A recent festival convened by Religious and Evangelical Left leaders served as a mixing pot of liberal political advocacy and emergent church theology. Over the weekend of June 25, over 1,000 self-identified “progressive” Christians flocked to the Wild Goose Festival situated in the rolling hills of North Carolina. This mix of old time hippies and young idealists enjoyed an eclectic blend of art, music, talks, and general dissatisfaction directed at traditional evangelicals.
“Paul, in the Bible, tells my wife to be silent in church, screw St. Paul, screw him!” shouted a visibly angry Frankie Schaeffer during one session of the festival. Schaeffer, son of deceased author and evangelical leader Francis Schaeffer, lamented his family’s role in building the “religious right”, and the gathered audience of disaffected former evangelicals and other religious left groups affirmed his message. Schaeffer’s presentation seemed intentionally designed to offend traditionalists, leading to gleeful claps of approval from the audience.
They clapped for him? Let’s be clear: The Bible is the inspired word of God, with the original writings turning out exactly as God and the writers wanted them to be. Therefore, when Schaeffer says, “Paul, in the Bible, tells my wife to be silent in church, screw St. Paul, screw him!, he is really saying, “Screw God, screw him!” Note to Frankie, the organizers, the other speakers and the audience members who agreed with Schaeffer: Christianity may not be your forte’.
While festival organizers proclaimed a “big tent” of inclusion, speakers repeatedly criticized a wide field of supposed adversaries ranging from political conservatives, evangelical Christian leaders, the United States government and even contemporary praise band leaders. Especially singled out for disdain were Southern Baptists, who were openly ridiculed by almost all of the major speakers.
Ah, you can really feel the love and tolerance! Makes me want to be a Southern Baptist.
. . . Hoping to attract young evangelicals drawn to biblical teachings to care for the widow, the orphan, and the broken, festival speakers repackaged socialism and called it Regenerate Economies, while daydreaming about ending the nation-state through global environmental governance.
Yep, just your usual socialist / communist politics disguised as religion. We get the parts about caring for widows and orphans, and do it with our own money. We also get the parts about not shedding innocent blood, what marriage really is, etc.
Happy for the government to push the Church away from her responsibility to the poor, Sojourners chief Jim Wallis was on hand to offered a healthy dose of fear-mongering. As I sat in the searing heat of the morning sun, I listened to his lecture, entitled “The Sky is Falling on the Poor.” Wallis showed that he is well versed in the intricacies of the evil Republican budget but ignorant as to how the debt was created in the first place. Wallis boldly stated to the applause of the audience that “the debt arrived through two wars and tax breaks for the rich.” In classic Wallis style, class warfare is good, but actual warfare, even against terror, is always of the devil.
Emergent Church purveyor Brian McLaren picked up where Wallis left off. Standing in the middle of a geodesic dome made of branches and twine, he lamented the lack of global environmental regulation and argued that “we must talk about the joy in paying taxes.”
Go ahead, champ! Pay all the extra taxes you like. Just don’t covetously ask Caesar to raise them on others and call it giving on your part.
He raged about the “myth” that the church could take over the care of the poor from the government, calling those who believe such so “stupid and idiots…and that’s being nice.” Over 40 years of failures in the federal government’s “War on Poverty” should convince religious statists least to question whether government is always the solution. But few such doubts arose at The Wild Goose.
Yep, just like Jesus taught: Ask Caesar to solve all your problems.
As usual, while usually misinterpreting the verses on giving (they seem to ignore the part about giving “what you have decided in your own heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion”), they ignore calls to sexual purity. And these “social justice” types are uniformly pro-legalized abortion, the ultimate injustice.
. . . Using a combination of emotionalism and revisionist hermeneutics Peggy Campolo concluded unscientifically “gay people don’t have a choice.”
That’s a fact-free statement on her part. She is ignorant of ministries like Gay Christian Movement Watch that have helped countless people.
Going to criticize those “hateful arguments that people have change, they actually haven’t. Those people are confused about their sexuality and are probably bisexual.” Not to be outdone by his wife, Tony Campolo stated plainly that since the Church has “become welcoming and accepting” of divorced people and not restrictive to ordination, eventually homosexuality will be accepted as well. Ironically, Peggy and Tony were rebuked by a young gay activist for not affirming those who chose to be LBGTQ.
Run, don’t walk, from the religious Left.