Protection of the Church from the State is a job that typically includes religious leaders—at least, in terms of repelling infringements on the faithful’s right to live and work according to conviction.
Strange then, that America is starting to see a number of religious leaders eager to side with a power-nabbing executive administration.
Masked by a veneer of compassionate-sounding buzzwords and initiatives, prominent Christian leaders are pushing a progressive theology rooted in a Leftist political agenda. Worse, their tactics are twisting Christian teachings, misleading and, at times, deceiving others for the sake of public policy.
Take for example the 101 clergy, theologians and faith leaders who sent a letter to President Barack Obama. This “letter of faith” asks the president to refuse to exempt faith-based groups with federal contracts from his looming executive order banning discrimination against Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer persons in the workforce.
Defrocked United Methodist minister Frank Schaefer, wearing his rainbow stole for solidarity with LGBT people, does a little dance in celebration at a press conference where he announced the church had reinstated his credentials June 24, 2014, in Philadelphia. A United Methodist Church appeals panel has overturned the church's decision to defrock Schaefer who presided over his son's same-sex wedding ceremony and said he would perform other gay marriages if asked. ( AP Photo / The Philadelphia Inquirer, Clem Murray )
Signed by dozens of Christian clergy, including self-identified Evangelical leaders Brian McLaren and Jennifer “Femmevangelical” Crumpton, the letter read:
An executive order that allows for religious discrimination against LGBT people contradicts the order’s fundamental purpose, as well as the belief shared by more and more Americans every day, which is that LGBT people should not be treated as second-class citizens.
This cultural clash goes much deeper for many faith-based organizations than the false accusation of hate and bigotry lead on.
While every Christ-follower must treat others with compassion and equal respect, we cannot ignore God’s design for sexuality and marriage (Genesis 2:20-24). To affirm sexual promiscuity—including adultery, premarital sex, or same-sex practices—denies 2,000 year of orthodox Christian teaching and moral conviction.
About 1000 Woodrow Wilson High School students and gay supporters rally in support of Principal Pete Cahall, June 9, 2014 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC. The rally was held to counter a planned protest by Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based organization known for anti-gay picketing at funerals. The church's protest, which was planned in advance, comes less than a week after the school held its second annual gay pride day event and Cahall came out as a gay man. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards
It is unfortunate that these faith leaders, otherwise known as the Religious Left, are casting aside the teachings of their Scripture and convictions of their brothers and sisters in Christ for the sake of Leftist policies. Meanwhile, liberalism’s inroads into the church extend beyond disputes over human sexuality or sexual conduct.
Amidst the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, Religious Leftist and President Barack Obama’s Spiritual Advisor Jim Wallis continues the mission of his George Soros-funded Evangelical Immigration Table, which calls for mass amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Recalling “the most important immigration talk,” Wallis recently wrote about visiting his son’s “multiracial, multi-cultural, and multi-national” fifth grade class. When a student asked Wallis why Congress hasn’t solved the immigration crisis yet, Wallis’ answer included, “They are afraid of you.”
Wallis’ race-baiting tirade doesn’t end there. My colleague, Alexander Griswold with the Institute on Religion and Democracy, recorded Wallis telling his Wild Goose Festival audience, “There would not be a tea party in America, I will this say this, if there wasn’t a black man in the White House.”
Instead of fear-mongering fifth graders, a more truthful approach by the Rev. Wallis could have been to offer a variety of reasons why many conservatives oppose certain immigration proposals. For example, many Americans concerns include:
- Expanding the entitlement state
- Unsustainable welfare programs
- Toppling local economies
- Available resources required to ensure health and safety standards
- Sex traffickers taking advantage of vulnerable children crossing the borders alone
Finally, liberal Christians are still raging against the Supreme Court for protecting Christian families from denying their deeply-held religious convictions. Popular blogger and religion pundit Rachel Held Evans took to Twitter after the court’s decision to express her frustration with the Hobby Lobby ruling.
Evans tweeted, “I support access to contraception because I am pro-life, not in spite of it.”
Evans ignores important facts of the case. Zero access was denied to contraception and Hobby Lobby provides for 16 of 20 forms of contraception required under the Health and Human Services mandate.
Twisting facts and distorting truth might further a Leftist political agenda, but it does nothing to reflect the Jesus Christ’s message. Accurately reflecting Christ means that his followers uphold his teachings, respect the convictions of others, tell the truth, and seek justice even when the end goal does not align with our political bias.
Chelsen Vicari is the Evangelical Program Director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy and author of Distortion: How the Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel. Follow her on Twitter @ChelsenVicari or visit www.theird.org/Evangelical.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.