Posts Tagged ‘Jim Wallis’

The Evangelist

January 11, 2020

The title of this post is identical to the cover article of the Washington Post Magazine, 12 Jan, 2020. This article by Nick Tabor motivated this post. The subtitle of this article is “Can Shane Claiborne’s Progressive Version of Evangelical Christianity Catch On With a New Generation?” HM hopes that Claiborne’s version of evangelical christianity also catches on with the old generation.

It appears that Claiborne’s current focus is on gun violence. One can argue that violence was the tool of the first large scale Christian activity, the crusades. Christianity is the religion of love and of turning the cheek when one is struck. It stands in marked contrast to the Old Testament where it was a matter of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The most violent act Christ ever did was to drive the moneychangers out of the temple.

But what were the Crusades? They were attacks against Muslims where they murdered, robbed, and raped them. It was not a religious crusade of conversions. Subsequently, Christianity was advanced primarily by the sword conquering other countries. After Martin Luther there were violent wars between the protestants and catholics to determine who prevailed.

Claiborne is not the only person trying to persuade Christians to follow the teachings of Christ rather than the preaching that comes from certain evangelical pulpits. There have also been healthymemory posts on the Rev. Jim Wallis. He has written an important book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. He is exalting these evangelicals to do the work of Christ. Unfortunately, too many evangelicals have formed a moral police working through government and the courts to force other people to behave according the Evangelicals’ beliefs. Apparently they see their role much as the moral police in Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian country, not a supposedly free country like the United States.

It is remarkable how many evangelicals are supporting perhaps the most immoral President the United States has ever had. Apparently the largest reason for supporting this aberration is to make abortion illegal. They regard the killing of unborn children as something that should be illegal. And this is what is taught from their pulpits. There are a number of issues here, one is that the United States is a free country, and one of those freedoms is religious freedom. So the religious beliefs of certain religions should not be forced on the religious beliefs of other religions. Too many people say that this is a free country, but then go to reduce the freedoms of others. This is the height of hypocrisy.

Biological life should be irrelevant to religion. Souls are what is relevant to religion. Without going beyond biological life, all hopes of eternity go down the crapper. So the question is what happens to the soul when an abortion is performed.

Here is HM’s belief based on his thinking, meditation, and prayer. Each of us has the ability to meditate and pray to a spiritual entity, which is God. HM is well aware of the miserable lives lived by unloved children. And just loving a child is insufficient, the child must be attended to and cared for, and this has large costs in time and attention.

In about the middle of the 20th century a large uptick in violent crime was anticipated due to the large number of children being born. Surprisingly, that uptick did not occur. When searching for reasons, some seized upon Roe v. Wade and the legalization of abortion.

HM’s God is a merciful God. HM’s God would prefer for a potentially unloved fetus to be destroyed. He would save the soul until parents became available that offered a moving and caring upbringing. Only the sole is immortal.

So how does HM know this? It is via prayer and meditation. Each of us can communicate directly with God. In pantheism, God is present in all living beings. So it follows that God is in each of us. So one can pray up, or one can pray within oneself.

It should also be noted that abortions were commonly performed in Christ’s time, but nothing is written condemning abortions in the four gospels that are readily available.

HM also believes in a judgment day. Consider how you might feel if you found one of your religious leaders burning in hell, or a reasonable facsimile. It would be too late to file a malpractice legal suit.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christ in Crisis

October 23, 2019

The title of this post is the title of an extremely important and relevant book by Jim Wallis. The subtitle is “Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus.” All who are interested in Christianity will find this book enlightening. People who claim to be Christians but who support Donald Trump need to read this book.

Many people wonder how someone can claim to be a Christian yet still support Donald Trump, who is evil incarnate. This issue will be addressed in two posts. This post focuses on Jim Wallis’s outstanding book. Wallis writes, “If we are truly followers of Jesus, then our identity as Jesus followers is first before any other identity—racial, ethnic, cultural, national, class, or gender. It means belonging to his “body,” a beloved multiracial and international community—with everything else put down the line. It means that “America First, or any other arrogated version of the phrase, is literally a heresy. For example, when the operative in the phrase “white Christian” is “white” instead of “Christian,” the gospel message of Jesus Christ that reconciles us to God and to each other is in great jeopardy.”

Virtually Trump’s entire message is based on lies. During his first 993 days he made 13,435 misleading claims. That’s an average of 13.53 false or misleading claims a day.
His presidential campaign was based on illegal immigrants entering the country to sell drugs and other illegal crimes. He led people to believe that they were not safe. He has continued his message justifying his pledge to build a wall. Even if there were a true problem here, a wall is an ineffective way of addressing it.

The vast majority of these illegal immigrants are coming to this country either to avoid violence in their homeland, or to earn a living and a better life for themselves and their families. Trump has addressed this problem by separating children from their families and placing them in cages with inadequate food and blankets.

The true solution to the illegal immigrant problem is to hold the people and companies hiring these poor people responsible. Heavy fines and imprisonment of these employers would resolve this problem. Trump himself is one of these employers. He prefers to hire illegals because he can underpay and exploit them. So Trump himself is one of those causing this problem.

Jesus ministered to the sick and those regarded as undesirable. The Parable of the Good Samaritan epitomizes this.

The problems in the United States cannot be addressed by charities alone. It needs to be understood that budgets are moral documents in that many of these problems need to be addressed through budgets by the government. A good example is health insurance. Many previous healthy memory posts have stated that every advanced county besides the United States has government provided health insurance. The health statistics in these countries are quite good and much better than those of the United States. Moreover, medical costs in these countries are much less in the United States. The United States has pulled off the astonishing feat of having the largest medical expenditures with the health results of a third rate country. Moreover, many of the religious followers of Trump would regard these foreigners in contempt as being secular humanists. Here the irony is that these secular humanists are better at Christian practices that these people who regard themselves as Christians.

If only Americans followed the teachings of Christ we would live in a much better country. Not only would health statistics be better, but our interpersonal relations would be governed by caring for one another.

Many believe in the following paragraph:

We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe that the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake. This paragraph is taken from The “Reclaiming Jesus” Declaration which can be found at http://reclaimingjesus.org/. Readers are encourage to read and reflect upon this declaration.