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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

Jim Wallis' interfaith message to young people: “We are here to find common ground.”

At a White House ordained national interfaith conference, Evangelical Left icon Jim Wallis spoke to college students about bringing faiths together to find common ground.  (Were you aware that the White House sponsors initiatives like this?) It’s called the  Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, and its purpose is to promote service projects and “foundational goodness” to bring students from different religious backgrounds together.

In the syncretized blending of faith, a “meditation and prayer space” transitioned the speakers and sessions, including teachings from a Christian, a Muslim, and a self-professed pagan. Not invited: a representative from the Absolute-Truth-Via-Sola-Scriptura camp.  Just saying.

Who is Jim Wallis, you may ask? He is a spiritual advisor to President Obama and a former Chapter President of Students For a Democratic Society, a violent communist organization in the 1960s.the leader of Sojourners, the leading social justice organization in the US.

English: Jim Wallis

Jim Wallis

Wallis headlined this event held last month in Chicago titled Illinois Conference on Interfaith Collaboration (ICIC). He spoke before a gathering of students, professionals and community members about creating an understanding between people of different theological and philosophical backgrounds.  The Institute on Religion & Democracy published an article titled, Jim Wallis Embraces Interfaith Millennials.

Here are some excerpts:

  • Wallis praised the multi-faith speakers: “It’s great to have a Calvinist and a pagan talking about their world views. We don’t do interfaith work to abandon our faith identities,” he insisted. “We are here to find common ground.”
  • Wallis proposed that today’s youth are supporting those who are being “trafficked” and denied “educational opportunity.” Interest is shifting toward causes of injustice, such as immigration, with hopes of leveling the playing field.
  • Wallis believes there has been an increased tolerance for other religious faiths and contrary opinions. “For what kind of values will you be sacrificial for? … The difference between events and movements is sacrifice.”
  • Wallis complained that devout believers become fodder for superficial commentary about faith and war. “Religion at its worst provides ammunition for conflicts,” he surmised. ”Sharia law is a big threat in Tennessee,” he joked, referring to proposed state legislation targeting Islamic law, which he deemed a distraction.
  • When asked about concerns among some conservatives about presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, Wallis responded: “We have had a lot of incompetent Christians in the White House. Religion has no monopoly on morality.”
  • When older audience members asked about the importance of prayer and salvation, Wallis minimized their importance. Citing the Millennial Values Survey Report, he noted decreased concerns among Millennials about religious dogma. “Get arrested together and discuss theology in jail,” Wallis suggested, citing a conversation between liberal evangelist Tony Campolo and a rabbi between they were arrested in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda during last summer’s debt ceiling debate. The two briefly imprisoned men came to understand each other better.
  • “The answer to bad religion is not no religion, it is good religion… That is the religious vocation that you have,” Wallis said. The “practice of faith” is what will convince non-believers of Christianity’s truth.

 

To see these quotes in context, go to the source.  Hat tip Marsha West.

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5 Responses to “Jim Wallis' interfaith message to young people: “We are here to find common ground.””

  1. Darrel #

    The real meaning of statements like "find common ground" is that the Christian must lay aside his belief in the Lord Jesus to one degree or another. There is not now, nor ever shall be a bounding of the Lord Jesus Christ with infidels, unbelievers, or outright heretics-2Cor. 6:11-18. Anyone that suggests that a blood-bought Christian should lay aside the tenants of the Christian faith to satisfy the lust for a false "unity" should be considered a false teacher and totally avoided. This includes Mr. Wallis.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:07 PM Reply
    • Debbie #

      @Darrel, Mary and Dave

      You've all well stated the problem with Wallis and his ilk who smugly champion the values of progressive ideology and deceitfully label them as Christian truths and ethics. It distresses me greatly that Wallis and other UMC colleagues in related UMC agencies are allowed to continue in a campaign against the clear teaching of scripture. Through their bully pulpits, they misrepresent Christ, steal his glory for themselves and lead many astray.

      The tolerance advocated for is error and a one-sided street. It's a doctrine that divides and that, in practice, trumps and sidelines scripture. They fight for it and stand by it as one ought to fight for opportunities to share the gospel. In truth, it reflects a universalist doctrine, not the gospel. In its intent, it requires subtle and not-so-subtle twisting or subverting of scripture to the will of universalism and collectivism.

      It's a terrible contradiction, too, of Wesley's own example of fiery preaching to convict hearts of sin, of diligent bible instruction of converts to instill personal holiness, and of the equipping of the matured believer for following Wesley's (and Christ's) pattern to reach and train and also send out. These three are what built Methodism. Wesley's method centered around the centrality of the gospel and Christ's desire to make of us a new creation, purified and potent in our witness. Their priority isn't the gospel, but progressive ideals, which largely require compromise of truth rather than adherence to it. Tolerance accommodates "evolved cultural mores" and "valuing other faiths," which equates to enabling one's continuance in enmity toward Christ. Bottom line, those who reject Christ and refuse to be mastered by Him will be mastered by sin and at great risk to suffer condemnation when all are judged. But it's supposedly more loving to let them make that choice than to "rescue the perishing." It's lunacy and heresy.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:08 PM Reply
    • gina #

      ,” Wallis said. The “practice of faith” is what will convince non-believers of Christianity’s truth.

      How are you going to convince anybody of truth if you withhold the truth to begin with? And faith? who are you putting your faith in? mankind? the world? government? Allah? Buddah? Baal? George Soros? Yourself? How bout Elmo? Snoopy? One gospel, not versions of truth!

      Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

      January 9, 2014 at 4:53 PM Reply
  2. Mary #

    Amen Darrel. I know that the social agenda in the church is an unstoppable freight train – it is the "spirit of the age" – but it still grieves me no end. I am not willing to give my life for a social gospel – only THE gospel. Believers may have to actually ask this question of themselves some day soon and how quickly the church will get a housecleaning at that point!

    June 1, 2012 at 5:23 AM Reply
  3. Wallis believes in tolerance. God does not. God is not tolerant, He is right, which makes Him intolerant. God is not tolerant, He is love, which makes Him not tolerant of the wolves who prey on His sheep.

    We can be tolerant of those who think differently than us in matters that really do not matter but we best be a people who know what matters.

    Oil and water do not mix yet the "tolerant" of today keep trying to make it happen.

    June 18, 2012 at 8:22 AM Reply

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