“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
– Matthew 7:15
I’m always reluctant to take on those who claim to follow Jesus.
But when those who reach leadership positions – as pastors or self-proclaimed “prophets” – intentionally twist Scripture, including the words of Jesus Himself, then I have a spiritual and moral obligation to speak out.
Today, I am speaking out against Jim Wallis.
I’ve waited some time to challenge his recent misuse of the Bible to condemn as “hateful” those, who like me, oppose America’s selective recruitment of unscreened – and unscreenable – Sunni Muslim “refugees” from the Middle East for resettlement in the U.S.
I’ve waited so long, unfortunately, that this column will run nearly 4,000 words. So, buckle your seat belt, and let me introduce you to the strange world of the evangelical left through the personality of Jim Wallis.
Wallis cites the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 as his reason for disregarding the safety concerns of individual American citizens, the broader concerns of national security, what the Bible has to say about borders, walls and the separation of nations and the children of God from those who worship idols and false gods.
Yes, Jesus does say in Matthew 25:34-36: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Emphasis added)
It’s that word “stranger” from which Wallis concludes that Christians are to welcome indiscriminately any and all foreigners into their countries, their communities and their homes.
At this point, I could ask Jim Wallis how many Sunni Muslim refugees he has taken into his own home, but I suspect I already know the answer.
But, more importantly, what was the context of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25?
Any serious student of the Bible understands them. The passage begins in verses 31-33: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”
The context then is what Christians refer to as the Second Coming and the judgment of the nations. You will notice that Jesus Himself separates the nations from each other for this judgment.
But is He judging the nations on the basis of how many unscreenable Sunni Muslim “refugees” from the Middle East they took in?
Not at all.
It’s very clear that the nations will be judged on the basis of how they treated “the brethren.” And who are “the brethren”? First and foremost, they are God’s chosen people – the Jews, the children of Israel (Acts 7:23, Acts 13:26, Acts 14:2, Acts 15:3). They can also be followers of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, who are not descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but are grafted in to the covenant through their faith in the Jesus.
Therefore, if you understand the context, Matthew 25:31-46 is about the judgment of nations at the end of the age. It’s a specific warning to the world that the nations will be judged according to how they treat “the brethren,” meaning His people – Israel. In context, it has nothing to do with illegal aliens or an obligation to recruit for resettlement unscreenable Sunni Muslim “refugees” from the Middle East.
More to the point, you will never find an example in the Bible of God telling His people to mix with non-believers, to forgo their own safety or to disregard their borders. God is actually very big on borders.
For starters, I challenge anyone to check an exhaustive online or offline concordance for the word “border” or “borders” to get an appreciation of how many times God’s Word references these terms. While not all of them are relevant to our discussion, I count 169 references, most of them making the point that God cares about them. He cares very much about boundaries between nations. In fact, it is God Himself who invented nation-states back in Genesis 11.
Why did He do it?
It seems He scattered the world’s population and created the diverse languages in an effort to subvert man’s efforts to unite in a global kingdom under a false universal religion.
Interestingly, one of the prime motivations of those behind the promotion of borderless societies is this very same notion of regional government and global government and the breakdown of nationalism.
What was wrong at the time of the Tower of Babel remains wrong today. That should be clear to anyone and everyone whose standard of morality is the Bible.
So, where’s the confusion?
Some misguided Christian clerics cite a handful of random, out-of-context verses that might, possibly, in some way, maybe, be interpreted, if you use your imagination, to suggest we should just forgive and forget all transgressions and trespasses against our national sovereignty and our laws regarding our nation status.
Let’s review some of the verses most often cited by those who believe the Bible suggests open borders are His way:
Leviticus 19:33-34: And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Exodus 22:21: Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 23:9: Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:19: Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Some churches and pastors stop right there after reading that last verse and decide they know all they need to know about their duty as Christians to illegal aliens.
People like Wallis would suggest: “We’re supposed to treat them just like one born among us, according to the Bible. That means amnesty. That means throw open your doors to refugees.”
Not so fast. You can develop some really bad theology – not to mention politics – by reading the Bible out of context, by not fully understanding what is being said to whom and about whom.
Strangers that sojourn with you or live with you do not equate with illegal aliens. In fact, the corollary here, in each and every case, is that the children of Israel were “strangers” in Egypt. That’s why they were to treat their own “strangers” well, because they knew what it is like to be “strangers” in a foreign land.
Clearly, then, what it means to be a “stranger” is to be a foreigner. In the case of the children of Israel in Egypt, they were invited and, at first anyway, were honored guests. Later, they would be oppressed by a generation who “knew not Joseph.” But they were certainly not trespassers. They were certainly not in Egypt illegally. They were certainly not breaking the laws of the land by being in Egypt. In fact, they were commanded not to offend their hosts in any way (Genesis 46:28-34).
So, we must conclude that “stranger” does not equal “illegal alien.” Even when the term “alien” is used in the Bible, it seems to have the exact same meaning as “stranger.”
God loves the stranger, we’re told. You should, too. They should be treated with respect and dignity. They should not be mistreated. These foreigners should be given food and clothing when they are in need. That’s the clear message of the Bible – treat law-abiding foreigners and aliens with love and compassion.
But the aliens and strangers, some of whom left Egypt with the Jews during the Exodus, were expected to obey the Hebrew laws, though they were exempt from some. They were also treated differently than the children of Israel in that, for instance, they could not own property.
Only if these aliens and strangers were fully converted as Jews – and that included circumcision – could they be landowners, partake of the Passover and be fully integrated into the nation of Israel.
In other words, even though the aliens and strangers of the Bible were not illegal aliens, they were still expected to fully assimilate into the Hebrew religion and culture before they could receive all the blessings and all the responsibility of full citizenship.
Further, keep in mind these godly instructions were meant not just for the governing authorities in Israel – the judges and kings – but, more importantly, for the people. These were personal instructions. And they are clearly good instructions for us all today.
If we want to be compassionate to the strangers and aliens of our world today, those law-abiding foreigners who desperately want to come to America to assimilate, live within our laws, contribute to our society and are patiently awaiting their turn, we need to be certain they don’t get squeezed out unfairly by those who break the law and pushed ahead of them in line. Neither should we foolishly recruit unscreenable, Sunni Muslim “refugees” into our midst. Trust me, Jesus would not approve – no matter what Jim Wallis says.
Why didn’t God approve of allowing those who worshiped other gods to live amidst His people in Israel?
It’s explained clearly in Deuteronomy 7:4: “For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.”
But back to where we started – Matthew 7. It has a lot to say about the Jim Wallises of the world.
While some Christians says we are not to judge others, Jesus actually tells us to do just that when it comes to the ravening wolves who come to us in sheep’s clothing.
Matthew 7:16-23: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Emphasis added) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Let me tell you know what else I know about Jim Wallis.
He heads a group called Sojourners. He’s a self-professed “progressive.” Sojourners has received grants from George Soros’ Open Society Institute. When Marvin Olasky of World Magazine reported this fact, Wallis denied it and accused Olasky of “lying for a living.” Later, Wallis quietly admitted his organization had accepted grants for over 10 years from Soros. He didn’t apologize for bearing false witness against Olasky. Instead, he claimed he had just forgotten about the grants.
Who else supports Wallis? To name a few:
- The Tides Foundation, headed by billionaire heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of John Kerry;
- The Wallace Global Fund, which supported ACORN;
- The Barbra Streisand Foundation, which also supports People for the American Way and Planned Parenthood.
Notice there are no Christian foundations among them.
A little more history: Back in 2012, Wallis objected to the placement of advertising in the New York subway system that read: “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
In what serves as a metaphor for the shocking biblical illiteracy of the “religious left,” Wallis issued an outraged press release that said: “The second of the Ten Commandments is ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ It didn’t come with stipulations. It didn’t come with extra addendums, with added qualifiers. Christians around the world need to put that into action as often as we can, especially where we see hatred like this.”
Is that what the Second Commandment actually says?
The second of the Ten Commandments has nothing to do with loving one’s neighbor, as any Sunday School child should be able to tell you. It is “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Now, how does a so-called “Christian minister” make a mistake like that? Is it stupidity? Is it deliberate distortion? In fact, the statement Wallis suggested was the second of the Ten Commandments is not to be found in any version of the Ten Commandments. Rather, he is confusing the Ten Commandments with another question altogether, asked in Matthew 22 of Jesus by one of the Pharisees: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Yeshua answered him: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Maybe Wallis meant to say, “The second greatest commandment is love they neighbor as thyself.” But he didn’t say that. He didn’t write that. Wallis, who claims to be a minister of the Gospel actually misquoted the Ten Commandments in writing. When I first brought this to his attention, he contacted me to say the misquoted Bible reference was corrected soon after his press release was issued. (I guess he never sent me the corrected version.)
Now, more to the substantive point Wallis appears to be making: Apparently, he believes criticizing violence, brutality, savagery and barbarism – not to mention false religions – is a violation of the commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Does that make sense to anyone? That is one of the most non-coherent arguments I have ever heard. Jesus Himself condemned violence, brutality, savagery, barbarism and false religions. Was He violating His own commandment when He did that? In fact, Wallis calls the denunciation of violence, brutality, savagery and barbarism in the name of Islam “hatred.” This kind of reasoning is the product of a twisted mind and tortured soul.
Lastly, Wallis is not only turning biblical morality on its head with his confusion of loving one’s neighbor with tolerance of sin, he is also doing something here that is quite un-American. He is attacking the constitutionally protected, God-given, inalienable right of free speech by attacking a judge’s ruling supporting it.
That strikes me as the act of a person whose real religion is of the morally bankrupt and misnamed ideology of “progressivism.”
Can you stand more on Wallis?
I can dish it.
Back in 2008, as Barack Obama was running for president, Americans jaws were dropping as they became familiar with Obama’s pastor of 20 years – the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Wallis defended the America-hating, racially divisive, blaspheming cleric.
Even after Obama unceremoniously dumped Wright, Wallis continued to hold up Wright, posting in his blog: “Trinity Church is one of the most prominent and respected churches in Chicago and the nation, and its pastor, Jeremiah Wright, is one of the leading revival preachers in the black church. Ebony magazine once named him one of America’s 15 best black preachers. The church says it is ‘unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian,’ like any good black church would, but is decidedly not ‘separatist,’ as its white members and friends would attest.”
He was a long-term fan of Wright. A year earlier he told Rolling Stone magazine: “If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from, just look at Jeremiah Wright.”
He meant that as a compliment.
Long after the rest of the nation was appalled by the hatred spewing from Wright’s mouth, Wallis stood firm, explaining that though Wright’s words might appear to be incendiary, they actually reflect reality in black America.
“That the country is mostly run by rich, white people, that’s a pretty broadly based opinion among most people in the black community, including black churches,” he said.
Personally, I think it is a grave insult to black America to ascribe Wright’s lunatic ideas to such a diverse group. I hope it’s not true. I pray it’s not true. And it is certainly not true from my own experience.
But that’s the way Jim Wallis of the radical, quasi-Marxist Sojourners sees it.
The truth is they like Jeremiah Wright for the same reason Barack Obama liked him until he became a political liability. They agree with him.
Tacitly, or perhaps slightly more diplomatically, they agree with comments like these:
- “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three strikes law and then wants us to sing ‘God bless America.’ No, no, no, not ‘God bless America,’ God damn America – that’s in the Bible, you’re killing innocent people, God damn America for treating us citizens as less than human.”
- “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagaski and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. … America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
- “We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college. Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson], and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body.”
- “America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. … We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional killers. … We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Gadhafi. … We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”
- “We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. … We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means. …”
- “We started the AIDS virus. … We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty. …”
Apparently, that’s the gospel of Jeremiah Wright – and Jim Wallis.
Do I exaggerate?
Shortly after Obama threw Wright overboard because of political expediency, he assembled a group pastors to advise him on “spiritual” matters and prayer and, of course, on the intersection of religion and politics.
Whom did he choose?
One of those selected by Obama was none other than Jim Wallis.
Because the only advice and counsel Obama would get from Wallis was what he wanted to hear.
Wallis supports redistribution of wealth, not only domestically but also internationally to end poverty. He is a zealot of global warming, which is nothing more than a thinly veiled fraudulent crisis designed to attack national sovereignty and lay the groundwork for subverting individual sovereignty through the higher calling of international authorities.
Though he claims to oppose abortion, he opposes it the same way Tim Kaine does – and Mario Cuomo before him – by upholding unequivocally the right to kill one’s unborn child for any reason or no reason whatsoever, opposing any legal restrictions or regulations.
One of the other five pastors chosen by Obama to advise him and be a part of his spiritual inner circle was the Rev. Otis Moss Jr.
Asked about Obama’s theological leanings, Moss answered: “I would simply say that he is a person of great faith, and I think that faith has sustained him.”
I have no doubt.
But Obama’s faith is clearly manifest in government, not God.
Let’s be honest about that. It’s the same with Wallis.
And that is, indeed, what the religious left is all about.
Its adherents love to make allusions to the prophetic. They love to use the compassionate language of the Gospels to bring their audiences to their feet. But they always resort to using the coercive power of government – the bigger the better – to enforce their will upon the rest of us.
Their religion is government.
Their faith is in government.
Their god is government.
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].