never said anything to dispute that they should be held to account. The quote in my comment is a direct quote from the author of the piece, to whom I was responding in the comment you were originally responding to.

  • Elgin

    True, but I believe the overwhelm focus at the moment is on the government controlling how things are done rather than on encouraging competition and let the market decide.

  • jekylldoc

    I’m not sure why Obamacare sucks, except in the sense that all approaches have some problem, but I think you have understood well how things are. I would think Medicare for all would be an improvement, but not a great one.

  • Elgin

    Not sure how I did that,.Which of Clinton’s or Obama Supreme Court nominees had to face the character destruction that republicans had to face?

  • TinnyWhistler

    Obamacare is a “throw government money at it” solution that does nothing to address *why* healthcare is so expensive and inefficient in the US.

  • jekylldoc

    I think of it as a way to get pre-existing conditions covered, but I agree it does not address the root cost issues. By maintaining a competitive market, we encourage the system to economize, but places with no competition are sometimes charged exorbitantly. No reason to think government negotiation (or running the whole thing) would do less well at keeping cost down.

  • TinnyWhistler

    The market cannot be competitive in its current state.

    I don’t think an effectively competitive market and a single payer system are mutually exclusive. If the gov’t cracks down on things like silly patent extensions and artificial scarcity while also focusing on allocating enough resources to actually test and greenlight alternatives that otherwise get bogged down in the FDA, we’ll be moving in the right direction. If we have effective competition combined with one consumer with an incredible amount of buying power, that’d theoretically be WAY better than what we have now.

    The problem is getting there, especially since medical industry is such a HUGE donor to both parties. That’s why I don’t like Obamacare as a solution. It’s a bandaid that’s keeping people from dying but at WAY greater cost to the entire country than it needs to since it’s just propping up the same old bloat. It’s like a bandaid over a gaping wound: technically better than nothing but still not fixing anything and simply delaying the issue.

  • injunear1

    The author has a distorted view of the Gospel which is ” Christ died for our sin according to the Scripture, was buried, and rose the third day according to Scripture.” This is the Gospel that brings eternal life. The social gospel does not. The 7000 plus pastors mentioned are following the Gospel and it is only the opinion of the author that they do not follow Christ. Jesus Himself rebuked those following Him for bread and to see miracles.

  • injunear1

    So why do so many American women exalt Islam!

  • SD Powell

    Seriously? Where did you get this brilliant “assumption?”