Another attack against progressive Christians came out today and it wasn't from the Religious Right. It was the Rolling Stone magazine blog. Tim Dickinson wrote:
CBS has an intriguing story about the growing momentum of the "Religious Left."
It quotes Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, as saying:
"Jesus never said one word about homosexuality, never said one word about civil marriage or abortion."
Adds the Rev. Tony Campolo:
"We are furious that the religious right has made Jesus into a Republican. That's idolatry. To recreate Jesus in your own image rather than allowing yourself to be created in Jesus' image is what's wrong with politics."
So what's the Religious Left's answer to this `idolatry'? Why, to turn the Lord into a liberal Democrat, of course:
The Christian left is focusing on:
Protecting the environment
Ending the war in Iraq
Did I miss the gospel where Jesus said, "No Drilling in ANWR"?
The remarks show more ignorance about the Christian faith than anything else. Dickinson is correct that Jesus never mentioned drilling in ANWR but the Scriptures are filled with God's call for us to be responsible stewards of creation and to be peacemakers.
The risen Christ still speaks to us today as we attempt to discern God's will on contemporary issues through Scripture, reason and our own experiences.
It would be wrong if the "Religious Left" turned Jesus into an instrument of partisan political warfare in the way that the Religious Right has done for the Republicans.
But as far as I know no one in the progressive Christian has suggested such a thing.
It isn't liberal or conservative to talk about fighting poverty, protecting the environment or ending wars. All we are doing is articulating how we understand Jesus' teachings. The Religious Right (which is a political movement more than a religious one) by and large argues against environment protections, supports U.S. military campaigns without questions, and argues in favor of economic policies that abandon the poor to market forces.
Anyone who places emphasis on Jesus' teachings on the environment, poverty and peacemaking would seem to take Scripture more seriously than those who argue the Bible is simply a manual on sexual relations.
Dickinson and his colleagues at Rolling Stone would better serve their readers if they spent more time studying Scripture instead of mocking those who attempt to faithfully follow the teachings of God.