By Jan MarkellOlive Tree Ministries
Jim Wallis wants to re-define evangelicalism. I find that scary and will explain why. Over the decades, it has become more and more difficult to give evangelicalism a definition as it has been morphing. But Wallis insists that he is much more conservative than his friends who make up the "religious Left" when, in reality, he is their fearless leader. He is respected by the White House and even by many evangelicals who lean Left on social issues. Do a Google search on Wallis and you'll come up with 4,500,000 hits. He's been a busy guy!
I don't know his heart today. Maybe it has changed since his radical days when he was a blatant Marxist. Wallis says Jesus is demonstrating with the Wall Street protestors and that they sound like the biblical prophets of the Bible, too. That's giving some undeserved credit to a rag-tag bunch of loonies who just don't like capitalism but then neither does Wallis. He says they're changing the direction of our nation and I say God help us if true. And say what you want, Jesus was not a socialist even though anyone left of center insists He was.
In an interview I gave during my Understanding the Times 2011 conference last week, I reflected on the modern history of evangelicalism. Although I wasn't around in 1942 (and that might be shocking to two people who asked me if I started in ministry in the 1940s), that was the year less than 150 evangelicals met in St. Louis to begin the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE).
By their attendance at the meeting, they were saying that they had seen enough of a spotlight on social justice and human rights issues. They suggested the social issues be left to the Federal Council of Churches which would become the National Council of Churches. The NAE would focus on salvation issues, the authority of Scripture, and spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. They would focus like a laser beam on feeding the soul first and the stomach second. Jim Wallis would not have been a good fit for membership in the National Association of Evangelicals and shouldn't be a good fit today! Yet, this radical Leftist is trying to redefine conservative Christianity.
Dr. David Noebel says it so much better than most others when he states,
"Wallis and his Sojourners' community of fellow travelers believe Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the other revolutionary forces, are the Communist paradises the U.S. needs to emulate in order to establish 'social justice.' Wallis, together with Jeremiah Wright, rallied support for the Communist Nicaraguan regime and protested actions by the U.S. which supported the anti-Communist contra rebels." Ronald Nash writes in his book, Why the Left Is Not Right,
"Over the years, Wallis has been pro-Vietcong and he gloried in America's defeat in Viet Nam. He said,
'I don't know how else to express the quiet emotion that rushed through me when the news reports showed that the United States had finally been defeated in Viet Nam.' For Wallis, a good Christian is someone who is pro-Communist and pro-Socialist." Now you see why I am nervous that Wallis wants to redefine what I have been most of my life - an evangelical. And, I am uncomfortable that he is making giant inroads with people who should know better. I thank God for the religious Left watchdogs known as the Institute for Religion and Democracy, but even they call Wallis a member of the Evangelical Left. There was a time when that was an oxymoron. How I long for those days!
Wallis showed up at my alma mater a couple years ago, Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. His redistribute-the-wealth agenda goes over big! The overflow crowd gave him a standing ovation. Social justice is huge even though many students are clueless as to what it means. It sounds cool. He hijacks Millennial verses about peace and no war. No nukes either. Today's Left is delusional thinking mad men will listen. All they long for will only happen at Christ's return, something they will not address. They also ignore salvation, repentance and man's depravity.
Marxists like Wallis and his left-wing theologians, their apologists, and their Socialist hangers-on, have created more poor and more oppressed people than the world has ever witnessed throughout its entire existence. Why do so few get that?
Jim Wallis and his religious Left crowd sound like they are promoting a Christianized Sierra Club battling to save trees before souls. Their environmental banter would make you think that there is a commandment to recycle. Saving the lost is just not on their radar screen but saving the earth is. This is the classic mantra of the religious Left now coming perilously close to the evangelicalism I once knew.
So now Wallis reflects on Wall Street because "they are carrying on the most interesting conversation right now." Really? Find one productive statement espoused in four weeks! He also suggests that all Christians provide the protesters with a hot dish, something Christians do so very well! Or bring them a peace-za...get it? He tells them that, "I was in your shoes 40 years ago leading demonstrations against the Viet Nam War, racism, and nuclear proliferation." Then he tells the demonstrators they are providing "innovative leadership." Iran's ayatollahs say the same about the crowd who are 1960s re-runs, so again, when Wallis and ayatollahs agree, I beg you, Jim, to stay away from evangelicalism so you cannot further taint it.
The demonstrators are clueless, and Wallis won't tell them, that his kingdom of God on earth is a plethora of failed ideas and agendas that create a Socialistic paradise such as a Stalinist farming collective. Only horrors await and not idealistic utopian dreams. What the rabble-rousers and assorted rent-a-mob Marxist "useful idiots" do know, is that they are following Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Wallis sees this as an "interesting conversation."
Don't let Jim Wallis redefine evangelical even if the word seems meaningless today. The word comes from the Greek word "gospel," so we might expect that an evangelical Christian puts a high priority on the gospel. That is, the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Not the gospel of global warming, or the gospel of social justice, or the gospel of redistributing the wealth. If evangelicals lose this battle, the war is lost and God help us. The one-world religious system is then dead ahead. The church bells are already chiming in the distance. The curtain is about to fall.
Oh, and for that global debt the Wall Street occupiers want forgiven, I promise you that the Antichrist will do that the first day he's in office. He will ride into office on a white stallion and presto, trillions of dollars of global debt will vanish thanks to his magic. The world will then call him savior.