Glenn Beck, Jesus, and Social Justice...
I love a good political debate. There is something about the argumentative process that gives me pleasure. The give and take is something I find exhilarating, whether I am able to convince someone to change sides or not.
In this process, I work hard to try and be consistent in my worldviews and to make sure that I do not end up arguing against my own values, or more importantly, my faith.
And sometimes that leaves me in the middle of some sort of irreconcilable difference.
Let me give you an example.
The early Christian church did not support military service. Many of the early Christian martyrs died in protest of this governmental requirement, because they were trying to live out a commandment that said, "Thou shalt not kill."
This is not an opinion. It is a fact. A fact that says that the earliest Christians, those who walked alongside Jesus, the disciples, and Paul, believed it was better to die than be part of the Roman army, protecting the country.
I struggle with stuff like this. How can I live a life worthy of Christ, and be a good citizen when the Christian call stands in direct opposition to the seemingly obvious needs of the state, or which I am part.
Which leads me to Glenn Beck. Beck is the current darling of the political right in our country. If you were to take a quick tour of the blogosphere, you would see that many Christians love this guy.
Again, this is not opinion, it is fact.
But here is what Beck had to say on his radio program the other day.
"I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!"
He went on to say that the code words to which these churches are referring are communism and socialism.
So let's sum this up.
Glenn Beck is calling on people who attend, or are part of a church that teaches, preaches, or advocates for social justice or economic justice, to leave their churches, because those churches are calling for a communist, or socialist lifestyle.
But what if the bible does advocate for this type of lifestyle? What if the bible does expect us to fight for social and economic justice?
What if Jesus' message was one that included advocating for the poor and the social outcasts?
Should we then leave our churches because we might not like the label?
I wonder where Beck's Christian supporters stand on this issue?
I am just askin...
Glenn Beck, "Leave if the Church Teaches Social Justice"
Jim Wallis of Sojourners has just posted on this very subject. I am interested to know what any Christian readers might think of his comments. They are pretty short and you can read them here!