A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

March 7, 2007

An Organization to Consider

As I have often decried the lack of reasonable voices in Evangelical circles, there is one organization, which I had been familiar with a long while back, and am taking a long second look.  I think you may want to also look at The Soujourners.

The organization seems to have many centrist, left, and right positions.  Perhaps they are even reasonable.

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14 Comments »

  1. A link to their blog:
    http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/godspolitics/

    Comment by avoiceofreason — March 7, 2007 @ 4:45 am | Reply

  2. I’ve always respected Sojourners because of their integrity. They get called unpatriotic and un-Christian because of their action alerts. Personally, I call them role models.

    Comment by Just Passing By — March 7, 2007 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  3. I often have a hard time distinguishing the Christ presented in their articles (and position pieces) from Gandhi.

    Comment by totaltransformation — March 7, 2007 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  4. Wallis’ associates trouble me a bit. McLaren is a false teacher. Campolo used to be good but has gone off track. Wallis makes some good points but his views are hard to distinguish from the Democratic platform. I do appreciate his focus on human trafficking and such.

    Wallis is fond of saying how there are 2,000+ verses in the Bible about money/giving. That is true enough, but it is usually someone else’s money they are talking about giving away. He insisted that God was for increasing the minimum wage. Really? Precisely what level was it set at?

    Comment by Neil — March 7, 2007 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  5. I’ve not looked into all of their particular positions, but from a point of view that they open up the debate which is so lacking among Evngelical circles today, makes them a worthwhile source to investigate.

    The same can be said for Focus on the Family. I don’t know very much about them other than their publicly stated positions of interest to me, particularly family dynamics, and those I find positive. I am sure that I would not endorse some of their other positions.

    If “Campolo” is Tony Campolo, I knew him when I was in college, and heard him speak at a special lecture series. He impressed me greatly.

    Comment by avoiceofreason — March 7, 2007 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  6. Totaltransformation –
    Sorry to be late on your reply.
    I do know that Gandhi is rather left of center, but having read a good deal from his biographers, I can respect many of his decisions. One of Hollywood’s better moments were caught in the Gandhi film, at least from what I have read, in particular his dedication to non-violence, which has some basis of arguement from a Christian point of view, and he did form that basis due to reading the words of Christ. The other is the amazing account of what he said a man must do to receive absolution for killing Muslim children after his own child had died. His answer was to adopt a Hindu child and raise it as a Muslim.

    Now, I understand that this is not an Evangelical answer, but from another perspective I see in this reply deep perception about the nature of forgiveness. So, perhaps Gandhi on many levels wouldn’t be too bad a role model to follow.

    I do confess, I may see things different from many Evangelicals from America, however, I also know that the culture of America is so vastly different from that of other regions of the world. At the very least this has promoted a dialogue, and that is a good thing. Different voices promoted without rhetoric is what this blog is about. And extremeism isn’t always bad. It is only bad when those who promote the extreme tune out all other sound.

    Comment by avoiceofreason — March 8, 2007 @ 2:21 am | Reply

  7. Your answer is quite reflective of the gap between you and I. While it is both a seemingly good suggestion on the part of Gandhi, the solution is hardly Christian in nature. Contrary to prevailing opinion Jesus was about much more than peace and non-violence (especially if one considers the Jesus portrayed in Revelations that has a sword issue from his mouth). For the sake of space here is but one example Jesus that doesn’t conflict with Gandhi’s tolerant and non-violent philosophy.

    “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matt. 10:14-15.

    Furthermore, this is my problem with the Sojourners website. They suggest good deeds, but they forget the source (Christ). They promote forgiveness without acknowledging repentance. They promote stewardship on a global scale, while ignoring individual responsibility to God for a moral (I mean this in a biblical sense, not a progressive sense) lifestyle. They often portray a wide path, ignoring Christ’s reference to the “narrow” way. They are willing to align with all forms of heresy and unbiblical precepts to expand their audience, and compromise their biblical viewpoint for the sake of greater acceptance and improved public perception.

    I am glad to read their materials- I often do. But I see them as more worldly than godly.

    J. Kaiser

    Comment by totaltransformation — March 8, 2007 @ 2:51 am | Reply

  8. Kaiser, you are always thoughtful in your comments. i appreciate each time you write in a blog. sometimes i feel like i’m following you around the blogsphere.

    Voice, I’m a newcomer to your blog but find your writing interesting and thought out.

    let me throw into the fray. i respect Sojourners, though i admittedly know little about them. i think they do a lot of great work and can be a positive ministry partner. but many other groups can be positive ministry partners as well.

    it seems to me that the key to being a reasonable voice in evangelical circles is not being closely identified closely with either side of the political spectrum, but an independent voice who takes stands on biblical principles. for some, sojourners can be too clearly identified with the left like many see other evangelical groups as being GOP political action groups.

    i happen to work for the Baptist General Convention of Texas — official blog texasbaptists.wordpress.com (had to get a plug in for it somehow) — and we attempt to be a voice for the “least of these” in society. that means we work with Dems on some issues — usually helping children and the uninsured — but also regularly work with the right — especially on gambling, which we see as a social concern.

    in that regard we’re trying to be left, right or center. we’re trying to be biblical.

    God bless.

    John

    Comment by John — March 8, 2007 @ 8:14 pm | Reply

  9. “we’re trying to be biblical.”

    And that’s the answer. We should be seeking the biblical and Christ-focused answer. Those answer won’t always line up with (and often will oppose) the world and it’s value.

    Sometimes it is helpful to ask, how does the world accept my message? If there is acceptance with little trouble then what it being taught might not be as biblical as you (or I) might think.

    “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3.

    I am always on the look out that I will not be a part of such a group. I don’t want to be a convenience seeker, a compromiser, and a lover of the world. In my journey through this world I will be loved and hated. I only hope that when I am loved, I am loved for Christ’s sake; and when I am hated, I am hated (not for what I am) for the sake of Christ.

    BTW, thanks for your kind comments.

    J. Kaiser

    Comment by totaltransformation — March 8, 2007 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

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