Jun 5 2009
Left-leaning evangelicals misleading young Christians [Excerpts]
Some prominent evangelicals who are backing the "hate crimes" bill awaiting a vote in the Senate are making a concerted effort to get evangelicals to abandon their traditionally conservative voting habits.
The homosexual activist group, Human Rights Campaign, held a "Clergy Call" rally last week on Capitol Hill to urge passage of legislation that would add "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the list of protected categories under federal hate crimes law. HRC distributed statements from some influential evangelicals who support the bill, including Mercer University Christian ethicist David Gushee and Florida mega-church pastor Joel Hunter.
Pastor Hunter says he "strongly endorse[s]" S. 909* because it "protects both the rights of conservative religious people to voice passionately their interpretations of their scriptures and protects their fellow citizens from physical attack."
Mark Tooley, president of the Washington-based Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD), says such statements from figures like Hunter and Gushee are finding fertile ground -- particularly among a new, younger generation of evangelicals.
"Clearly [these clergy] are a part of an evangelical left crowd who are strategically attempting to shift evangelicals away from conservative social issues to liberal economic and foreign policy [issues] -- and in this case, in the case of hate crimes legislation, social issues as well," he states.
In a statement released on Monday, Tooley argues that increasingly, the evangelical left is "indistinguishable from the secular left."
"Christians of all traditions are called to transform the culture -- not conform to it," he says in reference to Romans:12:2. "But the evangelical left repeats arguments from The New York Times' editorial page and seems to think such cultural conformity will win applause. History shows that accommodationist Christians are ultimately irrelevant Christians."
[TBC: Any reformation of culture can only come through the strategy given to the Church: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.”