Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Additional Critique of Jim Wallis

In his recent debate with Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jim Wallis consistently compared his concern for the poor with the Abolitionist movement and the Civil Rights movement in previous generations; Wallis said that Christian leaders who worked for Abolition or Civil Rights were on the side of justice.

I wonder: what if a Christian leader during the Civil Rights era spent a great deal of time helping the poor in general, but refused to take a firm stand against racism? Would Jim Wallis say that Christian leader was on the side of justice? What if a Christian leader influenced other Christians to join the Democratic Party in the South during the era when the state Democratic Parties were institutionally racist due to the White Primary? Would that Christian leader be on the side of justice?

But now Wallis has influenced many Christians to vote Democrat because supposedly the Democrats care more about the poor. The main problem with voting for the Democratic Party in general is that their official party platform calls abortion a "right" and declares, "we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Certainly there are still some "blue dog" Democrats (especially in the South) and voting for such Democrats may, at times, be appropriate. But unless a Democratic candidate specifically repudiates the pro-abortion plank in his or her Party's platform, that candidate should be viewed in the same way that we would view a Dixiecrat. No matter how many other good programs a Democratic candidate may support, unless he or she both repudiates the pro-abortion plank in his or her Party's platform, and explicitly declares an intention to change that plank of the platform, that candidate is aligned with an ideology that runs contrary to the right to life for the unborn, which is the crucial social justice issue in America today.

If a person cared for the poor in the antebellum South, but did nothing to end slavery, then that person would not be considered 'on the side of social justice.' If that person claimed that, instead of focusing on the rights of African-Americans, he would focus on improving the economic system in the South so that slavery would be less necessary, then that person would not be considered 'on the side of social justice.' If that person helped pro-slavery candidates get elected for the end of accomplishing other (perhaps noble) political goals, then that person would not be considered 'on the side of social justice.'

Wallis wants to care for the poor, but has called the abortion debate "stale." Wallis wants to call Christians to care for those who are metaphorically without a voice and who are powerless, but his agenda would distract Christians from caring for those who are literally without a voice and powerless. Wallis, and those following his line of thinking, claim that by improving economic conditions of the poor (a goal that, they claim, will be accomplished by liberal economic policies), they will make abortion "less necessary," as if it is sufficient to make murder "less necessary" rather than illegal.

Though painful for the South, it was right for the United States to make chattel slavery illegal first-- recognizing the rights of African-Americans-- and then to work for an economic reconstruction of the South so that (as it was hoped) industry would come to the South, making slavery unnecessary. Though painful for the poor, it would be right for the United States to make abortion illegal first-- recognizing the right to life for the unborn-- and then to work to end any institutionalized injustice that may make the poor think that killing their unborn is the correct option.

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