Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jim Wallis v. Religious Right, cont.

I've been asked 3 questions:
Q1. "In what manner were these people [Calif. fertility clinic, whose persecution only Pastor Jeff seems willing to defend]
following the direct commands/example of Christ" (Pastor Jeff asked this one 3 times):

A1.When Jesus was asked "What must I do to inherit eternal life" the first part of his answer was the straightforward part that many of the posters here seem to be ignoring:
That is so basic that it's embarrassing to have to repeat it here. Then, in the more memorable part of the answer, Jesus cut to the heart of the matter: the man's possessions were standing between him and Jesus. (A common problem for Americans of any political stripe.)
"Go, sell your possessions” was NOT a command to supererogation, or a statement that helping the poor, or forcing others to do so via taxation, releases you from the basic obligations of the Ten Commandments.
Q2. “What party believes in forcing people to do things against their consciences?”
A2. The party that supports suing Christians who won't fertilize a gay couple. There are many perfectly good citizens who identify as GLBTG. But I say the clinic made the right call in not fertilizing a couple so filled with hate that they took the clinic to court for following Jesus. (Note that the Republicans, most of whom support Obama's war in Afghanistan, still allow for conscientious objection to military service.)
Q3., this one from BlueDeacon “What difference will just one more voice make?”
A3., Again, Jim should be that “just one more voice” speaking out clearly against abortion—not to make a difference, but because it's the right thing to do. He does seem rather too concerned about his public image; I'm afraid I can't help with that. But supporting the Stupak Amendment was his big chance to stand against the tide of partisan divisiveness. Last March he left Stupak hanging, and joined with Nancy Pelosi, who might not even know who Jim Wallis is.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jim Wallis v. Glenn Beck and the Ghost of Jim Dobson

from this sojourners link:

Glenn Beck accuses Jim Wallis of standing in the tradition of 1930's German liberals.
Jim fights back
I join the fray and say that Jim proudly stands with “Progressives” today, (as if society is getting, or even could, get better without repentance and a return to God). But the Progressives in the 30's were the “Mankind is evolving upward” folks who eventually were sequestered as "Social Darwinists" and "Nazis"
I'm putting other posters' handles in ALL CAPS

WAVETOSSED said: "I also read about this incident. The [Philadelphia Gay Pride] rally's organizers had a permit for a private rally. Fundamentalists were invading this peaceful private rally, ... they were trespassing. " In other words, a technicality in the permit was used to suppress the free speech rights of those who disagreed with the views of the rally organizers.
"I do believe some of these issues need to be addressed. Free speech and faith based practices in private enterprises need to be protected. " I actually thought WaveTossed would agree with you and me on this. I'm disappointed that she defended the Philadelphia arrests.
PASTOR JEFF said: "Could you please provide an example of someone following Jesus' example being persecuted in the US ? " I'll turn that question around; Jesus PROMISED that we would be persecuted. I wasn't at the Philly event, so perhaps the arrested Christians could have made a better presentation of their views. But they had a right to be there and speak out. The persecution of the California fertility clinic is inexcusable. There are cases where one's fidelity to the biblical witness prohibits certain actions. That is a witness to God's call to follow him regardless of consequences. The suit didn't allege that the clinic wasn't nice about it; it alleged that they HAD to treat the same sex couple.
Getting back to Jim: if he could find a way to call a truce in the fight over redefining marriage, and call Christians from the Left and Right to mount a serious challenge to abortion on demand, that would be an accomplishment. But his backing of Nancy Pelosi over Bart Stupak shows he's willing to be just another voice from the Left as long as it puts him on the winning side. [temporarily!] There is still time for him to repent for this failure, if he wishes he'd acted differently. (Now that the health insurance bill is in serious trouble it's a less courageous stand than it would've been back in March.) Better still, he could call on Democrats in this year's lame duck session to reintroduce the Human Life Amendment. THAT would be a courageous and prophetic act!

Thus endeth the posting war for the time being;-)
I'll continue here, by admitting that....
I actually stole that idea (to shift from marriage to abortion) from WaveTossed. I didn't credit her since her suggestions weren't as specific as mine, above
Anticipating a question about why Jim's column was about Glenn Beck but I'm talking about marriage:

Another fair question: I brought up the redefinition of marriage because of my concern for religious and political freedoms. Sexual sins are not necessarily the worst sins, and among sexual sins, the worst are adultery and divorce. (Not to leave out rape and child abuse, but those are more about violence than sex. And divorce is often about money...but we weren't discussing the definition of “sexual sin” anyway...)

As I see Jim's column, it's about his denial of any link between liberalism and social decline, falsely called progress. No matter how poorly Beck makes the point, based on what Jim says in his column, it's a fair question.

And if I seem to be hard on Jim, read this from James. 3: 1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways...
Jesus said that not even the smallest stroke of the Law would pass away. If the California fertility clinic was humbly following God's law, they were following Jesus. (...which consists in FAR more than legalism. “The Law of the LORD is perfect” because the Lord who gave the Law is perfect. We can only fulfill it by admitting we can't; it is beyond human effort. Much harm's been done, and is being done, by those on the Left and the Right who strain mightily to be seen as Law-followers. There are as many, if not more, strict legalists on the Left as anywhere else. If there is no sin—and humanists and liberal Protestants don't believe in sin as defined by anyone other than themselves—then there is no divine grace. Without grace, you're left with legalism. Not all Unitarians are like Neville Chamberlain. They can be wonderful people in their legalism, from abolitionists like Rev. Theodore Parker, to the friend of a friend who's leading me on a nature walk in a couple of weeks. It's not that I dislike Unitarians, and their co-religionists, liberal Protestants, it's just that their theology is false. Plenty of conservative Christians act as if they don't believe the Bible; that is a huge problem, and arguably more serious than one who rebels against something they don't even believe in!)