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John Avalon is a political analyst for CNN, and he wrote an opinion piece entitled, “Is there room for a religious left?”
In some ways the article was a bit strange in that its entire focus had to do with political affiliations rather than religious beliefs. At the same time, it was completely predictable that a secularist who operates from a naturalistic worldview, and doesn’t really understand the most basic concepts of the Christian faith, would evaluate things that way. For Avalon, the content of a person’s faith seems to have no significance whatsoever. All that matters is that one claim to be a person of faith – as if all faiths are equally valid.
To illustrate his point, Avalon pointed to President Biden and touted his regular church attendance, the fact that he carries a rosary in his pocket, and sometimes uses religious references in speeches. He uses that as evidence that Biden is a religious man. The fact that he actively promotes abortion, homosexual rights, and other anti-biblical policy positions apparently has no bearing on Avalon’s evaluation. Biden certainly is a religious man, it is just that the religion he follows is not biblical Christianity.
Avalon also used a couple of other examples to support his contention. For one, he pointed to Democrat representative Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Baptist preacher who also supports the values Joe Biden supports, and the liberal Pope Francis. He used these examples as evidence that Christians can have any political position they want and still be firmly in the Christian camp.
The entire purpose of the article is to put both the religious left and religious right on equal footing, and promote a point of view that it is possible for both sides to legitimately compete with each other regarding public policy positions. In fact, Avalon proposes that this kind of debate can elevate the discussion and reunite the nation in a movement to promote “the common good.”
Frankly, Avalon just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t realize that the divide is not merely a political divide with different people simply having differing opinions on certain subjects. For people on the left, everything is political, so this kind of mindset comes quite naturally.
But what is really in play is not merely a political divide between people who have differing political opinions. Rather, it is, literally, a religious war.
Those on the left generally have no idea how deep are the religious roots of their own point of view. What they evaluate as politics, is really a promotion of policies that are rooted in a naturalistic religious tradition. Naturalism is the belief that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists. There is, of course, no empirical backing for this point of view. Those who believe it must do so by faith – it is a religious position. And the values that emerge from it are based purely on relativism. There is no objective basis for their opinions (since there can be no objective moral law giver). They deem their opinions to be right, just because they believe them.
What Avalon is really looking for is to have everyone, both on the right and on the left, adopt a “centrist” point of view. And how can that centrist view come about so that everyone can come to an agreement? It comes about when Christians drop their belief in absolute values and adopt the relativistic moral beliefs that he holds. That way, everyone becomes a centrist.
When you look at what is really being advocated, it actually looks a little silly. “If you will just believe what I believe, we can all get along.”
But Avalon’s viewpoint ignores the fact that objective reality exists. It ignores the fact that there really is a God who has revealed Himself and His ways to mankind. It ignores that fact that the morality that God has revealed to man is Truth, and that ignoring that truth constitutes sin that separates individuals from God.
People cannot simply make up the religious faith that suits their fancy. The answer to Avalon’s question is, “No, there is not room for the religious left!” Their theology is diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Bible. There is no room for compromise on that front.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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