What really caught my eye was that the appended image was of a church placard with a message saying something like "Sorry Mr Beck, Jesus preached social justice", but the church was a United Church of Christ! So my first reaction was "CNN thinks that the UCC is 'evangelical'?!" I guess that's not necessarily the case, but it certainly drew me in.
The Evangelical leader in question is Jim Wallis, which brings me to my curiosity over why CNN made this a central headline. Glenn Beck is a conservative; Jim Wallis is a liberal. One of the most obvious points of contention between conservatives and liberals (fiscally speaking) is that the former think that, as the article quotes Jerry Falwell, Jr as saying, "Jesus taught that we should give to the poor and support widows, but he never said that we should elect a government that would take money from our neighbor's hand and give it to the poor," and liberals believe in gov't that forces you to give them lots of your money, and then gives it to other people, a great deal of whom are poor for a reason - many are addicts, lazy, uneducated, not very intelligent, or some combination thereof. Not all, certainly, but many.
Liberals want a gov't that will force me on pain of death to give them money to pay for what turn out to be low-quality one-size-fits-all services, such as publyk skrewel edjamakayshunn, welfare, and DHS. Think about it - if I refuse to pay all the taxes I owe the gov't, they will attempt to garnish my wages, by force. If I find a way around that, they will send the police to my house to imprison me. If I resist them b/c I don't think that they should be able to force me to give them as much of my money as they demand so they can waste it, I'll be forcefully assaulted and restrained. If I fight too much, they'll kill me. Simple as that.
So, the only reason I can think of to headline this is b/c CNN and its liberal constituency don't like Beck b/c he and FoxNews beat CNN in the ratings and b/c they turn up their noses at grassroots efforts that Beck likes and supports such as the Tea Party. But why would this be news to me, that a liberal would criticise a conservative for thinking the gov't should have less control over the lives of its citizens? Has CNN just now discovered what Ronald Reagan generally thought?
Moving on to the content of the article:
Social and economic justice is at the heart of Jesus' message, Wallis says.Matthew 16:25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
Mark 14:6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. 7 “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. 8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9 “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Actually, Mr. Wallis, it sounds like the salvation of sinners is at the heart of Jesus' message. But a liberal can't accept that, since it clashes with his naturalistic paradigm and his presupposition that all people are good at heart.
Is he willing to talk with someone who he doesn't agree with?"That's rich, coming from a proponent of big gov't.
"If we all did as Jesus did when he helped the poor, we wouldn't need the government," says Falwell, the son of the late evangelical leader, the Rev. Jerry Falwell.That's exactly right! And answering the challenge "but not enough people do enough" with "so we need the gov't to force you to give up more of your money so that it can spend it much less efficiently than virtually any private charity" is not the answer, especially since "not enough people do enough" is far more applicable to a large amount of the recipients of social welfare. Would Jesus have had any concept of such a gov't structure as that? Did He ever address the gov't when He talked about the poor, or did He talk to individuals?
For other Christians, practicing economic and social justice also means trying to change the conditions that cause people to be poor or unemployed. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. subscribed to this definition of biblical justice.1) Note the subtle bait and switch. This is implicitly cited in support of Wallis' big-gov't paradigm, when " chang(ing) the conditions that cause people to be poor or unemployed" implies nothing of the sort. This is either an example of dishonesty or just clumsy ignorance.
2) Another bait and switch occurs when they mention "Christians" and Martin Luther King. MLK, though many of his actions are to be commended highly, was no Christian, but rather a heretic idolater (as well as a serial adulterer).
I note that it gives me no pleasure to say that, but I must speak the truth.
3) How very postmodern of the author to restrict the question to what "some Christians" believe! Why didn't he ask what the Bible teaches? I wonder.
He is now regarded as a hero for some evangelicals because he applied his faith to the economic and social justice issues of his day, Duren says.Which is relevant to the government, how?
"The Old Testament is replete with examples of God threatening to judge a nation because of a lack of justice or carrying out that threat of judgment against a nation,'' Duren says.The Bible is also quite concerned with people simply going through the motions without heart involvement. If the gov't forces you to do something that your heart is not in, how does that please God? These men are asking the wrong questions.
Wallis, who counts King as one of his faith role modelsKing, who denied the Trinity, the inerrancy of Scripture, and the substitutionary atonement, is Wallis' role model for faith? This says alot about how deep Wallis is in the Bible.
Ah, the debate that nobody wants to see, between a liberal who makes the Bible say whatever he wants it to say and ignores it when he can't make it fit, and a Mormon. I'm sure that'd be loads of fun, and I'd set the over/under bet for "Bible psgs quoted in proper context" at 4 for the entire debate.Meanwhile, Wallis says he's waiting for that public debate with Beck. "I'll have it," Wallis says, "anywhere he wants."