______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

The Christian Left October 4, 2010

There is Christian life outside of socio-political right-wing evangelicalism.  Although no political stance should itself be labeled “Christian,” (read “The Myth Of A Christian Nation“)  I personally find the ideologies of the so-called “left” more in line with the teachings of Christ.  For those not familiar with the Christian Left, here’s some basic info:

[From Wikipedia]

The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice.

The most common religious viewpoint which might be described as ‘left wing’ is social justice, or care for the poor and the oppressed (see Minority groups). Supporters of this might encourage universal health care, welfare provision, subsidized education, foreign aid, and Affirmative Action for improving the conditions of the disadvantaged. Stemming from egalitarian values, adherents of the Christian left consider it part of their religious duty to take actions on behalf of the oppressed. As nearly all major religions contain some kind of requirement to help others, social justice has been cited by various religions as in line with their faith.

The Christian Left holds that social justice, renunciation of power, humility, forgiveness, and private observation of prayer (as opposed to publicly mandated prayer), are mandated by the Gospel (Matthew 6:5-6). The Bible contains accounts of Jesus repeatedly advocating for the poor and outcast over the wealthy, powerful, and religious. The Christian Left maintains that such a stance is relevant and important. Adhering to the standard of “turning the other cheek”, which they believe supersedes the Old Testament law of “an eye for an eye”, the Christian Left often hearkens towards pacifism in opposition to policies advancing militarism.

While non-religious socialists sometimes find support for socialism in the Gospels (for example Mikhail Gorbachev citing Jesus as “the first socialist”),[1] the Christian Left does not find that socialism alone as an adequate end or means. Christian faith is the core of their belief which in turn demands social justice.

The Christian Left sometimes differs from other Christian political groups on issues including homosexuality. This is often not a matter of different religious ideas, but one of focus — viewing the prohibitions against killing, or the criticism of concentrations of wealth, as far more important than social issues emphasized by the religious right, such as opposition to homosexuality. In this case, similar to philosophies expressed by writers such as C.S. Lewis, these members of the Christian Left believe homosexual sex to be immoral but largely unimportant when compared with issues relating to social justice, or even matters of sexual morality involving heterosexual sex.

Some consider discrimination and bigotry against homosexuals to be immoral. These members of the Christian Left affirm that some homosexual practices are compatible with the Christian life and believe common biblical arguments used to condemn homosexuality are misinterpreted. Such views hold that the prohibition was actually against a specific type of homosexual sex act, pederasty or the sodomizing of young boys by older men. Thus, it is irrelevant when considering modern same-sex relationships.

Some Christian groups were closely associated with the peace movements against the Vietnam War as well as the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Religious leaders in many countries have also been on the forefront of criticizing any cuts to social welfare programs. In addition, many prominent civil rights activists (such as Martin Luther King, Jr.) were religious figures.

Read the full article HERE.

Check out “The Christian Left” on Facebook HERE.


11 Responses to “The Christian Left”

  1. I cannot say it loud enough. AMEN!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jordan Solomon, The Christian Left. The Christian Left said: Thanks for the mention at the bottom! […]

  3. Natassia Says:

    I used to think this way…until I realized that I was encouraging self-righteousness at the expense of my neighbor.

    It is my Christian duty to be charitable. It is not my Christian duty to force my neighbor to be charitable, especially considering obligatory “giving” is no longer giving.

    I need to do the right thing, and I need to help others. But penalizing those who have worked hard and now seek to reap the rewards of their harvest in order to satisfy my idea of “social justice” is not Christian. It is immoral.

    And it is immoral because it incentivizes poor decision-making and socially negative behaviors.

    We may like to think that we are “helping” people by increasing social programs and welfare benefits for single mothers. We may like to think that we are “helping” people by villifying the wealthy and redistributing larger and larger amounts of their wealth to those of a lower income.

    But in reality, we simply encourage mediocrity, reward sexual immorality, and discourage hard work and ingenuity.

    And in the end, we hurt everyone.

    That’s not Christian.

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Natassia. I, of course, disagree with your take on the subject, but I do appreciate your visit.

    • The Christian Left Says:

      Natassia, you couldn’t be more wrong. We understand though; It’s hard not to be brainwashed when right-wing talking points are so prevalent in churches. It’s all about the whole “redistribution of wealth” thing. Right? Well, wealth is being “redistributed” alright, to the top. That’s the rub. It’s not “Trickle Down” economics, it’s “Trickle Up” economics.

      • Natassia Says:

        I don’t know what church you attend, but mine doesn’t venture into politics.

        One major flaw with the political Left is the idea that somehow if you throw enough money at a problem, it will go away.

        This doesn’t work because it doesn’t take into account the very nature of Man. It assumes that people will always do what they should do rather than what is easiest, when in fact most people will take the path of least resistance.

        This is why, if we take a look at history, every social program enacted by liberals failed to do what was promised. Oftentimes the problems they were supposed to fix were exacerbated or at least prolonged.

        Christian liberalism is simply a watered-down version of Man trying to play at God by using the government to try and fix those social problems that only God can do.

        Ask any black conservative Christian why the black community of America is in such bad shape. Do you know what they’ll tell you? Bad government policies that promote the breakdown of the family and a widespread decline in morality. And that decline is in part due to the rise of heretical faiths like the Nation of Islam and black liberation theology.

      • lifewalkblog Says:

        Natassia, I also believe if not for the Christian left, blacks would still be slaves, and women wouldn’t have the right to vote.
        BUT we all should remember what Mr. Boyd says:
        “However we, as American citizens, might personally decide to weigh in on these issues politically, we should not attach the label Christian to this activity.”
        “Of course our political views will be influenced by our Christian faith. But we must also recognize that people who have diametrically opposing views may believe they too are advancing the kingdom.”
        The Myth Of A Christian Nation

    • The Christian Left Says:

      Are Public Welfare Provisions Biblical? You Might Be Surprised.: CLICK HERE

      • Natassia Says:

        I don’t think anyone, except the most die-hard libertarians and anarchists, would argue that there should not be a public safety net to keep poor people from starving or living on the streets. We are a civilized society, after all. Not India.

        However, just as with any “good” thing, it can be used for ill. When a public welfare program serves to replace the father and discourage responsible planning and good decision-making, then it is no longer Biblical.

        And right now our laws and public welfare programs are doing just that.

        And the said thing about these programs, it makes people less charitable. The more taxes one MUST pay to support welfare programs, the less inclined they will be to give to those very same people who are utilizing those programs.

        I think it hardens the heart. “My check is already being raided to help poor people, so why should I give even more?”

        This is probably why the citizens of more leftist countries like those in Europe are not nearly as charitable as Americans.

  4. lifewalkblog Says:

    Again, Natassia, I used to think that way. I don’t anymore.
    Also, once again,
    The Myth Of A Christian Nation

  5. lifewalkblog Says:

    Natassia, I know you left other comments, but it seems we’re at that point of just going back and forth without really covering new ground. We now know where we each stand, and we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
    Thanks for joining in.

    Are Public Welfare Provisions Biblical? You Might Be Surprised.: CLICK HERE

    The Myth Of A Christian Nation

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