Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Spiritual Bankruptcy of the Religious Left

Yesterday an article appeared on CBS News Online about the increasingly vocal and visible left-wing of the Christian church. Led by the likes of Tony Campolo, Bob Edgar from the NCC, and Jim Wallis (see photo) from the Christian Century, the left has been galvanized by the success of evangelical churches and the policies of the Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress. It is not a new movement, however. The same types of people were responsible for the Social Gospel early in the 20th century, and for the theological bankruptcy of current mainline denominations. They focus almost entirely on Jesus' call to love our neighbor, but reject or ignore Jesus' subsitutionary, atoning death on the cross, and have little interest in evangelizing the lost. For the left, Jesus is a radical rabbi who is reduced to being a prophet for us to imitate. The concepts of judgment, hell, holiness, and election are repugnant to them.

The religious left focuses not on issues of salvation, but on social concerns like poverty, the environment, and the war in Iraq. Another subject which looms large on their agenda is sexuality. Bob Edgar, the leader of the National Council of Churches, is quoted as saying, "Jesus never said one word about homosexuality, never one word about civil marriage or abortion." Any reasonably educated student of the Bible knows that such a statement is patently false and misleading. Jesus repeatedly used the Greek word porneia, which refers to all sexuality outside of the marriage between a man and a woman. This includes fornication, homosexuality, bisexuality, and adultery. Jesus condemns porneia unequivocably (cf. Mt 5:32; 19:9; Mk 7:21).

Other theologically sinful and unbiblical positions taken by the "Christian" left are support for women in ministry, abortion on demand, gay marriage, and divorce on demand.

Biblical conservatives desire to follow Jesus in loving our neighbor, caring for the poor and least among us, but we recognize that to focus entirely on social issues leaves millions of souls in danger of perishing for not hearing the Gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. The leaders of the "Christian" left are false shepherds, who in the words of the prophet Jeremiah, "have healed the wound of my people superficially, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace" (6:14). The left would have us think we are all at peace with God, and all is well. The next verse in Jeremiah gives us the truth unvarnished: "Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the Lord" (Jeremiah 6:14).


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