'Evangelical Christianity Has Been Hijacked': An Interview with Tony Campolo

Speaking out on gays, women and more, a progressive evangelical says 'We ought to get out of the judging business.'


01/11/2007 02:44:20 PM

I beleive that the reason God doesnt change people's sexual orientation is because its not an issue to him. there are far more important tasks for him to attend to - people killing each other (iraq war anyone?) People starving because of poverty and drought in some parts of the world, Poor people struggling to make ends meet - To suggest that gay people should change is a waste of God's time and energy, and is surely an insult to god as we show were not happy with how he made us. He gave us life - and put most of us in situations where we have an easier life than those in the 3rd world. Shouldn't we be thankful for that instead of trying to "fix what isn't broken"? Everytime the anti-gays make their statements they jsut add to god's work that needs doing in this world.


01/07/2006 07:14:50 PM

There are those whom seem to make a claim about God, that they have truth in them but in fact are not of the truth Jer 5:2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely. Solid


01/07/2006 07:08:39 PM

Tony youve sold out to the enemy on this one. If God cannot change a gay man to a straight one, then in effect he doesnt have power to change anyone. Because if God isnt really able to do the job with that sin, how can you have faith he will do the job to remove and transform our lives away from any sin? Tony, you are a compromiser and have denied the power of God to save FROM SIN not just cleanse from sin. Solid


01/03/2006 06:47:12 PM

Heritic: You got it right. Columb: You mean well but both quotes you ascribe to Jesus are from the Torah. The first is recited in Jewish prayer four times each day and is written on the door posts of our house and upon our gates. The other is from Leviticus and is also a paraphrase of the Pharasee Hillel, whom is the source material for much of what the Greek Gospel writer attributed to Jesus, generations after his death. From a Jewish point of view there is no such thing as an "old testatment" and the "new testament is not authentic. You are slandering Judaism and your understanding of Jesus,at least through the eyes of liberal Christians and and modern historians, is wrong.


04/04/2005 08:52:06 AM

The myth of the right high jacking Christainity is an expresstoin from with in the liberal party refuseual to accept the fact the America has realized that thier exterme pollitics have starngeled the very soul and rightous socail structure of America.The out pouring over the death of the pope is a reflection that we have been away from God too long.The failed idealougy of the left has cause us to stray from the comandments of GOD.


01/02/2005 02:17:07 AM

Religion is the strangle-hold of death to those who desires to emulate Christ. Religion feeds the ego's of church people who might not ever have a personal relationship with Christ. Politics is an excuse for religious people who have no desire to carry out the Great commission. They want politicians to fulfilled their calling to change the world by sharing God's Word. Go-figure?


12/10/2004 10:50:16 PM

yup, we need to`follow Jesus and not the herd... I think that's Campolo's message... such as not follow exclusivity but be inclusive like Jesus said "love your neighbor as yourself"; that means ALL your neighbors. So "love your gay neighbor as yourself"... peace.


11/17/2004 04:57:42 PM

The idea of evangelical Christianity being taken over by its own fundamentalist wing invariably invites comparison with the takeover of Islam by its own fanatics. Such "hijackings" occur because thoughtful believers let themselves be intimidated by the militancy of the extremists. In Islam, perhaps the fear is of actual violence; but among America Christians, I wonder how much of that fear is of being seen as "weak" in faith. This is EXACTLY why Jesus had no use for public displays of religiosity--people become more concerned with how their neighbors perceive them than with how God perceives them, and the result is a stampede in which individuals cannot question the direction in which the herd is galloping.


11/16/2004 11:18:27 AM

I wanted to tell you about a friend of mine, Nell Darby. She grew up in Montana in the 1920's and walked around the state to sell books, door to door, in order to raise money for her education. She moved to Boston to go to college in the 1930's and when she heard her nephew was likely to be made an outcast back home in Montana, she had him come live with her in Boston. Her nephew was gay (gay in 1930 in Montana, was no laughing matter) Nell became a school teacher and one of the first ordained ministers in the United states, she was trully a very kind woman, what I call a Christian. She died here a few years ago on Easter Sunday (Jesus sent a message there) and I will never forget how much she did to help her nephew and many others throughout her lifetime. There's a difference between Religion and Christianity... remember that. One hits people over the head with the Bible, the other is kind and understanding.


11/16/2004 12:33:30 AM

Heretic for Christ, Regarding the ten commandments and the "letter vs. the spirit of the law", I am with you 100%. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind", and the second is "Love your neighbor as yourself". THIS is the spirit of the law (Matt 22:36-40). I think the problem with so many in the "Christian" right is that they focus far to much on Old Testament minutiae, and forget these words from Christ that sum up the spirit of His ministry. The whole reason that God sent His son to die on the Cross is that NONE of us is capable of upholding every letter of the law. Considering this, why should any of us have the privilege of judging another?


11/13/2004 09:05:11 AM

zteach, Welcome to beliefnet--and you make a good point.


11/13/2004 05:07:40 AM

The church should tread lightly when getting into politics. It was one of the temptations offered to Jesus and He refused it. Maybe He knew that the only way was through the changing of hearts-and I don't think one can do that with name calling. He only did that to the self righteous. "You white washed tombs"


11/06/2004 09:34:04 AM

Mountain Man, Yet consider, didn't Jesus interpret the 10 commandments beyond what was actually written (as in Matthew 5:21-26)? To me, this suggests that Jesus was looking for the spiritual meaning of the law, and not just the letter of the law? Do we really want to stone adulterers to death, even assuming that the commandment against killing doesn't apply here? Will all evangelicals agree to become strict vegetarians because Genesis 1:29 says that "the fruit of a tree yielding seed shall be for you meat" and Isaiah 66:3 says that "to kill an ox is like slaying a man"? MountainMan, what I have just done is engage in proof-texting, a practice I find reprehensible; the point is not to argue for any of those things but to suggest that over-reliance on the letter of the law can lead to impossible dilemmas. On the other hand, if we select some parts of scripture to interpret literally and others allegorically, who gets to make that determination?


11/06/2004 09:04:14 AM

Heretic, Yes, Lord Jesus used many parables indeed. However, what many Evangelicals base their core beliefs on is the laws and ordinances given in the Old Testement. Mainly the 10 Commandments in the Book of Exodus to the book of the Leviticus. We see that these Commandments and Laws are indeed to be taken quite literally. As Christians, these laws remain as valid now, as they were when given to Moses.


11/06/2004 08:07:22 AM

I agree with most of this article; however, I do believe that Christians (and others) should support the restriction of abortion. On saying that, it is difficult for me to say specifically what I mean, but I do believe that we need to pull together somehow in order to support those in crisis pregnancies and follow up with financial help. All the evangelizing in the world will not provide a mom and baby with diapers and rent money. I really don't believe that the answer to our societal problems of over population and unwanted children is more abortions. The "disposable" society is precisely what has led to so many of our problems, in my opinion.


11/05/2004 02:10:13 PM

MountainMan, Jesus himself taught in parables and was continually perplexed by those who interpreted his words literally; he himself drew the distinction between the letter of the law, which kills, and the spirit of the law, which gives life. That is to say, he was definitely not a "strict constructionist." If you accept scripture as inerrant and literally true in every detail, then what do you do when scripture itself shows Jesus as rejecting literalism?


11/05/2004 12:43:57 PM

I think we need to enhance our Biblical literacy and focus on what God's word says/commands, instead of some leftist, secularist spin given by a man. As followers of Christ, we are to take God's Holy Word as literal...because that's how it was given. No compromising for the sake of political correctness or "contemporary thought". We are to remain steadfast in the Word as Christians.


11/05/2004 06:50:58 AM

Tony Campolo has hit the nail on the head. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church. I saw firsthand the prejudices. I witnessed average human beings proclaim they knew God's mind and what God wanted, when all it boiled down to is that was their excuse to be judgemental. Thankfully, I am no longer a part of organized religion. I have never been happier and more free. I am no longer trapped by the dogma of religion. One key thing to remember, God didn't invent religion; humans did.


11/04/2004 01:51:05 PM

Miriamesther, you have spoken eloquently and truthfully. It is sad and scary to think that so many of those who profess to worship Jesus often sound less like him than like those who crucified him.


11/04/2004 01:36:50 PM

Today's evangelicals seem more filled with hate than love, more anxious to judge than showing authoritarian control of policies, than witnessing to teachings of Jesus. I left the church as a teenager because of the suppresion of thinking. Today's Christian zeal is no different from other extremists who use religion to control and suppress thought. And violence against non believers has been part of the history of the church. Fortunately we have a constitutional right to speak. We can still expose those who would force us to be a "Christan" nation. Christanity has often been twisted by ambitious leaders to consolidate power. From Constantine on, politics edited the dogmas of the church and even the content of the Bible. It is sad that the belief in Jesus has been used to harm as well as help the human condition.


11/03/2004 02:21:00 PM

Just before the election, the NY Times carried a letter signed by over 30 faculty members from the University of Chicago School of Divinity, deploring the cheap politicalization of religion, especially in support of the Iraq invasion. Well, the election is over, and even though half the nation is unhappy with the outcome, maybe we can all agree that politically motivated exploitation of religion is a bad thing, a desecration of true faith. We should show absolute intolerance of cheap political religiosity, no matter where it comes from. How will we know it? By forgetting about political labels and just trusting our rationality -- and our noses.


11/03/2004 12:36:38 PM

Then came the fear-mongering preachers of the sixties. Communist were stirring up the coloreds and had a 25 year plan to make America an athiest nation. The anit-war movement and the Civil Rights movement were both tools of their ungodly plan to wrench control of the country from the hands of good Christian folk. Now, here we are - exporting "liberty" like we own the franchise and moving to secure the sanctity of marriage by codified law to make certain the Almighty doesen't inadvertently make a mistake.


11/03/2004 12:27:27 PM

I'm 54 and living in the South. Here, for years (at least those while I was growing up) evangelicals were those folks that stood on the street corners on the weekends and tried to convince passers-by to get saved. When you went with a friend to visit one of their churches, they were the folks who were there to tell you how glad they were that you'd come (and not with the vision of your dollars in their offering plates dancing in their heads). They were sincere, welcoming activists for Christ. Their interest in you began and ended with an opportunity to witness to you and, if given the chance, welcome you into the fold. Their care didn't extend into your bedroom, or your doctor's office, or dictate how and when your children should pray.


11/02/2004 11:44:20 AM

Docjoc, my own perspective, as a 59-year-old independent who has voted for Republicans almost as often as for Democrats, is precisely the opposite of yours. Without talking about exceptional cases in either party, it has been about a quarter of a century since the Democratic Party turned away from its leftist leanings and since the Republican Party began its headlong lurch toward the extreme right.


11/02/2004 12:03:06 AM

Have any of you ever wondered by people who take their faith seriously are commonly called the "religious right"? Its not that they suddenly all became right leaning Republicans. Its because Democratic party has moved further and further to the left. Almost everyone I knew as a boy was a Democrat. Now the same people are the "religious right".


11/01/2004 10:35:52 AM

Anthony Compolo does not speak for Evangelical Christians............he is not one........nor is he conservative. The highjacking that has occurred is his use of the words Evangelical and COnservative. He has no standing in the Evangelical community. He is a useful idio for Satan


10/28/2004 03:17:03 PM

Interesting interview. It reminds us that evangelical Christianity, like Islam, encompasses a broad range of views, and that any religion can be highjacked by zealots and fanatics howling for holy war. That is the difference between religion and spirituality: religion builds walls that exclude and condemn people over differences in the content of their faith and mode of worship, whereas spirituality tears down walls by showing that the light of God shines forth from anyone who is willing to let it.


10/25/2004 10:13:00 PM

Brother TheMadOne: "As the son of a Holocaust survivor ... your comparison is hereby completely rejected." As the grandson of survivors of the Aremnian Genocide, with cousins in both Zimbabwe and SA who have had all real property confiscated and been forced into "relocation centres," I urge you to remember the dictum: Those who refuse to learn from the past are condenmed to repeat it. Pax, gregory_k


10/07/2004 12:45:10 PM

How refreshing. Mr. Campolo is a VERY rare creature, a real christian. The only thing he forgot to recognize is that a theocracy is not a democratic republic. I'm so grateful to Almighty Goddess that She graced our Nation's founders with the wisedom to keep state and church seperate. Our Constitution is truely an inspired work and worthy of defense. I plan to do my part on November 2nd. :)


09/26/2004 06:41:38 PM

Thank you Mr. Campolo. I would like to address what I believe to be at the core of the matter, and that is what should be AN INDWELLING of the HOLY SPIRIT in the heart of a TRUE BELIEVER. We don’t see more of Christ in believers because the HOLY SPIRIT is ABSENT or UNDEVELOPED. We have not been taught HOW to PROPERLY integrate this ESSENTIAL FACTOR into our lives. We KNOW HOW, but there is a Disconnect. Bottom Line: We have been fed ”MOTHERS’ MILK”, and have been starved for the “STRONG MEAT” of the SPIRIT. It is from the Strong Meat of the Spirit that God Strengthens our Faith, so that we not rely on the Law, and Permits us to tear down the walls of FEAR and ILLUSION, that keep us separated from Him, by separating “US” from his “OTHER CHILDREN.” God is NO RESPECTER of PERSONS, but certainly, OF HEARTS. We are being CHEATED by our Pastors. Demand that they FEED US THE MEAT WE CAN TAKE IT. WE NEED IT NOW, MORE THAN EVER. Thanks again Tony, Truthseeker


09/26/2004 11:37:04 AM

Campolo echoes a primary reason I stopped attending Mass. The Catholic Church, like much of the evangelical community, has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the conservative movement. There is an organized political effort to re-define Christianity as explicitly conservative: anti-evolution, anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-business, pro-wealth, etc. and the Republican party as the Party of God. Interestingly, however, polls clearly show belief in God roughly equal among so-called conservatives and liberals, but church attendance significantly higher in the former. The issue ultimately is not about God, but about political support for the Church (not just Catholic) elite. I would suggest that churches and conservatives make willing bedfellows in warping Christianity to support a political goal.


09/21/2004 01:41:09 PM

"I think that evangelicals are so concerned with the unborn...that we have failed to pay enough attention to the born." Amen Tony. I used to love watching Tony when he had a show w/ Steve Brown. Still agree with him today.


09/15/2004 03:39:39 PM

gregory_k: As the son of a Holocaust survivor and well familiar with many details of that period of time, your comparison is hereby completely rejected. Respectfully, you don't have any basis for comparison. When whites in SA start being put in camps, maybe then, but in the meantime... I'm done here. Be well, TMO


09/13/2004 11:51:42 PM

Brother TheMadOne: "In SA, whites are crying foul because they're no longer able to hoard the wealth and dictate social and econimic terms to non-whites." I might suggest you substitute Nazi Germany for SA and Jews for whites in the passage above, and it reads quite differently. Be careful not to notice fascism until it's too late! Pax, gregory_k


09/10/2004 12:44:19 PM

Gregory, There are two sides to every story; my sources are not likely to be any less biased than yours, but I will ask you to consider the following comparison. In the US (and elsewhere), Christians cry persecution because they are not allowed to impose their dogma on everyone (school prayer and other attempts to legislate morality). In SA, whites are crying foul because they're no longer able to hoard the wealth and dictate social and economic terms to non-whites. In the US, Christians are gaining ground. In SA, whites are losing ground. Be careful, I urge you, before you cry "fascist". Like other labels, it's easy to say and difficult to prove. Be well, TMO


09/09/2004 11:41:49 PM

Brother TheMadOne: If you believe that human motivations of greed and lust after power and profit are unique only to the USA, or market economies, you're sadly mistaken. As for your fears of a police state here in America "...if one is not Christian, straight and gainfully imployed...," I'm afraid the same fascist conditions are being imposed on all the natives of Souther Africa who happen not to be black. Pax, gregory_k


09/03/2004 01:51:18 PM

Gregory: South Africa has a strong sense of themselves as a national community. Sure, they have many of the usual tensions (racial, economic), but they are working hard (and, IMO successfully) to establish a sense of unity that the US lacks in a big way. What we have, instead, is a bunch of egos competing for (amongst other things) pork-barrel money, bragging rights and which state (if not the entire union) will be first to establish a police state where if one is not Christian, straight and gainfully employed, one may as well go straight to jail (or find a state that hasn't gotten there yet).


09/03/2004 08:27:36 AM

As for the rest, I get your intended message, but you expressed it by putting words in my mouth, and that is out of line. I'm not offended, on the contrary I'm glad you wrote, but argument by telling me what I meant is not a good way to facilitate discussion. Now, at the risk of looking contradictory, I do in fact believe that the "people... should not be... in charge..." but I have good reasons to believe that. 230 years ago, there was clear and painful evidence that nothing would get done if even the small population then extant had to be consulted for every decision. Representative forms appealed to them on many levels, and they had strong evidence to support it: given a chance, people will always (sooner or later) vote for themselves bread and circuses, or try to make the value of pi 3.14. The consent of the governed is the key concept here, not that everyone is in charge.


09/03/2004 08:27:24 AM

Sweetness4life: You're points are well taken, but the semantics are not quite there. This is not a disagreement nor a criticism -- as always, words have applied meanings (usage) that may be a bit at odds with their academic meanings (definitions). As terms for forms of government, "representative democracy" and "republic" are synonymous. Of course the US has a form of democracy, but it is not a "democracy" as the term is defined. You do not vote for the president. You vote for the electoral votes from your state. I once calculated (as an exercise in a math class) that a candidate can be elected president with less than 20% of the national popular vote. GW Bush receieved less than 50% of the popular vote in 2000. That is not "democracy". cont'd


09/03/2004 01:15:53 AM

Actually, the truth is that we are both a republic and a democracy. We are a republic, because a republic is simply any country that doesn't have a monarchy (and very few countries had gone that route back in 1776, so we were unique at the time). The Constitution guarantees that all states must have a "republican form of government." But "democracy" simply means rule of the people. We're a representative democracy--not a direct democracy, like ancient Athens (where they'd have a big meeting of the citizens, and all vote on whether to execute Socrates, or ostracize so-and-so, or whatever). But aside from the mechanics of voting & elections, the people are supposed to be sovereign. In whose name was the Constitution enacted? "We the People..." Once you start saying we're not a democracy, you're suggesting that the people are not--and should not be--in charge, ultimately. I can't go along with that.


09/03/2004 01:07:47 AM

TheMadOne: "We are not a democracy. We are a republic. Ask your prof if he/she knows the difference." MadOne, if the U.S. isn't a democracy, then what has been all this business our leaders have been spouting about "democracy" for the past, oh, 100 years or so? Remember Woodrow Wilson's argument for the U.S. to enter World War I? To "make the world safe for democracy"! How could we be making the world safe for democracy, if we didn't consider ourselves a democracy in the first place? Or FDR's argument for supporting Britain against the Germans (before Pearl Harbor)--because we're the "arsenal of democracy"! Or the ideology we trumpeted all during the Cold War years, that we were superior to the Soviets because of our democratic form of government. Or our government's current claims to be "bringing democracy" to the Middle East (in the form of guns and bombs, that is...). (cont'd)


09/03/2004 01:01:38 AM

branno3: I have the same difficulty with Campolo's attitude toward gays. Incidentally, it seems to be the same view as the official position of the Catholic Church: it's okay to "be gay," but you must remain celibate. Both Campolo's and the Church's views are unfortunately part and parcel of Christianity's historic "sex is bad" attitude. On the other hand, I appreciate Campolo's understanding that discriminating against gays is wrong, just as racism is wrong.


09/02/2004 04:10:49 PM

It's nice to see an evangelical using his cerebrum. But he's still just as homophobic and arragant as all the rest of them. Love gays and lesbians, but presumbably, tell them to be celebate. That's not "love" that's oppression. And the usual exclusivist mindset continues, despite his supposedly more "open" views. It's more liberal, but evangelism still boils down to being the Borg. But I and others like me do and *will* resist. I am glad, however, that he highlights the main weakness of the Piscean "love" religion: there's a reference to defend or oppose just about everything in their book. Many find a way to argue that they're not really contradictory, but then people always find ways to justify hate, violence (physical and emotional), and oppression.


09/02/2004 11:05:01 AM

Tony Campolo - you go dude! You are so right about evangelicals hijacking the bible to suit themselves and then ignoring the scripture that doesn't fit their agenda. You have to understand that as you are one of the few courageous enough to stand up and denounce this nonsense, the daggers will circle. Don't let that stop you from using your position, authority and media connection to spread this important word. You are absolutely right - those that oppose women preaching and for that matter women in EVERY position of authority in the church - are doing the work of the devil.


09/01/2004 01:45:50 PM

Brother TheMadOne: Last I checked, SA was a parliamentary (representative) democracy, after the British model--a first cousin to our republican form. And as for the "...growing change in their culture...," the only thing I can come up with is the highest violent crime rates and the greatest number of AIDS cases per capita in the world. Unfortunately, the majority in SA exchanged one set of corrupt oligarchs for another; only the skin color changed. Pax, gregory_k


08/31/2004 09:52:55 AM

Gregory, Your prof asked a bad question, in the same category as "have you stopped beating your dog yet?" SA, by the way, has a growing change in their culture, something that is missing from US culture. If you can name it, you have your answer. The US govt. was created with two goals in mind: to make a structure within which a participatory govt. could succeed and grow, and to allow future generations to adjust that structure to deal with the inevitable changes that time brings. We are not a democracy. We are a republic. Ask your prof if he/she knows the difference.


08/30/2004 10:02:24 PM

To brother TheMadOne, et al: A college professor asked our class to respond to the following: If majority rule is good enough for South Africa, why isn't it good enough for the USA? None of us in class could come up with a satisfactory answer, so I throw the question open for discussion. Pax, gregory_k


08/30/2004 11:13:43 AM

Well, then you and I have very different definitions of the "American way of life."


08/27/2004 09:54:31 PM

Mad One, many on the Christian side see these changes as the tyranny of the minority. Major changes in the American way of life to suit 1 to 2% of the people.


08/27/2004 12:13:26 PM

I see that as a good sign, cknuck; in my school district, there are a wide variety of observances just of Christmas, and the "winter break" promotes a sharing of the varying traditions. I'm sure you didn't intend it that way, but really "there are no [...] holidays anymore" is not a true statement. The holidays are still there, and we acknowledge that there are important observances during the same time period.


08/27/2004 11:34:52 AM

Hi TheMadOne: You are not alone. In the school district I live in there are no Christian holidays anymore. They are winter brake and spring brake for Christmas and Easter. But Jewish holidays are observed as such.


08/27/2004 08:54:20 AM

BKenn01, Quite true. All of life is a compromise; the challenge is to find the fights that need fighting, and to fight them with honor.


08/26/2004 11:32:34 PM

Mad One, at some point in time we are all victims of a majority for something.


08/26/2004 09:13:28 AM

BKenn01, your point is well taken, but I would ask you to consider it from his point of view, a POV I share with him from a different direction: I'm a Pagan in a mostly Christian society. If I wanted to observe a personal holiday, I'd have to use a vacation day, but all of the major Christian holidays are classified as such by the vast majority of employers. I am not complaining. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." However, the US is founded on a principle that is not only relevant, but critically important: the individual is protected from the tyranny of the majority. With all due respect, I reply to you: just because the majority agree doesn't mean they should be allowed to retain the power implicit in that agreement. I understand the Christian faith very well, both from exposure and from study. Even so, I refrain from criticizing Campolo's POV because only he can know his own mind and heart, and I readily offer him my trust that he is honestly and sincerely expressing his concerns. TMO


08/25/2004 06:32:46 PM

Mad One :I'm not here to disagree with you or Campolo, much as that may surprise you. We need more thoughtful, sincere, devout people like him to step forward and say loud and clear: "these people who take the spotlight, they do not necessarily speak for me." The problem is that Campolo is framing the argument that someone has hijacked something. To the contrary, he is just now a member of a minority of evanjelical Christians. Just because the majority disagree with him doesnt mean something has been hijacked.


08/25/2004 04:10:01 PM

"But who was more instrumental in defining Christianity? Was it Paul or Christ" Now this is a silly distraction. Jesus said to Peter you are the rock I upon which I will build My church. Now read the book of Acts.


08/25/2004 02:43:39 PM

But who was more instrumental in defining Christianity? Was it Paul or Christ? In the Gospels, is there any mention of a Church hierarchy? Is there any mention of a clergy and a laity? From reading the Gospels, Christ prvodes it with little that resembles today's "Christianity."


08/25/2004 01:59:17 PM

mexighan Chris•tian•i•ty 1 : the religion derived from Jesus Christ , based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies 2 : conformity to the Christian religion


08/25/2004 01:25:00 PM

cknuck, Campolo does indeed strongly imply what Oversoul said, and the "proof" if you really need one is there to see every day. Step into my Pagan shoes for a day, and you will see what I see. I'm not here to disagree with you or Campolo, much as that may surprise you. We need more thoughtful, sincere, devout people like him to step forward and say loud and clear: "these people who take the spotlight, they do not necessarily speak for me." That is the strength of Campolo's message, and I admire him for it. I know of only one other such person in recent memory who has had the courage to do this, and that's Jimmy Carter. Everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, would be well served to not only listen to them, but emulate them. TMO


08/25/2004 12:50:29 PM

Hi fish; I see your reasoning, good questions. Okay Jesus made a great point there with the woman, and no one could throw the first stone all were guilty: But wait a minute, there was One who could have stoned the lady. That was Jesus Himself and chose not to condemn her at that time. Jesus was saying more than I have room to talk about here. And this refers to your last question: Of course I sin on a regular basis, and Jesus forgives me on a regular basis. But there are certain behaviors that I would be a poorer person if people in my life did not judge these behaviors as appropriate or inappropriate. Like Jesus I think throwing stones is just not right. If I missed anything let me know. Good questions.


08/25/2004 11:39:38 AM

The label Christian is a broad term encompassing a multitude of various religious groups that regard Christ as central to their teachings. Though the Jehovah's Witness and Mormons may possess some unorthodox doctrines, their origins and derived ideologies are Christian.


08/25/2004 11:34:45 AM

cknuck, My stating that the Founding Fathers were elitists is not a mean anti-Americanism. Most US historians would agree that the Electoral College was designed to have an "enlightened elite" select the President. Back in 1776, many American colonialists did not speak English, they spoke a plethora of European languages be it German in Pennsylvania, Gaelic in what is not West Virginia, and French in Vermont. The physical size of the 13 colonies compounded with poor infrastructure at the time, prevented the flow of information from arriving in a timely manner, usually information was delayed by several months. Faced with these obstacles, and the fact that the some 60 Founding Fathers presented a sizable portion of the colonies' wealth, it is not surprising that they would have "elitist" tendencies.


08/25/2004 11:13:53 AM

LindaLDS “But I do tend to think of Mormons and JW's as Christians, just like evangelicals and Protestants and Catholics.” Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus is actually Michael the Archangel. Evangelicals, Protestants and Catholics teach the Trinity and deity of Christ. For more information about Jehovah Witnesses check out: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/80/story_8034_1.html


08/25/2004 11:12:18 AM

oops...that's "he wasn't talking about..." Peace <


08/25/2004 11:11:31 AM

cknuck... Why, then, did Jesus say to those gathered around the adultress, "Let he who is WITHOUT SIN cast the first stone"? I don't believe EVERYONE gathered had committed adultery. He was talking about a PARTICULAR sin, he was talking about ANY sin... And then, according to your own theology, He, Who Was Without Sin, didn't cast any stone...he did NOT condemn her but sent her on her way. Also, do you believe that just because you accept Jesus as your savior that you NEVER sin again? Just curious... Peace <


08/25/2004 10:02:30 AM

Oversoul: You don't think people can take the mote out and then tell someone else how they did it and that they can also? I find the most used scripture (Judge not, lest you be judged) is used against the Gospel, not for it and promotes chaos to leave people confused as to what is right and what is wrong. Don't believe me look at our kids. “Campolo points out, without saying it outright, that many people in conservative Christianity want simply to use the government to penalize/punish those people who don’t live as conservative Christians live.” Putting words in Campolo’s mouth? The statement is ridiculous that’s why Tony didn’t say it.


08/25/2004 08:36:23 AM

Brock: “A hypocritical judgment is judging someone for something of which you are also guilty - calling people sinners for not believing that sin is in the eye of the beholder, for example.” Unless one is somehow morally perfect, how can one not engage in hypocrisy when passing any “moral judgment”? Campolo points out, without saying it outright, that many people in conservative Christianity want simply to use the government to penalize/punish those people who don’t live as conservative Christians live. I don’t find such an attitude to be very Christ-like.


08/25/2004 06:24:56 AM

bigredone says "my entire family will vote for Bush because in a speech he said "my Lord, Jesus Christ"." That doesn't make him a Christian. He's a politician, first and foremost. Politicians will say just about anything to get the votes they need. I think he might be a Christian, but I also think he might be using that to his political advantage. The only president that I know who has shown his Christianity, especially since leaving office, is Jimmy Carter, who was a Democrat.


08/25/2004 06:21:26 AM

mexighan says "Ken . . . can you define what a Christian is? Do groups like the Jehovah's Witness, the Latter-Day Saints, and Scientologists fall in the fold of Christianity?" Excellent question. Since I, myself,am LDS, I have heard from many evangelical Christians that I am not a Christian, mostly because I do not believe exactly like they do. To them, words like "Christian" and "cult" are defined mostly as "those who believe as I do are Christian and those who don't are not", even tho the main definition of "Christian" is "one who follows Christ and His teachings". I'm not sure if Scientology falls in that category, as I don't know their views on who or what Jesus Christ is. But I do tend to think of Mormons and JW's as Christians, just like evangelicals and Protestants and Catholics.


08/25/2004 06:11:36 AM

secondpass says "Because we want to rule others, not love them I think." Most people judge others because of their own insecurities. If a person is unsure of his own salvation, then he is going to try to judge the salvation of others, to make himself feel more secure in his own salvation. But you are right, we should not judge others, that is up to God. And like the Bible says, judging others' salvation, which is God's provence, not ours, may get you judged more harshly than the person YOU judged unworthy of God.


08/24/2004 08:56:32 PM

Campolo, in a nutshell, sounds to be complaining that evangelical Christians vote on the issues that matter most to them... I guess, according to him, we should start listening more to the issues that he would force on us, like our Great Depression economy... "Judge not, lest ye be juged..." 1st of all, read that passage before you quote it... This scripture doesn not condemn judgements about what is/isn't moral. Jesus encourages moral judgements throughout this passage (Ma 7:6, 13-15). Hypocritical judgments, not moral judgementalism, is what this passage condemns: "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye." A hypocritical judgment is judging someone for something of which you are also guilty - calling people sinners for not believing that sin is in the eye of the beholder, for example.


08/24/2004 08:23:55 PM

Mr. Campolo has it wrong. Nothing has been hijacked except for the Democratic party. This party once had a monopoly on Evangelical Christians. Why? because they used to be Pro-Life, they used to appeal to Christian voters. Nothing in the Evangelical movement has changed except which party they vote for. Just because a majority of Evangelical Christians now vote Republican instead of Democrat does not mean anything has been hijacked.


08/24/2004 07:22:42 PM

If Jesus was JUDGING, he was Judging the Judgers... Again, judge not lest ye be judged... He fulfilled his own words by "judging the judgers"... So, I'll decline judging anyone and offer compassion instead... Peace <


08/24/2004 05:45:50 PM

Sweetness, my comments were geared towards how the political parties market themselves. It seems so many times I see the argument, Yea the Dems stink, but the GOP stinks worse. Actually I would probably make the statment for myself yea the GOP stinks, but the Dems stink worse. So many of us agree that we havent much choice so we are once again left with as Cknuck says "The rich guy we think we like most".


08/24/2004 05:21:24 PM

Hissouljour writting a book? Hi fish, I don't recall Jesus wanting them to get their noses out of books. But you are correct they were blinded and had murder on their minds. Greed, hypocrisy and abuse are things Jesus pointed out to be bad. But there are other things that seem right to a man that are wrong also. Jesus' parable about the foolish maidens was a way of pointing out how to live. I think Tony missed this point widely. We are to live expecting the return and judgment of Christ. But if we do not share the Gospel, the people's blood will be on those who know Christ. So in that context we should model Christ-like living and talk about it. Talking about it can include talking about what is not it. That's not judging but is often called judging. blessed


08/24/2004 02:28:58 PM

campolo doesnt even speak for a minority of evangelicals...in fact, he may continue to call himself by that title, but its very definition excludes him from being one. Campolo refuses to even admit to the most fundamental belief of historical Christianity - that Jesus is the one door to heaven. I know of not one single other evangelical Christian (none, none at all) that Campolo speaks to. Evangelical Christianity hasn't been "hijacked" by anyone...Campolo just wants us to get hip, you know...why we gotta be SO different than the world? Campolo says he is "Bible-believing" - which Bible is that? The one that stays the same, or the one that changes to fit our mood?


08/24/2004 12:18:28 PM

Again, if Jesus was so gung-ho about judging right and wrong behavior, clearly he saw HYPOCRISY, GREED, and ABUSE OF POWER as more wrong than beating and crucifying him because clearly he stated FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. He knew they had been BLINDED by their own religious teaching...and the same thing is happening now...but with the Christians and the Muslims...they are so BLINDED by their religious beliefs, they have lost their HEARTS!!! Jesus wants them to find their HEARTS again and get their nose out of those BOOKS!!! Peace <


08/24/2004 12:15:29 PM

Ok...let me try to explain. If one of my children's friends was doing something that would bring HARM to him/herself or another...I would show COMPASSION to that person and try to find out why they are doing what they are doing and point out that in the end, THEY are the ones who will be HARMED by their own actions. i.e. suffer the consequences. I would also ask them if they would like it if someone were hurting them in that way. Homosexuality hurts NO-ONE!!! I would explain to my children that they don't have to DO what others DO...they can use their own hearts and minds to show compassion without judgement and decide if an action causes harm (rational people usally know if they are HARMING someone else). Peace <


08/24/2004 08:25:21 AM

about other things , an inordinate appetite toward those things that are pleasing to sense or to the fancy. Those that have but little of the world, may yet be ruined by an indulgence of the body. Tenthly, Fruit is the thing that God expects and requires from those that enjoy the gospel: fruit according to the seed; a temper of mind, and a course of life, agreeable to the gospel; Christian graces daily exercised, Christian duties duly performed. This is fruit, and it will abound to our account. Lastly, No good fruit is to be expected but from good seed. If the seed be sown on good ground, if the heart be humble, and holy, and heavenly, there will be good fruit, and it will abound sometimes even to a hundred fold, such a crop as Isaac reaped, Gen_26:12.


08/24/2004 08:22:29 AM

the Christian, that is one inwardly. Eighthly, Many are hindered from profiting by the word of God, by their abundance of the world. Many a good lesson of humility, charity, self-denial, and heavenly-mindedness, is choked and lost by that prevailing complacency in the world, which they are apt to have, on whom it smiles. Thus many professors, that otherwise might have come to something, prove like Pharaoh's lean kine and thin ears. Ninthly, Those that are not encumbered with the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, may yet lose the benefit of their profession by the lusts of other things; this is added here in Mark; by the desires which are


08/24/2004 08:19:46 AM

down as certainly, though more plausibly, to hell. Seventhly, Impressions that are not keep, will not be durable, but will wear off in suffering, trying times; like footsteps on the sand of the sea, which are gone the next high tide of persecution; when that iniquity doth abound, the love of many to the ways of God waxeth cold; many that keep their profession in fair days, lose it in a storm; and do as those that go to sea only for pleasure, come back again when the wind arises. It is the ruin of hypocrites, that they have no root; they do not act from a living fixed principle; they do not mind heart-work, and without that religion is nothing; for he is


08/24/2004 08:17:19 AM

company-keepers, then the devil is like the fowls; he comes swiftly, and carries away the word ere we are aware. When therefore these fowls come down upon the sacrifices, we should take care, as Abram did, to drive them away (Gen_15:11); that, though we cannot keep them from hovering over our heads, we may not let them nestle in our hearts. Sixthly, Many that are not openly scandalized, so as to throw off their profession, as they on the stony ground did, yet have the efficacy of it secretly choked and stifled, so that it comes to nothing; they continue in a barren, hypocritical profession, which brings nothing to pass, and so go


08/24/2004 08:15:27 AM

are not duly disposed and prepared to receive it; the fault is in themselves, not in the word; some are careless forgetful hearers, and these get no good at all by the word; it comes in at one ear, and goes out at the other; others have their convictions overpowered by their corruptions, and they lose the good impressions the word has made upon them, so that they get no abiding good by it. Fifthly, The devil is very busy about loose, careless hearers, as the fowls of the air go about the seed that lies above ground; when the heart, like the highway, is unploughed, unhumbled, when it lies common, to be trodden on by every passenger, as theirs that are great


08/24/2004 08:13:38 AM

yet receive no abiding benefit by it. The motions of soul they have, answerable to what they hear, are but a mere flash, like the crackling of thorns under a pot. We read of hypocrites, that they delight to know God's ways (Isa_58:2); of Herod, that he heard John gladly (Mar_6:20); of others, that they rejoiced in his light (Joh_5:35); of those to whom Ezekiel was a lovely song (Eze_33:32); and those represented here by the stony ground, received the word with gladness, and yet came to nothing. Fourthly, The reason why the word doth not leave commanding, abiding, impressions upon the minds of the people, is, because their hearts


08/24/2004 08:12:33 AM

read it, and are conversant with it, there are, comparatively, but few that receive it, so as to bring forth the fruits of it; here is but one in four, that comes to good. It is sad to think, how much of the precious seed of the word of God is lost, and sown in vain; but there is a day coming when lost sermons must be accounted for. Many that have heard Christ himself preach in their streets, will hereafter be bidden to depart from him; those therefore who place all their religion in hearing, as if that alone would save them, do but deceive themselves, and build their hope upon the sand, Jam_1:22. Thirdly, Many are much affected with the word for the present, who


08/24/2004 08:10:44 AM

sows it at a venture, beside all waters, upon all sorts of ground (Isa_32:20), not knowing where it will light, or what fruit it will bring forth. He scatters it, in order to the increase of it. Christ was awhile sowing himself, when he went about teaching and preaching; now he sends his ministers, and sows by their hand. Ministers are sowers; they have need of the skill and discretion of the husbandman (Isa_28:24-26); they must not observe winds and clouds (Ecc_11:4, Ecc_11:6), and must look up to God, who gives seed to the sower, 2Co_9:10. Secondly, That of the many that hear the word of the gospel, and


08/24/2004 08:07:55 AM

converted, have their sins forgiven them: and it is the misery of unconverted souls, that they lie under unpardoned guilt. [2.] He shows them what a shame it was, that they needed such particular explanations of the word they heard, and did not apprehend it at first. Those that would improve in knowledge, must be made sensible of their ignorance. Having thus prepared them for it, he gives them the interpretation of the parable of the sower, as we had it before in Matthew. Let us only observe here, First, That in the great field of the church, the word of God is dispensed to all promiscuously; The sower soweth the word (Mar_4:14),


08/24/2004 08:05:31 AM

into all the rest.” If we understand not the rules we are to observe in order to our profiting by the word, how shall we profit by any other rule? Observe, Before Christ expounds the parable, [1.] He shows them how sad their case was, who were not let into the meaning of the doctrine of Christ; To you it is given, but not to them. Note, It will help us to put a value upon the privileges we enjoy as disciples of Christ, to consider the deplorable state of those who want such privileges, especially that they are out of the ordinary way of conversion; lest they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mar_4:12. Those only who are


08/24/2004 08:03:24 AM

many things which we are concerned to know; and if we understand not the plain truths of the gospel, how shall we master those that are more difficult? Vita brevis, ars longa - Life is short, art is long. If we have run with the footmen, and they have wearied us, and run us down, then how shall we contend with horses? Jer_12:5. (2.) “If ye know not this, which is intended for your direction in hearing the word, that ye may profit by it; how shall ye profit by what ye are further to hear? This parable is to teach you to be attentive to the word, and affected with it, that you may understand it. If ye receive not this, ye will not know how to use the key by which ye must be let


08/24/2004 08:01:48 AM

this parable? Know ye not the meaning of it? How then will ye know all parables?” (1.) “If ye know not this, which is so plain, how will ye understand other parables, which will be more dark and obscure? If ye are gravelled and run aground with this, which bespeaks so plainly the different success of the word preached upon those that hear it, which ye yourselves may see easily, how will ye understand the parables which hereafter will speak of the rejection of the Jews, and the calling of the Gentiles, which is a thing ye have no idea of?” Note, This should quicken us both to prayer and pains that we may get knowledge, that there are a great


08/24/2004 08:00:25 AM

had it, Mat_13:3, etc. He begins (Mar_4:3), with, Hearken, and concludes (Mar_4:9) with, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Note, The words of Christ demand attention, and those who speak from him, may command it, and should stir it up; even that which as yet we do not thoroughly understand, or not rightly, we must carefully attend to, believing it to be both intelligible and weighty, that at length we may understand it; we shall find more in Christ's sayings than at first there seemed to be. 2. The exposition of it to the disciples. Here is a question Christ put to them before he expounded it, which we had not in Matthew (Mar_4:13); “Know ye not


08/24/2004 07:59:37 AM

secret of the Lord was with them. That instructed them, which others were only amused with, and they were made to increase in knowledge by every parable, and understood more of the way and method in which Christ designed to set up his kingdom in the world, while others were dismissed, never the wiser. Note, Those who know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, must acknowledge that it is given to them; they receive both the light and the sight from Jesus Christ, who, after his resurrection, both opened the scriptures, and opened the understanding, Luk_24:27, Luk_24:45. In particular, we have here, 1. The parable of the sower, as we


08/24/2004 07:58:31 AM

a great deal of carelessness, and never look before them with any concern upon the things that belong to their peace. II. The way of expounding that he used with his disciples; When he was alone by himself, not only the twelve, but others that were about him with the twelve, took the opportunity to ask him the meaning of the parables, Mar_4:10. They found it good to be about Christ; the nearer him the better; good to be with the twelve, to be conversant with those that are intimate with him. And he told them what a distinguishing favour it was to them, that they were made acquainted with the mystery of the kingdom of God, Mar_4:11. The


08/24/2004 07:57:24 AM

would but amuse them; seeing they would see, and not perceive (Mar_4:12); and so, while it gratified their curiosity, it was the punishment of their stupidity; they wilfully shut their eyes against the light, and therefore justly did Christ put it into the dark lantern of a parable, which had a bright side toward those who applied it to themselves, and were willing to be guided by it; but to those who were only willing for a season to play with it, it only gave a flash of light now and then, but sent them away in the dark. It is just with God to say of those that will not see, that they shall not see, and to hide from their eyes, who only look about them with


08/24/2004 07:53:03 AM

shipping off of the kingdom of God (that rich cargo) from the Jewish nation, to be sent to a people that would bring forth more of the fruits of it. Now observe here, I. The way of teaching that Christ used with the multitude (Mar_4:2); He taught them many things, but it was by parables or similitudes, which would tempt them to hear; for people love to be spoken to in their own language, and careless hearers will catch at a plain comparison borrowed from common things, and will retain and repeat that, when they have lost, or perhaps never took, the truth which it was designed to explain and illustrate: but unless they would take pains to search into it, it


08/24/2004 07:51:25 AM

again to teach by the sea side, where they could come within hearing. Thus are we debtors both to the wise and to the unwise, Rom_1:14. Here seems to be a new convenience found out, which had not been used before, though he had before preached by the sea side (Mar_2:13), and that was - his standing in a ship, while his hearers stood upon the land; and that inland sea of Tiberias having no tide, there was no ebbing and flowing of the waters to disturb them. Methinks Christ's carrying his doctrine into a ship, and preaching it thence, was a presage of his sending the gospel to the isles of the Gentiles, and the


08/24/2004 07:49:51 AM

Mar 4:1-20 - The foregoing chapter began with Christ's entering into the synagogue (Mar_4:1); this chapter begins with Christ's teaching again by the sea side. Thus he changed his method, that if possible all might be reached and wrought upon. To gratify the nice and more genteel sort of people that had seats, chief seats, in the synagogue, and did not care for hearing a sermon any where else, he did not preach always by the sea side, but, having liberty, went often into the synagogue, and taught there; yet, to gratify the poor, the mob, that could not get room in the synagogue, he did not always preach there, but began


08/24/2004 07:24:06 AM

"Judge not lest ye be judged," is one on the most mis-quoted scripture in the Bible. You've really got to take a look at what is judging, and not let a mis-interpretation prevent us from saying what is right and what is wrong. What if your kid came up to you and said I saw Billy doing this or that; can I do it to. Are you going to say I can't judge Billy to tell you if that is right or wrong to do you'll just have to decide for yourself? Of course you wouldn't. That's not the kind of judgment Jesus was referring to. Did he not turn over tables in the temple? Did he not call the Pharisees vipers? So we can be righteously upset. As long as we don’t bring harm on anyone.


08/24/2004 04:52:13 AM

"Surely, then, you can find it in your heart not to judge what clearly Jesus DID NOT!!!" I am not judging anyone for crucifying me personally and apparently in some ignorance. I am judging as morally flawed the practice of inserting a penis into a rear-end. Forgiveness for personal affronts is to be distinguished from proper assessment of moral behavior in general.


08/24/2004 02:42:46 AM

sweetness... Right Effin On!!! Peace <


08/24/2004 02:06:24 AM

One more thing: You're probably wondering, how could the country pay for all this "investment" in health care, education, homeownership, etc. that I propose? I don't know, maybe we could cut the defense budget in half? You know, let's be honest--we're not any safer for having a gigantic military, are we? We're spending over $400 billion a year on our military--no one else in the world even comes close. Let's change our priorities, and bring the peace dividend home. Not with me on that one? All right, how about taxing capital, instead of labor? Trillions of dollars change hands every year in our financial markets. What if we put a tax of 1/10 of 1% on all financial transactions in this country? I wonder how many billions we could raise that way? It all comes down to what kind of society we want to have here in the U.S.--one that forces people to struggle to survive, or one that lifts people up. It's up to us to decide...


08/24/2004 01:52:07 AM

If Bush cared about the middle class, he would also do something to increase homeownership. How many middle-class families, even with two incomes, are having trouble paying mortgages on increasingly expensive houses? Again, I would argue that public *investment* in homeownership--along the lines of Truman's Federal Housing Administration--would be a step in the right direction. Or, we could take the conservative route, and just let things go as they are... A President who cared about the middle class would also support investment in a system of universal health care. Then families wouldn't have to worry about losing their insurance if they lost their jobs; and employers wouldn't pay such a heavy burden to insure their employees. A strong, secure middle class should be the basis of a vibrant economy, because they will have money to spend & invest, and the country would prosper for it.


08/24/2004 01:42:28 AM

BKenn01: "...Many Dems have already left the fold. The GOP figured out how to [deal?] with this long ago. Appeal to the middle class. The materalistic among us (I struggle with it every day). The ones that are financially astute enough to figure more govt. means more taxes..." Hmm, so why is Bush signing tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the super-rich, not the middle class? Plus, if Bush cared about the middle class, he would do something to stem the decline in our public school system, and the skyrocketing cost of college. Because those have traditionally been the means to middle-class, professional jobs; and the means for middle-class families to pass on their status to their children. I would argue that federal investment in our educational system would be a good start. But that goes against the conservative opposition to "big government," so they have to come up with gimmicks like school vouchers and waves of new tests. (cont'd)


08/24/2004 01:34:38 AM

BKenn01: "The guy [John Kerry] looks like a preppy Lerch, and has his personality to. If the Dems had elected somebody with some charm, Bush would probably be trailing by 10 points..." Oh, I see. So we ought to choose who to vote for based on "charm" and "personality," rather than issues and policies. Is that the ideal for citizenship in a democracy? Lots of our leaders, particularly before the "TV age," didn't exactly have a lot of looks or style. Do you think Abraham Lincoln could have gotten elected in a televised election? At the time, most people never got to see Presidents in person; so they had to judge them based on what they *said* about the *issues* that mattered to them.


08/24/2004 01:01:26 AM

Re: 'Evangelical Christianity Has Been Hijacked': An Interview with Tony Campolo Campolo is quoted as saying: "I’d like to point out that in the 16th chapter of Romans, the seventh verse, we have reference to Junia. Junia was a woman and she held the high office of apostle in the early Church. What is frightening to me is that in the New International Translation of the Scriptures, the word Junia was deliberately changed to Junius to make it male." I own several copies of the NIV. All copies which I have checked have "Junias," NOT "Junius" in Rom. 16:7; i.e., the penultimate letter in the spelling is "a," NOT "u." Is this error the transcriber's fault, or is there a rule/principle in the romanization of Greek which stipulates that the addition of "s" to a feminine name changes the name to a masculine one, or neither of the above?


08/24/2004 12:46:47 AM

And notice WHO he is asking you to forgive...NOT homosexuals, or prosititutes, or women who use their free will (God given, I might add)...but the MURDERERS and SMALL, NARROW MINDS that KILLED HIM!!! Surely, then, you can find it in your heart not to judge what clearly Jesus DID NOT!!! Peace <


08/24/2004 12:44:35 AM

That was Christ's message after all??? Look at what they have done to me and I ask that "YOU FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO"...Surely, this was Jesus message??? Peace <


08/24/2004 12:43:34 AM

"It makes sense to judge what others do openly (e.g. murder babies and promote homosexuality," But Jesus said not to judge AT ALL!!! Lest ye be judged!!! And you don't know what is "in the heart" of someone who has an abortion or someone who is homosexual. Therefore, do not judge AT ALL!!! That was Christ's message. To judge is human, to FORGIVE is divine??? Peace <


08/24/2004 12:29:56 AM

orthoCat: care to explain to me why it is that Homosexuality is bad, without using a biblical example? Since you know, this isn't a theocracy, and not everyone follows the bible in this nation. Heck, not even every christian follows it.


08/23/2004 10:12:55 PM

Anyone who cares about the poor is called upon to help them himself, not raise taxes (engage in theft). It's the Left which is trying to hijack Christiainity by equating government action with personal involvement. It makes sense to judge what others do openly (e.g. murder babies and promote homosexuality, which is explicitly condemned in the Bible whereas tax policy is not delineated anywhere); what is so much more dangerous to judge is what is in someone's heart and what is motivating someone (to go into Iraq for example); the Left excels at precisly that sort of judgment.


08/23/2004 09:56:09 PM

AMEN TO CAMPOLO - power to more Christians like him, who actually follow Christ.


08/23/2004 07:03:05 PM

"Our Founding Fathers were elitists and largely anti-populist." I think that is a mean anti-America statement. Knowing anything about history (and it seems as you do) surely you must know for what they were working with our founding fathers were revolutionary. Our founding fathers were bold and moved toward freedom for all at an incredible pace for the times. I often wonder when I read statements like that, what would the person making the statement had did not knowing what we know now, raised under the same set of standards and belief as the innovative founding fathers, would they have been so revolutionary, or just want to blend in and not make waves? Considering the risk, would you, could you be a founding father.


08/23/2004 05:22:21 PM

I joined the military because it is a means of upward social mobility. Not because I feel motivated by national chauvinism and "gettin' me some rag heads." I'm a "rag head." :o) America is a contradictory democracy. Our Constitution ensures liberty, but not necessarily social equality. Our Founding Fathers were elitists and largely anti-populist. Overtime, America has tried to ensure equality as well as liberty. Overtime, America has flirted with populism.


08/23/2004 05:02:37 PM

mexighan... As much as I hate the idea of military AT ALL...your idea about drafing EVERYONE holds some merit. It's an interesting idea to ponder. After all, when the "rich politicos" children are "on the line" perhaps more rational heads would prevail??? Peace <


08/23/2004 03:35:09 PM

Actually, for being a liberal, I support a universal draft that would make it mandatory for all Americans 18-26 years of age to serve in one of the four branches of the armed forces WITH NO exceptions. College would not be a cop-out, neither being financially bestowed. This would help address the obesity epidemic in America and would make the War on Terror a reality for everyone. I think we would be less likely to sacrifice an entire generation of men and women for wars waged on false pretenses. We would use force more cautiously than have grand visions of reshaping the core Muslim lands in our own image.


08/23/2004 03:08:28 PM

This why this coming November I'm voting for anybody but Bush. Bush may come across being a "folksy" character, however, he's still a rich white man with privileges I could only dream of. I had to work my way through college, I had no prior predecessors to ensure my admissions letter, I have no relatives to land me nice well-paid jobs in the petro industry. I'm just a lower middle class, Latino/Afghan "white looking" Muslim trying to achieve my piece of the American dream. To me the Republicans do not embody "folksy" qualities, since most of these white men are well RICH. When did they ever have to worry about only having $4 in their bank account? Sorry if I sound off being a "reverse racist" (favorite neo-con term) and arbiter of "class warfare." I'm no advocate of class warfare, but class is no myth in our post-modern reality.


08/23/2004 03:00:03 PM

I find it amazing how the US has so much potential but does not utilize it. Our agricultural surplus is enough to feed the world's 6.5 billion people. Yet most of this surplus is dumped. The US has 97 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, but Bush is against providing elderly Americans with discount prescriptions from Canada. As someone who enlisted in the Navy, I receive a $18,000 enlistment bonus plus the Navy pays my school debts which are under $20,000. If the US had a mandatory draft, the economic incentive to join the military for me would not have been there. They throw money at college graduates left and right. Sadly, after a year since college graduation, I've been unlucky to find decent employment in a career job. That was why I joined the military, not because I want to be a "hero." I haven't felt the "turning around the corner" economic rebound praised by Bush.


08/23/2004 01:05:10 PM

Sounds like a lot of evangelicals could do to listen to this guy. Actually talking sense and consistency, anyway. It'd make better neighbors of you, that's for sure.


08/23/2004 11:38:40 AM

I stand with you both in the factthat more needs to be done, BUT, it is not our government's constitutional obligation to be the "God" of humanitarian aid" to every one. It's mandated job is to provide our country's defense, PROMOTE (not provide) the general welfare, and secure that what we work hard for, we keep. Being a free country means WE have the right to give and bless others. DId you know that statistically if every Christian church gave $20 month, we would have no hunger in the united states. I don't look to the government for bringing salvation, it's too flawed, made of flawed humans. I look to the society that voted and has the freedom to give, with involving the goverment at all.


08/23/2004 12:08:03 AM

jimmyrow... Right on, dude ; ) Peace <


08/23/2004 12:06:25 AM

Bkenn01, I agree, most politics is voter manipulation and it leads a bad taste in my mouth. In your earlier posts I thought you were applauding the GOP for their sly ways. We live in a free and prosperous democracy and there's no excuse for an ignorant, manipulative politician who dreams a nightmare getting elected in the U.S. Shame on us. So, getting back to the original discussion, we Americans must be free thinking, practicing idealists and we must take back our government and our power and demand accountablity and right action from our elected "public servants."


08/22/2004 11:57:48 PM

Bkenn01, I don't think conservatives are evil. I am conservative on some issues and I've, at times, voted Republican. My issue is with the Bush Admin. and the far right wing which dominates the Republican Party. Today's Republican Party is not your father's or your grandfather's Republican Party. Granted, the Dems are not a great alternative nor is John Kerry. But The Dems political platform is geared far more toward serving people and humanitarian ideals than is the present GOP's. Kerry's not great but he's a step in the right direction. Regarding liberalism. I think we've lost sight that all the great ideas that have lifted the human condition have come from liberal thinking. Jesus, Buddha, Martin Luther, Einstein, etc etc were all liberals in their day for they looked beyond the status quo and saw a better way. That today, labeling a politician as a liberal is akin to a scarlet letter reflects how skewed to the right America has become.


08/22/2004 11:52:03 PM

Well, gotta go. Again Jimmyrow, I apologize if I offended.


08/22/2004 11:47:06 PM

When you think about it, do either one of the partys deliver what they promise. No they primarily play lip service to us. Perhaps those who do not vote are the smart ones.


08/22/2004 11:43:09 PM

In my opinion all politics is voter manipulation. I am a stats nerd as far as elections go.


08/22/2004 11:39:40 PM

Jimmyrow, I guess we will have to agree to disagree, my intent was not to offend.


08/22/2004 11:27:22 PM

Bkenn01, You question the credibility of my rhetoric regarding good-intentioned people being led by their noses by the religious right and in the next breath you applaud the GOP for the facile gift for manipulating voter perception en masse??? Sounds like double-talk on your part. In fact, I find your discussion of politics here both shallow and troubling. jimmyrow


08/22/2004 11:22:49 PM

BK: Kerry looks like lurch in a lot of artist renditions. Bush, in the artist views, always appears rather tiny.. I don't see it. However in general I think he looks like a half wit moron. So we get to choose between Lurch, and the Dunce. BK, what do you say you and I get some missiles, strap them to ourselves, and well... you know the rest. I hear Canada is nice this time of year ;)


08/22/2004 11:18:56 PM

Many on the Right would label Left leaning politics as fear driven. So here we are just left with name calling and still getting nothing accomplished.


08/22/2004 11:18:45 PM

In your earlier post, you admit that anybody with a little charm and half a brain could lead by 10% in the polls. Yet, you'll still vote for Bush. Why???? Jimmyrow, I made that statment based on an honest appraisal of the current state of the electorate. The Iraq war has worn on a lot of people. I also believe had Bush not gone to war he would probably be leading by 15% right now. Jimmyroe, I am still a Repbulican and mainly because what they stand for (well at least claim to stand for, cause anymore it appears there is not a dimes difference between their actions) I do. I respect your opinion, you seem to genuinly care about the worlds opinions of us. I try to see it from where you are coming from. I dont think you have bad intentions. The problem is that you appear to see persons who view the world from a conservative point of view as evil.


08/22/2004 11:10:11 PM

Bkenn01, First, I stand by my statement but I will concede that Mr. Campolo stated it much more eloquently. Second, I'm neither a Republican or Democrat. I have no interest in the childish pissing contests of party politics. The world owes George Bush a big thank you. Bush has given us a crash course education in the disaster that fear-driven, far right politics is. He's unwittingly raised human awareness worldwide about who we don't want to be and the actions that degrade human life. In fact, in short time his hamfisted, blatantly malicious administration has exposed the American people to the ugliness of the corrupt corporate and political powers he serves. Darkness is an effective teacher. I can't think of one good-hearted action Bush has taken to improve the quality of life on the planet. Can you? Name one. In your earlier post, you admit that anybody with a little charm and half a brain could lead by 10% in the polls. Yet, you'll still vote for Bush. Why????


08/22/2004 11:05:01 PM

Marketing 101, that is what politics is. The Dems used to be the masters of it. Now the GOP looks like the Pro.


08/22/2004 11:03:42 PM

In spite of everything, I believe the Democrats are *marginally* better on issues of economic fairness and justice, than the Republicans. That's not saying much, but it's enough for me. Sweetness, there in lies one of the problems. Even though you are hanging on by a thread. Many Dems have already left the fold. The GOP figured out how to with this long ago. Appeal to the middle class. The materalistic among us (I struggle with it every day). The ones that are financially astute enough to figure more govt. means more taxes. The Dems have taken the opposite role. They joined the GOP in bed with the Rich. The GOP has successfully marketed a comfortable income as Rich in our society. Therefore many middle class voters think of themselves as wealthy. Thus when the Dems bash the Rich, they think they are talking to them.


08/22/2004 10:16:02 PM

Many good-intentioned people are being led by their noses by the Religious Right which has some Taliban-like qualities. Jimmyrow, that is exactly the type rhetoric that causes the Dems to lose credibility in the mainstream. It is the same as Conservatives calling Democrats Socialist. It only plays to the party loyalist. Turns off swing voters.


08/22/2004 10:12:03 PM

How Bush could be dead even in the polls after all that, is a mystery to me. Sweetness, that is real simple John Kerry. The guy looks like a preppy Lerch, and has his personality to. If the Dems had elected somebody with some charm, Bush would probably be trailing by 10 points. Keep in mind I am a Bush voter saying this.


08/22/2004 06:15:02 PM

Some in the Christian Right would like to institute a theocracy here in the United States based on "Christian values." However, there is no singular definition for a Christian. Christianity is fractured along denominational lines, and even on social issues like gay marriage the Church in America is in major disagreement. The Southern Baptist are hostile to gays in general while the Episcopalians bless same sex unions at their local marriages. The Catholic Church is hesitant to combat pedophilia among men of the cloth while some churches are more theatrics than devotion. Americans may be more pious than their European counterparts, but I would like to see this self-righteous Christians living in the spirit of the Prophet Jesus. I've read the Gospels, and though Jesus came with a clear mission in mind, he showed compassion towards all.


08/22/2004 05:10:53 PM

It's encouraging to see an evangelical minister courageously speak up to draw attention to the incongruency of the Bush Admin's policies and actions with the teachings of Jesus. The Bush Admin is the worse example but it runs rampant throughout American business and politics. George Bush has done such an excellent job in showing us the disaster that fear-based, far right politics is. We all owe him a big thank you for this effective crash course which has raised human awareness everywhere. It's important for all people to remain free thinking and to follow their hearts in making choices rather than following the direction of some so-called higher authoritarian platform made and run by men. Many good-intentioned people are being led by their noses by the Religious Right which has some Taliban-like qualities.


08/22/2004 04:38:06 PM

mexighan: "Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same elitist coin....Sadly, there is no real choice in American politics..." Amen to that! However, having said all this (sorry to be hogging the board, everyone), I will still support Kerry in the election. In spite of everything, I believe the Democrats are *marginally* better on issues of economic fairness and justice, than the Republicans. That's not saying much, but it's enough for me. I also believe Bush must be removed from office, to hold him and his administration accountable for lying to us about Iraq and WMD's; and Iraq's supposed collusion with al-Qaeda. Over 900 U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqis are dead; Iraq is a mess now; and most of the world hates the U.S. to an unprecendented degree. How Bush could be dead even in the polls after all that, is a mystery to me.


08/22/2004 04:28:48 PM

BKenn01: "Remember the Dems used to also be military hawks....If you will remember it was Democrats who dropped the A bomb and a Democrat who led the military aggression in WW2." Well, there has been plenty of warmongering from both parties over the years. Before George H.W. Bush's "Gulf War," some Republicans used to say that "Democrats got us into all four major wars in this century, from World War I to Vietnam." But do you seriously think that the Republicans would have acted any differently, for example, if they had been in control during Pearl Harbor? Plus, while the Democrats got us into Vietnam, Nixon expanded the war into Cambodia; and Eisenhower committed us to Diem's regime in South Vietnam in the first place. "Other change are that the Democrats have also gotten cozy with big biz..." No argument from me there. It's all about corporate contributions to political campaigns now--buying access & getting corporate welfare in return. We all ought to be disgusted--with both parties.


08/22/2004 04:20:19 PM

BKenn01: "There has been a major realignment in the parties since the new deal. If I was of voting age 60 years ago, I may have been a Democrat." If you'd lived in Kentucky, that's certainly possible. But remember, the Democrats also used to be the party of "states rights" and segregation in the South. It was only when the Democrats did an about-face under Kennedy and Johnson, and got the Civil Rights Act passed, that they became liberal on civil rights (actually, before them Truman also desegregated the armed forces...but I digress). When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act, he said the Democrats would lose the South; and in time, he was proven right. The only thing that changed is that the Religious Right has taken the place of the pro-segregationist movement in the South; so now the South is more or less "solid" for the Republicans. And now the issues are things like abortion and gun control; while the economic justice issues seem to take a back seat.


08/22/2004 04:12:27 PM

BKenn01: "It is being way to simplistic to just use the rich vs. poor argument. My point about the Democratic party is that it has been captured by a bunch of extremist groups representing a minority opinion. This has hurt them with mainstream voters." Just curious: What's "extremist" in the Democratic Party agenda? Is it their pro-choice stand on abortion? I believe a sizable majority of Americans have consistently favored that. It can't be gay marriage, because the Democratic leadership hasn't taken a position in favor of that. Last I checked, Kerry was in favor of "civil unions" that would give gay couples the same rights as married couples. I'm not sure what the polls say about Americans' feelings on gun control. But an assault weapons ban doesn't sound "extremist" to me. When was the last time someone hunted deer with an AK-47? If you can't hunt with it, what do you need it for? (cont'd)


08/22/2004 03:14:07 PM

I'm part Afghan, and I begrudgingly supported US military actions against the Islamist Taliban regime. To me Afghanistan was a necessary war, Iraq was not! As for being Muslim, I believe Muslim countries need to prioritize pluralism in all its forms. The problem with the Muslim world is the lack of interfaith dialogue and suspicions towards non-Muslim cultures. Iraq is not an Islamist state, Allawi is a rather secular Shia Muslim. Though Ayatollah Sistani rallies on a moderate Islamist platform, he realizes the necessity to honor pluralism in a new Iraq.


08/22/2004 03:09:02 PM

The poll, a nonscientific one at that, concerning Muslim voters was conducted by CAIR - Council for American-Islamic Relations. CAIR has been attacked by many conservatives who are ardent pro-Zionists. The figure concerning the racial and ethnic distribution of Muslims is based on the 2000 US Census. The Muslim population in the United States has no ethnic or racial majority, and like Muslims worldwide, Arab Muslims are a minority among American Muslims. Most Iraqi Americans are Christians, not Muslims. Many of them being Chaldeans or Assyrians. In fact, most Arab Americans in the US are Christian, not Muslim.


08/22/2004 02:00:05 PM

mexighan, I am just curious were those stats come from. I read an article in time magazine that said the majority of US muslems were African American. There is no way I see that Bush got a majority of that vote. Also I question that 2% figure. Many Iraq Americans heavily supported the President and the war in Iraq.


08/22/2004 10:02:12 AM

"In a nation that values separation of Church and State, I feel it is inappropriate for the President to wear his religious beliefs on his sleeve." As a Muslim would you say this statement in any Muslim country, like Iran or Iraq?


08/22/2004 12:40:45 AM

We Muslims venerate the Prophet Jesus or Isa ibn Maryam (his name in Arabic). At my mosque, I am tuaght that the Lord's Prayer is essentially identical to the essence of the al-Fatiha (opening prayer in the Qur'an).


08/22/2004 12:38:50 AM

In a nation that values separation of Church and State, I feel it is inappropriate for the President to wear his religious beliefs on his sleeve. It is one thing to be devout, but invoking the name of Christ will serve to undermine his support among conservative Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. These groups traditionally vote or lean to the Republican Party. However, many of America's 4 million estimated registered Muslim voters have felt alienated by the President in terms of his foreign policy. In 2000, Muslims voted overwhelmingly for BUsh. In a recent poll, he receives only 2% of the MUslim vote.


08/22/2004 12:35:10 AM

Sometimes taking on social issues can be a divisive move. The newly imposed restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba by Cuban Americans may divide the Cuban community in this coming election. Those who have arrived here within the last twenty years still have families in Cuba, and they will circumvent US restrictions by going through a third country be it Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, Venezuela, or Spain. The issue of gay marriage is also dividing conservatives. Some conservatives what a national marriage amendment imposed on the Constitution, yet this would violate the cherished conservative tenet of states' rights.


08/22/2004 12:35:08 AM

I think Campolo is right about Evangelicals supporting war too much, and supporting the hostile actions of Israeli's against Palestinians. There's a free book offer at http://www.FreeGoodNews.com called "Between 2 fires" that talks about the Israeli's, and how the religious right in America has supported them. The book talks about how Christ is relevent to all these struggles, and the ultimate solution. Christ can break down the wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles. Campolo is right-- we need to experience the personal and transforming relationship with Christ.


08/22/2004 12:31:20 AM

Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same elitist coin. Sadly, there is no real choice in American politics. Both parties are too afraid to alienate voters, so they essentially rehash the same message and take on the same stance. Yet the difference lies in the details. This is so evident with Bush and Kerry. America would be a more dynamic democracy if we had a European-style multiparty system.


08/22/2004 12:28:59 AM

By the Church what do you mean Jack Turner? According to Christian trinitarian doctrine, only through Christ, NOT the Church, can one receive salvation.


08/21/2004 11:20:27 PM

"Are only Christians going to get to heaven?" I can’t answer that question... That one seems easy enough to me: those who are within the Church are the ones who have received salvation, for salvation is dispensed through the Church. The problem is the Church itself: we know where the Church is, but we do not know where it is not, and that makes all the difference.


08/21/2004 08:40:21 PM

Many Dems have figured this out on gun control. Have you noticed that even with the assault weapons ban about to expire they are not bringing this up. The reason why is obvious. Blue Collar union voters. Many of these people will turn on Kerry in a heartbeat if they feel he is going to push any form of gun control. These among others are reasons I feel the Dems have lost their way. For them to recover they are going to have to get rid of many of the extremist, much the same way they have left the gun control croud with no where to turn.


08/21/2004 08:37:10 PM

The GOP has successfully taken many of what used to be the Dem strong hold. The middle class. That cut taxes for the top 5% doesnt wash with many of these former Dems. Why? because America is basically a materialistic society. As long as they are getting theirs, they dont care if a rich guy is getting a cut to. You are right also when you bring up the abortion and gay right issue. These issues along with gun control have lost the Dems many voters. You are talking about Kansas becoming a Red state. The same thing happened here in KY. This state was once dominated by the Dems, but because of the parties stand at the federal level on these 3 issues among others, it has eroded their power. The GOP took the governers mansion for the first time in 37 years last year.


08/21/2004 08:31:58 PM

It is being way to simplistic to just use the rich vs. poor argument. My point about the Democratic party is that it has been captured by a bunch of extremist groups representing a minority opinion. This has hurt them with mainstream voters. There has been a major realignment in the parties since the new deal. If I was of voting age 60 years ago, I may have been a Democrat. Remember the Dems used to also be military hawks. There used to be very little difference in the parties. If you will remember it was Democrats who dropped the A bomb and a Democrat who led the military aggression in WW2. Problem is now for fear of alienating some of their base, they go back and forth on the issue. Other change are that the Democrats have also gotten cozy with big biz. The American people know this and when the GOP for the Rich stuff comes up, all they do is think of the fact that the Dems are also in bed with Corporate America and just roll their eyes.


08/21/2004 05:56:25 PM

My point, mexighan, is that if poor and working-class people don't see the Democratic politicians caring about (or doing anything about) their issues, then they're not going to support them. They'll either not vote at all, and say the whole system is rotten (which many people do, poor or otherwise); or they may support the Republicans because of their conservative stands on "social issues" like abortion and gays. To bring this back to the Campolo interview, I'm glad Campolo is basically calling "B.S." on the Republican Party. Yes, he says, we evangelicals support you on abortion and some of these issues...but your economic policies aren't exactly Biblical, or "compassionate," or anything like the priorities of Christ (as far as we know about them). Personally, I'm not evangelical, and I could only very loosely be called a "Christian" at all; but I'm glad Campolo is raising the issue of economic justice in our current political climate. I hope evangelicals are listening.


08/21/2004 05:47:45 PM

mexighan: "Explain to me sweetness4 life this one point....If the Democrats have abandoned the working poor and labor unions, how are the Republicans anymore concerned about the working poor?..." My answer: They're not. And you're right on all points about the Republicans' economic policies, and about their pandering to the Religious Right. I'm not defending the Republicans at all, believe me! Perhaps it's more a matter of the Democrats paying lip-service to the working class and unions, as someone said below. Remember, it was the Democrat Clinton who signed NAFTA, which accelerated the drain of U.S. manufacturing jobs to low-wage overseas production. It was also the Democrat Clinton who signed the GATT agreement that created the WTO, which is an unelected international body that can strike down sovereign nations' labor and environmental laws as "trade barriers." (cont'd)


08/21/2004 11:49:16 AM

Explain to me sweetness4 life this one point, If the Democrats have abandoned the working poor and labor unions, how are the Republicans anymore concerned about the working poor? The Republicans give tax cuts to the nation's top five percent of the wealthiest Americans. The belief is that reduced taxes will lead to more spending in the economy and the much talked about "turning the corner" in terms of an economic recovery. The Republicans pander to religious Christian bigots. These bigots like John Hagee on television are no different than Muslim bigots who denounce Israel. Both Islam and Christianity have one fundamental problem: they both have a tendency of demonizing "non-Believers."


08/21/2004 11:36:42 AM

"Truth is if we met closer to the middle more often we would all be better for it." Truer words were never written, my friend. Ditto, sweetness... Peace <


08/21/2004 01:20:41 AM

BKenn01: I'm interested in what you have said about the Democrats, because to a degree I also believe they've abandoned their roots as the working class, pro-labor "party of FDR." When the Democratic Party leadership abandons the poor & working people, what else can one expect but that some of these people will turn to the Republicans? Unfortunately, I think this is a tragic turn of events, because I believe the current Republican leadership is leading the country in a dangerous direction--and I don't think we'll recover if we don't change course soon. By the way, here's an article that might give you a different perspective on what I've just said. It's about how Kansas became a "red state": http://www.alternet.org/election04/19275/


08/20/2004 09:47:21 PM

Kymus, to me it is better to think it thru than to take the Im always right and the other side is wrong argument. Truth is if we met closer to the middle more often we would all be better for it.


08/20/2004 04:15:13 PM

Mexhigan In Islam, all believers are required to give zakat (obligatory charity) to those less fortunate in the community. This is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam. "obligatory charity" ? That sounds like a contradiction of terms. To my understanding charity is something that is freely given it comes from the heart and is a manifiestation of compassion. Obligatory charity sounds like taxes that are disbursed to the poor.


08/20/2004 03:05:49 PM

"my entire family will vote for Bush because in a speech he said "my Lord, Jesus Christ". Hasn't your family ever heard the passage "not everyone who says 'Lord, Lord' will see the kingdom"?


08/20/2004 02:17:42 PM

BK: " The GOP will have a hard time shedding the for the rich label, because the Dems pay lip service to the poor. The Dems will have a hard time shedding the anti religion label, because the GOP pays lip service to Christians." You should get a job at Fox. You actually walk the walk of "fair and balanced". I like how you pointed all that out :). And you're right, a lot of it is all about lip-service


08/20/2004 12:47:39 PM

The GOP will have a hard time shedding the for the rich label, because the Dems pay lip service to the poor. The Dems will have a hard time shedding the anti religion label, because the GOP pays lip service to Christians.


08/20/2004 12:45:41 PM

My point was just that the Dems seem to be far less sympathetic to Christians. What you fail to realize is that many people see the ACLU and other groups who want to make changes to traditions, Christians are not going to like that, and they dont have to be fringe groups. I know many a Catholic who was once a Democrat who has switched due to this hostility. Whether right or wrong, the Dems have earned this as their burden to bear. I personally do not think either part is anymore for the Rich than the other, I think they both idolize corporate America. But the GOP has earned the party of the rich label. The Dems have earned the label of the anti religious party. Rightly or Wrongly it has happened.


08/20/2004 10:37:46 AM

my entire family will vote for Bush because in a speech he said "my Lord, Jesus Christ". therefore, to them, that makes him more "religious" than Kerry. There is no discussion of any political issues: social security, the WAR, medicare, the environment.....nothing. just because he says he's a Christian. and yes, they belong to the Assembly of God Church.


08/20/2004 09:47:40 AM

To follow up with Mexighan: Although Christianity does not have a legal code such as Zakat, Christ does tell his followers that unless one renounces his possessions, he cannot be a disciple. Furthermore, when the early church was formed, they held all things in common, as recorded in the book of Acts. We see later church fathers, such as Justin Martyr and Tertullian, well into the second and into the beginning of the third century, claiming the sames ethos.


08/20/2004 12:23:42 AM

One thing that extreme Evangelicals could learn from Islam is the notion of social justice. In Islam, all believers are required to give zakat (obligatory charity) to those less fortunate in the community. This is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam.


08/20/2004 12:20:16 AM

Like Campolo mentions, many Religious Right Evangelicals are hostile to Islam and all things Islamic. They dismiss the similarities between Islam and Christianity and their support of Israeli policies concerning the Palestinian plight is blinded to human suffering and tragedy. However, what this article doesn't mention is how a few extreme evangelicals believe that America-Britain have some "divine covenant" with the Creator who will do battle with the forces of the "Whore of Babylon."


08/20/2004 12:16:04 AM

Ken . . . can you define what a Christian is? Do groups like the Jehovah's Witness, the Latter-Day Saints, and Scientologists fall in the fold of Christianity? I think it is unfair to suggest that the Democrats are hostile to the religiously pious in this country.


08/20/2004 12:12:57 AM

The politicization of non-Catholic Christianity in the United States is a worrisome trend. As a Muslim who was raised Southern Baptist, I find that many Protestant Churches engage to much in secular politics. Remember, the politicization of Islam is what has led to fanaticism. In American Christianity, we see where ministers are acting as pundits on behalf of politicians, and most noticeably the Republican Party. The problem with Abrahamic religions is that people have a tendency to judge others and to differentiate between believers and non-believers. As for the comments proceeding mines, these "entitlement" programs are hard to do away with when seniors are the ones in the country who vote and are less likely to yield their privilege to social security.


08/19/2004 11:35:25 PM

The staunch loyalty of many older Americans who have voted this way all there life is the only thing keeping this party afloat amongst native born Americans. Many of those people are leaving us on a daily basis to go on to their great reward. The younger generations are far more open to voting Republican. They see it as it is. What have you done for me lately? I think many Americans say of the Democrats: Not Much. Many of their great programs are turning out to be a millstone around our childrens necks. What should have been social safety nets have turned into entitlments. We truly have a lot to fix in this country. Many of us just dont see the Democrats as being a credible repairman.


08/19/2004 11:30:34 PM

Naturally Evangelicals are going to be more likely to vote for the party that makes them feel most welcome. There are many times the Democrat Party (or groups with heavy ties to) have a hostile attitude towards Christians. I think the article may be better pointed at who hijacked the Democrat Party. Zell Miller is telling it as it is. A once great party who represented the working class of America has become so bogged down in Liberal causes it has lost its soul I do not know if there is a way to salvage this party. Until the extreme Leftist are taken out of control, mainstreem America will continue to drift to the Republicans.


08/19/2004 10:45:50 PM

By the way, I noticed that I started off with almost the exact same opening sentence as lanceg100 did. I don't know if this is a case of great minds thinking alike; of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery; or of my sheer laziness in writing my post. I'm guessing it's the latter... :)


08/19/2004 10:43:33 PM

I'm very pleased to read this interview with Mr. Campolo. The alignment of much of evangelical Christianity with the reactionary conservative Republican politics in the U.S., is one reason I left the church. (The other reasons were what I see as evangelical Christianity's incomprehensible theology of Heaven & Hell, "saved" and "damned," and its slavishly literal interpretation of the Bible.) Actually, though, if one is going to take the Bible seriously, as Mr. Campolo does, then the clear and unmistakable Biblical messages that God is on the side of the poor and oppressed, cannot be ignored. In light of this, the fact that most conservative Christians in the U.S. seem to support politicians who favor the wealthy & the largest corporations, at the expense of the rest of us, is very difficult to understand.


08/19/2004 02:13:28 PM

I am glad to read this interview with Tony Campolo. I think that the big problem is for our evangelical sisters and brothers is that they have now fallen into the same trap that the Catholic Church did under Constantine- the confusion of one's faith with one's nation. Evangelicalism is the American Civil religion; all of the last 5 presidents have claimed to be evangelical. Evangelicals do not question militarism because of their belief in America as some special agent of God in these times. American Exceptionalism is a heresy. If Evangelicals can simply be Christians first, and Americans second, they will hear a new voice in scripture, one that calls us all to identify with the least and to love our enemies. We need to all repent of the notion, "America, right or wrong." We need to all come to a realization that Jesus is profoundly present in the poor and oppressed.


08/19/2004 01:33:05 PM

Cont'd - I know I've pushed this book before, but I cannot recommend highly enough the book "Fundamentalism in American Culture" by George Marsden. It really presents the fundamentalist and later the Evangelical movement fairly, and primarily as a reaction to other intellectual and social movements in the country. Evangelicalism is primarily two things - reactionary and fearful (not of people groups, as some claim, but of being marginalized). The two combine to force Evangelicalism into some pretty contradictory positions and partnerships, the NRA being one. However, the group, as a whole, will continue to cling to the Republicans because the Democrats have allowed secular groups to have such a strong hold on the Party and appear to consider religious conservatives as ignorant dupes or monsters who won't see the enlightened fact that their religion is simply a human construct that serves only as a nice psychological crutch.


08/19/2004 01:27:42 PM

Psion - You can trace the absence of a peace movement in the Evangelical movement to WWI. Many "evangelicals" were opposed to going to war in Europe. However, Billy Sunday brought a sort of patriotic furvor to his religious rallies at that time, and began associating patriotism with being a good Christian. This was strange, since Protestant Christianity in the U.S. had a pacifist streak in it that had grown since the Civil War. It was later labeled as isolationist and derided as typical of ignorant peasants in the rural countryside. Intellectuals, like Woodrow Wilson, felt that democratic ideals had to be applied internationally (hence the League of Nations and the 14 points). At first some Evangelicals supported the League, seeing it as part-and-parcel with pacifism, but that crowd was eventually drown out by the growing "patriotism" in the movement.


08/19/2004 12:52:10 PM

Well it is true really. One thing that mystifies me about the Evangelical movement in America is that they are not at all peace-oriented, tend to be pro-corporate and tend to treat helping the poor and homeless as "tax slavery". I somehow don't see Jesus as a big NRA supporter. I don't seem Him has endorsing preemtive war to prevent possible threats. I can't imagine Him arguing to support the rights of corporations over ordinary people. And I don't see Him as approving of the idea of a prosperous society arguing that the poor deserve what they get. It is ironic that homosexuality, which Jesus never even considered important enough to talk about, and abortion loom so large in the Evangelical mind.


08/19/2004 11:58:53 AM

"Hijacking" of religion, especially in the Christian Church, has been going on for centuries...and I use this term in the broadest sense. The Bible has been open to many interpretations, both narrow and broad, but mostly narrow to suit certain purposes and agendas---both political and religious. The separation between church and state has never been clearly understood, even as practiced in this country. Probably one of the reasons Christianity suffers in the West these days is because of all of the problems it has created for itself and others over the centuries despite all of the good that has been done. It is a great irony, and it something we all ought to try to more fully understand and deal with. People of all religions, including Christianity, must fight agains the evils of hypocrisy and self-righteousness, those very things Jesus Christ fought against and continually reminded his followers of. We need to move past narrow church doctrine and doctrinaire attitudes.


08/19/2004 11:25:37 AM

Homosexuality and abortion are not issues of Jesus, but we should consider them important why? Because we want to rule others, not love them I think. Were all into tough love, making sure everyone toes our line, like Paul and the Jews did. Only the worthy need apply for salvation in our church, from our G-d. Jesus says Judge not lest ye be found wanting, and you have been. 2nd


08/19/2004 10:42:12 AM

First it was claimed that Islam has been "hijacked" and now it is evanglical christianity !


08/19/2004 09:16:34 AM

It’s refreshing to hear someone speak outside of their label. Our human tendency, often catalyzed by media descriptions, is to corale people into a label that carries a few oversimplified, usually derogatory, connotations. Yet, even in a given religious group there can be as much variety of thought, opinion, understanding, and practice as there are colors in the spectrum. I’d like to think that the true test of any religion that follows a God who is good would be the unconditional love we show to others, all others. As a Christian Scientist, this is high bar I’m striving for. If we really believe that God is “Our Father” then there are really only two ways to label each other: “brother” or “sister.”


08/19/2004 12:34:46 AM

this is one of fellow italian i really think is a saint. I gonna get this man book.


08/18/2004 09:21:09 PM

Tony Campolo is a highly energenic & compelling evangelist who fell out of favor as the "spiritual counselor" of President Clinton during his "piccadellos." The Word "Evangelical" means "Good News" of HIS grace & mercy. The Church is "crammed with the forgiveness of sin." and is not a gathering place of the righteous, but a hospital for the sinners. Only His Word can save us--not self-improvement courses, our own efforts & certainly not any commentary by anyone on the political or social spectrumof the day. The prophet, especially in the OT, is always a priest first--intercessing to God in behalf of the people. Have we forgotten that these sobering words from Paul?: "I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions & dificulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded."--Romans 16:17-18 Rod


08/18/2004 07:14:30 PM

Good points, akbusch. Besides, if were were really going to be Biblical about singing praises to God, we wouldn't be using organs, we'd be using cymbals, trumpets and drums. Bongo drums probably come pretty close to what the Hebrews had, come to think of it. Actually guitars would come closer to original Hebrew instruments, since they did have plucked stringed instruments (lyres) to play...King David, for instance. So I guess the "contemporary" services are actually MUCH closer to original Biblical praise singing than services with organs. That said, Campolo has a very good point about mainstream churches losing those who are looking for a close personal, transcendant relationship with God. --KarenH


08/18/2004 05:43:18 PM

That said (in my previous post), I think we lose something very precious if we entirely throw out all of the traditional music from church. I read a survery in a Lutheran periodical that showed that among Lutheran young people (16-19), if they had to choose, they would choose the traditional hymnody over the contemporary "praise and worship" music. Interesting!


08/18/2004 05:39:53 PM

LisaN: "...music...message...dress code...watered down." Hmmm! I prefer to think relaxing of "dress codes", if you ever could have called them that, is more a matter of becoming more "Christ-like", in other words, more accepting of people as they are, not as we would want them to be. Now, has the message been "watered down"? That's a very difficult question and a very complex issue, too much so for a post here. I will say that efforts at being more accepting of various forms of dress and being more contemporary with music are, in some cases, a corrective to the fact that Christians and churches, especially conservative/evangelical/ fundamentalist ones, have for so long and in so many ways been speaking a language and fostering a culture only understandable others who are "in the club", when the Gospel calls out to be proclaimed to the entire world.


08/18/2004 12:22:23 PM

However, you are correct that the gay and female clergy issue has become a flashpoint that might cause a split or mass departure whereas the other changes happened slowly and the departures also occurred over time.


08/18/2004 12:20:35 PM

Historan that two words are in the same sentence does not indicate they are of equal importance. The examples were just a few of the things that people have pointed out as a reason to leave a mainline church. Long before the issue of gay clergy came up, people left mainline denominations because they perceived that everything from the music to the message to the dress code had been watered down. Also as Campolo points out, one of the problems with mainline churches is that they have neglected the fostering of a relationship with the sacred, something that the charismatic churches have provided.


08/18/2004 12:16:29 PM

LisaN: why do you group teachings on sin and hell and the approval of gay clergy -- which are all serious theological issues -- with the change from organ music to guitar music? Is the guitar a liberals-only instrument?


08/18/2004 12:13:31 PM

Catholicseeker, Protestantism isn't a monolith that could be 'hijacked' by the relgious right. A case could also be made that a significant number of Protestant denominations have been 'hijacked' by the liberal left. Mainline denominations have added women clergy, gay clergy, offered gay commitment ceremonies. No more sin. No more hell. Casual dress. Guitars and bongos instead of organ music. Now some have celebrated such changes but many have left for more fundamental, Bible based denominations (Baptist, Church of God, Nazarene) because they feel their church was taken over by liberals. There are usually at least two ways to look at the same situation.


08/18/2004 11:54:32 AM

The responses of Ear2Hear and Zann to caroldel highlight that it's one thing for us to say that the Bible is inerrant, but quite another thing to say that our interpretation of the Bible is inerrant. We all come to the Book with a lot of cultural and social baggage that's mightily difficult to drop. Caroldel's interpretation of the verse, which is certainly a popular one, may be correct -- but we all need to be willing to examine ourselves carefully to delineate where the Book's words end and our opinions begin.


08/18/2004 11:45:29 AM

When Washington-area beautician Erwin Gomez and his longtime partner James Packard celebrate their marital vows with 400 of their closest friends next month, two of Gomez's best customers will probably be in attendance: President Bush's twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. Yesterday, the 39-year-old Gomez - a makeup expert for the Elizabeth Arden shop in the D.C. suburb of Chevy Chase, Md. - told Lowdown that the First Twins have become devotees of his popular eyebrow waxes over the past few weeks. And, Gomez added, Bush's daughters have expressed an enthusiastic desire to go to Gomez and Packard's Sept. 11 wedding celebration at their home in Laytonsville, Md. "I gave them the party invitation, and they said, 'That sounds great, we'd love to come - it sounds like a lot of fun,'" Gomez said. "The way they reacted, they were very open-minded."


08/18/2004 11:45:21 AM

Never mind that their father supports a constitutional ban of gay marriages. Heterosexual marriage, Bush said in February, is "the most enduring human institution" and "cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society." While Gomez holds the hard-carousing girls in high regard ("so casual and so real"), his disgust for their father's politics is obvious. "I think it's wrong - he has no right to touch that," he said. "He's trying to change the freedom of America. ... History is repeating itself, just like blacks and Jews were discriminated against." Gomez and Packard were "wed" last spring in San Francisco after Mayor Gavin Newsome issued them and scores of others a marriage license.


08/18/2004 11:11:49 AM

Zann, that certainly is an interesting way of looking at this statement. I tend to see it as saying that it is only Jesus's death that can buy salvation. I do think, however, that Jesus can extend that offer to whomsoever he pleases. Could it also include those who, through no fault of their own have had no opportunity to hear the Gospel, but have nonetheless lead an upright life? And I agree, it is not for us to decide who that may, or may not, include.


08/18/2004 11:00:21 AM

caroldel, Whomever Jesus admits to salvation comes to the Father by Him, since He is making the decision. So "by Me" can be taken in a different way. I tend to read it as meaning "Who shall be saved is My decision, not yours."


08/18/2004 10:37:01 AM

I found Mr. Campolo refreshing in many aspects of his interwiew. But to suggest that there are other ways to heaven other then belief in the Lord Jesus Christ makes me wonder. Truly we dont know all of Gods thoughts but we do have His word, which states no one comes to the father except by Me.


08/18/2004 09:51:36 AM

While I don't agree with all his ideas, I find in Campolo an evangelical to appreciate. It is indeed unfortunate that right-wing fundamentalists have taken over Protestantism. This may not bring down Christianity, but it will continue to give us a bad name if it continues unchecked, as it is doing. I should add that there are many conservative Catholics (are you listening, LC?) who need to get out of the judging business as well.


08/18/2004 09:25:22 AM

I think that there are too many Christians who are listening to Paul (and putting their own spin on what he says) than are listening to Jesus Christ. They should spend more time in the gospels, and not so much in the Pauline epistles. While there is much in Paul that is good and right, we ARE CHRISTIANS, not Paulists. Also, we don't read Peter, James and John as much as we should, either. These men actually walked with Christ and learned at His feet. I think they would know better than anyone about what He taught during His earthly ministry.


08/18/2004 05:54:12 AM

I think Strephansh has put a finger on it. The result being that those outside the church see Christians as being judgemental, bigoted and uncaring, even to the extent that they probabally think, "if Heaven is full of people like that, I'll take my chances on the other side!" I am pleased to see that there are people like Mr. Campolo, who can still show that Christians should not be like that. Too often we have forgotten to love the sinner whilst still hating the sin. I know I have, too often putting it the other way around.


08/17/2004 10:16:26 PM

Politics and religion are so different it's no way that there is any meaning to religious right or righteous republicans. It's all pickle smoke to make people ashamed of the Gospel and its working. Sure there are some fanatics but those who truly follow Christ need not to own any of the guilt that is being heaped on the Christian population.


08/17/2004 09:28:15 PM

I am one of the 17% of the evangelical community that's not Republican, and I very much appreciate Mr. Campolo standing up for us. The problem with making God a Republican is that those who reject the policies of the Republican party think they have to reject God. Jesus said hardly a word about sex but lots of about how wealthy people abuse the poor. I get physically ill when I hear preachers going on and on about sex in movies but not a syllable about the need to care for the poor, and about the need to construct a society that does so as well. I became a Democrat because I am a Christian; I will not have anyone question my salvation because of my voting record. KJC


08/17/2004 08:31:59 PM

As an evangelical ,myself i will say why unbelieves do not see christ in us. the answer is devastatingly simple. we have backslidden from the lioviung god and walk in the flesh - even in our devout legalism, the sin of the Galatians. the error of the religious right, which i seriously regard as of its father the devil, is that it thinks that Law can achieve righteousness, which st Paul flatly denies. as carnal religionists the religious Right resepond to evil with hatred, and show the worthlessness of their religous ptractise in this. but tony campolo's error seems to be toreact against this and deny that such as Islam or homosexuality is evil. we evangelicals are pharisees and are backslidden, not into open sin but into legalist effort, and for this the warning of God is severe. we run the risk of damnation.


08/17/2004 05:53:40 PM

Sorry for the duplicate posts. The message was that the other post failed and to send again.


08/17/2004 05:52:56 PM

Tony Campolo is a marvelous writer and his books are readable and inspiring. I appreciate Mr Campolo in that he has strong convictions but is not elitist or arrogant about them. As he said, there will probably be some real surprises come judgement day! I admire him for not watering down his message to make it P.C. I can hardly wait for the usual suspects to get on this board and call Mr Campolo a bigot and homophobe because of his statements. However as he said, no one knows what causes homosexuality. It is not acceptable in his faith tradition. So be it. He does not suggest persecution or hatred, he suggests tolerance and compassion. Hopefully those in the other camp will show the same. I appreciate that he points out the failings of both parties and how he points out that 'evangelicals' cannot all be painted with one brush. Great column IMO.


08/17/2004 05:50:44 PM

Tony Campolo is a marvelous writer and if people here have not read his books they have missed a great read. What I appreciate about Mr Campolo is that he has strong convictions but is not elitist or arrogant about them. As he said, there will probably be some real surprises come judgement day! I admire him for not watering down his message to make it P.C. I can hardly wait for the usual suspects to get on this board and call Mr Campolo a bigot and homophobe because of his statements. However as he said, no one knows what causes homosexuality. It is not acceptable in his faith tradition. So be it. He does not suggest persecution or hatred, he suggests tolerance and compassion. Hopefully those in the other camp will show the same. I appreciate that he points out the failings of both parties and how he points out that 'evangelicals' cannot all be painted with one brush. Great column IMO.


08/17/2004 05:34:29 PM

Mr Campolo should be council to Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry. A voice of clarity and the true meaning of Christ's being. Love. Nothing else. God made us with the human frailties that allow us to seek power and fame and money; and as in today's world are exalted as the "right" thing to do and to be. And to twist the teachings of Jesus that war is acceptable. I recently tuned into one of the evangelical TV channels and this preacher was literally "selling" Christianity as a means to material wealth. The sad thing is the number of folks who buy into it. It just proves my old grannddaddy's saying when he preached the old tent revivals "give 'em hell fire and brimstone and the offerings will be flow"


08/17/2004 05:05:26 PM

Sorry for the typo. I meant Luke 14:26.


08/17/2004 05:01:50 PM

cknuck Your explanation about Luke 14:28 is sound. However, I am not one to argue about semantics or take the bible literally in all its aspects. Jesus was human on earth and had doubts like us all. However, my purpose in writing here is very simple: to remember all that was positive and life-enhancing in Jesus Christ. fromoz I also follow the positive teachings of the Buddha and the Dali Lama. As I said before, I do not belong to any organized religion, but I do embrace goodness, wherever the message comes from.


08/17/2004 04:50:19 PM

rbethell: Sorry you are correct and I am wrong. I misunderstood you. blessings


08/17/2004 04:44:59 PM

cknuck writes: There's a bit of misinformation No it is not. I reiterate - Christianity is not the Bible. We may all study the Bible, and it is a revelation of God's - but Christianity has not traditionally relied solely on personal interpretation of the bible as the only means of practising faith. Frankly, as we're not all theologians, we're not individually equipped. Christianity has a long interpretive tradition that goes from the New Testament itself (where Paul interprets the OT for his churches in his letters), to the ante-Nicene fathers, to the great theologians such as Augustine, Athanasius, and St. John Chrysostom, and on to the Protestant thinkers such as Luther and Calvin. Very few of us rely solely on an individually interpreted Christianity - very few of us.


08/17/2004 04:28:03 PM

There is no flaw in Jesus, that my friend is indeed misinformation. Your Dali Lama cannot compare to Jesus and Buddha falls short of His miraculous works. Hating your father mother and other family meant only that you would not follow their religious belief and that they were to do a new thing that would take them away from their family and their beliefs. Why would Jesus say love thy enemy, and then turn around and say hate your parents? It's a mystery for you fromoz only because you love a mystery, and desire to confuse.


08/17/2004 04:21:21 PM

fromoz: Jesus spoke in parable so the ones who were out to kill Him would not be saved. That's true but you really got to look a what saved would have looked for them. It's not the saved you think. Saved for them would be that Jesus either did not die for our sins or He dies before His appointed time.


08/17/2004 04:20:01 PM

nearFalls Don't forget that Jesus also promoted hate? Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. I don't know how you can look to only the good side of someone, while turning a blind-eye to their less admirable aspects. If I were looking for someone to follow who would support my beliefs in love and caring for others, I'd go for someone like the Budda or the Dali Lama. Why follow a "flawed" character?


08/17/2004 04:16:38 PM

"fromoz: your eisegesis of Christianity is extremely, extremely weak. Christianity is not the bible" There's a bit of misinformation. Every Christian I know studies the Bible for direction and to hear the Lord. Fromoz a lot of what you say about the Bible is true. Most Christians don't want to admit our faults which are expressed glaringly in the Bible. But when it comes to the One who is faultless, although the whole Bible leads up to one event. The Coming of the Lord. Jesus is the one in the Bible who doesn't own slaves, He doesn't kill, He won't take, or force. The Jesus Christ of the Bible is the one to look to if you want to know how to live.


08/17/2004 04:12:22 PM

God's great divide is clearly evidenced in the actions of Jesus who spoke in parables to deceive and prevent those rejected by God from being saved. To base a religion on Jesus is to base a religion on exclusivity? As nobody can prove that their religion or personal spiritual beliefs are true, all religions and beliefs are equal? Since the sixties when most people became aware of the holes in Christianity, many have been crying-out for a new religion. Jesus and the Bible would be a wobbly foundation for a new religion, and reconstructing Christianity will never work because it could never be divorced from the hate, vengeance and injustice of the Bible.


08/17/2004 04:05:03 PM

Campolo is at least on the right track. I wish more Evangelicals were like him. I, however, do not belong to any organized religion, though I believe wholeheartedly in Christ. Just remember Jesus's essential message: "Love one another and love God."


08/17/2004 03:54:32 PM

fromoz: your eisegesis of Christianity is extremely, extremely weak. Christianity is not the bible, and until the time of Luther, nobody ever uttered anything close to such a notion. Christianity is traditionally about Jesus first, and then the church (the community of believers.) As for many of your individual points, many of them are quite weak as well. "Slaves" as refered to in the tanakh and torah are not in anyway comparable to renaissance-era and American slavery - you need to take a far more nuanced approach if you wish for your anti-apologetics to have credibility.


08/17/2004 03:51:33 PM

hey, fromaz - nothing like having an open mind! If you ever did become a Christian you'd already have the most important mind-set of a real fundie. It's pretty ugly coming from any side. :(


08/17/2004 03:26:11 PM

religionsmajorWU wrote, "Christian teachings of social justice, equality of all believers, tolerance of other religions, and opposition to the death penalty" Do you mean like the Bible's support for slavery? Do you mean like God's rejection of people on the grounds of race and illigitimacy, and for a man, the state of his testies or penis? Do you mean like the Bible's call for those who do not seek the God of Israel to be put to death. Do you mean like Jesus speaking in parables to deceive and prevent those rejected by God from being saved? It seems to me that religionsmajorWU is one of those reconstructionist "Christians" who has invented their own religion, based only on a few parts of the Bible? I put it to you that if you want to invent your own religion, and if you are looking to create a religion of love and justice, stay well clear of the Bible?


08/17/2004 02:41:49 PM

Thank you, Tony Campolo, for restoring my faith that there is stil sanity within evangelicalism. As a member of a mainline church that has been attemptin in recent years to reach both the aspects you mentioned (social life being God's kingdom and spiritual life in touch with God), I had long grown tired of how the Religious Right was getting a monopoly on Christianity, at least in the media. This outspoken, Bible-based interview filled me with joy. While I don't agree with your beliefs about homosexuality (I think ROmans should be taken in the context of Greace-Roman society) or the infallibility of the Bible (I think it's inspired, but only God is infallible), you bring to light the often untouched Christian teachings of social justice, equality of all believers, tolerance of other religions, and opposition to the death penalty.


08/17/2004 02:23:46 PM

Tony Campolo has always been, and will probably always be, one of my top role models, as a preacher and as a person. (This article doesn't even touch on Tony's wicked sense of humor, but I digress.) Not that I agree with everything he says, mind you. E.g., the lifting up of creeds. His denomination is American Baptist (same as me), which is a "non-creedal" faith, which means we hold up the New Testament, not any human-composed creed, however eloquent or theologically powerful, as our highest norm. That said, I admire Tony's guts, and I agree with him wholeheartedly that evangelical Christianity has been hijacked, to the point where I am very hesitant to identify myself anymore as an evangelical. IMHO, the "religious right" (which, IMHO, is neither) has done more damage to the cause of the Christian Gospel (which really means "good news"--how many people see it as that?) than anything else in history! Amen, Tony!


08/17/2004 02:00:21 PM

The wealthiest country on the planet is willing to borrow $276 billion to give millionaires a tax break and throw a few crumbs to the middle class while leaving millions uninsured for basic medical and cutting funding for the poor and disabled. All this with a man in the White House who wears his religion on his sleeve. That is no religion I want to be part of. He acts like a sadist if you ask me. Oh, the borrowed money is going to have to be repaid sooner or later and I doubt the people getting the loan will shoulder any of the burden.


08/17/2004 01:59:46 PM

While Mr. Campolo’s interview addresses spiritual issues involved with the Christian right. it doesn’t get into is other aspects of President Bush’s presidency. I suggest a book by Dr. Justin Frank, entitled, “Bush on the Couch” a book by a noted professor of psychiatry that asks “Is our president psychologically fit to run the country?” http://www.harpercollins.com/catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060736704


08/17/2004 01:44:06 PM

Not all of America's poor are 'living in dependence of Government". I work with an organization that runs over 40 emergency food programs and homeless shelters across NYC. And our numbers have increase mostly of those who are called working poor. Would u believe that a person who works 40hrs a week for a year on minimum wage earns 10,712 a year?? And nutrisious food is expensive (like Milk), so obesity is easy to occur because the worse foods are dirt cheap.Thus is our new problem in my profession for which i am addressing at work. Lets try to not lump America's poor as lazy or in need of an hand out..


08/17/2004 01:41:00 PM

Re my last post - here's a better link, right here on Beliefnet: (sorry I don't know how to make a hyperlink - you'll need to cut and paste) http://www.beliefnet.com/story/132/story_13245.html


08/17/2004 01:33:13 PM

I suppose B-Baggins can relate to this fellow: http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/09/17_franken.html There are so many "Christians" who worship a god called Mammon.


08/17/2004 01:21:25 PM

While I certainly agree that the strong should help the weak, those who have means help the poor, we also have to be concerned if our 'help' is doing little more than fostering a culture of dependence. It didn't occur to my parents' generation that if they didn't bother to get an education or training that they wouldn't be able to get a job that could support their families. They didn't think the government owed them a living. They didn't think well if they had a child without benefit of a stable situation that the government would support them and their child(ren). They didn't think if they engaged in self destructive behavior (smoking, overeating) that the government would provide free medical care. That is my major problem with some of the policies to 'help' the poor because it only fosters more and more depedence on government.


08/17/2004 11:38:12 AM

b-baggins “I help the poor by supporting capitalism and pro-business legislation so that the poor live in an economy where they can work their way up the economic ladder. But, in your mind, that's evil because your idea of helping the poor is to give them a handout.” We are not about “giving a hand-out", just a hand to pull them up. Minimum wage is not a living wage. Could you support your family on minimum wage? Some of these families are working 2 jobs and still can’t get enough money to pay the rent and buy food. In addition, some of these people still have to pay for FICA from their small resources, because they have jobs where it is not withheld. As a result, they may have to pay the government thousands at tax time. Are you aware that the poor are 300 times more likely to have their taxes audited then the wealthy? When you are willing to provide a living wage, then you can tell me how you support the poor on the economic ladder.


08/17/2004 11:32:41 AM

Facinating interview with a Christian who understand that the far right has hijacked Christianity in a way that Islam has been by their own far right. Now from what i know, to be a true Christian, war is prohibited. According to the life of Jesus, whose followers had more then enough reasons to fight the Romans. However, jesus voted the opposite at that point in time. Thus Martin Luther King is closer to Jesus than a Pat Robinson. Who looks at war as a way to christenize the world, especially to the Musims. U cannot be a Jesus loving Christian and a advocate for war!!! Now many will disagreee but that is the challenge of Christianity..According to the life of Jesus in the Gospels..


08/17/2004 11:10:34 AM

b-baggins, capitalism is not a bad thing, but it's hardly part of Christian theology, nor is it particularly beneficial to the poor. Numbers out this week show that the gap between the rich and poor has widened rather dramatically in the last 30 years and the bottom 5th of society now earns a significantly smaller portion of the money in our economy than they did 30 years ago. That's hardly a bang-up endorsement for the power of unfettered capitalism to lift up the poor! Heck, 30 years ago 1 income provided a better living for most families than 2 do today. As for the poor, just as in Jesus' time, many poor are poor because they or someone they are respsonsible for are ill, disabled, or otherwise unable to function well on their own. Some people do just need an opportunity, but there will always be people who need a hand-out. Jesus didn't say that if someone needed a coat we should teach them to weave - he said we should give them ours!


08/17/2004 11:09:32 AM

Well, I feel a little better after reading this article. It's good to know that there's someone out there speaking the truth of God without being beholden to the corrupt, callous, frankly evil notions that have come to dominate most of evangelical Christianity. A person of some prominance, even. Praise God!


08/17/2004 10:58:54 AM

b-baggins, when you make or save that extra 50, 100, 1000 a week are really thinking about how your purchase will help the poor? Most people would just think about the new thing they can buy for themselves. hmmm...


08/17/2004 10:52:18 AM

El Gabilon, I always find it amusing when folks rant on about how Republicans, conservatives or the "religious right" don't care for the poor, animals, the earth, etc. What you really mean is that these folks don't do these things the way YOU think they should. For example, I help the poor by supporting capitalism and pro-business legislation so that the poor live in an economy where they can work their way up the economic ladder. But, in your mind, that's evil because your idea of helping the poor is to give them a handout.


08/17/2004 10:29:47 AM

Hell is a pagan concept, Jesus used it in a parable. Figuratively used! The lake of fire is real. Rev20v14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The "eternal torment" is the reality that the wicked were cast into the lake of fire once and never experienced life eternal. Eternally lost! Died once, sufferred once! And GONE FOREVER!


08/17/2004 09:56:27 AM

As Curtis Mayfield said.... "Don't worry, if there's hell below, we're all gonna go!"


08/17/2004 09:26:19 AM

If Jesus disavows hypocrites at the final judgement, there would be none of us there. Is there even one among us who can claim innocence on this count? I've never met the man or woman... He does indeed set high standards, but to his disciples asking "Who then can be saved?", He answers, "With God, all things are possible." This is the true Christian hope - even if we were all too flawed to stand before a perfect God, it is God himself who in His perfect mercy who will overlook them, and lead us in all our imperfections to Himself. I think all Christians forget that simple message sometimes, myself included.


08/17/2004 08:13:45 AM

I would say some, not almost all, John. Or that is what I hope anyway. Usually the ones we see are more greedy for influence, fame, and power then they are for living for Christ, and unfortunetely those are the guys out trying to sell you that you aren't, using MY religion as their crutch. It sickens me in that respect. ElGabillion: Alas, if only we could all generalize as easily as you can. when I think "Liberal Democrat" I think "obsessed with blaming the Republicans for everything, while making themselves out to be Holy infallibles" Generalizations just don't work. As for women not becoming priests: That is Tradition, Jesus didn't appoint any women apostles, but had plenty of women disciples. Furthermore, you can do a heck of a lot more as a lay-person then you can as a priest for Jesus. Sure, priests get all the focus because of some supposed status or power, but the thing that really makes the RCC run is the laity.


08/17/2004 12:21:36 AM

IMHO, almost all Christians are hypocritical bigots that Jesus will disavow in the final judgement. There will be few sheep and many goats.


08/16/2004 10:14:33 PM

Gabilion, Sin is corruption!


08/16/2004 10:13:27 PM

Gabilion, Evangelism is about coming to JESUS with HONEST confession and repentance! A changed life from the degradation of sin to holiness is the fruit! The demoniac of Gadara was cleared of his possession and his mission without any other learning or knowledge of CHRIST was to tell those in his region that rejected CHRIST what great work Christ had sone in him..


08/16/2004 10:09:15 PM

Evangelicals are no better than the male dominated Catholic church which continues to push its agenda rather than allow women to become priests. If 83% of evangelicals are republican and are going to vote republican that is an indication of how widespread the corruption is. If all religions cannot become more related to God, then it is contributing to the holocast will come in about 25 years. WWIII. One cannot serve God and be hell bent on greed, corruption, failing to care for the poor, the homeless, the elderly, the children, the sick, the dying, the earth, the animals. The moving finger writes and having writ moves on. All piety and wit cannot cancel half a line. We know you for what you are.


08/16/2004 10:09:13 PM

In a real small testament what is ACTIVE EVANGELISM? "I hope JESUS hijacks me, from the sins of this world and all its deceptive elements." KEEP ME FROM SIN DEAR JESUS!


08/16/2004 10:04:30 PM

I hope JESUS hijacks me, from the sins of this world and all its deceptive elements. May I always have a love of the truth. No matter how much it hurts. And my friends just a walk down the annals of history tells me that the WORLD has consistently trampled, burned, tortured, humiliated and trampled upon God's remnant flock. Rev 12v17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


08/16/2004 10:01:18 PM

Whenever the word "evangelical" pops up we think "male dominated, pontificating Christ but living the life of Satan". Since we could not abide the corruption within this community we decided that Christianity was not the religion for us. Simply because a president wields a bible (democrat or republician) does in no way convince us that he/she is honest, has integrity, and serves the best interests of the American people. On the contrary, bible carrying politicins suggest attempts to cover up their corrupt lives. When Christians begin acting like Christians should perhaps we will reconsider our position. When they stop taking specific quotations from the bible and ignoring others that may contridict them...THIS IS CORRUPTION.


08/16/2004 10:01:08 PM

Whenever the word "evangelical" pops up we think "male dominated, pontificating Christ but living the life of Satan". Since we could not abide the corruption within this community we decided that Christianity was not the religion for us. Simply because a president wields a bible (democrat or republician) does in no way convince us that he/she is honest, has integrity, and serves the best interests of the American people. On the contrary, bible carrying politicins suggest attempts to cover up their corrupt lives. When Christians begin acting like Christians should perhaps we will reconsider our position. When they stop taking specific quotations from the bible and ignoring others that may contridict them...THIS IS CORRUPTION.


08/16/2004 09:58:40 PM

Don't take me wrong I love God's handiwork in his creation! But I also know that this world is getting old and it is spoken of by one the great evangelicals Peter; 2nd Peter 2v9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness


08/16/2004 09:54:35 PM

When I consider the biblical evangelicals and contrast them with the "modern evangelicals". I find the truth HURTS! Verses like Love your enemies, forgive! Pray for those who persecute you! Turn the other cheek. Go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor and then come and follow JESUS.. GO AND SIN NO MORE! Jesus kingdom is not of this world.. His kingdom is coming and his will and judgmement will be done.. We must have the MIND OF CHRIST, to UNDERSTAND his REVELATION. The mind of the IDEALIST is not the mind of JESUS.. 1 John 2v15"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.


08/16/2004 09:03:58 PM

This is the first time I've heard of Mr. Campolo, but I like the way he thinks. We need more men and women like him in positions of power, especially in the Church and government. Bravo, Mr. Campolo! Bravo for adhering to the Scriptures! Bravo for not selling out! Peace and Love in Christ, Jab


08/16/2004 08:49:04 PM

Well I'd never heard about Tony Campolo before this. But from what I've read, this guy seems perfectly represent my views. And unlike liberal "Christians," he doesn't sell out by becoming pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, or pro-"the Bible is all symbolic." Thank God that there are still reasonable evangelicals out there. I am an evangelical myself (Baptist), but I am utterly disgusted with the Republican party, and I can't support it in good Christian conscience (actually, I used to be a Republican until I became a Christian). It's a good thing the church has people like this who won't sell out God's people to rich old Republican men.


08/16/2004 08:01:08 PM

Evangelicalism is not defined by a position on a single issue such as homosexuality or women in ministry. Traditionally, evangelicalism has been defined by four key themes: the centrality of the atonement, the authority of Scripture, the need for a personal relationship with Christ, and the need for evangelical witness. On all four points, Campolo scores an "A". He IS an evangelical, and one we can all be proud of, as he challenges us to think deeply about our faith. As evangelicals we can differ about various issues, but we are united in our core values and our commitment to Jesus Christ. I highly recommend Campolo's book, Adventures in Missing the Point. The chapter on homosexuality is one of the most well-written, and biblically sound pieces written on the topic in the evangelical world today.


08/16/2004 07:36:01 PM

Evangelicals claim to follow the clear teaching of the Bible. At least based on the way in which they read the Bible, it clearly teaches that homosexual behavior is sin and that women cannot have authority in the church. I am not interested in getting in a debate about whether evangelicals SHOULD believe those things. They DO. It's a fact. So the problem is not that evangelical Christianity has been hijacked. It hasn't changed (at least not on those issues). The problem is that Campolo is an apostate. He is free to call himself anything he wants to. But he is not an evangelical Christian, as most evangelicals would understand it.


08/16/2004 07:06:36 PM

Reconstructed "Christianity" makes Jesus out to be an "enlightened" man, when, if the Bible is to be any guide, Jesus was prone to fits of temper and abuse and practiced God's great divide in speaking in parables so many wouldn't understand and be saved. Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: Mark 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. I doubt that anyone knows why Jesus rejected so many people, but if "Recon Christians" want to make Jesus out to be all things to all people, perhaps they should write their own "Bible"? In a way I can emphasise with "Recon Christians". The Bible is outdated and simplistic, and since the sixties many in the world have been crying out for a new inclusive religion.