Here’s the latest fundraising letter from Jim Wallis and the folks at Sojourners:
The echoes are reverberating.
After a week of “Tell the Truth” e-mails to share the real stories of health-care reform with media shock jocks, we’re still hearing the echoes of the 100,000-plus letters sent to networks and advertisers. We’re hearing the effects in the media, in Congress, and in our congregations.
The bottom line: What our nation needs is a prophetic voice that delivers strong, resonant, spiritual insight on major social issues.
For many, that voice is Sojourners.
We are then offered “some examples of how our voice transforms”:
- As we shared last week, Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd lauded Sojourners for its role in identifying how scripture emphasizes social justice.
- Last week Jim Wallis was a guest speaker on “The Stephanie Miller Show,” discussing the moral implications of health-care reform. We received this e-mail from a listener who’d never heard of Sojourners before: “We’ve longed to find an organization that walks the path of Christ.”
- A legislative assistant for a senior senator shared recently how she values Sojourners’ work on key political issues. Reading our God’s Politics blog helps her combine her faith and her work.
“Our prophetic advocacy,” they tell us, “is reaching new people every day.”
But some folks aren’t buying it. A few weeks ago, A Lutheran youth pastor named Matt Cleaver wrote “Sojourners Has Lost All Credibility“, a blog post that seems to be making the rounds in the evangelical sub-culture. He’s had enough:
A few years ago I was searching for an alternative to the Religious Right style of Christian politics and came across Jim Wallis as he was doing a media tour promoting his new book God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It. It seemed like every website I went to and every news station I watched had a feature on Jim and his form of politics. It was a breath of fresh air to find an alternative way to be a Christian in America other than being in the tank for the Republican Party.
I never read God’s Politics, but I did sign up for regular emails from Sojourners, the organization that Wallis founded that is committed to “articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world.” At the onset, I appreciated reading regular alternatives and perspectives on the political topics of the day.
I can say that no longer.
Sojourners has lost all creditability in my view. They are obviously in the tank for the Democratic Party and have lost any and all “prophetic distance” with which to be able to critique our culture, church, and politics.
Nothing surprising in all this, of course. I wish I had a nickel for how many times I heard that storyline with regard to Sojourners over the past thirty years or so. But still, one can’t help wondering if Pastor Cleaver might have come to this conclusion a bit sooner had he actually read God’s Politics, or perhaps thought a bit harder about the hubris reflected in the title. But, once again, better late than never!