In a recent column for CNN, Sojourner magazine’s Tim King offered readers his opinion on why Christianity isn’t the attractive option for young people it once was. In so doing, King drops a number of names—Rick Santorum and Franklin Graham among them—and a number of issues—same-sex “marriage” and Obama’s abortion pill/contraception mandate, for example—in order to bolster his contention that “Christian leaders” are too busy pointing fingers at those outside the church to fix the problems within the church.
King laid the groundwork for these points by opening with a reference to Santorum’s claim that young people who attend college “are leaving the church in droves” because of the influence of leftist professors in academia. And although Santorum isn’t all wrong, King uses the point as a springboard from which to argue that Santorum exemplifies the pin-the-blame-on-someone-other-than-the-church mentality.
The problem for King is that leftist professors do impact students in a way that causes many of them to question the faith they held upon entering the academy. Pointing this out does not negate problems within the church.
And King is frustrated with Graham, whom he criticizes for not offering an opinion on the veracity of President Obama’s faith but making sure to say Santorum and Newt Gingrich are Christians. King takes this to mean that Graham doesn’t believe Obama fits the bill for what a Christian should be like because he is a Democrat, but the two Republican men, Santorum and Gingrich, do.
The point King misses is that Graham was vetting the Republicans—this is Republican primary season—and his opinion was simply meant to inform voters.
But this brings us to a crucial point in King’s column: he’s too busy accusing 21st century Christians of being “pro-rich, pro-white, pro-America, and anti-gay,” to see them any other way. And this isn’t hard to understand when you consider King is a protégé of President Obama’s spiritual advisor, Rev. Jim Wallis.
It was Wallis who said the Occupy Wall Street protesters “stand with Jesus.” And Wallis has fully embraced the moniker, “progressive evangelical,” for himself.
With this backdrop on King’s worldview, it’s little wonder he’s bothered by the groundswell of opposition to President Obama’s mandate. And it’s also not surprising that he mocks the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins for fervently warning Americans about the “dangers of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” For people like King and his mentor Wallis, unbridled access to contraception and acquiescing to the demands of the homosexual agenda fall under the progressive umbrella of social justice. (For example, Wallis wants to see “civil unions from the state and even spiritual blessings for [same-sex] couples from congregations prepared to offer them.”)
Therefore, in the end, King’s column makes a handful of points that King appeared determined to make regardless of whether they were points that could be supported by evidence or not. His crucial mistake—one that the Body of Christ cannot make at a time such as this—is in underestimating the threat marriage faces via the homosexual agenda and the danger religious liberty and rights of conscience face via President Obama’s mandate.
Ironically, after reading King’s argument about how Christian leaders are looking outside the church for scapegoats, I can’t help but notice how King is doing the exact same thing himself. He is looking outside of the movement he shares with Wallis and trying blame everyone who’s not equally “progressive” for the push-back President Obama’s agenda is facing from Christians throughout America.
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