I’ve been thinking … well, I’ve been reading and thinking. I’ve been reading Erwin Lutzer’s latest work, “When A Nation Forgets God: Seven Lessons We Must Learn From Nazi Germany.” Published by Moody Publishers, the Moody Church pastor analyses how the church in Germany fell under the sway of Adolf Hitler. Here’s the bad news: “By far the majority of the Lutheran churches sided with Hitler and his spectacular reforms.” The good news: “But a minority, under the leadership of Bonhoeffer and Niemoller, chose to pull away from the established church to form the ‘Confessing Church.'”
I find it disturbing that the Obama administration is trying to use churches, including evangelical churches, for its own political purposes.
The May 3, 2010, issue of The Weekly Standard carries an article by Meghan Clyne entitled “The Green Shepherd,” describing how the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is seeking to enroll gullible Christian churches in its efforts to control the climate – paraded under the guise of fighting poverty and injustice.
One of the “Green Shepherds” chosen by the Obama administration to deceive evangelicals is none other than the Rev. Jim Wallis!
Clyne’s article’s subtitle summarizes the administration’s underlying political goal: “The White House wants churches to advance its climate change agenda.” She points out that while Wallis wrote in December 2006 that “Republicans shamelessly politicized the faith-based initiative,” Wallis himself is now “a member of Obama’s faith-based council and has also met with congressional Democrats to help them frame their policies in more morally appealing terms.” These Wallis-trained Democrats will in turn make “inroads with religious voters.” Sound similar to Hitler’s making inroads with the Lutherans of his day?
Here is Students for a Democratic Society’s Jim Wallis, defender of Fidel Castro and a party to the proliferation of Communist revolutions throughout Central America, moving amongst the evangelicals and deceiving them left and left. Wallis has been a radical ever since he graduated from Michigan State University. (If you’re interested in more commentary on Wallis and his Sojourners magazine, see “Barack Obama’s ‘Red’ Spiritual Advisor” article on Summit Ministries’ website.)
Wallis’ ability to deceive reaches high into evangelical circles. For example, an article posted on the Sojourners blog entitled “Beyond Charity: Living a Life of Compassion and Justice” written by the wife of Willow Creek Pastor Bill Hybels says the following: “The battle against injustice is a tough and ugly war. While I am proud that Willow has entered that war, the truth is we have just begun to fight. … I look forward to the day when we as a church will be known for being the greenest church on the planet, not just because we enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, but because we know that climate change is a justice issue.” Included in her suggested reading list is Jim Wallis and his Sojourners magazine.
This idea that climate change is a justice/injustice issue is 100 percent in synch with the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which “envisions the ‘partnership’ between government and religious institutions as a means of spreading the administration’s environmental warnings, rather than just a way to help churches feed the hungry and clothe the poor.” No wonder Clyne closes her article with the comment, “Perhaps it’s only reasonable that global warming activists would turn to God for help as the scientific case for their position collapses.”
But let me be blunt and suggest that Mrs. Hybels would be better informed if she would read Theodore Dalrymple’s “Life at the Bottom,” Peter Bauer’s “Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion” and Thomas Sowell’s “Intellectuals and Society.”
In fact, if she were to read Sowell’s work she would discover at least one secret to lifting the poor out of poverty, which we can assume is her desire in attaining “social justice,” since she never clearly articulates what she means by the term. Writes Sowell, “Under new economic policies beginning in the 1990s, tens of millions of people in India have risen above that country’s poverty level. In China, under similar policies begun earlier, a million people a month have risen out of poverty.”
Unfortunately this is not welcomed news by the radical left because these economic policies are capitalistic and hence politically incorrect. Sowell quotes French writer Raymond Aron who admits that intellectuals want to see prosperity only “through State intervention” and “the revolutionary code” and hence are resentful over such capitalistic victories. Better poor under socialism than well off under capitalism seems to be their motto!
Indeed, a fellow lecturer told me of his recent trip to Cuba where “social justice” reigns supreme. Everyone in Cuba works for the government and receives $15 a month (doctors receive $18) which barely buys beans and rice and a little cooking oil. The 500 pastors he taught for a week said that Cuba today is an island prison and no one can escape. People are starving even though their waters are alive with fish, but no fishing boats are allowed since they would be used to escape from paradise to the evil United States.
This is the Cuba the Rev. Jim Wallis and his Sojourners crowd hold up as an example of “social justice.” Question: Is this Mrs. Hybels’ understanding of “social justice”? Why doesn’t she make it her short-term mission trip to rescue some of those 500 wives of those 500 preachers who are begging for help to escape their prison of poverty and hopelessness?
According to Olavo de Carvalho, nearly a dozen Latin American countries are presently being ruled by Communist or pro-communist parties. Are evangelical Christians so ignorant and/or misinformed of what is entailed in so-called “social justice” policies that they are willing to sacrifice the poor for an idea that hasn’t worked in nearly 5,000 years of recorded history?
Well, I’m still thinking! What I think is that Mrs. Hybels and her husband need to read Erwin Lutzer’s “When A Nation Forgets God” and then attend a two-week session at the Summit this summer!
David A. Noebel is president of Summit Ministries.