OpEd: Keep Jesus Out of Your Socialism (Part 3)

by | Jul 21, 2011 | Charisma Archive

youseffPreviously, I talked about the Sojourners-sponsored ad headlined “What Would Jesus Cut?” The ad, signed by Jim Wallis
and more than two dozen leaders of the Religious Left, urged our
leaders to ask themselves what Jesus would cut from the federal budget.

Called “the leader of the religious left by The New York Times, Rev. Jim Wallis has a long history of denouncing his own country. In Agenda for Biblical People (1976), Jim Wallis refers to America as a “fallen nation.” In an article in Mission Trends,
Wallis approvingly predicted that “more Christians will come to view
the world through Marxist eyes” and that “so-called ‘young evangelicals’
. . . [will] see the impossibility of making capitalism work for
justice and peace.”

During
the 1980s, Wallis defended the U.S.S.R. and blamed the U.S. for Cold
War tensions, claiming, “At every turn, U.S. policy-makers have chosen
to assume the very worst about their Soviet counterparts.” He denounced
the U.S. government which was trying to halt the spread of communism in
Latin America in the 1980s, and supported Communist factions in
Nicaragua and El Salvador.

In
a 2006 radio broadcast, an interviewer asked, “Are you then calling for
the redistribution of wealth in society?” Wallis replied, “Absolutely,
without any hesitation. That’s what the gospel is all about.” Actually,
no, that’s what The Communist Manifesto is all about.

The organization Wallis heads, Sojourners,
has received grants from the Open Society Institute totaling nearly a
third of a million dollars. OSI is the foundation created by far-left
atheist billionaire George Soros to fund his socialist, globalist
agenda. Wallis first denied, then admitted, that Sojourners took the
Soros money, claiming the amounts were “so small that I hadn’t
remembered them.”

Another signer of the “What Would Jesus Cut?” ad is sociologist Tony Campolo, quoted by John Oliver Mason in The Progressive
(August 2005) as saying, “To be a Christian in today’s world is to be
opposed to America. Why? … America says, ‘Blessed are the rich.’
Jesus said, ‘Woe unto you who are rich, blessed are the poor.'”

As an African-born American,
I worked my way to this country. I paid for my education and was glad
to do so. Unlike many people who were born in America and take its
blessings for granted, I know how rare those blessings are in this
world.

I
don’t see America as a “fallen nation.” To me, America is a lighthouse
of liberty, a shining city on a hill. May God bless my adopted homeland
and may He open the eyes of those who deplore and oppose what God has
blessed.

What’s
the best way to lift people out of poverty? America has spent trillions
on anti-poverty programs—yet, as Jesus said, we still have the poor
among us. These programs don’t end poverty. They just incentivize it.

The best way—in fact, the
only way—to lift people out of poverty is by creating jobs. How do you
do that? With stimulus spending? When Congress passed the $787 billion
Stimulus Bill in February 2009, unemployment stood at 8.2 percent.
Before the end of the year, unemployment topped 10 percent; today it’s
at 9.1 percent. Clearly, “stimulus” spending doesn’t work.

The only way to create jobs
is to set the private sector free by cutting taxes and cutting
government red tape. (I don’t say that’s what Jesus would cut; it’s
common sense.) The most effective anti-poverty program ever devised is a
job, and most jobs in America are created by small businesses. When a
businessman puts his capital at risk and hires employees, he’s fighting
poverty.

Writing in The Huffington
Post
, Wallis said, “I don’t believe, as the Republicans keep saying,
that the best way to help everybody is to keep helping the super-rich.”
Who are these so-called “super-rich”? Many are small business owners,
the ones who create jobs, pay taxes and support charities that fight
poverty. Wallis’ Marx-inspired policies would stifle opportunity, kill
jobs, discourage donations and increase poverty.

Shallow Marxist thinking
supposes that the way to end poverty is through coercive income
redistribution—confiscating wealth from the “haves” and handing it to
the “have-nots.” But true compassion seeks to expand liberty and
opportunity—not government.

I
don’t claim that those on the religious left aren’t true Christians.
But we must be discerning about their message. The “social gospel” is not
the gospel of Jesus Christ. The supporters of the “What would Jesus
cut?” message are on the wrong side of the biblical mandate. Jesus did
not say, “Go and tax your neighbor and transfer his wealth to the poor.”
He said, “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).

One
reason Christians should not mix the gospel and the government is that
true compassion for the poor should always be motivated by the love of
Jesus Christ. When the poor receive help, Jesus should get the credit.
How is the Great Commission fulfilled, and how is the Gospel proclaimed, by a government check from a Washington bureaucrat?

To use the name of Christ to
advance a socialist ideology is to abuse His name. Jesus is Lord and
Savior. His Kingdom is not of this world. He left the glories of heaven
to be crucified, to rise again, to conquer hell and the grave—not to
become a mascot for a worldly political movement.

Dr. Michael Youssef‘s expertise on the Islamic
culture and the Middle East in today’s post-modern world is actively
sought by hundreds of thousands of followers around the globe. With a
Ph.D. from Emory University in social anthropology, his Egyptian
heritage gives him particular insight into the cultural and religious
entanglements of international affairs. ? It is estimated that over 10
million viewers/listeners around the world are tuned in every week
through an international Christian media ministry founded by Youssef,
www.leadingtheway.org. It broadcasts via radio and television to over 200 countries and in
over 20 languages. Follow Youssef, a common sense intellectual and
renowned author of 24 books, on twitter @michaelayoussef and through his
news blog,
www.michaelyoussef.com.

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