The situation in Wisconsin certainly stirred up a mess, didn’t it? Some progressive religious people rush into the fray, trying to score points using events to further their agenda (what’s that about fools rushing in where angels fear to tread?).
Perhaps that’s why the warning about mixing politics and religion exists. Some areas the Bible states clearly, others not. So when a situation about union contracts pops up, some people try and inject their political view of religion into the discussion, as Diana Butler Bass did in her recent post God in Wisconsin: Scott Walker’s Obedience.
We’ll examine a few quotes from her article to show her factually incorrect, and then consider her strange conclusion from those factual errors.
Building a Poor Foundation
In other words, Scott Walker does not give a rip about pronouncements by the Roman Catholic Church, any Lutheran, Episcopal, or Methodist bishop, or the Protestant social justice pastors. These religious authorities, steeped in centuries of theology and Christian ethics mean absolutely nothing in Scott Walker’s world.
They shouldn’t mean anything to you either. It’s between you and God, nothing else. Sure, teachers and pastors are helpful, but they are not infallible, nor should they replace God. Just because someone claims “credentials” or is “steeped in centuries of theology” doesn’t mean they take the place of God, or are even right on the issues (theological or otherwise).
Notice she doesn’t include all pastors Governor Walker should listen to, only “social justice pastors” make the grade. Hmmmm. We’ll see social justice pop up quite a bit, so if you’re not familiar with it read our article on social justice before continuing. It’s vital to understand exactly what social justice is, and its lack of any Biblical foundation whatsoever.
His spiritual universe is that of 20th century fundamentalism, in its softer evangelical form, a vision that emphasizes “me and Jesus” and personal salvation.
Salvation is personal (it’s why Paul said “my God”). A heresy floats around called “collective salvation”, where your salvation depends on others. Bunk. In case you’ve never heard of the term, here’s a definition.
Collective salvation is a quasi-contract religious concept that is the antithesis of individual or personal salvation. It is a mandate of social justice which projects rights not normally given by the laws of a country or state. Its premises are based on dialogue, not accepted doctrine. It supports the perpetual Marxist class struggle for the self-claimed “divine” purpose of a socialist nirvana under the concept of progressive millennialism.
Wow, social justice pops up again! Where is that in the Bible again? Oh yeah, it’s not (go ahead and search where Jesus or the apostles stated the church should promote and encourage forced government confiscation and redistribution (socialism, marxism, etc), we’ll be here when you get back).
In short, collective salvation (and social justice) exists as a political movement emphasizing far-left progressive politics, with a thin veneer of religious covering so people will swallow it without knowing what’s inside. Where does the New Testament state your salvation depends on someone else’s salvation? Quite the opposite — your salvation depends on you alone, it’s your choice to accept or reject God as you wish, and you’ll be responsible for that choice.
Collective salvation joins social justice on the scrapheap of discarded ideas having no Biblical support.
Choose a Path — Man or God?
Once you know God’s direction, no change is allowed. Doubt opens the door to failure. Obeying Christ’s plan is the only option.
She says that with a mocking and derisive tone, as instead of following God she proposes another idea.
In other words, the Catholic bishops and mainline pastors—as well as the Quakers, Jews, Buddhists, and others—who have been trying to convince the governor to shift course are pretty well preaching in the wind.
So you should follow men rather than God? Sounds backwards to what we find in Acts. Last time we checked, we didn’t see anything about union contracts in the Bible, so unless you accept the counterfeit gospel of social justice, the politics of union contracts the Bible doesn’t speak of.
A Poor Foundation makes a Bad Building
Ms. Bass’ makes factual errors and states her opinion (which she’s entitled to), as she says she is “not being a conservative evangelical”. Her wikipedia page — which she links to from her bio page — calls her “a leader in progressive Christianity because of her criticism of the religious right”. She blogs for Jim Wallis’ far-left progressive blog “God’s Politics”, where her article can also be found. The wikipedia entry she links to goes on to describe her:
Her work combines elements of liberal theology, progressive spirituality, classical evangelicalism, mystical awareness, feminist concerns, and Christian tradition to create an inclusive and transformative vision of Christianity.
Strange, no mention of Bible believing, God as supreme, or the inerrancy of the Bible — but does mention transformation, mysticism, feminism, liberalism (theologically), and progressivism. We wonder what exactly Ms. Bass believes in the Bible needs to be “transformed”? And why?
When you begin with a poor foundation, it’s no wonder the building can’t stand.
Danger, Will Robinson!
Her factual errors (social justice, collective salvation, etc) aren’t uncommon for people failing to do their homework in those areas. The real problem her mistakes create arises as she finally concludes:
Scott Walker’s religion is actually dangerous in the public square…
So here it is folks, if — instead of progressivism, social justice, and collective salvation — you believe the Bible is the Word of God, and God should be obeyed, you’re “dangerous”. Once that thought becomes mainstream, guess which three groups will refuse to follow along with namby pamby, watered down, squishy, mystically aware, liberal theology, social justice, collective salvation, non-committed religion?
Muslims, Jews, and … Christians.
What happens then? Those not going along with philosophy contradicting the Bible won’t be tolerated, and even should be silenced.
Mr Toad’s Wild Ride — The Coming Split
It’s going to be a bumpy ride, so you’d better be prepared as progressive social justice “Christians” (if you can call mystical awareness and liberal theology Christian) call people dangerous — those who don’t accept their non-Biblical counterfeit gospel of social justice and far-left progressive politics.
It shouldn’t surprise you if and when the church splits into an orthodox group holding the teaching of the Bible, and a progressive, liberal theology, mystically aware, social justice group which openly will admit they don’t accept what the Bible says, having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof (those in the second group can hardly be called Christians if they openly contradict what the Bible says. They can use the label all they want, but it’s meaningless).
The Reason for the Division
Why must those who hold the Bible as truth be labeled dangerous? What happened to tolerance and honor diversity — even in the “Christian” community? The reason is surprisingly simple, if not also a display of amazing arrogance and chutzpah. Simply put, those in the social justice, progressive, theologically liberal movement believe not only that they’re right, but they are examples of goodness, righteousness and attempts to build a better (Utopian?) society — thus everyone else is not just wrong but evil and/or against God. Since those people are evil, it’s not improper to malign or persecute them.
Sound bizarre? The blog Ms. Bass writes for — Jim Wallis’ blog — calls itself “God’s politics”. A statement itself implying divine revelation to Mr. Wallis and his ilk. So if you don’t agree with Mr. Wallis and his companions, you’re against God and His ideal for political matters — that being social justice as Mr. Wallis claims (without Biblical evidence) social justice is the heart of the gospel (a factually incorrect statement as it contradicts the established doctrine of the apostle Paul).
That’s why so much intolerance flows to anyone not agreeing with them.
The Way Back
You must challenge un-Biblical ideas wherever you find them. For example, if the theologically liberal progressives desire forced income confiscation and redistribution, that’s their opinion, and it’s open to debate. No problem yet.
However, when they begin to claim it’s “God’s politics” — implying anyone disagreeing with their views is against God — they’ve got major problems. Just for fun, ask one of those theological liberal progressive “Christians” to provide where Jesus (or the apostles) ever stated the church should lobby the government for income redistribution.
You’ll quickly get the deer in the headlights look, as they know it doesn’t exist. A word exists for promoting ideas contradicting established doctrine (i.e. the Bible): heresy; heresy has crept into the church since its inception. If you haven’t read CS Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”, you should as the book reveals conversations between Satan and one of his demons, revealing their tactics — one of which is social justice.
On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything—even to social justice. The thing to do is get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. … I have found a passage in a Christian writer where he recommends his own version of Christianity on the ground that “only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and new civilizations.” You see the little rift? “Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason”. That’s the game. (“The Screwtape Letters” page 119–120)
Stay vigilant, and remember, just because someone has a following or title (including reverend, pastor, bishop, etc.) does not mean they’re infallible or correct. Do your own homework, and speak truth to power — politely, but firmly.
In the end, it’s truth (read that Biblical) which wins the day, not the many words of some promoting ideas they can’t Biblically back up.
Choose Your Path
When the time comes, which group will you choose? The time may arrive sooner than you think, and as Ms. Bass’ post demonstrates, don’t be surprised if holding Biblical beliefs causes you to be labeled dangerous by people claiming to be “Christians”, as they tell you to sit down and shut up, and blindly swallow ideas totally lacking any Biblical foundation, simply because they say so.
If I recall correctly, it was J Vernon McGee who said when persecution comes to Christians in the United States, it will arrive via the mainline denominations. Examine writing from various “Christians” and see if you can spot the (as John Loeffler says) five stages of persecution:
- Identify the group (Fundamentalist, emphasizing Jesus and personal salvation)
- Marginalize the group (Doesn’t care about “mainline” ideas)
- Vilify the group (Dangerous)
- Pass laws to restrict the group’s activities
- Enforce the laws
At what stage are some of the writings coming out of the “Christian” community? Let the reader decide if J Vernon McGee will be (sadly) proved correct.
When the phone rings at 3AM and a crisis unfolds you’ve got what you’ve got. There’s nobody to lean on, and all you have is what you’ve learned. Don’t let anyone supersede God’s Word — it’s your job to learn and understand the times, not be swayed by social justice pastors and mystical awareness.
Because it’s 2:59AM.