December 24, 2014 by Puppetocracy
A while ago I borrowed a book from somebody by Jim Wallis because they raved about it. It sat on my shelf for some time. It came about that I recommended a book to the person I had borrowed it from so we agreed to read each others books. The book I had borrowed was called “Seven Ways to Change the World: Reviving Faith and Politics”, UK edition. (The book is called ‘The Great Awakening in the United States. Thoughout this article I will refered to the book simply as Seven Ways). I had heard of Jim Wallis vaguely because I had picked up his book God’s Politics in a Christian bookstore, but put down because it seemed to aimed at addressing American politics.
This more recent volume from Wallis seemed to aim higher and address problems of a more far reaching kind. The title of the book “Seven Ways to Change the World” implied an almighty challenge. How would Wallis build his case to to achieve this task? The cover had positive reviews from some well known individuals, including Bono and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and a foreword written by former President Jimmy Carter. It seems like Wallis was no small fish if household names were chiming in to give their praise.
I did a little bit of research on Jim Wallis through internet searches and found a smattering of articles that highlighted a few concerning aspects of Wallis’s lifestyle and doctrine. Some of the statements from Christians that I found on the internet included:
- In 2010 Wim Wallis’s charity Sojourners received large donations totalling hundreds of thousands of dollors, which her denied, but later admitted. 1 2George Soros has received criticism from pro-life organisations for also making multi-million dollar donations to organisations that promote abortion 3.
- Jim Wallis has been criticised for equating governmental wealth redistribution and health programs with the heart of Gospel 4 5.
- Jim Wallis has been criticised by Dr Brown of www.askdrbrown.org for changing his stance that marriage is not gender neutral and should not be changed 6.
These were the main points that were being made in criticism of Wallis and normally that would be enough for me to ignore his book and move on and read something more useful from somebody more highly respected. However I had agreed to read the volume so I went ahead and read the whole thing anyway. This article is the result of my thoughts and reflections on Wallis’s book. His book was the trigger to start this blog and share my perspectives and that I intend to evidence in the hope it might help some people think about the important issues that Wallis touches on in his book.
From reading the book I found that there were many points that Wallis made that all Christians should be able to agree upon:
- That the Bible is the Word of God
- That Jesus is the Son of God
- That racism, sexism, slavery and injustice are bad
- That doing things that reduce racism, sexism, slavery and injustice are good
- He cares about the poor and the homeless and shows hospitality
- He is a family man and encourages his children to have a faith of their own
- He coaches Little League baseball
I am glad he affirms these things, but these might seem like banal points, but they show that he means well and appears to want to live a moral life. If more people lived by this simple creed the world would be a better place I’m sure. However could Jim Wallis be using universal Christian principles to cloak another agenda? Could he even be attempting to redefine Christianity itself? Or is he living the Christian life in all integrity and we should all hear what he has to say on other matters? Or could he just be misguided? What follows will be a look at excerpts from Jim Wallis’s book, Seven Ways but also a look at Wallis and his claims to be an evangelical christian. The topics discussed will be Jim Wallis on the Gospel, celebrity, government, the new world order, climate and gender.
Jim Wallis on the Gospel
From reading Seven Ways I noticed that Jim Wallis was fond of referring to himself as an “Evangelical Christian”. He did this so many times that it became mildly amusing. I wondered who he was trying to convince. Himself or the reader. On p.19 I came across this statement:
“The revival of faith often precedes social resistance and reform, and is usually necessary for either to occur. Wesley, Newton, Wilberorce, Finney, Bryan, King, Rosa Parks, Fanny Lou Hamer, John Paul II, Walesa, Romero, Tutu, Mandela, Ghandi, Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Sojourner Truth, and the countless others who make up the “cloud of witnesses” (as the writer of Hebrews puts it) are a testimony to the power of conversion, the persistence of faith, and the achievement of social justice”.
Note that with reference to faith, revival and conversion he mentions Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi. Now these men are known for having huge followings in their time and for spearheading public uprisings, but they were not Christians. Jim Wallis knows this so why is he including them in list alongside Charles Welsley and Charles Finney, who were among the most prolific evangelists of their day. It seems disingenuous to put these men in the same list, as if they had the same principles and beliefs. The striking difference is that Mandela the Marxist and Ghandi the Hindu worked to establish a temporal, political control and Wesley and Finney were preaching the Gospel by the power of God and promoted bible based morality. Studying the lives and ministries of Wesley and Finney is well worth doing.
Does this mean that Wallis has a different Gospel to the one that Jesus and Paul preached? Glen Beck accused Jim Wallis for preaching another gospel, claiming that Wallis is not calling for Christian charity but governmental theft. When asked if he is calling for the redistribution of wealth, Wallis replied “absolutely, that is what the Gospel is all about”. Elsewhere Wallis says that he:
“encountered the sermon on the mount afresh, as more revolutionary as anything I had found in Karl Marx”. p.50
It does sound like Wallis is quite taken with the economic levelling of society; the State sanctioned, acquisition and redistribution of wealth and property, a concept that is central to Communism. Compare this to what John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, says about personal property.
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet” and “Thou shalt not steal” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.” A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787.
It sounds quite different to the beliefs held by Wallis. Should not a person’s right to keep what he earns be upheld? We can disagree with Wallis’s definition of of the Gospel as misdirection onto material and temporal things away from eternal things. The Apostles and evangelicals down the ages have tended to focus on preaching about a crucified and risen saviour rather than welfare. The gospel is predominantly about God being reconciled to sinful mankind through the substitutionary sacrifice of God’s own perfect son so that a person can pass from death to life and be born again. Although there are many responses that flow from that from being born again including being charitable and many other virtues. To say that the Gospel is all about wealth distribution is false. So when Wallis says:
“no matter what else the Gospel does in our lives, if our gospel message is not “good news to the poor” it is simply not the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
This is a true statement, but by “good news” Wallis doesn’t seem to mean what Jesus means. Does “good news to the poor” mean money from the government or treasure in heaven? From reading the gospels the reader, may well conclude that the good news, the treasure in Heaven, is to know God, through Jesus. Think how the poor are differentiated from the rich in James 2:5:
Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
And James 5:1-2
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
This is in stark contrast to the wealth redistribution Gospel of Jim Wallis.
Wallis on Celebrity
A christian will have an uneasy relationship with fame because the praise that comes from the world can be deceptive and based on worldly values. We are told to beware the praise of man and rather seek the Gods favour. The people who are famous on earth will be very different from the people who are famous in heaven. Wallis’s view relationship with fame comes out in his writing.
Jim Wallis has a heavy teaching and preaching schedule and is in demand for TV spots and conferences. He is intelligent, articulate and a good communicator. With his deep, warm voice and kind, round face he comes across as caring and passionate. He has attained celebrity status that few religious leaders will ever attain. An anecdote Wallis includes on p.20 reveal his approach to celebrity:
“Recently I was preaching at an evangelical Christian college in the American Midwest. I called for a new generation of Martin Luther Kings and William Wilberforces. Afterwards, two young women were waiting to talk to me […] they looked me straight in the eye and said, “We are going to be the next Martin Luther King Jr. and William Wilberforce, and we just wanted to tell you that.” I told them I was glad to meet them before they became famous!” But they were serious and so was I”.
There are a number of responses that could be made to what these women said. Three that I would have suggested are:
- Are these women Christians, are they genuinely born again or caught up in the moment and wanting to be activists?
- If they are Christians I would want to know if God has called them to be activists of the kind Wallis promotes and how would they know this.
- If they are genuinely called to be activists I would want to know if they are ready to live a life that is singleminded and selfless in it’s pursuit of that mission that God has called them on. Even ready to die like Luther King Jr.
Jim Wallis response was disappointing because it did not seem to get at the heart of what motivated William Wilberforce. He did not do what he did for fame. William Wilberforce was a man of character. He said:
“Is it not the great end of religion, and, in particular, the glory of Christianity, to extinguish the malignant passions; to curb the violence, to control the appetites, and to smooth the asperities of man; to make us compassionate and kind, and forgiving one to another; to make us good husbands, good fathers, good friends; and to render us active and useful in the discharge of the relative social and civil duties? ”
There is a chance that Jim Wallis’s answer could have enflated their egos, to see fame as the legitimate and inevitable outcome of being the ‘next’ whoever. Martin Luther King Jr and William Wilberforce were men of their time. The evils they fought against to an extent have changed by being legislated against although they have not gone away. Perhaps they they never will until Jesus returns. Wallis shows in his book he is aware of this but he is motivated to raise up activists. Perhaps activists like himself, in his own image. I wonder maybe instead of preaching for more activists like himself Jim Wallis should be preaching Christ crucified. It might not get eager responses and invitations to be on TV quite so much but it would be be genuinely evangelical.
Jim Wallis also seems enamoured with the celebrity of others. One person that he in Seven Ways that he adulates is Bono. The Irish rock star is known for being outspoken about poverty. Other rock stars before him have also been prominent campaigners concerned with world hunger and poverty and ending war like Bob Geldoff and John Lennon. For rich and famous rock stars it’s irrespective of their commitment and effectiveness in bringing about actual solutions there are tremendous benefits for them in having the identity of champion of human rights. For Bono he is more than a successful recording artist. He is recognised as an international ambassador for the poor and it has raised his profile significantly and opened many doors for him that would be otherwise have been closed. Jim Wallis has this to say about him on p.22
“Bono in particular is much more than a celebrity. […] Nobody in the world has done more than him to awaken the public conscience to global poverty and disease.”
What Wallis says hear is difficult, if not impossible to calculate. Awakening conscience is a vague concept and to say Bono has done it most says very little. There are christians who throughout history who have done a lot to help the poor, helping the poor is an act of Christian service. We may never know the names of those who have given most. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:3-4
“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
How this contrasts with Bono’s chosen method of helping the poor could not be greater. There are some that even say that Bono’s efforts to help the poor may even be counter productive. Author and journalist George Monbiot in an article titled “Bono can’t help Africans by stealing their voice” argues that “Because Bono is seen by world leaders as the representative of the poor, the poor are not invited to speak. This works very well for everyone – except them.” Bono can be seen as acting as a smoke screen of morality for the super rich by their association. For further reading see the book The Frontman: Bono by Harry Browne.
Wallis is also a fan of Billionaire Bill Gates and Millionaire Bill Clinton. On p.101 Wallis writes that:
“Bill Gates has become an expert philanthropist on the world’s most neglected diseases, and Bill Clinton has begun a global new initiative with global health at it’s centre.”
Wallis is keen to sing the praises of the the richest man in the world and a former president of who has amassed 80 million dollars. These men are not saints or saviours. Actually researching into the backgrounds of these men suggests that they have elitist attitudes towards the poor. Bill Gates is open about his plans to depopulate the earth and Bill Clinton’s character has been called into question many times over connections with drug running and sexual misconduct. Jim Wallis has praise for people like this because he has to, to get where he is. They are the global elite that the World Economic Forum revolves around. He says nice things about them so they keep him around. Compare Wallis’ treatment of the richest men on the planet with what the Bible says in the book of James say about showing favouritism to the rich:
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? (James 2:2-6).
What a difference! Would Wallis be invited to speak at the World Economic Forum on the same stage as Bill Gates with a message like that?
The picture that emerges about Jim Wallis’s relationship to fame is that he relates to and communicates celebrities in a way that lacks biblical discernment. The Bible teaches us a very encouraging message and a sobering warning about fame when it mentions “the praise of men” that we are not to seek it but rather seek God’s approval. On the riches that come with fame it says, whilst not condemning the rich it advises them to be generous and “rich towards God”. If we are tempted to think ourselves better than others because we become famous or know famous people then the Bible warns against pride. That pride goes before destruction and the God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. If Jim Wallis spent more time and effort in making Jesus famous then and less time name dropping and telling anecdotes about the famous people he knows he could be a more successful Christian, as it’s is defined by the bible, and not by the world. Jesus is, after all, the name above all other names. And one day all people, including Bill Gates and Bill Clinton will bow before him (Philippians 2:9-10).
Jim Wallis on Government
At numerous points throughout the book Wallis makes negative statements about the Religious Right and Conservative Presidents. For example he blames Jerry Fallwell, with turning people away from Christianity and blames Republican President, George Bush for squandering the reputation of America. When the Church becomes politically partisan and aligns itself with earthly powers then compromise inevitably follows. This is because the values held by these groups do not always match the values of the Kingdom of God and sometimes they are fundamentally opposed. Wallis may be correct in some of his criticisms of the political and religious Right Wing groups and individuals. Wallis claims on p.40
“A shift away from the Religious Right is not necessarily a shift to the left”,
however, a move away from the Right is to move left, and necessarily is a slippery word. The pupil that tell his teacher that he has done his homework necessarily, or the boss that tells you that you will not necessarily loose your job, draws suspicion. Wallis goes on to reveal what he mean by “not necessarily” in how he argues for an promotes solutions and policies directly from the political left and attempts to biblical justification. One review the GoodReads.com website echoes this point by saying:
“Unfortunately Wallis is a very deceptive person. He acts like he wants a third political way..not liberal or not conservative. In reality he is extremely liberal on virtually all matters except abortion. He is very tolerant of all theologically liberal varieties of Christianity and indeed all religions….except the religious right against which he rails irrationally. He seems to be trying to fool people into thinking he has a new way of thinking but in reality he just another ultra liberal.”
Wallis ideal government is a massive socialist government with lots of taxation and an extensive welfare program costing billions of dollars. On p.57 He states that:
“Churches cannot provide healthcare for fourty-seven million Americans who don’t have it or ensure enough affordable housing for working families, or provide social security”.
Wallis seems keen to point out things the church cannot do and claim them as an argument for government social programs funded by taxation. The church down through the ages and today has provided much for the poor and vulnerable, but nowhere is there a burden on the church to provide healthcare for 47 million Americans. The provision that the Christian is burdened to provide is for his or her own family and then see that widows and orphans in the church are fed and provided for. The after that the bible emphasises charity that is done cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). There are some examples in scripture of food and healing being given to multitudes by Jesus during his earthly ministry and he teaches that we are not to worry about food or clothing because God is able to provide those things. When we trust in God as our provider then blessings will follow. God can use various means to provide, he can use government or even miraculous means if necessary. If trust in government replaces trust in God and taxation replaces charity then everybody becomes spiritually poorer.
Governments when funded by excessive wealth subtracted from the profit earned by private enterprise quickly grow fat, bloated and corrupt and consider themselves accountable only to themselves as democracy abused by cheating and media manipulation. Big governments tend to be wasteful with money and even fund immoral practices which the tax payer would never have chosen to fund. A government that has become corrupt often turns to murdering it’s own people if they stands in it’s way. This is often justified as being in the interests of National Security or to maintain peace. The word for this is democide, coined by politcal scientist Professor RJ Rummel, who calculated that over 260 million people had been killed by their government in the 20th Century. With regard to the church and it’s relationship with government, throughout the 20th Century, particularly the Communists governments of Russia and China have been responsible for severely oppressing the church by killing and incarcerating Christians, banning bibles and driving the church underground. Communism and Socialism has similar aims and similar outcomes therefore for Christians. Western nations are starting to ban expressions of Christian faith in schools, hospitals and removing references to Christianity from official discourse. This has been well documented by organisations like The Christian Institute. John Petely in his book, Providence Piety and Power states that:
“wherever socialism gains power, sooner or later, Christians will find themselves under pressure” p.297
So far from being our saviour, governments can be extremely dangerous entities and should not immediately be considered the best providers of healthcare and welfare as Wallis suggests. We Christians should be wise and cautious when tax funded, government programs are promoted as the answer to social problems. The church, when it obeys the bible, can be a great provider for those in need and it can God can provide the means when the church takes up it’s role in these areas and it can work in partnership with government when the government is open to godly council. Christians cannot fully endorse any earthly government because we are waiting for the institution of a heavenly government, with as the perfect dictator which will last for ever (Isaiah 9:7). This is the government we can full support and promote.
Jim Wallis on the new world order
Another worrying aspect of Jim Wallis’ views expressed in Seven Ways is his support for globalisation and the new world order. The new world order is a term that became well know back in September 11th 1991 when George H W Bush said in a speech that an objective of his administration was to see a new world order emerge. This phrase has been used by and alluded to by other statesmen over years such as Henry Kissinger and John Kerry. The new world order that our politicians want to create is a world government that they claim will bring about stability and peace, but what this phrase really means is of much debate. On p.206, under a sub heading called ‘A Better Way’, Wallis comments on a statement by former UK Prime Minister. He writes:
“Gordon Brown has clearly linked the struggle for social and economic justice with the battle against terrorism and the pursuit of Global security… [he] spoke of an emerging new world order that will come about be recognising our interdependence”.
In this section of the book Wallis’ endorsement of this new world order is obvious. He compares it to the justice written about by the prophet Micah. However the justice written about by Micah is in reference to the Word of the Lord coming from Jerusalem and him Judging between the people and the Nations will no longer war with each other. This is quite different to the New World Order spoken off by politicians. Their new world order could also be called a new secular order. They do not intend to base the laws on the word of God and recognise him as Creator. The word of the Lord will not feature in their vision of the future. Doctrines like the the sinfulness of man and the supremacy of Christ will not be a key aspect of their New World Order. Lifestyle choices that are contrary to scripture will be used to marginalise and criminalise teaching from the bible in the name tolerance. Cultural Relativism will epitomise the new world order by insisting that Jesus is the Lord of Lords and the only way to salvation will be deemed divisive. The new world order is not something that will sit comfortably with the teachings exclusivity of the message of the bible in who God is and how to live. H.G. Wells understood the direction that the project to create a new world order would take:
“… when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people … will hate the new world order … and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people.”
H. G. Wells, in his book entitled The New World Order (1940)
David Rockerfeller wrote:
“For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
Wallis claim that the new world order sound like Micah. He is wrong. Compare the claims of the politicians with a quote from the prophet Jeremiah 6:12-14 instead.
“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace… Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
Christians should be able to see through the rhetoric of the new world order and recognise that it is a false peace that is being promoted because there is no peace with out the Prince of Peace. A project similar to the new world order can be found in Genesis 11:1-9 where mankind attempts to establish himself on the earth and be united as one without reference to God and God’s response was to confuse their languages and scatter the people. The idea that man, acting by himself, without reference to God can bring about worldwide peace is hubris and cannot succeed. An organisation with such uequalled power to dictate to the lives of it’s citizens will be corrupted by it’s very nature. The statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke understood this well as when he said
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
The warning of scripture from Genesis 11, Psalm 2 shows that an attempts at establishing world government should be seen as highly suspect, even dangerous and Jim Wallis does not mention this at all.
Another problem that Wallis faces in endorsing the new world order, uncritically, is that he ignores what a significant number of Christians around the world are specfically saying about it. A comprehensive study of the books, dvds and websites available from Christian sources give a stark warning about what the new world order might be. The first reaction of some readers might be that those are just conspiracy theories, but that predictable response conveniently requires no knowledge, research or critical thinking on the subject and should be not an intelligent response. A wiser response is to carefully check the evidence for yourself and then make a judgement as best you can but, be open to new evidence as it as it may arrive. When highly accomplished christians have been dedicated to researching the new world order and publishing their findings it would make sense to hear them out first before jumping to conclusions. Some of the highly qualified people who have researched the new world order include:
Professor Walter Vieth (http://walterveith.com)
Doctor Stanley Monteith (http://www.radioliberty.com/doc.htm)
Dr Julian Charles (http://themindrenewed.com)
As well as many others, easily found on the internet.
These Christians, sometimes called end times christians, draw our attention to the parallels between the new world order and the system of government predicted in the book of Revelation 13, Daniel 8 and 2 Thessalonians 2 among others. A system of complete totalitarianism that compels every individual to worship the beast, the Antichrist, and receive his mark. These prophecies are not the easiest to interpret and not pleasant to think about, however these are not reasons to ignore them. When researching this topic it is important to find good sources. There is a great deal of shoddy and misleading research on the new world order. Sinister sounding quotes are often recycled without proper references and people use the fear of a totalitarian government to peddle their own political solution. There is even evidence of people employed by the global elite, called controlled opposition or shills, to spread disinformation. This is as you would expect when the the powerful few are attempting to control the many because any information that raises suspicion and awareness will be tightly controlled.
Watchfulness and a careful and prayerful examination the scriptures, the signs around us and careful research is more likely yield results then knee jerk reactions at the mention of so called conspiracy theories. The new world order, rather than bringing about world peace, could turn out to be the a satanic counterfeit to enslaves humanity under the government of the Antichrist. This is a view held by many evangelical Christians. Time will tell if their warnings are correct and it is worth considering now in order to be prepared for what might being planned for our futures.
Jim Wallis on Climate
Jim Wallis, unsurprisingly has jumped on the climate change band wagon. On he tells an anecdote about his son asking him about climate change. Rather than telling him the truth that he was not a scientist or that there was much debate about it he said:
“My son Luke asked me one day to explain what global warming is. I told him that the warming of the earth, climate change, is primarily caused by human activities, especially those that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and that for more than a decade the scientific evidence has been conclusive: global temperatures are rising at a steady and alarming pace, because of human activities.” p.111
This is the standard line that is promoted by Al Gore who, Jim Wallis also endorses in the book and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. Raising money to research and combat climate change is a multi-billion dollar industry. Climate change is the reason for a new carbon taxes and restrictions from energy efficiency ratings all buildings down to the kind of vacuum cleaner you can buy. Al Gore, who has been criticised for having an enormous carbon footprint due to his international travel and renovations on his mansion that made his electricity bills many times over the national average at the time, says the the debate is over concerning if anthropogenic climate change is taking place. Anthropogenic, means cause by human activities. There is little doubt that climate change is happening as it has throughout the the earths history as evidenced by the undeniable ice ages and warm periods that have gone before and the climate change that can be observed taking place on other planets our solar system.
Reducing pollution and not wasting energy are good goals in themselves, but the scientific theories about carbon emissions affecting the climate are not well supported by the evidence. The previous incarnation of climate change, called global warming had to be rejected. It was found that the predictions about global temperatures and rising sea levels made 20 years ago have now been proven false. Roger Ravelle, the scientist who first proposed global warming could occur, rejected his own theories later in life and realised he had made a mistake. John Coleman, a weatherman with decades of experience is also convinced that global warming is not good science. Global temperatures were thought to follow the increase of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere because of a theory called the greenhouse effect. It was later found out that increases in CO2 concentration followed the increase in temperature because the warmer the air the more CO2 it can hold because increase in energy, warm air can also hold more H2O. This is simple science and can be easily understood. It is also a basic scientific certainty that CO2 is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring compound that is essential to life on earth. Plants need CO2 for photosynthesis and they release O2 as a by product. The richer the CO2 concentrations, the faster a plant can grow. This is also simple science and can be proved easily. CO2 is pumped artificially into greenhouses to increase the yield of the crops grown inside. With 30% of the land covered in forest and 40% used for agriculture, there is need of vast amounts of CO2 to sustain it. CO2 is also absorbed by the ocean, 70% of Earth’s surface is covered in water, which is a natural carbon sink, it absorbs 25% of manmade CO2. Carbon dioxide is a part of a natural, self-regulating system and is not pollution.
When the evidence for global warming could not be produced, the theory morphed into climate change, which meant that any unusual weather pattern could be blamed on carbon. Although the climate change lobby insist there is a scientific consensus. In spite the fact that theories are established by evidence and not by a vote, there is a growing number of scientists calling for an end to the panic about climate change and realisation that the evidence for it is insufficient. These include the Oregen Petition, signed by thousands of scientists and a plethora of scientists and journalists publishing material that is sceptical about climate change. A recent, feature length documentary questioning climate change released in the winter of 2014 called The Global Warming War already won multiple awards. www.theglobalwarmingwar.com. It is unlikely however, due to media bias that this film will ever get the promotion and exposuret that Al Gore’s documentary received, even though it presents factual information about the the same topic.
There is much at stake in terms of political power and revenue to be generated by the climate change industry. This is why there is resistance to the alternative view points. Jim Wallis is attempting to not only avoid questioning the validity of the the the issue of climate change but is making it a moral and religious issue by linking it to the book Genesis and making a case that christians should care for the earth god made by combatting climate change. Christians are called to be good stewards of the planet but we are also supposed to be wise enough not to be co opted for a political cause on the basis of pseudo-science. The are much more genuine, demonstrable environmental problems that can be very easily seen and tested for, like pollution in the soil and water and dumping garbage in both the sea and on land.
One response from the evangelical christian community is the Cornwall Alliance. The Cornwall Alliance have made various statements in response to the climate change policies being enacted ()on their site, including 10 reasons why climate change policies are harmful and recommend 3 responses in light of the facts. They also make this statement:
“We believe Earth and its ecosystems – created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.”
Many scientists endorse the work of the Cornwall Alliance, but Jim Wallis does not mention them in his book or address any of the arguments that they make.
The Bible describes God as being soverign over His creation, as alluded to by the Cornwall Alliance. He has created a robust self-regulating, self-sustaining climate for the planet and he can also alter the weather if he desires. Jesus calms a storm with a word and Elijah’s prayer can send and withhold rain at the (James 5). The idea that man, can break the weather and fix it again seems like hubris and denies God the power to use the weather as he wished. The way to view the climate as something that God can control and communicate through should humble us and remind us that repentance and asking Him for help are sometimes essential and always necessary. This way of thinking does not fit into the model of climate change that has been formulated for supporting the governmental policies we are seeing today. Jim Wallis’ stance plays right into the hands of the bureaucrats that want to tax and control the production of a naturally occurring compound and it will make them immensely rich. Christians should think twice before supporting such claims and weigh the evidence and study the scriptures to come to their own conclusions.
Jim Wallis on Gender
Jim Wallis attempts to tackle the heated subject of gender and sexism in his plan to change the world set out in Seven Ways. The approach he takes can be quickly understood as being the one taken by mainstream feminist ideologues. The general theme of these ideas is that women are oppressed by a system dominated by men to benefit men. This line of thinking creates an instant base of supporters because when women are unhappy they can get sympathy from other women and from men, who want to assert their manhood by helping women. This can be done even if the claims of feminism are not true. This is because anybody who challenges them can be called sexist or misogynist. Support for feminism is created by repeating myths about how women are innocent victims of male oppression.
In seven ways, Wallis refers to the often repeated but thoroughly debunked, wage gap myth. On p.141 he quotes Heather Boushy
“women continue to earn less than men even if they have similar educational levels and work in similar kinds of jobs. The typical full-time, full year working woman only earns 77 per cent of what her male counterpart will make. About 40 per cent of this gap in pay cannot be be explained by women’s choices.”
The quote is already misleading because 40% of the gap can be immediately dismissed according to the quote making the gap 86.2 per cent. It has been illegal for decades for business to pay men more than women to do the same job in the UK and the USA, even if they are not able to match the physical strength and stamina of their male colleagues because of the naturally occurring dimorphism in the male and female physiques in professions such as firefighting. The quote mentions that even similar jobs and educational levels yield less pay for women. Lots of research has been done into the wage gaps. The vast amounts of data show that men and women generally make very different choices, even within a similar field which affects the direction their careers might take and the wage they might earn. Men generally and particularly married men will have a strong tendency to make choices that lead to a higher income, even at the expense of personal happiness and freedom. Women will tend to focus of finding the balance between work, life and family they find most harmonious and rewarding. There are lots of factors like working in a safe, friendly, flexible environment that is close to home which, studies show, is much more important to women than men. This is going to create a wage gap, even with men and women working in similar jobs. If women make the same choices men make to always choose money over happiness and freedom then the gap disappears to a negligible difference. There are a number of fields that are more lucrative and profitable for women than men as well. This is not seen as unfair on men, it is that women a more likely to possess the talents necessary to succeed in those professions than men.
After failing to question the perceived wage gap he continues with some more highly suspect statistics on how women are discriminated against. On p.142 he quotes Elizabeth Palmberg who writes that
“although they work twice as many working hours as men, women only receive on tenth of the world’s income, and own less than than one hundredth of the world’s property.”
Where these statistics come from and how they were arrived at would be an interesting study in itself. The idea that men work twice as many hours as men is just absurd. On average in developed nations men are far more likely to work full time than women and housework is often shared in household. It is no longer a full-time job due to timesaving domestic appliances. In the developing world the ones driving the taxis long into the night, the ones running the fast food restaurants or some family business tend to be men, usually working all the hours they can to support their families. A Press Release from the International Labour Organization regarding a study states:
The study says men tend to work longer average hours than women worldwide, with women working shorter hours in almost every country studied. Moreover, men are more likely to work long hours than women, while women are far more likely to work short hours (less than 35 per week) than men. The report concludes that this is likely due to their bearing the primary responsibility for “unpaid” work in households.
The statistic that women own 1% of the property (impling men own 99%). Professor Philip Cohen calls this statistic an“enduring feminst myth that wont not die”. He goes on to ask
“Even in 1970, how could women own only 1 percent of property, when most women were married and in many countries had at least some legal claim to their families’ property? Similarly, what claim did women who worked in homes and fields have to their husbands’ cash incomes?”.
Without research to give the numbers context they are meaningless. Property can be owned by governments, councils, banks, companies, charities, universities and religious organisations etc. that are neither men or women. Many people choose to rent rather than own property and many people may live with family because for various reasons. Men may own more property than women. Their names may be on the deeds and the burden to pay for the property too, but men make up the vast majority of the homeless, 84% in the UK. Men own the most and the least. They seem to inhabit both ends of the spectrum. Some men owning property has not meant women women have had nowhere to live. The homeless man gets little sympathy as it as seen as his duty to provide but he cannot. In the feminist mindset, men earn more and own all most of the property. Single women with actually are buying houses at a faster rate than men in the United States, but the perceived inequality that affects women will not be abated until the feminist myths are demolished.
Wallis goes on to describe the plight of women thus:
“Across the world women have a triple burden. First, women are the ones who bare the greatest burdens and suffer the most consequences from the world’s justices and calamities. They are more likely than men to be the victims of poverty, of pandemic diseases, of war and other violent conflicts, and of global disasters… Second, despite their less powerful position, women still still bear the lion’s share of of literally keeping things together… They are the ones most depended on by everybody else… Third, while being the most vulnerable yet still fulfilling their sustaining role, women must do so without the corresponding power and authority to change the facts that create the burdens in the first place… Women are clearly not the weaker sex, but their “weaker” power in the structures of the world is a serious detriment, not only to women, but to us all.”
Wallis clearly on a roll with this topic. He wants to paint women as suffering servants of us all. Some of the areas he says women suffer most is in war. I would say with a degree of confidence that there has bee no war in human history that has killed more women than men. In a combat situation this is even more pronounced. The Vietnam War killed 58,212 American service men and 8 women.
Study after study shows that Wallis is inaccurate in his attempt to paint women as the main victims in any scenario, but reality reveals it is actually men in practically every instance. This argument works because men are taught to embrace their own disposability and face a dangerous world stoically in order to serve society to attain his worth. Part of this role includes protecting women and children from the dangers of this world. This exchange is explained well in the Myth of Male Power by Dr Warren Farrell. Any time a woman suffers it is presumed that a man has failed. We should do what we can to alleviate suffering, but the Christian has hope in the midst of suffering. The hope that through it our faith is being perfected because if we suffer, God has allowed it and is using for our good.
On p.143 Wallis claims
“Women are also the key to overcoming global poverty”.
What he means by this is not clear but he goes into more detail. He quotes Ritu Sharma, writing that if you:
“teach a man to fish, he eats. Teach a woman to fish, everybody eats”.
He does not mean that women have the miraculous ability to multiply fish like Jesus Christ feeding the multitude, although he is implying there is something superior about women. He is claiming that men are by their nature selfish and women are generous and that poverty could be solved if women ran the world.
The effect of using feminist myths such as these means increased book sales and open doors for Jim Wallis in political circles. Feminism means votes for politicians and funding for charities. Political Analysts have realised that more women vote than men and that women are the swing voters. Candidates need to tell women what they want to hear and promise them more stuff if they want to get elected. Women buy more books, so authors such as Wallis pitch their books to appeal to women. Also charities that raise money to help women is a multi-billion dollar industry. Women’s shelters are some of the biggest charities and much of the money they receive is completely un accounted for. The controversial scam of raising money through the marketing the victimhood of women has been documented by Erin Pizzey, who opened the first women’s shelter. In an article in the Telegraph, Erin states that:
“These organisations receive a great deal of Government funding, yet they will spend none of that money on rehabilitating violent women. In their view, there is no such thing as a violent woman. As far as I’m concerned, the radical feminist movement has fraudulently misused taxpayers money to fund their movement at the expense of very vulnerable women and children.”
She was rejected and received death threats from radical feminists when she wanted to stand up for male victims. Her memoirs, called ‘Welcome to the Revolution‘ tells the story of her and her family to fleeing the United Kingdom in order to escape the threats after her dog was killed.
It should be clear by now that Jim Wallis has not been arguing truthfully on the subject of gender. Selfishness and generosity are not gender specific. Both sexes are capable of acts of kindness and acts of greed and violence. Exposing feminism as a fraud in no way diminishes the suffering that many women face and the hard work they do but it the evidence is that feminism exaggerates it and diminishes the suffering and hard work that men do. Both genders suffer and make sacrifices for others and divisive half truths about the suffering of one sex at the hands of another will not solve anything. Ultimately the only one who can overcome global poverty and suffering. is Jesus Christ. He warns that we will always have the poor with us until the promised new heaven and new earth where there will be
“neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away” Revelation 21:4.
This will be the ultimate end of global poverty. It cannot be brought about by a feminist utopia as Wallis claims.
From reading Seven Ways it would I conclude that Wallis has interpreted the bible using the ideological framework used by Progressive Democrats and taken onboard their solutions to the problems in the world. His book describes ways to change the world, not as the bible lays out but in order to remodel it according to their thinking. He has aligned himself with the Progressive Democrats and uses and defends their policies.
Dr Michael Coffman in his book in his book America Plundered writes that:
“Progressive Democrats are generally fixated on big environmental and social programs, as well as big government; the bigger the better. Some even call themselves communists. They believe only the government can solve problems; the more efficient the government and the more professionals and experts running it, the better. They dislike capitalism and Christianity, sometimes to the point of vitriolic hatred. Conversely, they believe in income redistribution, using the power of big government to plunder those who have, and give it to those who don’t. This, they believe, will solve all problems.” p.3
These people do not like Christianity, they support Jim Wallis only in as much as he can redefine it for them be used to further their political ends. The Progressive Democrats, just like the Republicans work follow the broad agenda of the globalists, through organisations like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the World Economic Forum (WEF). This is the topic for another blog post, but reading None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen would be a good place to start.
I see Jim Wallis’s usefulness to the global elites as threefold.
- He works to promote and give legitimacy to state sanctioned, state sponsored, secular myths such as feminism, climate change, The New World Order and an enormous welfare state among Christians. These concepts are incredibly lucrative for the governments and globalists and shift the balance of power massively in their favour through tighter and tighter controls over individual freedom and the sovereignty of states and through revenues generated through new forms of taxation.
- As a religious leader who is allowed to speak at international conferences such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, those that attend can be seen as moral, do-gooders even the potential saviours of the world from poverty and disease, while little really changes.
- Generating votes from swaying and disillusioned Christians for Democrats such as Obama buy making him appear like he has a legitimate spiritual advisor, who would previously voted Republican without question.
He does this by making the gospel about social change; trusting in government, environmentalism and political correctness. And looking to men like Bono and Bill Gates to guide us.
As long as he keeps doing this then he will be able to remain in the high profile role as Obama’s spiritual advisor, he will keep being invited to conferences around the world and the enormous donations from George Soros will continue to roll into the coffers of his charity Sojourners.
Meeting with billionaires, rockstars and presidents does not impress God. We are all spiritually poor, blind and naked unless God clothes us (Revelation 3:17-18). Does the income and the jet-set lifestyle and notoriety really show that Wallis has the interests of poor and oppressed at heart. Wallis has an incredible opportunity, as he has access to many of the world’s most powerful people and he can preach the true Gospel to them. He has a platform to reach many more through his TV appearances, speaking schedule, and writings. The holiness of God, the depravity of man, the forgiveness of sins and a risen, glorified saviour, Jesus Christ. However if he started doing this his invitations to the World Economic Forum, his job at the White House and his TV appearances would soon dry up. The only people allowed to return to those platforms are the serving the agenda of those in power. Others before me have as the question. Gary North in his blog asks “Why Doesn’t Rev Jim Wallis Tell the Superclass About Jesus? He Preaches to Them Every Year at Davos.” He suggests
“the Superclass love to listen to him once a year, because he makes them feel good about their inner lives. They like to hear about how pleased a vaguely described, utterly creedless god will be with them on their deathbeds. Rev. Wallis consoles them. He makes them feel good about themselves. So, they invite him back every year.
and also points out in 2014 at Davos:
“in his presentation, Rev. Wallis failed to mention Jesus. He failed to mention Christianity.”
He likes to remind his readers he is an Evangelical, and on a number of doctrinal points, I am sure he is, but when it matters and he has a big opportunity he appears to go with pleasing the crowd and protecting his current position.
Christians need to be wise, to know their bibles, to know how to see through deception and empty arguments. I don’t know the state of Jim Wallis’s relationship with God but I think he really believes that he is doing the right thing, but the evidence suggests he is deceived and in turn he is deceiving others. My advice would be to:
- Share this information with those who have been misled by Jim Wallis and the secular globalist agenda.
- Pray for Jim Wallis and those who might be taken in by his any of his faulty arguments.
- Do not purchase, subscribe to or promote material put out by Jim Wallis or his organisation while he continues to give credence to the globalists and ideologies that will harm and deceive the church.
- And in general educate yourself and those around you about genuine Biblical solutions and doctrines regarding the world’s problems.
Further reading on-line: