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Countering the Churchian Left

Written on Friday, July 15, 2011 by

Barack Obama,  Jill Biden, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama

In a previous column, I mentioned that the Leftmedia has often played up the “Religious Right’s” influence on the Republican party, but largely ignored the greater influence that the Secular Left has had on the Democrats.

But after the 2004 drubbing, the Dem operatives had to find a way to appear to be friendly to the God they don’t really believe in. In this, they were greatly helped by the Churchian Left, and enabled by the likes of Rick Warren. (I used this term advisedly: many in the Religious Left are theologically liberal, but this doesn’t mean that all real Christians are conservative or that all conservatives are Christians, or even that Jesus would necessarily endorse the Republican Party or even everything that passes for conservative politics.)

And it must be admitted that they were hugely successful: my contacts at theologically conservative Christian universities inform me that a majority of their classmates voted for Obama, and even many of their lecturers leaned that way. Another poll showed that as many as 30% of evangelicals under 30 voted for Obama, despite his abortion extremism, support for infanticide and homosexual behaviour, and socialism—see his famous “Spread the wealth around”:

So it is worthwhile to counter the commonest arguments for leftist policies that seem to have swayed many, and show that they are far from supported by Scripture.

Poverty
Leading lights among the Churchian Left, such as Tony Campolo, have ridiculed the traditional Christian emphasis on issues like the sanctity of innocent human life from conception or marriage of one man and one woman. They have argued the number of mentions of these issues is quite low, but “that there are more than 2,000 verses of Scripture that call us to express love and justice for those who are poor and oppressed”.

Yet given the Christian understanding, how many times does God have to say something for it to be right? And another fatal logical gap in Campolo’s “reasoning” is that none of these passages support rapacious taxes, authorize the civil government to redistribute wealth, or bloated welfare bureaucracies. Au contraire, as shown in previous columns, leftist policies hurt the poor and foster envy, while leftists fail to be generous with their own money (as opposed to other people’s money). And Prof. Arthur Brooks documented in his book Who Really Cares? The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism that religious conservatives are the ones obeying those passages about love and justice for the poor—they are far more generous than liberals in giving their own money, their own time, and even their blood.

If the Churchian Left were right, then the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33–35) should read:

“When he saw him, he had compassion for the poor victims of society who robbed him; they clearly need help. He then demanded that the government raise taxes so the public health system could bind up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he commandeered another traveller’s donkey, set him on it, and told the owner to bring him to an inn and take care of him. And the next day the Samaritan gave some government health reimbursement forms to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, the government will repay you as long as you complete the forms accurately.’” (Liberalism 10:33–35)

Communism in Acts?
Another argument for socialism comes from early passages from the Book of Acts, which describes how the Church in Jerusalem shared all their possessions to help the needy among them. But this is totally different from leftist socialism.

  • First, the giving was voluntary as Peter told Ananias (5:4)—it was Ananias’ property before it was sold, and so was the money from the sale.  The problem was that Ananias and Sapphira lied about what they did.
  • Second, the money was not given to the government but to the Apostles (4:35, 5:2), because it was only within the Church, not the community.
  • Third: Acts describes what the Church did; it didn’t command this.

But one thing it did have in common with leftist socialism is that it was a disaster.  An old Soviet joke goes:
Q: What happens when Socialism is brought to the Sahara?
A: For the first five years, nothing.  Then there is a shortage of sand.

Similarly, the Jerusalem Church became so impoverished Paul later asked the Roman Christians to donate to them (Romans 15:26).  Similarly, the first Pilgrim Fathers tried a similar system, and were almost wiped out by starvation.  We would never have been able to celebrate Thanksgiving if Governor John Bradford had not abolished this socialism and instituted private property ownership. Economic historian Burt Folsom explains:

If socialism can’t work in a close-knit Super-Christian community, it probably can’t work anywhere. But the larger point is that our early Americans tried socialism; it didn’t work and they made a quick adjustment to free markets. That did work and the private property order became part of American history.

And how much worse would it have been if a bloated bureaucracy had skimmed off 75% of the proceeds—like our modern welfare system does?

Pacifism and war

Many in the Left argue that Christianity supports pacifism and unilateral disarmament.  But Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” not “blessed are the pacifists”—leftists presuppose that they are the same.  Yet history shows the opposite: it was the strong pacifist movements in England and France in the 1930s that so morally weakened their countries that Hitler was emboldened to start the most destructive war in history.   And Hitler was an inch from winning this war, which cost 60 million lives and about a trillion 1944 US dollars worldwide.

Yet Jesus also hinted at what would discourage war in Luke 14:31–32:

Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.

During the Winston Churchill advocated building up Britain’s armed forces, because he knew this truth: that force deters.  But these were his “wilderness years” precisely because of the disastrous pacifist mentality that was blind to the danger and monstrous evils of Hitler—and this includes the Churchian Left of the day (see The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm by Joseph Loconte).

However, fortunately for the free world, President Reagan (born 100 years ago this month) knew that America could outpace the Soviet Union because of the superior capitalist economy.  But at the time, the Left denounced him as a warmonger, and claimed that “The Soviet Union is here to stay.”  Yet only three years after Reagan left office, his prediction was fulfilled, that “the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history“, and that it was “another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose — last pages even now are being written.”

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  • Dean

    The real issue here is that our founding fathers believed in the biblical way of doing things and relied on it, which helped this country achieve its greatness. Now the anti christ are at work empowering ideals that have been proven to fall short and fail throughout history in many nations of the world. They cant seem to learn from the mistakes recorded and being absolute fact in there minds because they believe they are smarter than the rest of the world and consider themselves to be gods of a sort which is the basis of why they constantly curse and heckle anything that is of religious nature or that they dont agree with. In a nutshell they think they are better than anyone else and deseve more period!

    • Dave

      The Treaty of Tripoli (Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary) was the first treaty concluded between the United States of America and Tripoli, signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796 and at Algiers (for a third-party witness) on January 3, 1797. It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797.

    • Dave

      “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion?
      To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.”
      Thomas Jefferson
      (ref. Bartlett’s 16th Ed., p.343)

  • Bob

    There is no such thing as a “Christian Left”; period. Leftist ideology, with its support of murder, sexual perversion, sloth, selfishness, personal irresponsibility, parasitism, and theft is antithetical to the teachings of the Bible. Liberal psuedo-Christians are merely Marxists who use the false social gospel to further the socialist agenda. While it cannot be said that all conservatives can claim to be Christians, it is true to say that all liberals are not Christians.

    • Doug Rodrigues

      You couldn’t have said it any clearer than that. Looking back decades, everything illogical dealing with society has been developed and promoted by the so-called “Liberals.” Is it what they were taught in the Public Schools System that logical reasoning is thrown out the window and “feel good” decisions replace intelligent thought process? Seems that way, or is it that most Liberals simply lack Common Sense?

  • Hank

    The “Christian” Left gave us Woodrow Wilson, Prohibition, Feminism, Free Love, Enviromentalism, Welfare, The Social Gospel, The Entire Progressive Platform, Public Schools, Eugenics, Abortion, and the Rest. They were not Marxists at the time, but they and the forbears of Marx both misinterpreted the same Biblical Passages. There is a fairly old saying that “Christian Theology is the grandmother of Marxian Philosophy.”

    • rimshot75

      You’re close: the misinterpretation(translate that as heresy if you like…) of Christian theology will always result in anti Christian behaviors. People say doctrine does not matter. History says ‘it always matters’.

    • Hank

      No disagreement. But as long as we are using the term “Christian Left”, we can assume that at least a few of them are misguided, even if the rest are knowingly false teachers. Marx was not the fisrt socialist. The Christian group called Annabaptists, along with various congregational sects in England during the Commonwealth were the first socialists. They misinterpreted just a few tiny points in the New Testament, not any major doctrines or theologies. Therefore, they were not heretics in the most absolute and condemnable sense, but rather misguided (either by ignorance or malice) men. The sins committed were not necessarily deliberate false doctrines, but rather the specific actions they took as a result of their misreadings. I will never claim that the Marxist form of socialism is derived from Christianity, but rather from a secular doctrine that itself has its roots in misguided Christian theology.

    • Dave

      Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. He cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.”

      But Abraham said, “Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.”

  • hijinx60

    “..having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” Going to Church doesn’t make anyone a christian any more than sitting in a garage makes them a Chevy. Dr. B.R.Lakin was right when he said that he believed the whole Bible. When rebuked and told that it showed his ignorance, he replied, “Well, I’m too dumb to know the wrong parts, So I’ll just have to believe it all.”

  • Randy131

    These religious backers of Obama, who do they think Jesus was talking about when he said, “In the end times, even the elect will be fooled.” And apprently it doesn’t take much to fool these fools, for they have sided with abortion, acceptance of homosexuality as being created by God, and Christian services and holy days being ignored by Obama, while he celebrates every Islamic holy day in the White House with invited Muslim guests who pray Moslem prayers on carpets while facing East. How do you think Jesus will judge those who accept all these things, especially after God allowed the destruction and enslavement of Israel by the Assyrians, and the destruction and enslavement of Judah by the Babylonians, both for the same reasons of allowing the worship of false gods in their lands and the conversion of some of their people to these false gods? If you don’t think that Allah is a false god, then you need to get an English Koran and read it, then decide if God would require the same of His people as Allah does of his. According to the Bible there is only one true God, and it isn’t Allah.

  • Hank

    The Christian Left have not always been pacifists. They were behind both World Wars.

    • Dave

      I thought Hitler was behind WWII??

    • Hank

      I meant “behind” as in they “backed” our entry, not they provoked the wars. Say what you will about WW2, but WW1 was avoidable and unnecessary.

  • Esnes Nomoc

    Throughout the 20th century “Regressives” have continually undermined foundations of the Christian American Character.
    They open cracks in society that erode into large gaps, to turn inexperienced young against their elders by reward of forbidden fruit. They distort history so its teachings are blurred; They tell big lies often as Hitler did, to instill them subliminaly; All to forge natures family loyalty into servatude to an all powerful govenment.
    To reverse this evil trend, I like those in 1776, Pledge my Life, my Fortune and my Sacred Honor. Will you?

    • Dave

      I will – like those in 1776, Pledge my Life, my Fortune and my Sacred Honor to keep religion out of our Governmment.

  • http://N/A James

    The LEFT and the Socialist Democratic Liberals have a mental block in their ability to “think” and rationalize. Their
    “Common Sense” ability was not afforded at their birth. They value self over country.
    A majority of the left minimize the military and mock their responsibility and purpose.
    If it was not for our military – we would today – be speaking German and/or Japanese
    or both. Stupid is as Stupid is!

  • Stephen

    Religous liberal ideologies has creep into Christianity becasue many people don’t know the differences or don’t want to know the differences. They are more concern with “I think,” “I feel” and “that’s good enough for me”. Many don’t understand what makes the King James Bible “the” Word of God in the English language. Many believe as long as it say “Holy Bible” on the front cover, that’s all that matters. Instead of reading the AV1611 (Romans 3:4) they listen to men instead who are actually aruging with God to say otherwise.

  • Am2sweet

    I have never really thought of the leftist as being a Christian in any way. They approve gay marriage, they approve abortions, and they are biased against anyone who doesn’t have a ton of money. All of those are a sin only they don’t think so. Worse is if you try to explain to them how wrong they are then they throw a temper tantrum and yell and scream and threaten. Does that sound like a little child or what? I think they never really matured emotionally.

  • Richard William Faith

    Although Christ taught people to be charitable, I cannot find one single instance of His teaching that government should “spread the wealth around” or act as a charity, through funds confiscated from wage-earners. Christ taught INDIVIDUALS proper behavior and attitudes, and NEVER prescribed that there should be big, meddling governments. Nevertheless, many churches are currently putting socialist words into the mouth of Christ. The BLASPHEMY aside, one can’t help wondering: WHAT are these idiots THINKING? It is the function of THE CHURCH, and NOT of GOVERNMENT, to administer charity; furthermore, the PURPOSE of this charity is NOT to produce ECONOMIC UNIFORMITY across the populace, but rather, to PROPAGATE THE GOSPEL. If, on the other hand, the charity is administered by the government, the recipients don’t get any Gospel, and the workers are a lot poorer and can afford much less money for the church. If the church leaders had a single functioning brain cell amongst the aggregate of them, maybe they’d SEE this?

  • Richard William Faith

    Many left-leaning pastors (who are probably very sincere, but are nonetheless unwittingly serving the agenda of the Atheist Left by their kind of preaching) espouse the idea of “Come on, folks. You HAVE to be good communists; remember Jesus was a communist”. Of course, they don’t SAY it quite that way, but that IS what is comes down to. Actually, it’s best to come right out and say it that way, because THEN the idea BECOMES ITS OWN REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM. It shows itself as OBVIOUSLY WRONG on at least two counts:
    1) There is a falsehood in the “Jesus WAS” part of it. Jesus is not DEAD. Jesus lives! Jesus, therefore, IS!
    2) There is PLENTY of evidence right there in the Bible that Jesus IS NOT a communist.

  • Carl H. Middleton

    Jesus was not a pacifist. He did not censure the centurion for his profession. In Luke 22:36 Jesus said, “And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.” And Jesus must have approved of the Apostle Peter bearing a sword into the Garden of Gethsemane. Man is morally obligated to protect himself and all innocents from violent attacks. That includes the individual defending his family and the nation defending its citizens.

    • Richard William Faith

      Jesus on gun control!

    • Dave

      MATTHEW 5-7 (King James Bible Clarified New Testament)

      5:39 But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

      5:40 And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.

      5:41 And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two.

      5:42 Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn you not away.

      5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    • davido

      All your quotes are aimed at the individual and his free choice to follow Jesus’ philosophy. If all are forced to do charity by government, doesn’t that remove any benefit to everyone? It’s one thing to volunteer my coat because I believe in Jesus and quite another to be told to give up my coat by gov’t fiat.

  • Richard William Faith

    Many in the Churchian Left simply (and ignorantly) believe that they’re only doing what’s morally correct, and they fail to see that they are playing right into the hands of the Atheist Left. Others among them may be more sinister; they may be PLANTS from the Atheist Left, with a hidden agenda of destroying Christianity from within. What we ALL need to open our eyes to is the fact that the Left (in the most general meaning) is currently organized very extensively, and is increasingly dedicated to an unprecedented acquisition of power, and a mutually cooperative quest to establish a one-world government which will FURTHER increase that POWER without limit (surprise, surprise, another hidden agenda!). A list of entities that are part of this power conglomerate:
    The Bilderbergs
    The CFR
    The United Nations
    The Federal Reserve
    The Trilateral Commission
    George Soros (an atheist, or THINKS he IS God)
    The Rothschilds
    The (current incarnation of the) Democratic Party (PROPERTY, BY PURCHASE, of George Soros)
    While some of these are not necessarily “left-wing” per se, they are all pursuing increased POWER, and none of them works alone. There is a complex web of interaction among them, AND NONE OF IT IS GOOD.

  • Dennis

    Ya know my whole take on this is.Jesus would not support any of this today.He would not be left, right, conservative, liberal ect.Theres going to be alot of people shocked when Jesus rebukes them including many so called christians.I anxiously await his return

  • Pastor Charlie

    How incredible!

    The word “left” is consistent with the word “Socialism”, or even worse, “Communism”. The word “Christian” means a “Disciple of The Christ”.

    In their contextual meanings, the two words are mutually exclusive. You cannot be a “Leftist Christian”, nor can you be a “Christian leftist”. Those are the same oxymorons as a “Murdering Saint”, a “JUMBO shrimp”, or a “Benevolent shark”.

    What has happened is that “the Church” and “The Churches” have given up translating the “Word of The GODHEAD” from Koine` Greek, to English and have begun (since about 1820) to interpret it into “Christianese”, which is spoken by the practitioners of “Churchianity”.

    “The Word” says “you must decide whether to follow man’s doctrines, or to obey The GODHEAD. But as for us Christians, we must obey The LORD”!

    It doesn’t get any simpler than that. It is EASY to discern the origins of thought and practice… By the fruit, you will know it! Is it righteous, or un-righteous?

    Righteousness is like pregnancy: You either are, or you’re not! You can’t be a little bit un-righteous, nor, a whole lot Righteous. You either are, or you are not.
    To make the decision, you can ask yourself this: “How much sin, in your life, is O.K.?”

    If you AGREE that “a little bit” of sin is alright, you are NOT a Christian. If there IS a little bit of sin in your life and you HATE it and are trying to REPENT from it, you are just like all the rest of us Christians; but if you are not TRYING to repent, you are just another sinner, doomed to perdition!

    You might not agree with this, but that doesn’t change the truth of it.

    Get saved, be baptized and then, repent to go forward into your sanctification as a “Christian”.

    Let The LORD bless you, as much as HE wants to!

  • Laura

    I have struggled mightily trying to understand how any church and/or minister can support much of what is happening in America today. I’m not a learned scholar of theology but I think the Bible is crystal clear in its condemnation of gay marriage, abortion, etc. I also don’t believe Barak Obama is a Christian because if he was he would unconditionally support Israel because it was given to his chosen people, the Jews. I also believe that the greatness of this nation was ordained by God because of its Christian foundation and support of God’s chosen people. It sickens me to see the moral fabric of my beloved country torn to shreds by leftist idealogues.