David Batstone is the executive editor of Sojourners, an evangelical Christian magazine with a history of pro-life, pro-human-rights, antipoverty and antiviolence activism rooted in the Bible. (Disclosure: I worked for Sojourners in the late 1980s.)
When he’s not on tour speaking on faith and culture, Batstone writes a regular newsletter distributed via e-mail. In May, he answered the title question of this XGW entry, in response to angry mail from a dispensationalist.
I often hear non-Christians ask: How can a person who identifies with Jesus Christ espouse actions that run so counter to peace and justice? This theological device [the mail writer’s dispensationalism] enables many Christians to discount the teachings of Jesus as a guide for living their lives. Forgive your enemies? Feed the hungry? Clothe the naked and care for the prisoner? [Speaking tongue-in-cheek:] Not a chance; you’d be foolish to adopt these practices in the dispensation in which we live. Governments must take whatever measures are necessary to defeat evil, and we are commanded to be its loyal subjects.
The May article offers a succinct explanation of one particular religious-right trend threatening traditional, gospels-oriented Christianity — and religious freedom.
Sojourners co-founder and editor-in-chief Jim Wallis similarly identifies moral myopia and political corruption in the religious right when he discusses a debate he had with Jerry Falwell on NPR’s Tavis Smiley show. On the show, Wallis raised a broad spectrum of Christian moral concerns; Falwell, on the other hand, angrily demanded that Christians practice moral tunnelvision.
In a July article, Sojourners assesses the religious right’s acquisition of veto power over Republican Party initiatives and its use of George W. Bush to gain seats on the U.S. Supreme Court.
My selection of items is not, however, an indication that Sojourners obsesses over the religious right. In February the magazine examined why "liberal" Christians might need evangelicals — and vice versa. The same issue offered an upbeat February interview with popular Christian author, Philip Yancey, whose values — like those of Sojourners — thwart political stereotypes.