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The New Evangelical Left

Posted: 02/13/2008.
Distributed by www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com

By Ingrid Schueter: www.sliceoflaodicea.com

The New Evangelical Left Erects Conservative Straw Men

TOPICS: Evangelism, Purpose Driven Madness, Emerging Church

Paul Edwards has a must-read article on Townhall.com today. The most important thing he says is this:

The Religious Left is successfully redefining what it means to be a conservative evangelical by misrepresenting what it means to be a conservative evangelical.

His next most important point is this:

The new voices of the Religious Left Rick Warren, Joel Hunter, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, et al are defining down what it means to be an evangelical by making the symptoms of man's sin (poverty, disease, etc.) a priority rather than addressing the cause of those symptoms (sin) and the cure found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul Edwards rightly points out how the dishonest and slanderous portrayals of conservative evangelicals create a straw man caricature that is easy to take down and replace with their leftist evangelical model. Men like Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Rick Warren, Jim Wallis and company completely ignore the rich history of compassion ministry and the ongoing work being done by conservative evangelicals around the world. It is only through this dishonesty on college campuses and in churches around the country that men like these can attract followers for their supposedly more compassionate left-wing causes.

In the job that I do I get to meet a wide cross-section of believers involved in ministries of every kind. This fall I interviewed two missionaries who work on India's border with Nepal in a remote region that is extremely primitive. They have opened a school for street children there. What started as a complete leap of faith is now growing by leaps and bounds as God has blessed their faithful labors. These Indian Christians told of miracle after miracle in God's provision for them in their work, and their entire motivation is to serve Jesus Christ by caring for and sharing the Gospel with these forgotten children.

Brad Hayes of Outstretched Hands of Romania is a conservative Christian pastor who left Milwaukee, sold his house, his car and all his belongings, took his family of 7 and moved to Calarasi, a poor town in Southern Romania. He has been there several years now, holding tent meetings, teaching in surrounding villages and ministering to children through street ministry. The love of Christ and love for these children shines through his sacrificial work for Jesus. You won't hear about Brad or the Indian missionary couple from Shane Claiborne or Tony Campolo or Jim Wallis. They don't resemble the straw man callous conservative evangelical that they prop up at all their events. Further, the real issue Rick Warren and his ilk have with conservative evangelical compassion ministry is that it is done explicitly in Jesus name and with the Gospel front and center as the greatest need of all they serve. It is the Gospel part, front and center, that they do not want. So they mock conservatives, paint them as callous, selfish and narrow in their concerns, and then, playing off their false portrayal, they offer up an alternative. It's very clever, and very dangerous for those gullible enough to believe them.

 

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