|Note from Jan: Jack Kinsella expresses my thoughts on the religious Left today and is our guest columnist this week. Sadly, more and more within the church today are heading Left. You might want to really consider Jack's words below if your church is heading into social justice issues or if they have been steeped in this for some time. This gets the central focus off of the spreading of the gospel and saving souls when we may have little time left to do so. Learn more at www.omegaletter.com. We recommend his daily Omega Letter Intelligence Digest.
Can't You Just Feel the Love? by Jack Kinsella
November 17, 2011
There are not many certainties in this world; death and taxes for sure, but beyond that, not many. But in recent years, a new certainty has been added to a very short list. Whenever the world tries to interpret the Bible, they will get it exactly backwards.
It is as certain as death and taxes. Indeed, it was even addressed head-on by the Apostle Paul, who wrote to the church at Galatia: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-7).
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of recording an appearance on Jan Markell's "Understanding the Times" radio broadcast. I always enjoy talking with Jan. The main topic was the "Occupy" movement and the "religious Left's" efforts to interpret the Bible as WWJC (What Would Jesus Cut?). The first question Jan asked me in the pre-show debriefing was whether or not I had written much on the WWJC philosophy. When I told her I really hadn't, she said, "Well, maybe it might be a good idea." By the time we'd finished recording, I realized how much I had let slip right under my radar. Jan was right.
The Religious Left has teamed up with the National Council of Churches AND the National Association of Evangelicals to help push the Sojourner's socialist gospel, aligning itself perfectly with the rest of the professing church of the Laodicean era.
First off, what is the "religious Left"? In a nutshell, the religious Left is what is left behind after the Holy Spirit has left the building. Case in point would be the "Reverend" Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners.
The masthead at the Sojourners Web site reveals why I never paid much attention to the group -- "Celebrating 40 years of Faith in Action for Social Justice". Which takes us to the next question: "What is social justice?"
"Justice" is the concept of moral rightness; the act of being "just" or "fair". When the word "justice" is accompanied by the word "social," then the meaning of 'justice' is reversed.
An example of social justice out of the headlines would be the Left's demand that the wealthiest Americans be taxed at a higher rate than middle income earners so that low income earners can be exempted from paying any federal taxes at all.
If the tax system was "fair" or "just" then everybody would be paying the same rate, since in a fair system, everybody would benefit equally from government. If the system were just, everybody would pay the same and get the same benefits. When you combine the religious Left with social justice, what emerges is an unjust system in which success is penalized and sloth is rewarded. What emerges when you combine the two is mindless babble, such as the concept of a "moral" federal budget.
When the government gets into the morality business, the meaning of the word "moral" gets redefined as well. The dictionary defines "morality" as the "ability to distinguish the difference between right and wrong." And now we have yet another linguistic revision to deal with, since the secular world insists that right and wrong are subjective terms and that there are no moral absolutes.
So if there are no absolutes and rightness and wrongness are in the eye of the beholder, a "moral budget" means whatever the advocates of social justice decide is "fair" and "just" -- from THEIR perspective. The problem with that is that perspectives are subjective as well. From my perspective, federal funding of abortions is the epitome of immorality. From the perspective of the "socially just", federal funding of abortions is a moral imperative, since without it, poor women wouldn't be able to murder their babies as easily. And that's just not fair. Is it?
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8).
Rev. Jim Wallis is the spiritual advisor to President Obama. Obama chose Wallis after his other champion of social justice, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was exposed as a champion of social justice according to race.
According to his biography, Rev. Jim Wallis believes that the Gospel alone is not enough. The church's obligation isn't to the forever family of God, but to "the community." Not the community of believers, however. Just to the community.
Wallis says, "Proclamation of the gospel, charismatic gifts, social action, and prophetic witness alone, do not finally offer a real threat to the world as it is, especially when set apart from a community which incarnates a whole new order. It is the ongoing life of a community of faith that issues a basic challenge to the world as it is, and offers a viable and concrete alternative. The church must be called to be the church, to rebuild the kind of community that gives substance to the claims of faith.
"The church is a new force in history which is a sign to 'the powers' that their dominion has been broken . . . "
Just who are "the powers" Rev. Wallis refers to whose dominion has been broken by 'the church'? Not George Soros. Although denying it initially, (it is apparently ok to lie in pursuit of the social gospel) Wallis was eventually forced to admit that Soros money helps finance his social justice movement.
When conservative writer Marvin Olasky pointed this out, and that Soros also financed groups supporting abortion, atheism, and same-sex marriage in a World Magazine column, Wallis said Olasky "lies for a living"; he subsequently apologized to Olasky for the comments.
Despite the Bible's clear and unmistakeable charge to believers to be subject to the higher powers because they are ordained by God according to His purpose, Reverend Jim Wallis boasts of having been arrested 22 times for civil disobedience. "And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:12).
Being "subject" to higher powers does not mean agreeing with them -- it means obeying the law.
In Genesis 9:5-6, the initial post-diluvian government was to be established upon capital punishment in order to suppress evil. This was the extent of the affirmative directive from God. Romans 13:1-7 reveals the purpose for human government as the suppression of evil, not the author of good.
What does the Bible say about social justice? Does the Bible offer any support to Reverend Wallis' contention that Jesus was a Socialist? Is there any Bible justification for claiming that if Jesus were on earth today, He would be down there with the Occupy Wall Streeters?
The Bible relates the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus with a question: "And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16)
Jesus told him to keep the commandments.
The young man replied, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?"
Read the Lord's reply carefully, for this is one of the 'proof texts' of the religious Left. "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me." (Matthew 19:21)
The Bible says the young man went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions. This is where Jesus said it would be "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
"When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, 'Who then can be saved?'" (Matthew 19:25)
The point wasn't that wealth is evil. The rich man arrogantly claimed to be "good" and a keeper of the commandments, but that entrance into Heaven requires 'perfection.'
Interpreting this as the Lord's support for Socialism gets it exactly backwards. The point is that moral perfection in this life is unattainable, which is why we need to trust in a perfect Savior to stand in our place. Jesus didn't advocate confiscating the rich man's wealth and redistributing it. It was an individual choice that He left up to the rich man.
Nowhere does Jesus advocate taking wealth from one person and giving it to another. To do so would violate the Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal" to satisfy the demand created by violating the Commandment, "thou shalt not covet."
Instead, the Bible says this: "For every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:19).
"When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you" (Psalms 128:2).
What does the Bible have to say about the kind of social justice that confiscates from those who work to redistribute to those who do not? Consider the following in the context of the various "occupations" across the country and in particular, the demands of the 'occupiers'. Which part DOES NOT apply to them?
"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread" (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).
That doesn't sound much like the social gospel of the religious Left to me. What do you think?
Does this mean that the church has no obligation to the poor? Absolutely not. But the church is not an organization or a monolithic collective. The true Church is made up of believers in the true Gospel, not the advocates of another.
If one needs an example of how the true church meets its obligations, one need look no further than our own Omega Letter fellowship.
- When one of our number passed away, leaving a widow with children and no insurance, our fellowship took up a collection that raised enough money to see them through the next six months.
- When another of our fellowship from the UK resigned because her computer blew up, members of our fellowship bought her a new one.
- When another of our fellowship had his computer stolen, two days later, a new one showed up at his door, courtesy of another OL member.
The role of government is to provide for the common defense and to provide a framework for restraining or punishing evildoers.
The role of charity is reserved, not for the religious Left or for the government, but for the true Church of Jesus Christ. The concept of charity is foreign to, and wholly unsuited for, government. Not this government, or any other.
The role of government, according to Romans 13:4, is to bear the sword. The paying of tribute (taxes) commanded in Romans 13:6-7, is to support the work of restraining or punishing evildoers.
The word "charity" means "love". Just go visit one of the "occupy" zones and listen to their demands for more government charity. (warning: graphic language, incredible stupidity).
Can't you just feel the love?
Listen to Jack and Jan discuss these issues on "Understanding the Times" radio this weekend (November 19-20). We air on 416 radio outlets. We headquarter out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Saturday, 9 a.m. CST. You can "listen live" here. For podcasting info via iTunes, visit this link. To see upcoming guests, go here. All programming is posted to "radio archives" on Sunday.
We cannot reply to every e-mail although each one is read. To unsubscribe, scroll to the bottom and click on "SafeUnsubscribe."