The Tea Parties’ Big Sin

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Traditionally evangelical Christians across the centuries have argued for lawful, limited government.  They have themselves been pioneers in philanthropy, private social reforms, and entrepreneurship that flourish when government is restrained.  So Wallis and the Evangelical Left essentially want their targeted constituency to abandon their own potent traditions in favor of reliance on and submission to state authority.  “To disparage government per se — to see government as the central problem in society — is simply not a biblical position,” he insisted.  No, biblical religion does not advocate anarchy.  The state is divinely commissioned, but for limited, prescribed purposes, primarily centered on order, the rule of law, and civil freedoms.  There may or may not be reasonable arguments for an expansive welfare and regulatory state.  But they are not found directly in the Bible.

Amusingly, Wallis cited Romans 13, where St. Paul described the state’s role in “preserving the social order, punishing evil and rewarding good, and protecting the common good.”  Wallis, who is a pacifist, does not typically quote this passage, which describes God’s having called the state to “wield the sword” to “execute wrath on him who practices evil.”  All governments everywhere “wield the sword” not only through their militaries but also through their collection of taxes to pay for the vast social services that Wallis insists in their central mission.  Force is apparently acceptable to Wallis in defense of the welfare state.

Wallis chided the Tea Partiers for their complaints about taxes. But who pays more taxes, Wallis’s campus activists, or the small business owners who form much of the Tea Party?  Wallis claims “most of us would prefer smart and effective to ‘big’ or ‘small’ government.”  But he is just striking his frequent post-ideological pose.  When has Wallis ever argued for reducing government, except for its military, police and intelligence functions (ironically,  the very functions prescribed by St. Paul)?

“Democratic accountability is essential to preventing the market from becoming a beast of corporate totalitarianism – just as it is essential for the government,” Wallis concluded.  But why is he concerned only about “corporate totalitarianism” but not the far more dangerous government kind?   He harrumphed that “God’s priorities should determine ours, not the priorities of the Chamber of Commerce,” with the elitist disdain for the private sector so common on the Religious Left. More spitefully, Wallis surmised that the Tea Party movement has racist overtones, though “likely not” every Tea Partier is racist.   “Need I say that racism — overt, implied, or even subtle — is not a Christian virtue,” he intoned sanctimoniously, evidently forgetting that slander and judging hidden motives are also not very “biblical.”

Wallis urged a “dialogue” about “Just how Christian is the Tea Party Movement — and the Libertarian political philosophy that lies behind it?”  But maybe there should also be a dialogue about Wallis’ Sojourners movement, which seems to judge religious orthodoxy almost exclusively by its commitment to Big Government.

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  • John

    Mr. Wallis may recall that Rome (the large central government at the time) was the nemesis of Jesus and many Christian martyrs. Jesus, loved the tax collectors, not because he approved of them, but because he felt they were lost and in need of redemption.
    Babylon, the other large central government referred to in the Gospel, was disdained as well and represented evil and subjugation.
    Jesus was not a lover of large, central government. He and his followers were self sufficient, self reliant and took it open themselves to help the less fortunate.

    • Taxpayer1234

      Exactly. Libs say the story of the rich man/eye of needle is Christ's approval of social thievery–er, justice. But it's not. It was one of Christ's many teaching moments where he challenged the rich man to prove his professed love of God by getting rid of his riches. IOW, Christ called the man's bluff. This was also his warning to us to beware the person who professes a love of God but in reality loves something else (money, power, etc.).

      Also, Christ railed at the religious leaders for not following God's laws properly. He found it sinful that the very people who were supposed to protect and help the poor and sick and fallen were instead casting them out as "unclean." Christ chose to hang with the lowboys to demonstrate what a rabbi was supposed to be doing for his people.

  • Stephen D.

    Wolves in sheeps clothing preaching another gospel. THIS sort is an enemy to be sure.

  • USMCSniper

    The Tea Party people need to learn that this is the equivalent of a war and follow Sun Tzu. Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:

    (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when
    not to fight.
    (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior
    and inferior forces.
    (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same
    spirit throughout all its ranks.
    (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take
    the enemy unprepared.
    (5) He will win who has military capacity and is
    not interfered with by the sovereign.

    and if he is not totally committed to victory, he will surely lose.

    • Taxpayer1234

      Yes, I agree. We can't fight every attack on the good, lest we let evil sneak through undetected.

  • Clay Cole

    I am a Southern Baptist Pastor. I could not disagree with Jim Wallis more. The vast majority of Pastors that I know also disagree with Mr. Wallis. Early Christians made an attempt at communial living. They found it to be a complete failure, thus the instruction, "…if they do not work, they do not eat."

    Jesus did not give us a poltical system with which to govern ourselves. He gives us a relationship with God with which to inform our politics. The vast majority of Christians that take Christianity serously reject Mr. Wallis' postion and support smaller government and more individual responsiblity.

  • debarrio

    Jesus said: "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible." Mathew 24-24.
    Obama and Wallis are false prophets and their followers are being deceived. Therefore, they must not be part of the elect. Things aren't looking so good for them, are they?

  • Peachey

    The article labels Jim Wallis as a "pacifist" and this is far from the truth. Jim Wallis is a self-proclaimed Marxist that has said in interviews his belief in the establishment of a Marxist government by any and all means, hence his attraction to Obama. Despite his kindly and ordinary appearance he is a dangerous and devious Marxist disciple now advising the White House. In Obama's "father is important, Wallis was seated behind Obama nodding him on. This was a display of agreement towards the re-distribution of taxpayer money to organizations (what organizations are still unknown) that will focus on young men and the indoctrination into Marxist ideology (my evaluation) that will serve as the father role. Progressives have spent years and billions to destroy the family unit and create victims and government-dependant slaves. Why the loving concern now???

  • mac691

    Wallis is nothing more than a Marxist fraud. He was a member of the Marxist SDS during his college days, and he perverts the bible in order to further his marxist ideals. I find that very disturbing that someone who wraps himself in the cloak of Christ, at the same time follows an ideolog, Marxism, which declares religion to be the "opiate of the people." If anyone wants a preview into the book of Revelation and the position of the false prophet, it is clearly Jim Wallis. Woe to those who call good evil and evil good.

  • Mo_

    This guy has no idea what Christianity teaches!

    Just because someone labels themselves a Christian doesn't mean they are. He is not.

  • IceStar

    Dialogue to Leftist means agree with them. There is no exchange of facts or ideas. This is why all the talk about bipartisan this and that is like a comedy routine on late night TV.

  • Independent gal

    I went to a leftist church down the street for awhile. I tried it out because it was close by, in a beautiful old building, had singing that I loved and talked about themes I was very interested in.

    But the Pastor she was obsessed about racism and politics. It got so totally annoying. It was clear it was more about her issues than what is true in the world. So I stopped going.

  • Ted

    even the most righteous will fall

  • Ted

    I guess Wallis is one of those "We all go to heaven" clowns. Then why try? It's like Muslims who scream "We need to protect Allah!"
    To paraphrase Kirk from Star Trek V, "What kind of God needs protection?"

  • Charles Gordon

    Wallis et al. preach the heresy formed out of Christianity by Marx that promises eschatological socio-economic heaven but delivers idolatry of and slavery to the state. True Christian faith and love produce liberty and life with prosperity, and this is the way to subvert the appeal of Marx and Wallis' brand of "christianity" which is enslaving many well-intentioned people into its heretical, idolatrous structure of institutional wickedness disguised as "fairness."

  • suskey

    Wallis is always gushing about social justice and the poor, but I wonder how much of HIS wealth he has given to the poor? I can guarantee that HIS bank account is–and will remain– healthy, as will those of multi-millionaires in Congress and the President. These people are simply a bunch of Marxists and Wallis is the arm of it that is covering Marxist ideology with Christian language to promote it and get the approval of Christians who ought to know better. The following link contains a long article on the Communist Party USA website. In the part where they're talking about conservative evangelical churches, one person is named as one who is helping to push the party's ideology to Christians: Jim Wallis. What more proof does anyone need that this man is evil and working AGAINST Christ, not for him?

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