J Walking

Thanks for your comments and your passion and your heart that is trying to find God. I noticed in a recent comment you wrote (in part):

I have presented my case against them many times, trying to get David to defend them and his postion on political-Christianity.

I don’t want to sidestep anything and so, I’m going to use that particular post as a chance to let you know what I think.

I didn’t think I was insulting David, I thought I was challenging his positions.

I wasn’t insulted by any particular thing you wrote and never have been. I am writing this blog, I wrote Tempting Faith, I continue to speak. Have at me, no worries. However, please do not attack other people who post comments here. They don’t deserve it.

I am though trying to get him to see that there are very evil and dangerous people on the Left.

You’ll find no argument from me here. There are people on the left who would like nothing more than to rid Christians from the planet. There are those on the left who utter vile and hateful things about people who love Jesus and who advocate policies that are, at best, morally offensive. I know, for instance, of a professor at a prominent university who believes infanticide is justified because babies have no real consciousness. That is vile.

He has been used to make it look like conservatives are bad people…

I haven’t been used by anyone. Every word that I have written and everything that I have said I have written and I have said. I decided that I wanted and needed to speak out on things of politics and faith and I understood the challenges of such a journey. One of the things that I understood was that the only way for me to do it was to do it from a position of humility and not of superiority. That is why I talk about the abortion experience in the book; why I talk about being a bad husband to my first wife; why i talk about my own moral failings using Christians for political reasons. I am no saint, I am no holy man, I am someone who – on my best days – aspires to follow Jesus above and beyond anyone or anything else.

…when Christian conservatives have been the best thing this world has to offer the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan.

No. Christian conservatives have not been “the best thing this world has to offer the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan.” It is a challenge to even respond to this in anything shorter than a book, but suffice it to say that simply isn’t true. Let’s take Bono for instance. Unless you classify him as Christian conservative, he alone smashes your argument. As he jokingly said at the National Prayer Breakfast some years ago, “I’m certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather.”

But Bono is certainly a follower of Jesus. He is a Christian. Read his words:

I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was… well, a little blurry, and hard to see.

I remember how my mother would bring us to chapel on Sundays… and my father used to wait outside. One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.

For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land… and in this country, seeing God’s second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash… in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment…

I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV.

Even though I was a believer.

Perhaps because I was a believer.

I was cynical… not about God, but about God’s politics. (There you are, Jim.)

Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my shtick—my reproachfulness. They did it by describing the Millennium, the year 2000, as a Jubilee year, as an opportunity to cancel the chronic debts of the world’s poorest people. They had the audacity to renew the Lord’s call—and were joined by Pope John Paul II, who, from an Irish half-Catholic’s point of view, may have had a more direct line to the Almighty.

‘Jubilee’—why ‘Jubilee’?

What was this year of Jubilee, this year of our Lords favor?

I’d always read the Scriptures, even the obscure stuff. There it was in Leviticus (25:35)…

‘If your brother becomes poor,’ the Scriptures say, ‘and cannot maintain himself… you shall maintain him… You shall not lend him your money at interest, not give him your food for profit.’

It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he’s met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he’s a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn’t done much… yet. He hasn’t spoken in public before…

When he does, is first words are from Isaiah: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,’ he says, ‘because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.’ And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord’s favour, the year of Jubilee. (Luke 4:18)

What he was really talking about was an era of grace—and we’re still in it.

So fast-forward 2,000 years. That same thought, grace, was made incarnate—in a movement of all kinds of people. It wasn’t a bless-me club… it wasn’t a holy huddle. These religious guys were willing to get out in the streets, get their boots dirty, wave the placards, follow their convictions with actions… making it really hard for people like me to keep their distance. It was amazing. I almost started to like these church people.

I included that whole long section of his talk because it provides an insightful look at so much about the good and the bad of religion, of Christianity, of the poor and on and on. Christian conservatives HAVE done a lot to help the poor. MUCH more than they get credit for. Evangelicals have, for instance, given more money and time to rebuilding after Katrina than anyone can measure. What Rick Warren is doing in Africa is extraordinary. But I venture to say in all of this that were you to poll those Christians working in Africa and other poor parts of the world about their politics my guess is that they wouldn’t be signing on to every plank James Dobson might want them to.

If you use the writings of the Apostles to compare who and what is the Christian Church, then the Left is found wanting in ways that cannot ever get them to Christian identity without repenting, and or converting from secular humanism to faith in Christ Jesus.

The problem here Donny is that you make such sweeping generalizations that it is virtually impossible to comment. Is this true of SOME people on the left? Sure. Absolutely. I would think, for instance, that secular humanists could only get to Christian identity by fundamentally changing. But, if by “Left” you mean Bono or Jim Wallis or someone like Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) then you are simply wrong. I know where he goes to church. I know his pastors. I know a bit of his own story and his family’s story. I hope that my faith is as strong as his. He may need to repent of sins like all Christians need to do – the nature of
being a human in a broken world. But I’ll take Mark’s faith any day.

I’ll end this here. I’ve gone on too long already and will write more later.


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