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Well, the lines are now clearly drawn. Conservatives who have a biblical worldview are now part of the Resistance, I’d say.
Nowhere do we see this more clearly outlined than with what’s happening in Christian media/publishing. Christian book publishing continues to crumble. Witness, for example, the new-and-improved Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Back in the day, with its marketing angle that touted the company’s roots (the company began in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1798), one got the feeling that its books were trustworthy.
When it was announced that the dark publishing sith HarperCollins had purchased Nelson, company leaders put the expected positive spin on it. The other day, when I saw that the company is part of the “HarperCollins Christian Publishing” group (chuckle), my shoulders sagged. Harper of course also owns HarperOne, with its quasi-Christian/spirituality/goopy stuff, headed by former Christianity Today editor Michael “Mickey” Maudlin.
(This is the same Mickey Maudlin who told me a couple years ago that it doesn’t bother him to publish folks like Marianne Williamson, John Shelby Spong, Ram Dass, and Rob Bell … even though Maudlin identifies as a believing Christian.)
Anyhoo, Thomas Nelson has seemingly not cared about being too rigidly biblical in its offerings for some time, and the current list of authors/books is disturbing to anyone who would identify as a conservative Christian, or a fundie, as anyone to the right of Jim Wallis would be labeled.
I think the HarperCollins’ mission statement, which includes the call to “Honor Jesus,” is perfectly suited for this morally relativistic/post-modern world.
Because, you see, Gandhi honored Jesus. Oprah probably considers herself to honor Jesus.
Then there is the larger problem of Thomas Nelson’s list. Consider the provocative “Red-Letter Revolution” by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo. Shane at least appears to be a Reefer Madness Bohemian “Christian spiritualist” (I just made that up), and Campolo likes to utter profanities from the pulpit and is a leftie who calls himself an evangelical. In “Red-Letter Revolution,” their leftist take on the world, they published dubious material.
I’ve written about this before, but Shane and Campolo allege, for example, that for every Israeli “settler,” there are three(!) bodyguards. That would make roughly one million bodyguards in a tiny country of seven million. Such a lie is intended to further demonize Israel, as if the Jewish state needed more enemies. I’ve written to the Nelson editors asking if such mistakes will be corrected but so far just hear crickets chirping.
Point being, leftists use false/faulty data to buttress their arguments and worldviews. It doesn’t bother them.
Another problematic author, from my point of view, is Rachel Held Evans. I think of her as the Betty Friedan of the evangelical world. And when I say “evangelical,” I use the word loosely. Leftists like to call themselves evangelicals so they can fool evangelicals.
Sadly, Evans has a following among Millennials, some of whom are influenced by her book, “Evolving in Monkeytown,” where she announces that she is an evolutionist. It would take an entire book to list all the problems with Evans’ books, views and blogging. Hey, that’s not a bad idea.
And for those who are pro-Israel, like me, it is disconcerting that Thomas Nelson – in addition to Campolo and Claiborne – publishes other Christian Palestinianists, such as World Vision’s Richard Stearns, Ron Sider and Donald Miller.
They also publish Catalyst’s Brad Lomenick, who still won’t tell me why he invites speakers like Cornel West Jr. to speak at Catalyst conferences.
They also publish New Age change agent Leonard Sweet.
They also publish emergent-style pastor Judah Smith.
In his “Jesus Is” book, Smith actually says: “We have to stop seeing ourselves as sinners.”
Even though in 1 John 1:8 we read: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
By the way, you can also purchase the “Jesus Is” study kit for $39.99.
They also publish Bob Roberts, Jr., who is perhaps the leading evangelical bridge-builder with Muslims – an agenda that must have the Muslim Brotherhood losing their breath from laughing.
The point I’m making is, there are change agents in our world today, particularly in the Evangelical church in America. They remind me of those thoroughbred running backs in college and the NFL, the ones who feint this way and that, stopping defensive backs in their tracks.
But feinting can also mean one who intentionally deceives.
So if you are a youth minister in a church out there somewhere, or a senior pastor who cares about your flock, pay attention to the catalogs you receive from publishers. Use some spiritual discernment. Guarding the flock is no small endeavor.
It’s kind of a big deal.