Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Jim Wallis, secular humanist

Valentinian.jpgYou figure that Q90-FM, a Christian radio station out of De Pere, Wis., has pretty much made Jim Wallis’ day by pulling its sponsorship from Lifest 2010, a Christian music and preaching festival starting in Oshkosh July 7. It seems that controversy has been percolating for some time over the festival’s invitation to the head of the Sojourners social justice ministries to join 57 other speakers at the four-day jamboree.


In an essay on its website, the radio station explains that its investigations revealed that Sojourners is “a seed of secular humanism, seeking an unholy alliance between the
Church and Government.”

While we are commanded by Jesus to help the poor, Jesus said our
greatest calling is in Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Coming under federal
control may make this impossible without legal and financial
persecution. The movement in our nation toward the forced
redistribution of wealth through taxation ensures this–when the
government controls where the money goes, freedom to express the gospel
of Jesus Christ will eventually be eliminated legally, as it has with
every Church and State merger since 371 AD. The state becomes god. We
believe in the biblical teaching of voluntary
redistribution of wealth through the charitable giving of God’s people.


Sure, the redistributive progressive income tax has been around since 1913, but I get it. Q90-FM has a problem with Wallis’ support for federal faith-based initiatives, be they Bushian or Obamaite. What perplexes me is the reference to the year 371. The Roman emperor at the time was Valentinian I, a tough general from the Balkans who, though a staunch Christian, pursued a policy of religious toleration. He actually lightened the tax burden on the provinces, though–shades of Obamacare–he did appoint doctors to care for the Roman poor. Nothing in Valentianian’s reign, however, suggests a new church-state merger.

Perhaps Q90-FM was actually thinking of the 380s, when the Roman state really got its alliance with the church going. Of course, it was the church that largely benefited–gaining exemption from taxes, exemption of clergy from public services, exemption of bishops from secular courts, rights to provide sanctuary to fugitives, and all-round powers to order society according to Christian principles. Meanwhile, emperors Gratian and Theodosius put the screws to pagans, Jews, and
above all Christians who didn’t toe their own orthodox line.

Come to think of it, Q90-FM might have found that world rather appealing.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 12:02 pm

If the issue was simply politics, then let the guy come. But it isn’t. This man’s theology – in terms of both the body of faith and the life of faith – are more than troubling.
For his own words, check out this link:
Three issues here raise significant concern beginning with his equivocation on the issue of homosexuality within the church. Essentially he says churches should not take a definitive stance on this issue – but rather allow differences. Churches shouldn’t divide on this, they should even allow the blessing of same sex couples and the ordaining of practicing homosexuals. This is a direct affront to scripture.
Second, he makes statements saying abortion, on a moral scale, didn’t rise to the moral level of the sin of slavery . Infanticide is something not that morally significant? Are you kidding me??
What comes next though is even more troubling…and telling as it relates to Wallis’ theology. What sin did rise to the moral equivalence of slavery in his mind? You got it: “Global [economic] inequality”. In other words, Wallis believes that for some people to have more money than someone else, it is morally wrong. And not only is it wrong, it is much more wrong than the killing of innocent children.
Wallis’ statements demonstrate serious theological issues which underlie a moral compass seriously out of whack with Biblical truth. And we in the church are supposed to invite him in to speak to our youth, holding him up as a Christian teacher they are to look to for guidance? Get some discernment children of God!! What a shame that Life Promotions hasn’t had the spiritual fortitude to cancel this guy in light of his skewed morality and theology.
I personally know Bob Lenz, who directs Lifest. What a great disappointment to see him allow this. Kudos to Q90fm for taking a stand. Mark Silk, you showed you really have no idea what you are talking about.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

“Churches shouldn’t divide on this, they should even allow the blessing of same sex couples and the ordaining of practicing homosexuals. This is a direct affront to scripture.”
Actually, scripture never condemns same-sex couples. Scripture in the NT only condemns ancient Greek pederasty, which is completely different from two adults of the same-sex having a monogamous relationship.
“Second, he makes statements saying abortion, on a moral scale, didn’t rise to the moral level of the sin of slavery . Infanticide is something not that morally significant? Are you kidding me??”
Abortion isn’t infanticide, because a fetus is not yet a child. Plenty of Christian Churches accept this view. Why should all Christians have to accept the narrow view of certain others?

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posted July 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Like Ragamuffin, I think that the theology of Wallis was probably the main problem and I salute the radio station for pulling out. It seems that Mr. Wallis publishes a new book every year or so and none of them deal with the real facts of the gospel of grace but instead offer a “baptized” secular humanism and social activism. Wallis would be better off talking at a National Council of Churches symposium where he could offer his statist vision to the “amen corner.”

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posted July 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Read the Red Letters.Jesus said we should sell everything we have and give it to the poor; that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven.99.9 percent of what Jesus said is in direct contradiction to the radical Christian Right.”Choose ye this day whom you will serve.” Oour choices are the same as they were in the first century.The Christ, or the Pharisees.

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