Civility?….sheesh

October 10, 2010

Jim Wallis was once thought to be an evangelical. He was a remarkable evangelical because unlike most evangelicals he was a democrat. But as time has passed he has shown himself not only to be liberal in his politics but also in his theology. In this past election he jumped the shark completely by campaigning for pro-abortion Barack Obama.

Now that he has been called out by many theological and political commentators he is falling back on a call for “civility”.

Well, regardless as to how you feel about Wallis, Christians need to not be so worried about civility. Sure, we should not be obscene and we should not be intentionally shocking. But there is nothing unchristian about being quite blunt and confrontational when dealing with someone who claims to be a Christian and yet is straying from the historic biblical faith.

Why is not not unchristian? Because Christ was pretty blunt with the religious leaders of his day that were getting things wrong. For example, Jesus calls the Pharisees a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 12:34). Is that civil? He once said that the converts that were won by the Pharisees would become “twice as much a child of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).

Sometimes being blunt is exactly the Christian thing to do. Sometimes it is the Christlike thing to do. The fact that Wallis could openly support someone who could not even bring themselves to vote for laws to protect born babies shows that whatever subtle hints that he has been given up until this point have been missed.

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4 Responses to “Civility?….sheesh”

  1. Steven Says:

    Hi Willis, don’t forget that Jesus also called the religious hypocrites of His day the children of the devil.

    “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

  2. jen smith Says:

    Amen to the above post.

  3. Mary Says:

    Hmmm. 97% of the time I love and agree with your posts (you are a great writer!). Not this one. This post implies that a vote against the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act” was a vote against newborn babies! Which sounds so dastardly! The fact is the Act was signed into law in 2002, but has it really changed anything? No; it was mostly symbolic. So to call out Willis or Pres Obama for not supporting a law that was, let’s be honest, a thinly veiled attempt to chip away at Roe v Wade, is a cheap shot.

    • W. Vida Says:

      Hi Mary,

      This law was advanced when a variety of nurses reported that hospitals (starting with, importantly, a hospital sadly called “Christ Hospital” in Chicago, IL) were performing a type of abortion dubbed “live birth abortion.” This practice induces premature labor that is intended to cause her to deliver a premature baby who dies during the birth process or soon afterward.

      But sometimes the baby didn’t die soon after. Consider the testimony of one nurse at that hospital before the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee:

      “In the event that a baby is aborted alive at Christ Hospital, he or she is not given any medical care, but is rather given what my hospital calls “comfort care.” “Comfort care” is defined as keeping the baby warm in a blanket until the baby dies, although until recently even this was not always done. The baby is then offered to the parents to hold until he or she dies. If the parents do not want to hold their dying aborted baby, as is most often the case, it is left to nursing staff or support staff on the floor to hold the baby until he or she dies. And, until this past December [2000], when staff did not have time or the desire to hold the baby, the baby was taken to our Soiled Utility Room and left there alone to die.”

      source: http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju73696.000/hju73696_0.htm

      These are born children. These are real humans living outside of the womb. These are babies that need love, medical care and love. Instead, they are being left to gasp for air on a table for hours. I don’t care what legal precedent a person might fear setting this *must* be made illegal.

      Now as far as what has changed since the passing of the Act in 2002, I don’t have any data to suggest that it did not make a difference. It is my thought that the practice is not used anymore….do you have evidence that it is still being used?

      Historically, Christians have worked to care for the oppressed. It has been said that “Christianity comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.”

      I would argue that the unborn (or in this case recently born) are the most afflicted group of people in the Western World. They have no rights and no voice. We (you, me, all Christians) need to be their voice. Barack Obama’s very political decision to not do this very little thing to stop a horrible practice is unconscionable. And I certainly think that any ostensibly evangelical leader (such as Wallis) should not supportive of an individual who doesn’t speak on behalf of this afflicted group.


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