Is the Tea Party unbiblical?

Print More

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

WASHINGTON (RNS) When conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck warned churchgoers to “run as fast as you can” if their pastors preach about “social justice,” was he also encouraging them to run from the Bible? That’s what some progressive Christian leaders are arguing as battle lines are drawn for the 2010 mid-term elections. They say Beck and […]

  • Karla Stephens

    Thank God! True Christians are finally speaking out against the false doctrine of Beck and the rest of the “Christian” right. Having grown up in a true Christian home, I know the difference between a true prophet and a false prophet. The “Christian” right is full of false prophets.

    It is interesting to me that giving has decreased since 1969. Isn’t that about the same time the so-called “gospel of wealth” began being promoted in the churches? Could there be a correlation between the wealth gospel and a drop in charitable giving?

  • Mark

    You are correct in your fact that giving to the church is only 2.5% of income. I think that your conclusion is mistaken though. Churches as entities have fallen down on their management of God’s funds. Churches have become part of our culture instead of leading our culture. Churches focus more on huge mega buildings with Starbucks coffee shops and lavish feel-good events that rival rock concerts instead of following the Great Commission and taking care of the widows and orphans.

    Individual generosity, however, is up. According to Trends Magazine: “Charitable donations have consistently risen faster than the GDP since World War II. Per capita GDP in the U.S. has gone up by about 150 percent during the last half century. At the same time, charitable donations have risen by almost 200 percent.”

    Personally, I believe that may have something to do with people losing faith in the vision of the church that they attend. They may ask “Is the vision of my church to have hot Starbucks Coffee every Sunday morning or is it to take care of the ones who can’t take care of themselves?”

    I simply look at it from a common sense angle. Who can take care of those who Jesus instructs us to care for? Individual Americans who have a PROVEN HISTORY of over-and-above generosity or corrupt politicians who care more about re-election and who DO NOT have a proven history of over-and-above generosity?

    Just my .02

  • Karla Stephens

    Thank you for responding in such a well-thought out and respectful manner.

    I agree that Americans are generous but I don’t agree that individual people can properly address the poverty issues. The need is simply too great for any other entity than government to be able to adequately help where needed. While there is waste by government, (although I don’t believe it is as pronounced as many people believe) overall, I prefer to see the government handle charity rather than churches.

    Churches do have their place in aiding the poor, but too many churches condition help on acceptance of their particular beliefs. Perhaps that is why studies show that of the 2.5% donated only .37 is used for charity outside of the church.

  • Mark

    One thing that I hope we can both agree on is this: 1) Churches need to take a hard look about who’s vision they are following…a vision of happiness and feeling good and taking care of “our own” or a vision of taking up the Cross and of servant leadership as we are stewards or managers of God’s blessings (we own and are owed nothing) and 2) Goverments need to take a hard look at who they are serving…the people of the United States of America or Special Interests….and that goes to both sides of the aisle. And that (as my Mom always said) tough love is sometimes the best love. President Lincoln recognized this fact when he wrote a letter to his brother-in-law Johnston (Google “Lincoln’s brother in law”)

    I agree with your last statement. Jesus always helped regardless of a persons “affiliation” (the leper, centurion, the Canaan woman, etc.). And I am reminded of Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 1:12 “One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

    One final note. At one time I served as a part of our church’s benevolence ministry. I was faced with both legitimate cases of need and cases of those taking advantage of our benevolence. I prayed for wisdom in the decision making process since we had limited funds (as all organizations including the Government do) and in the end I accepted the fact that God would ultimately judge someone who was abusing our benevolence and possibly even change their heart…it was not my place to worry and fret after the decision was made. I just question what percentage of Government bureaucrats can do the same…(yes I know there are exceptions…my Mom is a Social Worker for a VA hospital and I think that she is the best!)

    It’s refreshing to discuss ideology without personal attacks and rhetoric. I guess the Internet is not completely crazy after all! 😉

  • Doc

    I listen to Glenn Beck and read Joseph Farah and Jim Wallis. Glenn Beck and Joseph Farah I trust. Jim Wallis and other likeminded religious left I don’t. I have attended Tea Party events and do not like how the religious left misrepresents them. I dislike how the religious left endorses big government and the so called social justice programs. The religious left asks government to do what they are unwilling to do.

  • Karla Stephens

    If you listen to Glen Beck and follow his opinions, you have lost credibility with me.

    Jesus spoke of social justice, GB speaks greed and dissent. I have a feeling Jesus would be whipping him from the room just as he did the merchants in the temple.