Glenn Beck-‘My time, not Jim’s’

As you may well be aware, I’ve been going off on a tangent concerning Conservative Christianity of the extreme variety and have commented numerous times regarding Glenn Beck’s comments regarding social justice.

Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners, issued an invitation to Glenn Beck to talk about social justice on Friday.

Today, Glenn Beck issued his response.

So Jim, I just wanted to pass this on to you. In my time I will respond — my time, well, kind of like God’s time, might be a day, might be a week to you, I’m not sure. But I’m going to get to it in my time, not your time. So you go ahead and you continue to do your protest thing, and that’s great. I love it. But just know — the hammer is coming, because little do you know, for eight weeks, we’ve been compiling information on you, your cute little organization, and all the other cute little people that are with you. And when the hammer comes, it’s going to be hammering hard and all through the night, over and over…

I’ll bite here, what exactly is this hammer you speak of Mr. Beck? Are you making some kind of threat?

I find it very hard to believe that people actually listen to Beck (sadly enough, my mother is one of them.)

Not much to do but to sit back and watch to see if the proverbial shit will hit the fan.

You can read the full article over Sojourners.

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19 thoughts on “Glenn Beck-‘My time, not Jim’s’

  1. Pingback: Glenn Operates on God’s Time and Threatens Jim Wallis | The Church of Jesus Christ

    • Thanks for the link, but I’m not sure I agree with Mohler here. I can’t exactly put my finger on it right now. (I’m writing this during a 12am feeding). I’ll have to take a look at it in the morning, hopefully with fresh eyes.

    • Charlie,

      Having slept some last night and looking at the article by Mohler with fresh eyes and a cup of coffee, I still have some issues with it. Here’s my biggest issue:

      A closer look at his statements reveals a political context. He made a specific reference to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and to other priests or preachers who would use “social justice” and “economic justice” as “code words.” Is there anything to this?

      Of course there is. Regrettably, there is no shortage of preachers who have traded the Gospel for a platform of political and economic change, most often packaged as a call for social justice.

      Here’s the thing that I see. In my opinion, Mohler is completely ignoring the political aspect of the Prophets. One just needs to look to Amos or Jonah to see the political aspect of the Prophets.

      While I respect Dr. Mohler as a theologian of the church, I have to respectfully disagree with him. If you have another take on it, I’d be more than willing to hear it.

  2. And then there’s this:

    There is more to that story, however. The church is not to adopt a social reform platform as its message, but the faithful church, wherever it is found, is itself a social reform movement precisely because it is populated by redeemed sinners who are called to faithfulness in following Christ. The Gospel is not a message of social salvation, but it does have social implications. (Emphasis mine)

    This might be a case of disagreeing theologies, but the Gospel is a message of social salvation. Salvation history has always been about redeeming a people, not an individual.

    • Redemption is always by God through Christ’s death and resurrection. God continually saves a people. In the Old Testament, that people was Israel. God brought a people out of slavery in Exodus. God continually raised up Judges and Prophets to call Israel into account. In the New Testament, Christ came for a people, the Jews. We are brought into that fold, adopted into the community of the elect through our baptism.

      Basically, it boils down to is a difference in ecclesiology and a different understanding of the sacraments (Baptism and Communion). It’s why I’m a Lutheran and not a Southern Baptist. I have a very high ecclesiology and do hold to the doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, Outside the Church there is no salvation. I don’t buy into the “It’s me and Jesus” line (ie Lone Ranger Christian). I also have a high view of the sacraments, that they are visible signs of God’s grace given to a people (ie the Church).

  3. Hi Craig,
    I’m not seeing anything in your answer or theology that really sets you apart from other Protestants or how that justifies your saying so about yourself and Mohler.
    When God redeemed Israel it is true that He dealt with an entire People under the terms of the Old Covenant. But even the Prophets you esteem realized that there was coming a day when God would establish a New Covenant and that His people would have is law written on their hearts and minds, and that they wouldn’t be following the written law of the theocracy in which religious law was also civil law.

    But I’m trying to understand here what relation you keep drawing from Israel to Christian believers of today.
    How does God redeem ‘a people’ as opposed to ‘people’? Why didn’t Jesus commission the Disciples to go out into the world establishing an economic and judicial form of government rather than commanding them to fulfill His Great Commission? How does one enter the Kingdom of God?

    And finally, which prophets of today are you elevating to OT status? Wright? Or maybe Pat Robertson, who clearly preaches God’s judgment and blessings on nations?

    • And finally, which prophets of today are you elevating to OT status? Wright? Or maybe Pat Robertson, who clearly preaches God’s judgment and blessings on nations? You make an incorrect assumption here, that I believe the gift of prophecy has continued to this day. I don’t.

      How does God redeem ‘a people’ as opposed to ‘people’? The term “a people” refers to a specific group of people, in this case the gathered community where the Word is preach and the sacraments administered.

      Why didn’t Jesus commission the Disciples to go out into the world establishing an economic and judicial form of government rather than commanding them to fulfill His Great Commission? I think that’s a bit of a false dichotomy there. Does the Great Commission necessarily exclude “establishing an economic and judicial form of government?”

      How does one enter the Kingdom of God? By faith alone.

  4. Hi Craig,
    Thanks for indulging my questions so far.
    If they are uninteresting and do not cause you any thought let me know – I don’t want to come off as a troll and one of my least favourite things is Christians who badger their brothers on their own blogs.
    Your latest answers leave me thinking even more that you are on the same page as Mohler and wondering more why you don’t agree with his assessment.

    1) Here’s the thing that I see. In my opinion, Mohler is completely ignoring the political aspect of the Prophets. One just needs to look to Amos or Jonah to see the political aspect of the Prophets.
    You mentioned this a while back but, aside from the fact that Mohler wasn’t ignoring the Prophets we have noticed a couple of other things in relation to this point; the politicized Prophets lived in a theocracy, which we do not, and there no longer are prophets, and Jesus gave us a new and better covenant. Therefore, this point about the Prophets seems not to be germane in any respect.

    2)The term “a people” refers to a specific group of people, in this case the gathered community where the Word is preach and the sacraments administered.I understand this, but how is these people are “redeemed”? In the OT God specifically redeemed Israel, and more often only a refined remnant, by rescuing them from bondage. Is there a people that you believe God is redeeming in such a way today? And if so, what has our preaching a social gospel got to do with this redemption?
    If not, how is He redeeming them other than by redeeming each person?

    3) I think that’s a bit of a false dichotomy there. Does the Great Commission necessarily exclude “establishing an economic and judicial form of government?”Not at all. But there is no Biblical command to do so, and this does not seem necessitated by an exposition of the Word or a preaching of the Gospel. Among all the commands Jesus and the Disciples did teach, they are completely silent on reforming government or imposing personal Biblical mores on non-believers on a political scale.
    So if somebody wants to flee a church that preaches these things that would seem a completely legitimate reaction – especially if they are using the terms “social justice” and “economic justice” as code words for instituting a form of government that he doesn’t agree with.

    4) How does one enter the Kingdom of God? By faith alone.
    And not by observing sacraments?

    5) It’s why I’m a Lutheran and not a Southern Baptist. I have a very high ecclesiology and do hold to the doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, Outside the Church there is no salvation. I don’t buy into the “It’s me and Jesus” line (ie Lone Ranger Christian).
    I’m not a Southern Baptist but I am quite sure they would hold that one cannot be saved outside the Church as well. And I think they, like every other denomination I am aware of, hold a high view of active membership in a local congregation. You don’t think so?

    • Thanks for indulging my questions so far.
      If they are uninteresting and do not cause you any thought let me know – I don’t want to come off as a troll and one of my least favourite things is Christians who badger their brothers on their own blogs.
      Your latest answers leave me thinking even more that you are on the same page as Mohler and wondering more why you don’t agree with his assessment.
      Charlie, I don’t mind answering your questions. In fact, I encourage them. If my answers seem short, chalk it up to being sleep deprived. A six day old will do that to most people. As to your assessment, I won’t dismiss it. There are times that members of different denominations use similar language and talk past each other, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility here.

      Let me make an observation of my own. In your latest reply, you threw out the term “social gospel” as well as stated “So if somebody wants to flee a church that preaches these things that would seem a completely legitimate reaction – especially if they are using the terms “social justice” and “economic justice” as code words for instituting a form of government that he doesn’t agree with.” I think this kind of gets to the heart of the matter, but notice, nowhere have I used the phrase “social gospel.” I think there is a distinction between social justice and social gospel. In my opinion, one can do social justice and not hold to social gospel and I think that’s where a lot of my disagreement with Glenn Beck and Dr. Mohler comes in. Beck definitely equates the two and I believe Dr. Mohler does too. When I was on my seminary internship, I started a feeding program for the homeless in the community. I worked with the government, but did not try to change the government through my feeding program. Nowhere was I trying to institute a form of government. To me, that program is a social justice program and doing social justice is a kind of discipleship.

      I will attempt to answer your questions, but will be at a conference for the next three days.

  5. Thanks Craig,
    Enjoy the conference.

    You’re right, I did “throw out” the term “social gospel” and I did so to nudge you a bit because I can’t tell what you are saying other than you don’t like Beck and you disagree with Mohler. But as to the second I still can’t see why.
    This isn’t really any of my business but I’m trying to see where you stand.

    I worked with the government, but did not try to change the government through my feeding program. Nowhere was I trying to institute a form of government.

    But it seems to me that this is what Beck is talking about – from the short snippets I’ve seen quoted. I don’t watch/listen to him, so I don’t know his full position and haven’t looked hard enough to know if more is available on the internet. But he is obviously a political commentator and not a theologian, so it seems a safe guess that he is talking more politics than theology here.

    To me, that program is a social justice program and doing social justice is a kind of discipleship.

    I would agree here, and I certainly think Mohler would as well.
    He said:

    To assert that a call for social justice is reason for faithful Christians to flee their churches is nonsense, given the Bible’s overwhelming affirmation that justice is one of God’s own foremost concerns.

    But, there is more going on here. Glenn Beck’s statements lacked nuance, fair consideration, and context. It was reckless to use a national media platform to rail against social justice in such a manner, leaving Beck with little defense against a tidal wave of biblical mandates.

    A closer look at his statements reveals a political context. He made a specific reference to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and to other priests or preachers who would use “social justice” and “economic justice” as “code words.” Is there anything to this?

    Of course there is. Regrettably, there is no shortage of preachers who have traded the Gospel for a platform of political and economic change, most often packaged as a call for social justice.

    The last century has seen many churches and denominations embrace the social gospel in some form, trading the Gospel of Christ for a liberal vision of social change, revolution, economic liberation, and, yes, social justice. Liberal Protestantism has largely embraced this agenda as its central message.

    The urgency for any faithful Christian is this — flee any church that for any reason or in any form has abandoned the Gospel of Christ for any other gospel.

    As I read the statements of Glenn Beck, it seems that his primary concern is political.

    The church …, is itself a social reform movement precisely because it is populated by redeemed sinners who are called to faithfulness in following Christ.

    The Gospel is not a message of social salvation, but it does have social implications.

    Faithful Christians can debate the proper and most effective means of organizing the political structure and the economic markets. Bringing all these things into submission to Christ is no easy task, and the Gospel must not be tied to any political system, regime, or platform. Justice is our concern because it is God’s concern, but it is no easy task to know how best to seek justice in this fallen world.


    We have much work to do in this world, but true justice will be achieved only by the consummation of God’s purposes and the perfection of God’s own judgment.

    Until then, the church must preach the Gospel, and Christians must live out its implications. We must resist and reject every false gospel and tell sinners of salvation in Christ. And, knowing that God’s judgment is coming, we must strive to be on the right side of justice.

    Glenn Beck’s statements about social justice demonstrate the limits of our public discourse. The issues raised by his comments and the resultant controversy are worthy of our most careful thinking and most earnest struggle.

    .
    That’s a long extract, sorry, but I think you can see that Mohler would be saying that one ought to do programs like yours (and those I am and all our churches/believers should be involved in) in love of our neighbor and obedience to God. But we ought not preach any Gospel but the one Paul preached and received from our Lord Himself.

    In my opinion, one can do social justice and not hold to social gospel and I think that’s where a lot of my disagreement with Glenn Beck and Dr. Mohler comes in.

    I agree, I’m positive Mohler agrees, and I would even bet Beck agrees.
    Elsewhere you upbraided Beck for saying something about the individual living out the Gospel. I believe this is what he was talking about. Feed the poor and the widows, take in the orphans, be a good steward. This is what we are each to do personally, from our own first fruits. I don’t know Beck from any other head on TV I don’t watch, but I’ll bet that he does these things – in spades. Christians tend to, even though we fall short here like everywhere else.
    And, as an aside, theological conservatives tend to do so more than liberal ones, as do political conservatives more than political liberals – even though the media seems to like to portray the left as the caring end of the spectrum.
    So to say that someone who is against “”a leftist political agenda of big government, liberal social action, economic redistribution, and the confiscation of wealth”” [Mohler characterizing Beck] is then against real social justice because he rails against those who would use the term ‘social justice’ as ‘code words’ for the above, is, IMO, mistaken.

    As Mohler said, there is need for nuance and a closer look at Beck’s statement.

    BTW, speaking of Mohler, do you know of any of these guys {atheist preachers):
    http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/03/18/clergy-who-dont-believe-the-scandal-of-apostate-pastors/

    • You are right, Mohler and I are probably close in our definition of social justice and he would probably agree with most of what I’ve said.

  6. Glenn Beck on social justice.
    http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/37852/

    GLENN: Now, I wasn’t aware that God had politics. I would like to again join all of the liberals in suggesting we have a separation of church and state, that maybe there’s a problem when your preacher stands up and starts telling you who to vote for, how to vote, and what the government should look like.

    Now, I know there are churches that do that. I don’t attend them. I don’t like them. You can do that if you want, but if you want to make sure that God’s politics aren’t America’s politics, you know, that would probably be a good thing to check into those words of those churches. Because I don’t think God has politics. I think he has the truth.


    “The concept is that Christians should not merely give to the poor but also work to correct unjust conditions that keep people poor.” Yes! You’re exactly right. We should as Christians do that. But then there’s that added little step of having the government do it, not you.

    STU: (Laughing). Yeah, what you I mean, the easiest way to boil down what you’re talking about is don’t let your church turn into a political arm.

    GLENN: Yes!

    STU: That’s really controversial.

    GLENN: Your church is there and that’s why I said I don’t care what church you go to. I don’t care. As long as that church is telling you and helping you be a better person, be more honorable, be more honest, be more giving. But once that church starts to preach social and economic justice, especially through the structure of a giant government, well, now that’s something totally different. Now, now you are talking about a church that is getting involved in government itself. We don’t do that. We don’t do that.

    STU: Yeah. I mean, and the easiest way to understand what you were talking about is if you were talking about the poor, your own church obviously, they pointed out there that they do care about caring for the poor. So were you advising people to leave your own church? Were you advising your other parishioners to walk out of your church because you can’t take it? Did you leave your church this week, Glenn?

    GLENN: No, I didn’t.

    STU: Did you leave it?

    GLENN: No, I didn’t.

  7. Someone else seems to get it.
    http://www.redstate.com/dpayton/2010/03/16/social-justice-vs-social-justice-or-why-glenn-beck-didnt-say-what-you-may-think-he-said/

    Beck was talking about churches/denominations for whom one of their driving forces is implementing aid to the poor and oppressed via government force, and seem to think that almost every time Jesus opened His mouth He was speaking economics. (I’ve seen the parable of the sower turned into one where the birds taking away the seed were priests taking temple tithes and tribute, and the thorns choking out the seed were the Roman tax collectors stealing from these humble farmers. Jesus said plainly what He meant, but some can still wrangle an economic message out of it they find more palatable.) The term “social justice” seems to figure prominently in these forms of theology, and Beck was just saying that you should avoid them completely if you see that they do.

    What his critics are doing are quoting Bible verses that show we should help the poor. Thing is, I don’t think Beck would disagree, and it doesn’t appear at all that he was saying he disagreed. What he was saying is that churches where the phrases “social justice” and “economic justice” figure prominently are the ones trying to “spread the wealth around” via legislation and are going to bankrupt us in doing so; a political message. Of the reports so far, only Hannah Siegel, reporting for ABC news, even mentioned this:
    “””Stu Burguiere, executive producer at “The Glenn Beck Radio Program,” sought to clarify Beck’s comments today.

    “Like most Americans, Glenn strongly supports and believes in ’social justice’ when it is defined as ‘good Christian charity,’” he said. “Glenn strongly opposes when Rev. Wright and other leaders use ’social justice’ as a euphemism for their real intention — redistribution of wealth.””””
    So Beck is in favor of the concept of social justice (without the quotes) but against those who use that term to couch ends that he finds immoral.

    But the reactions from critics seem to miss this completely. When Wallis insinuates that Beck is lined up against Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa, or National Council of Churches President Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin says, “Justice is a concept throughout the scriptures”, they’re both completely misrepresenting what Beck actually said.

    Beck does need to clarify, on-air, that he is in favor of the concept of social justice, though, if you fairly read his words, he never once insinuated that he wasn’t in favor of giving to the poor; this clarification would be for those who didn’t realize that the first time. I understand that he did just that recently, though I haven’t heard or read what he said yet.

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