The political left considers Christianity a terror religion.  They consider Christianity the most violent and evil religion in history, the cause of immeasurable pain and damage to human progress.  The shooting by Dear brought out the worst reasoning of these leftists.

Think Progress, a progressive organization, got in the race quickly. On December 1 they published an article entitled “Yes, The Planned Parenthood Shooter Is A ‘Christian Terrorist’”.  Author Jenkins says:

As investigators scramble to make sense of last week’s tragic mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, new details have emerged about the possible motivations of the alleged gunman: namely, that his actions may have been inspired not only by politics, but also a warped understanding of the Christian faith. [1]

The article goes on to support this position with rumor, falsehood, and innuendo.  The rumor employed is the “baby parts” statement.  Whether it is true or not their appeal to it is as a “reported” statement. It has not been verified.  Think Progress supports their position with a rumor.

They also appeal to the “discredited” reporting of Planned Parenthood human parts marketing.  It’s like they don’t have the courage to watch the unedited videos.  They’re all available.

Dear is treated as a Christian, a representative of Christianity.  Yet Jenkins is fair enough to describe Dear’s beliefs as “bizarre theology” and certainly out of the mainstream.  To draw a connection between mainstream Christian practice and the acts of an individual is dubious at best.

The second publication of concern is from[2] by Libby Anne entitled “Christian Terrorist Robert Dear and the Army of God.”  Anne is not so simplistic in her argument.  She at least keeps the Army of God in proper perspective — it is an outside group and not part of mainstream Christian thought.

Even so both of these pieces share an equal criticism.  Neither is willing to qualify the term “Christian” but takes it as face value.  That is, unqualified use of the term might easily lead the reader to see these groups as mainstream.

That type of presumption is a problem which we have to deal with regularly.  For instance, how many of you have heard someone say that the South was Christian and used Christianity to justify slavery? We have not only heard it but we have heard it leveled against Christians generally, from other parts of the nation, as though that reasoning is mainstream in Christian theology.  Though it is both a silly argument as well as historically debunked[3] it remains none-the-less all too common.

As Christians we should remember that it is not our primary calling to win a culture war.  It is not our calling to get control of government.  Our calling is redemptive — to build the kingdom of God through evangelism.  But not the simplistic evangelism of the revivalists and perhaps not the non-evangelistic proclamation of my reformed friends.  We have the capacity to proclaim and persuade. Part of that is as a “prophetic” voice to government, challenging it to just rulings, just laws, just behaviors.

As Christians we can live and thrive even within the confines of a hostile government.  Of course some actual tolerance is always appreciated.  Yet we have no room for complaining.  Nobody is bleeding, not on any scale, for their faith in the U.S. (Heb 12:4) That’s not to trivialize the hostility but instead to help us keep it in proper perspective.

There is no Christian terrorism.  There are a few cultic problems, some extremes.  The Left has those but generally ignores them.  GreenPeace.  Armstrong.  Bill Ayers.  Unabomber.  Irrational and extreme mindedness is everywhere.  But the functional question would be this: Does Christianity propose this violence?  The answer, as long as Christianity is properly distinct from the state, has almost always been no.  There have been a few exception and answers to those are readily available.  We’ll discuss them in a subsequent post.

It’s the language of political advantage.  This is, after all, an election year.  For the Left to win it will have to build a strong anti-Christian sentiment among the liberal voting base.  As things look their outlook regarding the candidates appears quite pessimistic.  They need a cause and this just might fit the bill.

Addendum: Prayer

For the record, I don’t think prayer works.  Let’s face the reality: Many people treat prayer in a pagan sense, like a fetish, an emotional escape, or (negatively) as cause to blame God for not changing things. Prayer does not stand alone as an activity apart from a spiritual life.  Our prayer lives serve as a parallel to our moral lives.

“If we pray then things will change. They should change. God promised things would change.”  That’s not exactly the case.  It is God who changes things and it is we who talk to Him. We intercede and so forth on behalf of others.  Will we see politicians change because we pray?  Maybe and maybe not.  We trust God that he will move events to further His kingdom and mature His people.

So while the left mocks prayer — that’s of no real concern to us.  The bigger concern is whether or not we are actually praying or just talking about it and making a political show of it.

Just because God didn’t stop the event in San Bernardino does not mean that He did nothing.  Do we really think that if there is a God that there will be no pain or suffering.  Is it even reasonable to think that the wrongs committed by people should be transferred to God — blaming Him for what we do?


[1]  Cited 12/3/2015

[2] Cited 12/3/2015

[3] Noll, Mark, “The Civil War as a Theological Crisis,” The University of North Carolina Press, 2006. As part of this theological excursion Noll covers the global uniqueness of slavery-based theology in the south.  No other Christian group held this position, whether Protestant of Roman.