The Religious Left Continues To Get It Wrong

The difference between Christians on the left and right side of politics is fairly pronounced. While we are all one in Christ, unfortunately, there are plenty of areas of disagreement that can be found amongst believers. As I have written elsewhere, biblical Christianity ultimately transcends mere partisan politics, but we still live in the real world, and we will still find ourselves differing on many political and social issues. For more on that, see here: billmuehlenberg.com/2007/09/13/religion-and-the-political-spectrum/

Left-RightAnd these differences are often not so much on the issues themselves, but how we best deal with them. That is, both sides rightly care about things like poverty. But they come up with quite different solutions to the problem. For example, the religious left usually looks to socialist or statist solutions, while the religious right usually opts for a free market approach.

Not only must these two approaches be assessed in terms of how they might or might not line up with Scripture, but they also should be assessed in terms of their efficacy. Do such proposals actually work? Do these preferred solutions actually help the problem, or make things worse? I speak to this further here: billmuehlenberg.com/2013/09/18/christians-and-foreign-aid/

Here I want to return to the big bang which occurred recently because of the incredibly bad decision making of the US World Vision. First they basically approved of homosexuality, then because of public pressure, they backflipped and went into damage control. I have already written extensively about all that.

But what this messy affair did once again highlight was the major differences between the religious left and the religious right. The lefties of course generally don’t have a problem with things like homosexuality, so they tended to support the original WV decision.

Conservatives on the other hand not only were greatly concerned about this rejection of God’s express commands about human sexuality, but the general leftist direction of this once great organisation. So all sorts of debate erupted over all this, including plenty of fuzzy thinking from the left.

They came up with the usual silliness that we of a more conservative stance don’t care about the poor, and are hung up on issues of “personal morality” – things like homosexuality, abortion and the like. Consider what one religious lefty and WV defender had to say in this regard. He attacked conservative Christians this way:

“However, they pulled out of giving to the poor as well, because that is what their religious culture expected as soon as gay marriage came into play. So what does gay marriage have to do with feeding the hungry, the poor, the children?”

Now this is a pretty dumb comment, for a number of reasons. What is that about a “religious culture”? Excuse me, but how about simply taking seriously what God has revealed about his purposes for human sexuality? It is not some “religious culture” that is moving us here, but the clear teachings of Scripture on the issue of homosexuality.

I would have thought that anyone who calls himself a Christian would be concerned about what God clearly has to say about such matters. But for so many on the religious left, they seem to simply pick and choose those parts of Scripture which their leftist ideology most nicely fits in with.

Also, this is known as the logical fallacy of the false dilemma: either we feed the poor or we obey God’s word on sexuality. Baloney. The truth is we can and should do both. Why make us choose between doing one or the other? That is just foolish.

And there are of course plenty of biblically faithful aid organisations which we can support – those that are both helping the poor and needy and are staying true to Biblical ethics and morality. I prefer supporting those groups which take all of God’s word seriously, not just bits and pieces of it.

And look again at his last sentence: “So what does gay marriage have to do with feeding the hungry, the poor, the children?” If he is really interested in getting an answer on this, he really should ask that of Jacquelline Fuller. This World Vision board member and obvious religious lefty wanted to do exactly this!

This is what she had to say: “I am a huge fan of the work World Vision does around the world to help the poorest of the poor. However, I resigned as a board member … as I disagreed with the decision to exclude gay employees who marry.”

There you go – this lefty thinks that she can’t support the WV work for the poor, because it is not politically correct when it comes to homosexuality. So this lefty commentator should really be asking her, and not me, these sorts of questions.

Of course there were plenty of other lefties weighing into all this. One was blogger Rachel Held Evans who wrote a piece called “How Evangelicals Won a Culture War and Lost a Generation”. It too is filled with the same leftist moral mushiness which puts concern about a vague “social justice” ahead of all other biblical basics.

She too snubs her nose at the importance of biblical sexuality and marriage: “There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality.” She too makes the same logical fallacies: “Is a ‘victory’ against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support?”

And she makes the claim that those on the religious right have an “obsession with opposing gay marriage.” Um, no, it is the homosexual militants, and their duped religious lefty groupies, who are obsessed with this. Indeed, we did not start this fight. When activists want to destroy God’s institutions of marriage and family, I have a Christian duty to defend those things.

And in true leftist fashion, she even throws in her concerns about “the denial of evolutionary science.” Makes sense: vigorously uphold and defend every secular worldview item, while trashing your own Bible, and still claim to be an “evangelical”. Yeah right.

Chelsen Vicari of the Institute on Religion and Democracy also responded to Evans:

Despite admitting that the series of events motivated her to leaving evangelicalism, Evans asserts that World Vision’s flip-flop “is not an issue of orthodoxy. But when we begin using child sponsorships as bargaining tools in our debates, we’ve lost the way of Jesus.” Actually, World Vision is the perfect illustration of the un-attachable orthodox tradition of evangelicalism.
A mother of a conservative evangelical family I know told me her family has been sponsoring three young girls in Savane Plate, Haiti for a while now. They choose to give through World Vision because it was their understanding the organization’s compassionate work was based on a Gospel-centered pledge to the cross and resurrection. So when this mother learned of World Visions’ temporary decision to recognize same-sex unions, she was heartbroken. It was with prayer and Godly counsel – not flippant aggression – they chose to funnel their sponsorship elsewhere.
Continuing on, Evans claimed that evangelicals snatched away “aid that would otherwise reach the poor, sick, hungry and displaced people World Vision serves.” She pointed fingers at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Albert Mohler Jr. and the Assemblies of God claiming they preferred to “withhold aid from people who need it” rather than support the redefinition of marriage.
Evans failed to disclose that the Assemblies of God general superintendent, George O. Wood encouraged members to “begin gradually shifting their support…to Assemblies of God World Missions, and other Pentecostal and evangelical charities that maintain biblical standards of sexual morality.” The goal was to reroute funding, not take our donation dollars and go shopping at the GAP.
Social justice is important to conservative evangelicals. We too hold tight to Micah 6:8, which instructs Christians “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly.” Actually, those conservative evangelicals that Evans rails against chose to donate to World Vision when there were no media spotlight and no political activists and popular bloggers calling on them to do so. They gave to the poor when no one was looking because that is what God commands us, not what culture expects.

As I say, I will continue to support groups which are effectively helping the poor, and upholding biblical standards across the board. If the lefties want to support increasingly secularised aid groups, that is up to them. But not me.

www.charismanews.com/us/43400-after-gay-marriage-policy-reversal-googler-resigns-from-world-vision-board?fb_action_ids=10203065812862182&fb_action_types=og.likes
religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/03/31/how-evangelicals-won-a-culture-war-and-lost-a-generation/comment-page-11/
www.christianpost.com/news/an-evangelical-response-to-former-evangelical-rachel-held-evans-on-gay-marriage-117261/

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17 Replies to “The Religious Left Continues To Get It Wrong”

  1. The Pink Marxist are swashing in the Pink Pound and demand that we the public pay for the social diarrhea that they cause. The only interest of queers like Elton John and Peter Tatchell have in charity is clearing up the disease that they cause.

    David Cameron, UK Prime Minister has said that he believes in marriage and the traditional family and yet now he is prepared to spend billions of pounds in public money to support organisations whose intent is to destroy it.
    He is prepared to bow the knee and fund, out the pockets of an already hard pressed working people, Stonewall and the Equality and Human Rights Commission who are determined shut down in the name of gay ideology, swathes of charity organisations, schools, adoption agencies, old people’s homes, hostels for the homeless, voluntary labour carried out by thousands, if not hundreds, of thousand, of ordinary, decent conscientious Christians…..and the Bed and Breakfast business of Mr and Mrs Bull…..who do not bow the knee to the Gaystapo.

    The truth is that Britain has run not only run out money but social, moral and spiritual backbone. The country is holistically bankrupt. Every British child is born not only owing around £20,000, but will have to pay the financial cost of supporting dysfunctional, polymorphous families that come in all different shapes and sizes; not only single parent families, but children being raised by two or four lesbians, or several homosexuals and women of various sexualities, a mixture of straights, transexuals, trans genders and transvestites, or a combinations of any number of polyamorous partners – let alone those that practise incest and bestiality. 
     
    No doubt in time as society worsens, becomes more insecure, unstable, disintegrate and violent, David Cameron will blame Christians and those who toil to keep the fabric of society together. Well, it is true that other Western nations are also experiencing social upheaval, but not every country is as far ahead as Britain in destroying itself. Other countries from around the world look on disbelievingly as our once a Christian country, a byword for justice, integrity and freedom of conscience descended into barbarism.
     
    The prime minister cannot carry on for ever squeezing the productive bit of society, those who produce children and our future investment, in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the sterile and unproductive bit.
    In 2007, Unicef looked at 40 indicators from the years 2002 – 2003, including poverty, family relationships and health and the UK came bottom of a league table for child well- being across 21 industrialised countries; and only last November Ian Duncan Smith said that “the collapse of marriage had brought soaring crime rates, doubled the chances of living in poverty and cost the country an astonishing £100 billion a year.

    Enjoy : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5kySGYZl4U

  2. Another great post Bill – as usual.

    The religious left seems to be more concerned with ‘spreading the wealth around’ than with spreading the Word of God around.
    These Christians are pre-occupied with matters of ‘social justice’, which is a Trojan Horse inside the likes of WV where it allows ‘outsiders’ to help solve the many issues of ‘injustice’ – the likes of gay marriage, or in the likes of the Republicans – to take a pro-abortion stance to solve inner-city black ‘poverty’, and to allow women to be ‘equal’ with working men.

    These people are more socialist than Christian.

    But in the words of another strong Christian from the right: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” – Margret Thatcher.
    WV and other lefty Christians will learn that if they keep straying from Scripture. They will be given less of other people’s money.

    God Bless Bill.

  3. So let me get this straight (seriously.. no pun intended), the evangellyfish want me to feed the poor to meet their temporary hunger, but send WV’s employees to an eternity in hell in order to gratify their peverse lusts?? Pfffftttt!! Makes perfect sense…
    I thought Jesus once said something about what it was worth for a person to gain the whole world but lose their soul… but then… to the religious left…. Jesus said a lot of things….

  4. Scripture serves perfectly where the impotent commentary of the left fails yet again:

    Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27 ESV)

    Help the poor and remain set apart in Christ!

    What part of that does not make sense to the left?!

    Give charity through organisations that love God by obedience first and then through outreach. If you don’t obey God, you are not loving your brother, even if you give them money. It just feigns the appearance and puffs up with pride.

  5. Money talks!

    I was (still am) waiting for WV to flop back to their pro gay marriage decision. The pressure from the left must be almost unbearable for them now that they have changed their mind against gay marriage.

    If indeed they changed their minds because of the pressure of the threat of funds drying up, they might yet flop back the other way for the same reason. That is unless most of their funds come from right wing thinkers.

    If I am right, is it not strange that an organisation that has so many left leanings is supported most by right funding. All that yelling by the lefties seems a little misplaced.

  6. @ David Skinner’s link…I couldn’t even bear to watch 60 seconds of this speech…already replete with lies about lobotomies and Matt Shepherd. But decidedly agreed with everything else you said…I have family in England and Scotland who are slowly becoming aware of their dire situation, but already feel overwhelmed by the inevitability of it getting worse.
    And yes, Bill, another great post!

  7. As if WV is the only organisation that feeds the poor?
    But Bill, do you really want to identify with the “religious right”?
    Aren’t they the people that shoot abortionists?
    Maybe there is another term we can use to identify ourselves by, other than biblical Christians if we need to fit into the political spectrum. Maybe we could call ourselves “God’s tightrope walkers”?
    Just kidding, but I think, I still prefer to take the high and middle road
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  8. Bill, I am sorry, I wasn’t kidding on that one, just on the name. Thought that was important to reply again, if I am mistaken, please correct me. But maybe you would consider those people already fallen off the spectrum? But abortionists have been shot by those who hate abortion, which I don’t consider to be the correct response to the issue. So, if I have shown my ignorance or caused confusion by my previous comment, I am very sorry.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  9. Thanks Ursula. Yes you are mistaken. To claim that the many tens of millions of those who identify as being the religious right (and that includes myself and most commentators here) are in the same camp as the one or two nut jobs who shoot abortionists is just not helpful, and is rather silly to even suggest to be honest!

  10. I was under the impression that the world watching out there identifies these people that shoot abortionists etc. as the religious right, and that is why I was keen to distance myself from that term. But of course you consistently talk about people who believe and act biblically which hopefully includes myself as “conservative” and I certainly identify with that.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  11. I’m a bit late commenting, with grandchildren visiting and a medical problem delaying my reading, but it is interesting to recall the Rev Alan Walker, probably the most prominent Methodist in Australian history. He was very leftist when it came to pacifism, trade unions, socialism and such matters, but he became very dismayed during the Whitlam era when leftist politicians began pushing for easier abortion, homosexual rights, greater sexual “freedom” and other things which he saw as serious violations of Christian morals.

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