Posts Tagged ‘Israel’
By Tony Pearce
Light For the Last Days Ministries (UK)
David Cameron, visiting Israel on March 19th, urged the Israelis and Palestinians ‘to take the final difficult steps towards peace. The prize could be great: a stable, prosperous Middle East with a sovereign and viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside a secure Israel at the heart of it.’
On the ground not many people in the region believe those steps will be taken and even fewer believe that peace and security will be the end result. On 12th March, US Secretary of State John Kerry that the level of mistrust between Israelis and Palestinians was the highest he had ever seen. But he insisted that he was hopeful of reaching ‘some kind of understanding of the road forward’ as he seeks to nail down a framework to guide the stuttering Middle East peace talks. The major blocks to agreement remain the question of the Palestinian refugees, the status of Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their capital, and security questions, particularly over the Jordan Valley.
Another issue is that the Palestinians should recognise Israel as a Jewish state. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that without such a recognition there will be no deal with the Palestinians, a view supported by the overwhelming majority of Israelis. Speaking in Washington on March 4th Netanyahu said, ‘In recognising the Jewish state you Palestinians would finally make clear that you are truly prepared to end the conflict. So recognise the Jewish state, no excuses, no delays. It is time.’
However on March 7th PA President Abbas said that recognising Israel as a Jewish state is ‘out of the question,’ a decision unanimously endorsed by the Revolutionary Council of Palestinian Authority and by the council of the Arab League. He said in his speech to delegates ‘They are pressing and saying, ‘no peace without the Jewish state.’ There is no way. We will not accept.’ In the same speech he said there is ‘no way’ he would accept anything less than the entire city of Jerusalem in any final peace deal. Click here to continue reading.
World Vision Cries “Reform” – But What About Israel and the Emerging Church – The Story Behind the Story
According to a recent article by Christian News Network (CNN) titled “World Vision Under Internal Reformation After Support of Homosexuality?,” World Vision appears to be taking measures to “reform” the organization after their recent decision and 48-hour reversal to employ homosexual couples. Since that happened, according to the article, World Vision has lost 10,000 child supporters (equaling over 4 million dollars annually). According to CNN, “World Vision is asking board members to formally affirm a statement that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
CNN also reports that some board member changes are taking place at World Vision as well:
Jacquelline Fuller, director of corporate giving at Google, and John Park, another Google employee, left the board after the dust-up. Three other board members rotated off due to term limits. Rich Stearns [WV president], whose salary is reportedly near $400k per year, remains as president despite some initial talk that he could be fired for the controversy.
While such reforms may appear to be commendable signs that World Vision wants to be seen as a Christian organization after all, something the CNN article says reveals that World Vision’s reforms may not produce the “fruit” they appear to be wanting to create. The article states that the new board members will include Leith Anderson (president of the NAE) and Jerry White, president emeritus of the Christian ministry Navigators. Both Jerry White and Leith Anderson have been the subject of Lighthouse Trails articles because of their roles in the emerging “new” spirituality. And most likely, they will bring their views to the newly formed board at World Vision.
Leith Anderson, former pastor of mega church Wooddale Church in Minnesota, is discussed in Roger Oakland’s book Faith Undone. Oakland, in showing Anderson’s role in helping to form the emerging church in the 90s, states that, “Anderson says that the Word of God is still being written, and today’s experiences can dictate what that Word is.” Anderson says:
The old paradigm taught that if you had the right teaching, you will experience God. The new paradigm says that if you experience God, you will have the right teaching. This may be disturbing for many who assume propositional truth must always precede and dictate religious experience. That mindset is the product of systematic theology and has much to contribute … However, biblical theology looks to the Bible for a pattern of experience followed by proposition. The experience of the Exodus from Egypt preceded the recording of Exodus in the Bible. The experience of the crucifixion, the resurrection and Pentecost all predate the propositional declaration of those events in the New Testament. It is not so much that one is right and the other is wrong: it is more of a matter of the perspective one takes on God’s touch and God’s truth.
This minimization of doctrine and exaggerated emphasis on experience is typical of contemplative/emerging teachers. As well, in an interview with Leith Anderson, Anderson’s ecumenical propensities show through when he states:
[I]n neighborhoods people who are Catholic and Presbyterian and Lutheran are praying together. They go to Bible studies together. And an amalgam of all kinds of religious ideas has taken hold of the grass roots. Whereas denominational leaders are increasingly saying, “Well, we’ve got to stand for our distinctives.” … Well, those denominational leaders are going down the wrong path! (source)
And in a PBS profile of Leith Anderson, Anderson says:
I think that around the world there is a great deal of fear. I think war and terrorism and other issues have made people frightened and that has often driven them back to their social, ethnic and religious roots. And that has distanced people more than it has brought them together. What I would desire and hope for is that we would find our common ground, be able to be respectful of our differences, and be able to fairly hear one another in terms of what are our beliefs, and persuasively speak on behalf of our beliefs.
We find it ironic that World Vision has brought in the services of Leith Anderson when it was this idea of ecumenism and “common ground” that got World Vision into trouble in the first place. As journalist Paul Proctor explains in his article “Relationships and Religious Agendas,” a terrible breach in biblical integrity has occurred in the Christian church for the sake of relationships and unity at all costs:
Having now put so great an emphasis on our relationships with one another and the results we covet, no longer do we turn to the Bible for answers to the issues of life, instead, allowing the counsel of the compromised to compel us along with their practical advise and benevolent ventures, assuming they are anointed and appointed by God to do so. It is a sweet seduction with eternal consequences and a spiritual short cut for the shortsighted and undisciplined.
Scripture is clear that we are to let our yes be yes and our no be no, and there is a special judgement for those who name the name of Christ but are lukewarm (Revelation 3:16). It should be noted that Leith Anderson was also among those appointed by the present White House administration for the interfaith advisory council. But this shouldn’t be too surprising as World Vision has strong ties to the US government. According to the CNN article, World Vision “received nearly $179 million in grants of food and cash from the U.S. government and other agencies” in 2013.
Anderson, president of the National Evangelical Association, was also one of the signers of a document named “A Common Word Between Us and You,” which was an evangelical response to a Muslim document asking for “common ground” to be recognized between the two religions. While a number of popular evangelical leaders also signed the document (Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller,Bill Hybels, Richard Cizik, and Jim Wallis), these leaders, including Anderson, appeared to be ignorant of the fact that the Muslim document contained a rebuke and an Islamic warning as Mike Oppenheimer explains in his article “Chrislam – The Blending Together of Islam & Christianity.”
As for World Vision’s decision to bring aboard the Navigator’s president emeritus, Jerry White, the Navigators (NavPress) has become one of the leaders in bringing in contemplative/emerging spirituality into the church over the last 15 years (see links below). White was international president of The Navigators from 1986 until 2005. While we cannot say whether White knew what was happening at The Navigators regarding the shift toward the emerging church, if he did not know, then this was a serious lack of discernment at the highest leadership level and could repeat itself when he becomes a board member of World Vision. As an example of this, in 2007, Lighthouse Trails wrote an article titled “CMA (Christian Management Association) Goes Contemplative,” where it was reported that Jerry White was at that time chairman of the board of directors at CMA (today he is not chairman but is still on the board). Our article explained:
CMA is promoting contemplative/emerging spirituality. In their recommended books section, they include several contemplative/emerging authors: Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, Leonard Sweet, Dan Allender, and Daniel Goleman (author of The Meditative Mind). Goleman, a staunch proponent of mantra meditation sees meditation as a common ground between all the world’s religions, and his book is a type of manual on the basics of mysticism. . . .
On March 12-15, CMA will be presenting their 30th Annual Conference in Palm Springs . . . Workshops will include Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) and other workshop speakers include Nancy Ortberg (wife of contemplative John Ortberg), and Phyllis Hendry (President of Lead Like Jesus) . . .
Articles in CMA magazine back up the association’s affinity with contemplative. One article called “The Soul of a Leader” talks about being intimately connected to God through spiritual disciplines and recommends Richard Foster, emergent Tony Jones, and Dallas Willard as authors to read.
Some may be wondering how World Vision came to the place where they decided to begin employing homosexual couples. Such a radical shift away from orthodox Christianity didn’t happen over night. As Lighthouse Trails has reported on numerous occasions, World Vision has been engaging with the emerging church for a long time. For instance, in 2006, we wrote:
In the Summer 2006 issue of World Vision’s magazine Child View, there is a full-page article by emerging church leader, Brian McLaren. . . . We contacted Jocelyn Bell (of World Vision Canada) who is an editor for Child View and was involved with the McLaren article. We shared our concerns with her about McLaren being in the World Vision magazine, relating to her specific information about McLaren’s theology. Ms. Bell responded with, “We don’t have a problem with Brian McLaren’s viewpoints.” . . . Bell also told us that a weekly devotions group, which includes World Vision leaders and workers, was currently studying McLaren’s book, A Generous Orthodoxy. Ms. Bell told us that World Vision represents both Evangelicals and Protestants as well as Catholics. We asked her if it also included New Age Christians, of which McLaren is in that group. . . . Unfortunately, World Vision’s connections to contemplative/emerging do not stop with their promotion of McLaren. They also have a seat on the Board of Directors of the very contemplative Spiritual Formation Forum (Richard Foster and Dallas Willard) and are a Ministry Partner of the contemplative/emerging promoting Church Communication Network (originators of the Be Still project).
Another highly significant indicator as to where World Vision is heading came out in 2010 with the release of the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian state film With God on Our Side. Steve Haas, a VP of World Vision, was one of the strong proponents for the film, which was “aimed at changing the end-time views of evangelicals and the theology that says the Jews are God’s chosen people and have a divine right to the land of Israel,”1 said Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries. And in a video clip on the Internet (click here to view), you can watch Steve Haas talking in Israel to anti-Israel activist Steven Sizer. Haas talks about the financial support that World Vision has given through their program called Palestinian Church Engagement Initiative (PCEI) to help the Palestinian cause. We wonder how many World Vision donors realize that their donations have gone to hurt Israel (for more on the “Christian” Palestinianism issue, click here).
World Vision is trying to reverse some of the damage they have incurred when they made their pro-homosexual announcement recently. Thus, some of the more “liberal” board members have left, with it looking like to the average Christian that they are replacing them with traditional evangelical Christians. While their testing of the waters to see how the church would accept their homosexual employee policy didn’t come out too well, rest assured that World Vision is not making any true reform. They are merely taking a few steps back and waiting until the time is right. Richard Stearn’s (the president of World Vision) book The Hole in Our Gospel proves that the organization is not about biblical Christianity. According to a book review we posted, Stearn’s book “is the newest danger to come against true Believers in the Church Age. It promotes a false gospel within a socialistic philosophy. It fails miserably in its hermeneutic, is ecumenical in focus, promotes human performance as a method of pleasing God, and believes people on earth can do good to ‘usher in the Kingdom.’”
So while World Vision is crying “reform” right now, and most likely this will be the story that the media, both secular and Christian, will pick up and run with, the real story behind the scene is that World Vision is part of the “new” spirituality/New Age “Christianity” that will help usher in the greatest deception this world has ever seen. And countless Christians’ tax-deductible dollars will help finance it.
Chrislam? Christian Palestinianism? by T.A. McMahon
LTRP Note: We post this article to help bring understanding regarding the events taking place around the world today from a biblical point of view. We want to also say that God loves the Arab people and desires to see them come to repentance and salvation as He desires for all people. But the Bible is clear, there is only one way of salvation – there is only one Savior and Messiah, and that is Jesus Christ.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
By Bill Randles
The world is reeling with the horrifying spectacle of the recent stunning success of the Sunni Islam, ISIS, (Islamic Society of Syria and Iraq), which in the past two weeks has taken over most of Iraq, and is currently encircling Baghdad. The group has become the richest terror organization in the world after plundering banks in Mosul (biblical Nineveh), and as a prize has taken Fallujah and Tikrit, places the United States, Britain and their coalition spent billions in treasure and thousands of our finest young lives to “liberate”.
What are the biblical implications of this sudden development? It is my view that anything that happens in this region these days has such implications due to the nearness of our Lord’s Parousia, and our gathering together unto Him!
First of all, ISIS has taken the entire area around Baghdad, including the area we call Babylon. Geographical Babylon has yet to experience the prophesied fate,
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. (Isaiah 13:19-20)
Babylon was overthrown by the Medes and Persians in the days of Daniel the Prophet (539 BC), but it was never rendered uninhabitable. Currently Babylon has become the possession of an aggressive, violent offshoot of Al Qaeda, under the leadership of a man Obama set free(Perhaps he took up yoga or knitting).
This conflict must be interpreted through the Sunni Shiite prism. Islam, the religion of the false prophet Mohammed, is divided into two major sects, Sunni and Shia. The Islamic world is about 85 percent Sunni, and 15 percent Shia. The Shia are concentrated in Iran, southern Iraq, southern Lebanon and a minority in Syria.
Iraq has been ruled by Sunni, until the US led elections, in which a Shia took power, and immediately began disenfranchising the Sunnis. In the center of Baghdad is a crowded slum (Sadr city), containing millions of Shia. There are cities in Southern Iraq which are considered holy places to the Shia.
The schism came about after Mohammed’s death, over the issue of who would be the successor Caliph (Leader). The Shia favored Mohammed’s nephew Ali Hussein, whereas the Sunni wanted Mohammed’s general to succeed Him. There was a battle in Karbala, Iraq, in which Mohammed’s nephew and six-month-old grandson were slaughtered.
The Sunni and Shia hate each other on a level that is hard to a westerner to fathom. All throughout our occupation of Iraq, there were bus bombings, suicide, and otherwise of Shia religious processions, and even funerals, by Sunni fanatics, and vice verse. Islam cannot bring any kind of peace, obviously.
Another aspect of this development is that the Shia are alarmed at a vicious Sunni army so near, and so bent on destroying the Shiites in Iraq and then moving on possibly to Iran.
So also, the Kurds are on full alert and have secured for themselves the oil center city of Kirkuk. Of all of Iraq, it is the Kurds who benefitted most from US Aid, and have built for themselves an enclave in the Northeastern section of Iraq, and are warily arming themselves in view of ISIS. The Kurds are believed to be the biblical Medes, which in the light of the unfulfilled portion of Isaiah 13:
Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.(Isaiah 13:19-21)
We know also that an invasion of Israel is prophesied in Psalm 83, which will involve Arabs from all of Israel’s near neighbors, including Iraq.
I have reproduced below an article I published a few years ago to bring anyone who is interested in the biblical background and prophetic analysis of the Arab (Muslim) world. Unfortunately the humanists, atheists, and perhaps even Satanists who currently govern the so-called civilized world, do not think spiritually and cannot really comprehend the nature of the struggle the world is in, because of the age-old struggle between Jacob and Esau, Ishmael and Isaac.
Remember that as this whirlwind breaks all around us, and death and destruction break out in places usually secure, Scripture assures us, that whosoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved! If you seek me you will find me, if you seek for me with all of your heart! Break off of your sins, I beg you, turn to Jesus who died for you and who rose again. His nature is to forgive and to save sinners. (source of this article)
Used with permission.
PREVIOUS ARTICLE by Bill Randles as mentioned above
We have been discussing recent events in the Arab world. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, among others are being shaken by massive, violent, popular demonstrations.
There is a twofold commonality in all of these nations, 1) ethnically they are Arab and 2) They are Muslim, in the midst of a revival of fundamentalist Islam. That is why the so-called “democratic” aspect of these upheavals is meaningless. Islamists will win the elections, the populations of these nations are not upset with their respective governments for being too Islamic, they are upset with them for being too secular!
There is a spiritual dimension to these events, as well. The prophets of the Bible foretold in great detail, the origin and final end of the Arab people. The sons of Abraham, Ishmael and of Esau play a prominent role in the Last Days scenario.
From Genesis, we learn that much of the Arab nation came from the first-born son of Abraham, Ishmael. He was not the child of the promise, nor was he born of Sarah Abraham’s wife. Ishmael was the son of Abraham through his bondslave, the Egyptian woman, Hagar.
But Ishmael is of such significance, that like Samson, Jesus and the John the Baptist, an Angel spoke of his future before he was even born.
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. (Genesis 16:11-12)
The character of the Arab people is here prophetically described, in the first book of the Bible:
* The divinely assigned name, Ishmael – means either “God hears” or “He will hear God”. Not all Arabs are the physical descendants of Ishmael, but through Islam they are in spiritual affinity with Ishmael’s disenfranchisement from Abraham.
*A Wild Ass of a man – The literal rendering of KJV’s “Wild man,” This is not meant to be taken as an insult, for to a desert dwelling people, the wild ass represents toughness, virility, fierce independence, and unbrokenness. All of the qualities one would require to survive in a harsh and unforgiving environment.
* His hand will be against every man and every man’s against him – Ishmael would be warlike, he would not submit to others who try to dominate him, and he would dominate others.
* He will dwell in the presence of his brothers – This is the prediction that Ishmael would not only be at war with all other nations, but that he would be unable to have peace even with his own brothers. This passage can be interpreted as “He will dwell in the face of his brothers.”
Arab would be at war with Arab, when not fighting outsiders. Ishmael would also persecute his brother Isaac, hating him and making his life miserable, until Abraham was forced to put he and his mother Hagar the bondslave out of the house.
* The Arabs would be a powerful, populous people – The Angel who appeared to Hagar in the desert, prophesying Ishmael’s birth, also predicted that the Ishmaelites would be an exceedingly numerous people. He shall ever live ‘in the face of his brothers’.
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. (Genesis 16:10)
History has proven this prophecy to be true, the Arabs are the independent, fierce, unbroken survivors that the Angel said they would be. They have also multiplied into a great nation, there are hundreds of millions of Arabs, there are 22 Arab nations in the middle east and North Africa, and through Islam, Arab culture is predominant in 57 nations of the world.
But also true is the Muslim/ Arab inability to live in peace. Contrary to contemporary “wisdom” there is no place on earth where Islam has ever wrought any kind of peace, other than the peace of the dead! When the Arabs are not at war with the rest of the world, they are fighting among themselves. Arab against Arab, and Muslim against Muslim is the rule and not the exception.
And the Muslim/Arabs have a fierce, unyielding hatred for their younger brother Jacob (i.e., Israel).
Not all Arabs are the physical descendants of Ishmael, but through Islam they are in spiritual affinity with Ishmael’s disenfranchisement from Abraham in favor of the second son of Abraham, Isaac, the child of God’s promise. Islam nurtures the original grievance Ishmael and Hagar his equally disenfranchised mother.
The Scripture calls this hatred, “the perpetual hatred”, and predicts that this hatred of Ishmael for Isaac, Esau for Jacob, will be the catalyst for the final judgments to come down upon the whole world.
Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end: Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: saith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee. (Ezekiel 35:5-6)
An Excerpt from “A Sword On The Land; the Muslim World In Bible Prophecy” or you can get a Kindle edition at Kindle Sword On the Land
Used with permission.
LTRP Note: This is part 2 of this series. To read part 1, click here.
In the last half of his plenary talk at a FOSNA conference this April in Portland, Oregon, in his case to prove that Christians are responsible for creating the injustice that currently exists in Palestine, Brian McLaren went into further detail about his problem with all the accounts in the Bible where God said to wipe out the surrounding nations, people and even animals, in what he calls the ‘texts of genocide.’
“Through its appropriation of “texts of terror” and especially through the application of those texts to the Jews, the Christian religion created the conditions for the oppression of Palestinians.” -Brian McLaren, Seeds of Hope and Justice for Palestinians and Israelis 
McLaren then talked about the holocaust being one of many world wide genocidal atrocities which the church has been behind, saying that “The lament that Christians should have is that Israel is treating Palestinians exactly the way Christians treated Jews, and we now lament that past.”
But is it true that the Christian religion created the conditions for oppression of Palestine? While many atrocities in the world have been done in the name of Christ, is it true for McLaren to say that Israel is treating Palestinians the way Jews were treated in the Holocaust?
First of all, it was Hitler and the Unholy Alliance who were behind the annihilation of the Jews. Secondly, Israel today treats the Palestinians better than they are treated by their own leaders. Where is the genocide happening in Israel? Just this week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu showed to the world “the true Israel, the advanced, modern and tolerant Israel, in effect, the only country in the Middle East that ensures complete freedom of worship to those of all faiths, guards the holy places and ensures the rights of all – Jews, Muslims, Christians, everybody.” Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Prior to reading the commentary below, please take a look at our 2012 statement titled “What Does Lighthouse Trails Believe About Israel?.”
We have posted the article below to show that a paradigm shift is taking place within evangelical Christianity that will result in further apostasy among proclaiming Christians. When you couple the move toward anti-Israelism within the evangelical church with the flood of homosexual acceptance, the overwhelming embracing of mysticism (i.e., contemplative) and welcoming of Catholicism, and a growing hostility toward biblical Christians, it becomes plain to see that the stage is being set to form a one-world harlot “church” of which the Bible speaks.
by David Brog
Middle East Quarterly
There is nothing new about the efforts to drive a wedge between America’s evangelicals and Israel. Many in the anti-Israel camp have been working for years to do exactly that. Anti-Israel Palestinian Christians such as Sami Awad and Naim Ateek have traveled the country telling American Christians how their “brothers and sisters in Christ” are being oppressed by Israel’s Jews. Left-leaning evangelicals such as Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and Serge Duss have echoed this narrative in their corner of the Christian world. Duss’s sons, Brian and Matt, have worked diligently to mainstream their father’s views within the fields of Christian philanthropy and Democratic Party policy-making, respectively.
Until the past couple of years, however, there was little reason to believe that these individuals were influencing Christians beyond their own narrow circles. Almost every significant evangelical leader who took a position on the issue came out squarely behind the Jewish state. A center-right evangelical world simply was not taking its political cues from these stalwarts of the left.
This situation is changing dramatically. With every passing month, more evidence is emerging that these anti-Israel Christians are succeeding in reaching beyond the evangelical left and are influencing the mainstream. In particular, they are penetrating the evangelical world at its soft underbelly: the millennial generation. These young believers (roughly ages 18 to 30) are rebelling against what they perceive as the excessive biblical literalism and political conservatism of their parents. As they strive with a renewed vigor to imitate Jesus’ stand with the oppressed and downtrodden, they want to decide for themselves which party is being oppressed in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Whoever first defines the conflict for these young people will win lifelong allies. Click here to continue reading this article.
Click here to purchase this important DVD by Caryl Productions.
LTRP Note: For those who are wondering just what “Common Core” has in store for American children, read this article below as well as Berit Kjos’ booklet A “Common Core” For a Global Community.
By Barbara Boland
The Rialto school district in California gave eighth graders an 18-page assignment that asked them to consider arguments on whether the Holocaust was an “actual event” or a “propaganda tool that was used for monetary gain.”
The project created media outrage, but the school district initially defended the assignment, saying that Common Core standards are intended to teach critical thinking. The school district, through interim superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam, revised its position when L.A.-based Anti-Defamation league expressed its concerns.
The assignment given to the eighth graders read:
“When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”
To continue reading, click here.
What You Need to Know About Jim Wallis and the Social-Justice Gospel written by Mary Danielsen is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of What You Need to Know About Jim Wallis and the Social-Justice Gospel, click here. Also included in this Booklet Tract are the following two lists: 1) Some Key Players in the Social Gospel Movement; 2) Some Buzz Words in the Social Justice Gospel Movement.
Many Christian believers are expressing concern today, and rightly so, over something called “social justice” or the “social-justice gospel.” Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners magazine, is one of the top “change agents” in the social-justice movement within the evangelical/Protestant church, and the timing of his surge in popularity cannot be ignored, considering: 1) the ideology of our current administration; 2) the advance of liberal theology via the emerging church and church-growth movements; and 3) the current state of apostasy the church finds itself in today. Are all these connected? Through this man and other key players, they are indeed.
In 2010, I discovered that Jim Wallis had been invited as a keynote speaker to a huge Christian music festival in Wisconsin that claims to bring in upward of 70,000 attendees each year, largely youth.1 This prompted a few Christian ministries to begin to educate, warn, and encourage others to do their homework on Jim Wallis and his brand of social justice “Christianity.” My prayer is that those reading this booklet will take heart to this warning and use this information to find clarity to what has become a serious breach in discernment.
Unbiblical trends in the church tend to snowball, producing even worse trends; each heretical book or teaching that comes along seems to lead to more serious deceptions. The Bible warns in 2 Timothy 3:13 that in the last days, “evil men and seducers [imposters] shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived,” suggesting a progressive pattern of deception that requires our vigilance.
For those who remember the old Dragnet TV show, allow me to reinvent Joe Friday: “The story you are about to hear is true. None of the names have been changed—and the only thing I’m interested in protecting is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” If we are going to do any critical thinking at all on this subject, we really need to get a Kodak moment of “the big picture.”
In my desire to be thorough and accurate on this subject, I read nearly fifty different articles about or by Wallis and his activities over the last four decades. I also read his book The Great Awakening. In reality, anyone with Internet access could probably have all the information they need on him within ten minutes—he is not shy about his agenda.
Lest any think that Jim Wallis and his social gospel are not being warmly embraced by many within Protestant/evangelical Christianity, some of the places that have invited Jim Wallis to speak over the last half a decade or so include Wheaton College, the Mennonite Church USA, Cedarville University, and Willow Creek to name a few. What’s more, his books are found in countless Christian bookstores including the Southern Baptist Convention resources branch, LifeWay; and his books are frequently used in Christian seminary and college courses. In addition, at least three traditional Christian publishing houses—Baker Books, InterVarsity Press, and Zondervan—publish his books.
As you read the following pages, you will see why all this backing by Christian leaders and organizations is nothing less than a travesty.
So who is Jim Wallis?
For nearly forty years, Wallis has expressed himself through an organization called “Sojourners.” He was raised in an evangelical family in Detroit and attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity school, but his radical political views made it impossible for him to finish there.2
At that time, he also founded an anti-capitalist magazine called The Post-American in which he called for the redistribution of wealth and an economy managed by the government. He also experimented for a season with communal living in search of a utopian lifestyle.3
In 1975, he moved his work to Washington D.C. and renamed it Sojourners. He wasn’t just against the Vietnam war, he rejoiced in America’s defeat there—there is a big difference—showing his leftist sympathies by publicly criticizing the Vietnamese and Hmong refugees who fled that communist regime (we called them “boat people” back then). He claimed they were leaving to support their consumer habit in other lands—that being greedy capitalists made it just too hard to live under a dictatorship.4 Where is the “liberal compassion” in those sentiments?
Wallis supported the Sandinista Communists in their attempt to take over Nicaragua in the ’80s, actively participating in resistance against the American military and working side by side in this cause with none other than Jeremiah Wright, the radical anti-American Chicago preacher who was President Obama’s pastor for twenty years.5
Wallis also supported the FMLN, a communist terror group from El Salvador itching to spread their Marxist revolution throughout South America.6 The word “traitor” does come to mind at this point.
In 1983, the organization “Accuracy in Media” published a lengthy book titled The Sojourner’s Files on the far-left policies of Wallis and his organization, documenting 53 political positions of Sojourners on such issues as Israel’s right to exist, terrorism, socialism, capitalism, human rights, etc.—and compared their positions on these subjects with those of the Soviet Union. In all 53 position statements, it was found that Sojourners’ views were completely in line with the views of hard line Soviets.
Joan Harris, who did the reporting on this, observed:
Sojourners never criticizes a Marxist state. The U.S. and the West are the only violators of human rights to them because they are capitalist. Marxists, by Sojourners’ own definition, cannot violate human rights.7
Wallis, who calls himself a “progressive” (meaning as far left as you can go) believes that Castro’s Cuba, Chavez’s Venezuela, and Ortega’s Nicaragua are the Marxist paradises the U.S. should emulate. It is not extreme at all to say that one of his goals is to witness the end of the U.S. as we have known it—“Post-Americanism” finally realized. So, after being arrested by the U.S. government 22 times in forty years, where has he soft-landed? As spiritual advisor to President Obama.8 Now, with the help of our own government, he hopes to turn mere ideology into policy.
Wallis has known Obama for over twenty years, and during the “Reverend Wright” damage-control days, Wallis was advising Obama on how to spin it, helping him draft many “faith-based initiatives,” to make the far left appear to have some form of religion, to sell the church the idea that here is a spiritual alternative to the now-defunct “Religious Right,” which Wallis eulogizes endlessly in his book.
A mission statement on the Sojourners website reads:
[Founded in 1971] Sojourners mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church and the world.9
A Social Justice Social Gospel
What is this “biblical call to social justice” that is supposed to transform our churches and even us as individuals? We know the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit does the transforming work in both the church and the individual believer’s life. Is this what Wallis and Sojourners has in mind when they talk about transforming people’s lives? No, it is not.
One government source defines “social justice” as, “The equitable distribution of advantages, assets, and benefits among all members of a society.”10 Without turning this into political science 101, I’ll keep it simple by saying that this is also the definition for “social-ism”: a government-controlled economy and the redistribution of wealth.
Briefly, the social gospel places all the emphasis for how to live an “authentic” Christianity on good works, as in meeting the needs of the poor and “marginalized.” It replaces the primary message of salvation through grace by faith in Jesus Christ with fixing society as the primary communication of truth and redemption. In effect, salvation through faith in Christ has no role in ridding society of all its problems, which they say must take place before Jesus can even return to set up His kingdom. While it has been around for over a hundred years, in today’s repackaged version, it has made itself appealing particularly to the youth by merging with the E-merging church and becoming the political ideology that so many are identifying with thanks to young men like Shane Claiborne, whom Wallis says reminds him of a younger version of himself. Claiborne, who has spoken at numerous Christian colleges, emulates emerging church leaders such as Tony Campolo and Wallis and sees them as role models.
If you were of the impression that social justice is simply caring for the disadvantaged, then you need to upgrade your thinking on it, or you will risk being deceived by today’s definition of the term. After all, who among us who names the name of Christ would ever be against reaching out to the poor and alleviating suffering? Believers in Jesus Christ will naturally care for “the least of these.” But Wallis takes any collective sense of moral responsibility we may have for the disadvantaged and redefines and manipulates it for a different agenda.
Keep this in mind when you watch the extreme changes going on in our country today—Wallis’ social justice turns all the political hot-button issues of the day into moral issues with a divine, biblical mandate. Everything from the economy, jobs, and education, to healthcare, global warming, race issues and immigration—now carries with it the moral imperative of fairness, equity, and validity—and that mindset is responsible for our current administration’s frenzy to push through legislation on all the above.
This “new morality” is radically changing our country and has been for some time via organizations like ACORN. But you might be asking, what does this have to do with the church? One thing is for sure, believers who question or challenge this new global-village moral imperative will no doubt have their Christianity called into question at some point.
Social justice is in a perfect orbit with something called the social gospel. What is the social gospel? The roots of the social gospel go back to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. That was when many Protestant denominations took on liberal theology, which includes the view that Jesus cannot return until mankind has brought justice to the earth by ridding itself of all social evils.
In Wallis’ book The Great Awakening, Wallis says he believes he was born in the wrong century11—and is longing for those early days of social-justice awareness, or “Great Awakenings” as they were called putting them on par with true Holy Spirit-led revivals; hence the name of Wallis’ book, The Great Awakening—an awakening he is calling for today.
In an article written by T. A. McMahon of The Berean Call titled “The Shameful Social Gospel,” McMahon warns of a gospel that is being tinkered with by some who call themselves evangelicals but in reality are ashamed of the true Gospel, presenting a new “Gospel” to the world that is more palatable, politically correct, and ecumenical.12
Emergent church pioneer Brian McLaren’s view of this social gospel reveals the interspiritual, interfaith nature behind it:
I think our future will require us to join humbly and charitably with people of other faiths—Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and secularists in pursuit of peace, environmental stewardship and justice for all people, things that matter greatly to the heart of God.13
But McMahon reminds us:
No, what matters to the heart of God is that all should come to repentance and believe the true Gospel.14
Rick Warren took the social gospel to new levels by hobnobbing with world leaders and presenting his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan to mobilize churches to address poverty and disease while at the same time relaying to tens of millions through his Purpose Driven Life book not to bother with Bible prophecy. In fact, taking the Bible out of context, he tells us that Jesus said those who concern themselves with Bible prophecy are “not fit for the kingdom of God.”15 Remember too Rick Warren’s interview of the 2008 Presidential candidates at Saddleback Church? Ever wonder how he got that job? I sure have. Now Jim Wallis is carrying this very same agenda to the highest levels of our government as an appointee of the president.
Wallis has also found a kindred spirit in Willow Creek. Lynne Hybels, the wife of Willow Creek’s senior pastor Bill Hybels, is a regular contributing writer to Sojourner’s magazine. In addition, Willow Creek offers classes on the Wallis brand of social justice.16 The Willow Creek Association offers churches of any denomination an opportunity to align themselves with their main campus for a yearly fee, giving those churches access to their annual summits, leadership training, and sermon ideas. They claim there are 14,000 Willow Creek Association member churches throughout the world. Do the math on this one—look at the potential influence a Jim Wallis could have on the church if even half of them choose to emulate Willow Creek in their growing emphasis on the social gospel!
The Social Justice “Gospel” and Israel
This social-justice-gospel view is causing many churches to rethink their support of Israel in favor of a “progressive” theology and politics. Churches that once maintained the view that Israel plays a significant role in biblical prophecy of the endtimes are now aligning with the “Palestinian cause.” Lynne Hybels has helped to bring this to the forefront, and her connections to Jim Wallis are the knot that joins all of this together. In fact, in the broader scheme of things, the entire Willow Creek/Saddleback church model, is embracing this emerging view.
A movie that came out in 2010, With God on Our Side, capsulizes the insidious agenda of the new social gospel with regard to Israel. Jan Markell, of Olive Tree Ministries, warns us about this film:
[I]t is aimed at changing the end-time views of evangelicals and the theology that says the Jews are God’s chosen people and have a divine right to the land.17
The producer of With God on Our Side explains the objective of the film:
. . . a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jew and Palestinian” instead of endless Middle East violence.18
The problem with that pie-in-the-sky thinking is that the Palestinian leadership does not want peace with Israel. Rather, it wants a one-state solution—the destruction of Israel. The message of With God on Our Side to evangelicals is that the U.S.’s old pro-Israel foreign policy was based on end-time theology and has created great suffering among the Palestinians. But today’s more “socially aware” and “compassionate” Christians, they say, will reject that old policy and realize that the Palestinians are the victim group most in need of Christian compassion. Wallis, McLaren, and Tony Campolo heartily promoted that film, which was nothing more than another vehicle for social justice, social-gospel indoctrination, and an unbiblical spin on the clear teachings about Israel presented throughout the Scriptures.
Now we know that Marxism is nothing new. What Wallis and these other social-justice emerging leaders are promoting is nothing new either. But let’s take the wood, hay, and stubble of this dry, old, social-justice gospel and examine it more carefully—like the emergent church’s mix of Catholicism and liberal Protestantism; add Rick Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan and Willow Creek’s leadership summits featuring speakers like Bono, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Tony Blair, and Rick Warren, and before long things are burning out of control in the church. Throw in the fact that the foreword to Wallis’ book is written by Jimmy Carter, an anti-Israel leftist, and other endorsers who include Bill Hybels, Bono, and Brian McLaren (incidentally, a contributing editor for Sojourners), and a picture of a last-days apostate church comes clearly into focus.
To help get a clearer picture of the underlying agenda of the social-justice gospel, let’s look at some quotes by Jim Wallis on key biblical issues.
On being born again:
Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. . . . He is saying that a whole new order is about to enter history, and if you want to be a part of it, you will need a change so fundamental that the Gospel of John would later refer to it as a “new birth.” Being born again was not meant to be a private religious experience that is hard to communicate . . . but rather the prerequisite for joining a new and very public movement—the Jesus and kingdom of God movement.”19 (emphasis added)
The completely one-sided support for Israel from conservative evangelicals rests on 2 things: one, a very dubious interpretation (and I’m being generous here) of biblical prophecy . . . in which the modern state of Israel is still equated with the Old Testament notion of “God’s Chosen People,” and a complete denial of the existence of Palestinian Christians.20
On Homosexual Rights:
Abomination is a pretty strong word . . . there is a debate and questions over the meaning of the word “abomination.”21 (Referring to Leviticus 18:22; as heard on Moody Christian Radio Network, in Chicago, Feb.19, 2008, when asked about government sanctions on civil unions for gays.)
On the Kingdom:
The kingdom of God, which Jesus came to inaugurate, is meant to create an alternate reality in this world, and ultimately to transform the kingdoms of this world.”22
We are all familiar with the famous pop culture image of a street evangelist holding up a sign reading, “Repent, for the end is near!” But repentance is . . . often misunderstood. . . . one could imagine a group of pastors, priests, rabbis, and imams holding up a sign on Wall Street for the titans of the financial industry to see, reading, “Repent, or the end could be near again” . . . let’s have some sermons on the repentance of Wall Street.23
Sojourners On Bible Prophecy:
It’s all too easy to make fun of the extreme examples of prophecy belief that we encounter on bumper stickers and best-seller lists. When people talk breathlessly of the dangers of Universal Product Codes and automated teller machines as signs of the impending Tribulation, giggles and head shaking are hard to repress . . . when we ridicule apocalyptic interpretations of bar codes and the European Common Market, we are . . . properly rejecting an interpretive method that (suggests a) correspondence between biblical events and symbols, and our own lives. Ought Revelation to be included within the family of Christian texts, or should it be thrown on the fire of apocalyptic excesses?24
On the Imminent Return of Jesus:
In all of Wallis’ writings, I could find no hint of “our blessed hope” of Christ’s return. Nor could I find discussion by him of having a personal biblical relationship with Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Politics and the Theory of Revolution
The equating of biblical care of the downtrodden with a welfare socialistic state is rapidly changing the face of the evangelical church. This “pseudo-Christian” seemingly morality-based religion for the last days is infiltrating every corner of American society, and the church seems to have either lost the will to identify and counteract its influence or feels so guilty about its mega-excesses that it is operating out of a sense of works not in keeping with true biblical repentance. What I see in Wallis’ Great Awakening book is a preachy, self-righteous, shaming, finger-pointing rant. Quite a contrast from what God’s Word says:
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:3)
With the social-justice gospel, God’s righteousness, power, and salvation are set aside, and the focus is on man’s supposed righteousness, power, and his own path to salvation.
I believe this is a preview of an even deeper level of apostasy, a marriage of religion and politics that will ultimately come together under the dictatorial reign of Antichrist, who “causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave . . . ” to receive his mark. Is this the “level playing field” Wallis and others are working toward? If that’s true, then this is deception of the highest possible caliber, and we should find it thoroughly sobering in light of the lateness of the hour.
Social-gospel “reformers” deceptively blur the lines between two kingdoms, seeking to turn houses of worship into distribution centers for their causes. What they choose to ignore is that all the ills of society are merely symptoms—the root cause is sin. They reject the cure for sin through the Cross of Christ and instead treat symptoms—but in removing the Cross, they are conveniently free to affirm anyone’s beliefs. The result is a broad-road, all-inclusive everything-goes global social justice revolution, or what I call, “The Theory of Revolution.” Eventually, this “revolution” will lead to the persecution of Christian believers who refuse to bow to this spiritual politics that despises Israel as a nation and who believe in Bible prophecy.
Wallis says in his book that the majority of his audience is under thirty, and half of those are under 25. Worth noting also, Wallis, Campolo, McLaren, and Claiborne speak frequently at universities and colleges—some secular, many evangelical Christian. This is exactly what happened in the ’60s. The youth became the target. And today’s liberal emergent thinkers got their worldview from the counterculture agendas of America’s universities.
Lest you think Wallis himself is just some counterculture hippie type on the fringes of the establishment who has little influence, consider this: Jim Wallis is Vice-Chair for the Global Agenda Council on Values at the World Economic Forum,25 a global body that brings together the world’s most influential politicians and economists as they work to bring the world under a global authority.
Consider also that Sojourners receives a portion of its considerable funding from the Open Society Institute (billionaire leftist George Soros’ organization).26
Also, in 2007, the National Association of Evangelicals hosted a dinner gathering called, “A Global Leaders Forum.” The keynote speaker, Ban Ki Moon, is current head of the United Nations. In an article on the event titled, “Dinner With the Antichrist,” written by Wallis, he said that some Christians—those who read books like Left Behind—might say he had dinner with the Antichrist that night.27
Of the U.N. leader, Wallis stated:
Last night, the supposed Antichrist [Ban Ki Moon] was listening to gospel music, speaking of his own faith, quoting Scripture, celebrating a new alliance with “the evangelical church” on the critical issues of poverty and global warming, and bringing the conservative Christian crowd to its feet in smiling agreement with the U.N. secretary’s agenda.
Indeed, leader after Christian leader insisted this was a biblical agenda.28
This is a perfect illustration of how the social justice gospel is erroneously equated with biblical Christianity. I don’t know about you, but in light of the times, Wallis’ statement sends a chill up my spine. How gullible can one be who hears the head of the U.N. quote a Bible verse and then jumps to the outrageous conclusion that the U.N. has a biblical agenda? To me this defies comprehension and illustrates how far deception can go.
To those who may receive the information in this booklet, please be open and teachable regarding the times. The Bible commands us to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints! This applies to all who call themselves believers.
Now is not the time to hang on to any “sacred cows” of personality but to so love truth in our innermost being that nothing matters except to make sure we are on the side of truth. After all, if there is no such thing as absolute truth, is there such a thing as a lie?
May the Lord direct and guide us regarding this matter and all matters of faith, earnestly seeking His mind and heart in all things as laid out in His Word.
To order copies of What You Need to Know About Jim Wallis and the Social-Justice Gospel, click here.
1. This festival was Lifest in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the summer of 2010 with Luis Palau. You may listen to a radio interview between Mary Danielsen and radio host Ingrid Schlueter: http://web.archive.org/web/20110109201533/http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/shows/2010/06/radical_leftist_wallis_to_spea.php. The festival website is www.lifest.com.
3. “Barak Obama’s New Spiritual Advisor” (Frontpage Magazine, March 17, 2009. http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=34385). See also Sojourners History: http://sojo.net/about-us/history.
5. “Barak Obama’s New Spiritual Advisor,” op. cit.
7. Joan M. Harris, The Sojourners File (New Century Foundation Press, 1983).
8. “Barak Obama’s New Spiritual Advisor,” op. cit.
10. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Sustainability Planning Guide: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dch/programs/healthycommunitiesprogram/pdf/sustainability_guide.pdf.
11. Jim Wallis, The Great Awakening (HarperCollins paperback edition, 2009), p. 25.
12. T. A. McMahon, “The Shameful Social Gospel” (The Berean Call, http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7062).
13. Interview on Christianpost.com with Brian McLaren on July 28, 2008, http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-brian-mclaren-on-anglicans-mission-and-reconciliation-33537.
14. McMahon, op. cit.
15. Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), p. 285 (for more on this read Roger Oakland’s expose of the emerging church, Faith Undone, pp. 154-157.
16. One example: http://media.willowcreek.org/weekend/celebration-of-hope-2013.
19. The Great Awakening,op. cit., p.60.
20. Jim Wallis, “Politics Pushes Uneven Policies” (God’s Politics Blog, September 17, 2007, http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/godspolitics/2007/09/politics-pushes-uneven-policie.html).
21. As heard on Moody Christian Radio Network, in Chicago, Feb.19, 2008, when asked about government sanctions on civil unions for gays. www. americansfortruth.com
22. Jim Wallis, The Great Awakening, op. cit., p. 56.
23. Jim Wallis, “Wall Street Repent!” (Huffington Post, April 29, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/wall-street-repent_b_557057.html).
24. Wes Howard-Brook, “Apocalypse Soon?” Sojourners, January 1999.
26. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “Wallis Admits to Soros Funding” (Christianity Today, August 20, 2010, http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics/2010/08/wallis_admits_t.html).
27. Jim Wallis, “Dinner with the Antichrist” (http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2007/10/dinner-with-the-antichrist-by.html).
Also included in this Booklet Tract are the following two lists: 1) Some Key Players in the Social Gospel Movement; 2) Some Buzz Words in the Social Justice Gospel Movement.
To order copies of What You Need to Know About Jim Wallis and the Social-Justice Gospel, click here.