Jim Wallis Responds to Glenn Beck

Jim Wallis is probably the most prominent Christian proponent of social justice and has made a rebuttal to Glenn Beck's statement for Christians to leave churches that teach social justice.

Good people can disagree on what social justice should look like, but we can all agree that Jesus tells us to love our enemies, our neighbors, and our brothers and sisters.  Pretty much, that would mean that we need to love everyone.  But when it comes to what form of government our society should have, we can, as brothers and sisters in Christ, disagree widely.  You can be a Christian and be a libertarian and you can be a Christian and be a socialist.  Jesus did not prescribe a political party; he inspires us to love.

Biblical Social Justice and Glenn Beck

Wallis concluded that people should quit listening to Glenn Beck for his statements.  That seems to be a misstep in what Wallis is all about.  If there was any reason to quit listening to Beck, that would be with the way he presents his information, instigates a culture of fear, demonizes the other side, and does not add to a constructive dialog that will lead to a common ground.  This stance on churches and social justice is just one example of that.  But in the end, we should dialog and interact with those we disagree with.  If I could be friends with Glenn Beck, I would. 

This culture of isolation where we surround ourselves with only people we agree with will ultimately lead to us not understanding one another.  When that happens, we, as humans, have this unfortunate tendency to vilify the opposing side and treat them in an inhuman manner.  This is easily stopped by becoming friends with those we disagree with.  

I really hope Beck's comments backfire.  I hope that we examine ourselves and our privilege to love others.   I would love see an awakening in churches to promote social justice.

The title of their two new books reveal their two different approaches.

I've written further on this: More Thoughts on Glenn Beck, Social Justice, and Leaving Churches