Text Messages

Text Messages

Richard Cizik Resigns from National Association of Evangelicals

Cizik resigned because he changed his position on civil unions. Christianity Today has all the pertinent info, and an interview with NAE president Leith Anderson. Two moments from the interview I’d like to point to:
First, this very good question from reporter Sarah Pulliam:

Has the rise of the Religious Right made it more difficult for the NAE to try to represent evangelicals?
I don’t know. I’ve never thought about that.


I take Leith Anderson to be a person of integrity and do not see this as spin…but I do wish he’d think about that. It’s a very important question for the NAE and anyone concerned with American evangelicalism, because the Religious Right has been one of the most visible features of Christianity in this nation since the late 1970s. 

Second, the last quote CT offers from Anderson is:

It would be enormously helpful if people could understand that what we are about is the Bible and personal faith in Jesus Christ. 

It sure would. And it’s the job of every Christian to help people understand that–the onerous is ours, not theirs. 

Comments read comments(6)
post a comment
Larry Parker

posted December 11, 2008 at 7:26 pm

I’m a non-evangelical, and you know Leith Anderson, so I will accept you vouching for his integrity.
That said, I think Pulliam asked the wrong question. I would have asked it in reverse: “Has the rise of Rich Cizik (EDITORIAL COMMENT: and his more “render unto Caesar/render unto G-d” mindset) speaking for the NAE made it more difficult for the Religious Right to try to represent evangelicals?”
And the answer is unquestionably yes. Read some of the stories and one is left with the inescapable conclusion there was more politics than theology to Cizik’s ouster:

report abuse

Patton Dodd

posted December 11, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Oh, of course there was politics to it. It was all politics. But the NAE has the right to ask for the resignation of a guy they don’t think is doing his job the way he should be.

report abuse

Larry Linn

posted December 11, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Likd George said, “Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bulls### story. Holy S####!”

report abuse

Patton Dodd

posted December 11, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Hi Larry Linn,
It should go without saying that none of that is relevant to the subject under discussion. There are lots of message boards and other places for general rants. Your opinion about the matter of this blog post is welcome, if you’d like to share it.

report abuse

Your Name

posted December 12, 2008 at 1:52 am

There is a special kind of irony in the resignation of Richard Cizik as one of the leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals in this Advent/Christmas Season. We speak of the One who is the “Reason for the Season”; Jesus. Our Advent and Christmas songs move us to focus on the Gift of love that we have received in Jesus Christ.
Yet, over and over again we transform the inclusive love that is and of Jesus into an exclusive love that limits the rights; religious and civil, of some persons and groups of persons who are “different”. Once some Christians resisted interracial marriage because it was not scriptural. Some supported slavery and racial segregation, using Scripture as rationale for their exclusivity. But in time we set aside the childishness of our exclusivity and became adult-like in our inclusivity. Today as an expression of our serial (from group to group)capacity to deny some persons a place at God’s “Welcome Table”, many persons have turned on same gender loving persons.
Why do Christians of all people, continue to deny and exclude some of God’s people when we know that denying and excluding them is not reflective of the the God who came down at Christmas in the Presence of Jesus?
Historians will write that the open honesty of Richard Cizik about his shifting position on same-sex civil unions was more faithful than the actions of those who criticized and condemned him.

report abuse

Colin Kerr

posted December 18, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Cizik, like Joel Hunter with the Christian Coalition, is a victim of being convicted and honest. However, unlike Hunter, who was really out of line with the clear ideology and theology of the CC, I feel the conservative wing of the NEA forced Cizik out. The NEA is not a monolithic organization. There is diversity within it, and to cast someone out because they don’t line up with the most vocal faction of it strikes me as a terrible Christian witness. If Cizik can connect his politics clearly to Scripture and the example of the early Church, the NEA has little moral right to oust him.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

The Last Text Message
Today is my last day with Beliefnet, and my last day as the author of this blog. The Text Messages archives will remain live at this location, but posting will cease. If that sounds gloomy, it's an accurate reflection of my mind this ...

posted 3:47:12pm Feb. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Quitting Church: A Q&A with Julia Duin
Why do people stop going to church? This big question is the subject of Julia Duin's small book, Quitting Church: Why teh Faithful are Fleeing and What To Do About It. Duin is not a disinterested observer of the phenomenon of church-dropping; ...

posted 4:03:51pm Feb. 03, 2009 | read full post »

Rob Stennett vs. Marilynne Robinson
I'm overjoyed that my good friend Rob Stennett has won the Award of Merit from Christianity Today for his novel The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher. (Here's CT's review of the book.) Stennett's hilarious book is about a real estate agent who ...

posted 2:36:44pm Jan. 30, 2009 | read full post »

What is spiritual restoration?
Slate asked for an essay on Ted Haggard's spiritual restoration. I'm okay with what I came up with for now, but the more I think about it, the more I think we need better thinking on what restoration looks like for very public, outspoken, ...

posted 9:00:56am Jan. 29, 2009 | read full post »

It's Not TV; it's Ted TV
A blog might not be the best medium for an essay like this. But I want to offer some more considered thoughts on Ted Haggard and his HBO documentary; I hope this performs some kind of service in a story that I hope will end--in its public ...

posted 3:57:44am Jan. 28, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.