The following is an article that is posted at www.newreformation.org whose founder is definitely off the deep end liberal in my opinion, but I find this article so utterly brimming with the mind blowing truth about how wrong conservative Christians have historically been on social issues in this country that I reposted it here. This should give us all pause to think the next time we think we know what the Bible “clearly says.”
Moral Legalism – by Steve Faulkenberg
The fundamentalist evangelical church is the natural heir of pharisaism. They have a well deserved reputation for being judgemental and moralistic. The conservative protestant evangelicals have always taken what they call a strong stand on issues of right and wrong. They have always stood firmly for Biblical standards as set forth in the Old Testament and the New. They have always defended these standards in the face of social and cultural disintegration. The following are some examples:
- In the founding charter of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant denomination in the United States, just prior to the civil war, the founding fathers took a firm stand in defense of slavery which they believed to be ordained by God and justified through the references to slavery in the scripture (Eph 6: 5-9, Col 3:22-4:1).
- Many conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against women’s suffrage around the turn of the century. They argued that the Bible clearly specifies that women should have no place in the governance of men and that to give women the right to vote would be a clear violation of the laws of God (1 Tim 2:11 – 3:13; 1 Cor 14:33-35).
- In the early decades of this century, conservative evangelicals took a strong stand favoring prohibition. This issue was so important to them that they violated their own doctrine of separation of church and state to lend their full weight to the ratification of the 18th amendment. This too was done based on clear scriptural authority (Rom 14:21, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Eph 5:18), while ignoring scripture to the contrary (1 Tim 5:23, John 2:1-11). In standing for prohibition, the church participated unwittingly in laying the foundations of organized crime in the United States. The structures and alliances which developed during prohibition for distribution of moonshine are now used to distribute drugs. As a result, prohibition may well have been the most socially destructive event in our nations history. (For more on this topic see Sermon Number Nine).
- Conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against allowing divorced individuals full participation in church life. This too was based on strong scriptural authority (Mark 10:1-12, Mat 19:1-12, Luke 16:18). For many years divorced individuals were not asked to teach Sunday School or hold office in the churches.
- Conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against racial integration. Churches which accepted African-Americans as members were removed from fellowship in the local associations and censured in various ways.
In fact, conservative evangelicals have been on the wrong side of every major social issue in the past 150 years. Is it any wonder that the church has lost its place in society as a moral authority. Is it any wonder that evangelical fundamentalists have become a laughing stock. (emphasis added)
The message of Christ is not about right and wrong. In the Bible it was the Pharisees that had right and wrong all figured out. The message of Christ is about loving people, good or bad, right or wrong. We should be following the example of Christ who condemned the Pharisees (who were the great authorities on what was right and what was wrong), but did not condemn the woman taken in adultery, or the Samaritan woman, or Zacchaeus, or a multitude of other sinners He encountered.