home
RSS
July 7th, 2010
11:03 AM ET

Christian radio station: Jim Wallis promotes secularism, 'unholy' government alliance

On CNN's Wednesday list of Most Intriguing People:

Jim Wallis. Because the Christian minister, activist and founder of the organization Sojourners is being targeted over his invitation to participate at a Christian music festival. The event known as "Lifest" starts Wednesday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

"After researching extensively the words and published positions of Jim Wallis and his organization, Sojourners Magazine, and seeking fervently the guidance of the Holy Spirit in prayer, we believe the social justice message and agenda they promote is a seed of secular humanism, seeking an unholy alliance between the Church and Government," Q90 FM, a Christian radio station based in De Pere, Wisc., said in a statement.

By including Wallis in the speaker line-up, some accused the festival of compromising the Gospel. Crosstalk radio host Ingrid Schlueter expressed her opposition to presenting Wallis as "a credible Christian leader" and said youth are in "spiritual peril" if they attend the five-day event."

In his response, Wallis said, "The biblical definition of social justice has to do with helping bring about God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, just as Jesus taught us to pray," according to the The Post-Crescent of Appleton, Wisconsin. "And in a world where half the population lives in poverty, there is a great need for God's Kingdom to be more fully present."

More from the Christian Post.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Music

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Cairyn

    If you are troubled by Reality' post on 7/8/10 which reads:

    "Atonement theology is no longer valid. Note the following bit of common sense:

    Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us." – Crossan

    An alternative way to look at the cross is in Chapter 12 of Wayne Jacobsen's He Loves Me! (which I confess I did not want to read, but has turned out to be remarkably interesting and instructive). The end of the chapter states:

    "Far from being a blood-thirsty sovereign demanding sacrifice to satiate his need for vengeance, the Living God spends himself to bring back the banished son or daughter. He did not need a sacrifice to love us, for he already did.

    "We needed a sacrifice for our shame so that we would be free to love him again. At the cross, God provided the undeniable proof of just how much he loves us. For those who understand that, it opens the door for us to do what Adam and Eve could not do that fateful day in the garden – totally entrust our lives to the Living God."

    August 21, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  2. Michael Wong

    It would be nice if Christians could understand that their religion is just as absurd to outsiders as the Hindu "sacred cow" is to Christians.

    Christians seem to be genuinely unaware that their religion does not have to be taken seriously by everyone. Some of them even think it is "hateful" to treat it lightly, or mock it, or dismiss it the way they dismiss the Hindu "sacred cow".

    July 9, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • Reality

      Michael Wong,

      A follow-up:

      "When I look a Buddhist friend in the face, I cannot say with integrity, "Our story about Jesus' virginal birth is true and factual. Your story that when the Buddha came out of his mother's womb, he was walking, talking, teaching and preaching (which I must admit is even better than our story)-that's a myth.

      We have the truth; you have a lie." I don't think that can be said any longer, for our insistence that our faith is a fact and that others' faith is a lie is, I think, a cancer that eats at the heart of Christianity"- Crossan

      July 9, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  3. Reality

    Sam, Please reference said broader scholarly consensus. Keep in mind that the Jesus Seminarians are all contemporary NT and historic Jesus exegetes.

    By the way, Henry VIII founded the Church of England not Henry VII. Henry VIII founded his church not because of reforms but because the Pope would not allow him to divorce his wife.

    July 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  4. Reality

    Sam, Please reference said broader scholarly consensus. Keep in mind that the Jesus Seminarians are all contemporary NT and historic Jesus exegetes.

    And I do believe the USA Constitution, the rules all presidents follow and work from, was written way before the major Indian wars.

    By the way, Henry VIII founded the Church of England not Henry VII. Henry VIII founded his church not because of reforms but because the Pope would not allow him to divorce his wife.

    July 8, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  5. One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

    Frankly, I think he sounds like our founding fathers. A Christian, but one who realizes that religion should hold no sway in our government. Sounds like a guy I could get behind even as an atheist.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
    • Michael Wong

      The radio station's attack on him focuses on the idea that government should be completely cut out of social welfare, and that Christians should completely take it over on the basis of voluntary charity.

      There are some obvious problems with this argument, starting with the fact that Americans had 50 years to show that Europe was wrong about socialized health care and that churches would pick up the slack. It didn't happen. After 50 years, America had 50 million uninsured people, and churches were NOT paying all their medical bills for them. The experiment proved that while socialized health care can have its own problems, it DOES do a far better job of providing care to the poor than churches do. Sorry, but the churches had their shot, and they blew it. They didn't provide health care to all the poor people.

      Would it have been better than a government program if they did? You can argue that if you want, but it doesn't change the fact that it didn't happen. Naturally, most of the complainst about socialized health care are about how it treats people with money, who would normally be able to jump to the head of the line and afford care that the poor people could only lie in bed dreaming about. Nobody dares criticize the way socialized medicine treats POOR people, because they cannot deny that for-profit medicine treats them far worse.

      July 9, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  6. Reality

    Josiah,

    There is only one passage in the NT that indicates Jesus could read i.e. Luke 4: 16. Being a single attestation, vitiates this passage as being historical. I suggest you read the conclusions of some of the contemporary NT exegetes like Professors Crossan, Chilton and Brown concerning the literacy of Jesus. I would give the specific references but references are not allowed on this blog for some strange reason.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:52 am |
    • Sam

      I would also suggest the work of N.T. Wright–a much less skeptical view, but AT LEAST as scholarly & well-founded.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:33 am |
    • Reality

      The problem with Bishop Wright's studies is that they are blinded by the fact he is a bishop in church founded by the womanizing, lady-killing Henry VIII,

      July 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • Sam

      A very odd statement to make. It's like dismissing the President's work because he is obviously blinded by the fact that the US was founded on the genocide of the Native Americans. Henry VII's personal life has nothing to do with the quality of NT Wright's work on rediscovering the historical Jesus. If anything, the Jesus Seminar's work would probably fit more in line with Henry VII's ethic than would NT Wright's. Assuming Henry was frustrated by the established Church and so sought to create an alternative more to HIS style (which was not the English reformers' concern; they just took the opportunity to bring about some much-needed reforms in the Catholic Church at the time), it seems like the Jesus Seminar has dismissed everything about Jesus that doesn't suit their taste, regardless of broader scholarly consensus.

      July 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  7. Lloyd

    I have been to festivals like this and I have heard Jim Wallis speak. His focus is the teachings of Jesus Christ – living it. Not the most dynamic speaker – but he has an important message built on the teachings of Jesus. Right wing Christians would probably have more of a difficult time with his politics than his religion.

    In response to "Reality" post – some may say that Jesus' disciples stole his body. For me one of the greatest proofs of the resurrection is the change in the life of the disciples. At his death, they were dejected and didn't know what to do. Then something happened, they united and gave their lives telling about it. I don't see that united committed change coming from stealing his body.

    July 8, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  8. Erica

    Their is only one true LORD and he is the Almighty creator of all that is and was. Romes' government and church not knowing fully the degree of the crimes that they had committed against Jesus they beat tortured and murdered him. as it was to be. He gave his life to pay for our sins fro now and then now in the last days we need to cleans ourselves of this worldly world full of evil and clothed ourselves in the true word of Jehovah for our flesh has been forgivin and we need in our hearts sow good deeds by pass and preaching TRUTH to all humanity.

    July 7, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
    • Reality

      Erica,

      Atonement theology is no longer valid. Note the following bit of common sense:

      Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us." – Crossan

      July 8, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • For Fun

      Reality, I'm still searching for that common sense you reference

      July 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  9. Reality

    Jesus was an illiterate, simple preacher man. His words were expanded, embellished and "mythicized" by the likes of Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John in order to create a new religion/cult and to bypass the Jewish leadership that controlled Judaism's coffers and temple. And of course having a declared messiah's words to lead the gentiles and Jews to the promised land of heaven sure helped in gaining converts (and money) as did Paul's prophecy that Jesus would return sometime in Paul's life span. Still waiting for that bit of fortune telling to occur. Another take on the story:

    Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.-

    July 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
    • josiah

      Luke 4:16- Jesus reads. in public. not illiterate. Luke 2:47- everyone was amazed by his understanding (as a youth). not simple.

      July 8, 2010 at 12:00 am |
    • Sam

      "After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing." If that is why they stole his body, their plans were royally frustrated by crucifixions, exiles, etc., which they seem to have willingly undertaken. Perhaps something else was afoot...

      July 8, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  10. jonathan

    note to Ddubbya ..Paul was Saul when he was persecutor to Christians Jesus confronted him nad he changed and became the best evangelist ever....none of his teachings contradict what Jesus said..

    July 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • Ddubbya

      Jonathan, that story is to be taken on faith. It can not be confirmed. Just as any statement you or I make must be taken on faith.
      Paul aka Saul was not an evangelist. An evangelist follows the 4 gospels. They were not in written form at that time, therefore to call him an evangelical is incorrect.
      Paul did teach against marriage and procreation. Those are certainly against the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the commandment given to Adam and Eve from God, himself.

      July 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • conan the contrarion

      ddub- you're simply incorrect. there's a difference between an evangelical and evangelist. evangelists preach, evangelicals are a contemporary classification of Christian. Paul suggested against marriage in certain situations- but not universally, and did preach against those who forbid marriage entirely. and as far as faith as required to believe Scripture, you are correct. however, i disagree that it takes faith to compare Jesus' and Paul's teaching. you can do that by reading the Scriptures with or without faith.

      July 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
  11. josiah

    so they don't want to support an alliance between church and government. so atheists and Christians do have some common beliefs after all...

    July 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  12. RAFritz

    This does not surprise me, as Christian radio has always been the voice of extremism and fundamentalism. Not sure why.

    July 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • jonathan

      Christianity has always been an either... or relligion...:)

      July 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  13. Gil T

    It is not insignificant that Wallis states "The biblical definition of social justice has to do with HELPING bring about God's Kingdom . . ." The biblical examples of the first century church are of bringing about the ACT of obedience to the gospel message. Then, those believers took ACTION on issues such as aiding widows, as the church, not as a well-intentioned para-church organizations. These will always produce or bring together "socially conscience-minded" participants, but not obedience to Jesus as Lord nor worship and service in the kingdom of God.

    July 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  14. Selfish Gene

    Instead of wasting time on god, teach them how to farm, irrigate and rotate.

    July 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • bobross2

      God is not a waste of time Selfish Gene, u need to wake up.

      July 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • peace2all

      @bobross2.........Maybe, bob, Gene has awoken and is not drinking the 'kool-aid' of the religious wing-nuts that believe in g...and let's deal with real world issues, like poverty, and the like....

      Let's put more time into trying to 'save someone's soul'.......?

      Now THAT is.......an incredibly big waste of time.....

      July 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • jonathan

      Whats' wrong with Pot was what I was going to say but a closer look and I see you was talking about the one who made it..LOL.

      July 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
    • conan the contrarion

      if you don't believe in it, it's a waste of time. if you do believe in it, it's not a waste of time. these are values. values are subjective.

      July 7, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Goreczky

      Maybe not for people who need hin in order to be moral, happy, productive to society, etc.
      I however am happy and moral without him and consider any God to be a waste of time.

      July 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  15. Thorrsman

    "Social justice" always comes down to robbing from the productive and giving to the non-productive.

    July 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • jonathan

      Jesus said the poor you will always have with you..he also had something to say about the rich living lavashly..Don't want to speak to much against myself..LOL

      July 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • Michael Wong

      Yes, we take from the productive and give to the non-productive. We also force businesses to install wheelchair ramps at their own expense. We force taxpayers to fund public education systems so that education will not be the exclusive domain of the rich, as it was in the 19th century.

      We do this for one reason: compassion. Specifically, compassion for the weak. Quite frankly, the strong do not need compassion; that is what strength means.

      You feel this is unfair, but fairness is but one of many moral virtues, not the only moral virtue. Compassion is another, and the two must be balanced against one another.

      July 9, 2010 at 12:14 am |
    • Liz

      Actually, this is not true. There are many productive people who are beneficiaries of social justice, and many non-productive people who are asked to sacrifice for social justice.
      A black farmer in the 1940's might have been very productive and hard-working, but needed someone to stand up for his right to own his farms when the white rioters (made up of both unproductive rif-raf, and productive men of influence) came calling, demanding him to give up his property. Madame Curie would have been denied an education just a generation prior, and an unmotivated and unintelligent man possibly ushered in to her rightful seat in the classroom, there not by his rightful effort but simply because he was a man and she was not.
      That is the point of it being social justice – it is justice because it eliminated artifical barriers erected merely to reduce competition and ensure the dominance of undeserving members of a particular group. If men were always smarter than women in every case, there would have never been a need to outlaw them from classrooms and jobs. If whites were so superior to blacks that the only possible relationship was that of master to slave, then the law would have never needed to artificially enforce this disparity. What we see is that incorrect platitudes and then unjust laws have been used throughout our nations history to enforce slavery and keep blacks and women from attaining a safe and just sovereignty. Social justice is only just when it eliminates these unjust laws and stands up against the incorrect and irrational platitudes that led to their passage. If you are frightened of social justice, then you are probably afraid to compete on fair terms. Ask yourself why you should have privilege and not be subject to fair competition.

      July 9, 2010 at 4:27 am |
  16. Reality

    Why o Why is this such a difficult blog to get comments posted. I have tried for the last twenty minutes to post a quote from Mr. Wallis showing that he a credible Christian although just as much in error as all Christian evangelists but the comments are always blocked. Strange, strange blog!!! By the way, Mr. Wallis is paid $175,000/yr to promote his magazine and his erroneous theology.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ddubbya

      If he speaks of God and how people need him and how salvation for one's soul is within the belief in Jesus Christ, can you please explain how any of this is erroneous to the teachings of Jesus Christ?
      I mean, I understand how they contridict Paul, but they don't of Jesus.

      Who should people listen to? Jesus Christ the Son of God and God in the flesh, or Paul an admitted liar and killer of early Christians?

      July 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • skeptic56

      Isn't "erroneous theology" redundant?

      July 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • jim

      Ddubbya:
      Why would anyone believe either of them?

      July 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.