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Doctrinal Writings
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Products of the Religious LeftProducts of the Religious Left
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Dr. Richard Flanders

 The Presidential campaign of 2008 was shaken a bit by sermons of one of the candidate's pastors. Everybody is well aware of the extreme views of Dr. Jeremiah Wright, who led the big Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, of which Barack Obama was a long-time member. At first some news commentators showed their confusion about what kind of church it is. I heard one on the radio describe it as if it were a "Church of Christ" such as you find across the country as part of the old Campbellite movement. Although the United Church of Christ has a similar name, it is in no way similar to the Churches of Christ that arose in this land in the early nineteenth century. The United Church of Christ is a national denomination that was formed in 1957 by the merger of the Congregational Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. It is also one of the most liberal church organizations in America. The term "liberal" can be used of a church in both a theological and a political sense. Many people still don't know that there is, and has been for a long time, an influential Religious Left in this country. Liberal theology arose in the latter part of the nineteenth century as a departure from traditional orthodoxy in the Protestant churches. It de-emphasized personal salvation and taught a new kind of social salvation. Because saving individual souls was less important to the liberals, so was doctrinal correctness, and they came to question some of the cardinal teachings of the historic Christian faith. Their emphasis on saving society made theological liberals more and more political in their religion, and more and more socialistic as the years passed. In the twentieth century, religious liberals were also political liberals, and their influence on American politics was profound. Through the Federal Council of Churches, and its successor the National Council of Churches, the Religious Left did much to move the country leftward.

 Because theological liberals were denying foundational truths of Christianity, there was a grassroots movement against them. Eventually the fundamentalist and evangelical reaction to liberalism gave us what became known as the Religious Right. Still holding to the infallibility of the Bible, the deity of Jesus, His virgin birth, and His bodily resurrection, Christian conservatives also supported political views that reflected what the Bible teaches. It must have been strange to some church people to hear some ministers opposing abortion, and other ministers supporting the right to get one. Today there are pastors who preach against homosexuality as a sin, and pastors who strongly promote "gay rights." There are preachers who oppose the war in Iraq, and others who support it. Some wonder how there can be such great differences among professedly Christian clergymen. The reason is the difference between the Religious Right and the Religious Left. And the media have so loudly denounced the Religious Right that most people never knew that we have a powerful Religious Left in this country, until a Presidential candidate's pastor opened his mouth and waved his hands on national television. Rev. Wright is a stark and shocking example of the Religious Left. Interestingly, both of the final two contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were influenced by the Religious Left. In 1964, Hillary Rodham was a "Goldwater Girl," working in the campaign to elect Arizona's conservative Republican senator as President. But after the election, she was influenced by her Methodist minister to go in a different political direction. Curiously, it was the liberal church establishment that gave us both of the leaders in the fight for the Democratic nomination this year. It is the Religious Left that has molded the viewpoint of at least one side of the campaign for the general election. Most Americans were shocked by the theology and politics preached by Dr. Wright, but they didn't know how acceptable those views are in the mainline churches many of them attend. Wright seemed indignant that interviewers did not recognize "liberation theology" as a respectable proposition. The form of it that he preaches is called "black liberation theology" and it is behind most of the offensive statements he makes. When he got a national platform through the controversy his relationship with Senator Obama created, Wright used it to defend and preach the theological persuasion he has embraced for years, and he thought everybody should say "Amen." The reason he did not understand the harm he was doing to his church-member's chances in the primaries was his long career in the world of the Religious Left. "Liberation Theology" was first preached in liberal churches more than thirty years ago as an unashamed "Christianizing" of Marxism. Although somewhat controversial even in liberal circles, it was nonetheless respected by the Religious Left, and provided the rationale for church sponsorship of violent revolutionary movements across the world. In the Religious Left, Wright's ideas are respectable, thought-provoking, and morally challenging. Right now the president of the United Church of Christ is still defending Wright, and praising the Trinity church. Senator Obama comes from the Religious Left, as does Senator Clinton, in a way similar to how President Bush is thought to come from the Religious Right. The fact is that Bush goes to a mainline church affiliated with the Religious Left, but his spiritual mentors have been evangelicals regarded as religiously Right. We don't know how affected Senator McCain has been by any church, but we know that the thinking of his Democratic opponent has been significantly affected by the recently-exposed Religious Left.

 It would be good if the spotlight of the fuss over Obama's religion were turned away from Dr. Wright and toward the United Church of Christ, which he serves. The UCC and other denominations affiliated with the National Council of Churches have long worked behind the scenes for the leftward movement of our nation, and have indoctrinated millions in socialism using the terms of Christianity. This fact cannot be denied, and will be confirmed by anyone who will investigate the situation. Liberal theology preached by liberal clergy in the mainline churches for nearly a century has inspired many zealots in the cause of the leftist politics which have radically changed American government and society. It is not only the Religious Right that has used religion to influence politics. They are the Johnny-come-lately's in that game. The Religious Left has been promoting the other side in the sanctuary for all of our lives, and now may finally be exposed for the unchristian and dangerous thing it is. The campaign of 2008 has done us this favor.

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew 7:15)

Monthly Article
by Dr. Rick Flanders
Currently a Local Church Evangelist
Preaching on the Subject of Revival
Juniata Baptist Church
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
(517) 823-7848

Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data

Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)

Articles published in the;
Sword of the Lord
Baptist Preacher,
Christian View of the News,
Pulpit Helps,
Maranatha Watchman
Church Bus News,
and other national periodicals.

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