The "greenest" church on the planet? Scripture as it relates to the Palestinians? Fighting American "racial injustice"?
Meet the latest addition to President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a White House group already replete with advocates for using religion to advance "social justice."
In January, Obama named to his faith council Lynne Hybels, a leader of Willow Creek Church, an inter-denominational, multi-generational megachurch located in a Chicago suburb.
The church is led by Hybels' husband, Bill, a social justice advocate who created the Global Leadership Summit, an international Christian group.
Lynne Hybels' official title at Willow Creek Church is Advocate for Global Engagement. She is also a regular contributor to the progressive Sojourners magazine, the publication of a ministry by the same name professing a devotion to the pursuit of "social justice."
Sojourners was founded by Jim Wallis, who is also a member of Obama's faith council.
Hybels and her husband are deeply involved in Sojourners initiatives and participate in the ministry’s events.
Hybels is a regular traveler to the Middle East.
In March, she keynoted a conference in Bethlehem called "Christ at the Checkpoint: Theology in the Service of Peace and Justice." She wrote about the experience in a Sojourners magazine article entitled, "Jesus-Focused Conversations in Occupied Bethlehem."
According to its own description, the Bethlehem conference was meant to "equip the global church to understand Scripture as it relates to the Palestinian context, and to discuss the theological importance of Peace and Justice in an Evangelical context."
One year earlier, she signed a letter to Obama, entitled, "Christians Support Bold Action for Holy Land Peace Campaign" calling for an immediate deal to create a Palestinian state.
The letter urged U.S. engagement with a "Palestinian unity government," a reference to a unity deal the Palestinian Authority had inked with the Hamas terrorist organization.
The letter had one sentence noting Palestinian rocketing on Israeli towns, but the majority of the text decried purported Israeli actions, including settlement growth , as "rapidly diminishing any possibility for the creation of a viable Palestinian state."
The letter demanded an immediate end to the Israeli naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel has said the blockade is necessary to ensure Hamas cannot rearm itself.
A review of Hybels' Sojourners magazine articles finds a focus on issues of race and the Middle East. Titles include, "An Apology to My Muslim Friends," and "Racial Reconciliation: A Necessary Conversion."
In the latter article, Hybels wrote against what she deemed the "reality" of ongoing "racial injustice" in the U.S.
"In 2001, my husband Bill was jolted out of racial complacency," she related. "Through books he read and conversations he had with African-American pastors, he was broken by the reality of ongoing racial injustice in the U.S."
Continued Hybels: "He describes it as having a kind of 'second conversion,' where the scales fell off his eyes and he suddenly saw with horrible clarity of something that broke the heart of God and ought to break his heart."
In one article, Hybels argued the church should be used to fight so-called global warming.
In a blog posting entitled, "Beyond Charity: Living a Life of Compassion and Justice," Hybels writes at Sojourners: "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," she wrote.
Indeed, her church is at the center of using faith to fight so-called social justice. Hybels herself established a church board for Middle East engagement. She writes on her website she is an advocate for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform."
With her husband, she addressed a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees in October 2009, arguing for comprehensive immigration reform.
Hybels and Wallis are the latest in a list of progressives to grace Obama's faith council.
WND reported Eboo Patel, also a member of the White House faith council, declared that everything he was taught about Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson and American "fairness" and "equality" was wrong.
WND also reported Patel, a Muslim activist from Chicago, compared al-Qaida to what he called Christian "totalitarians" in the U.S. and Jewish "totalitarians" in Israel.
Earlier, WND reported Patel is deeply tied to Weatherman terrorist group founder Bill Ayers. Also, Patel blasted what he called the "myths" of America – describing them as beliefs that the country is "a land of freedom and equality and justice."
With research by Brenda J. Elliott
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