Friday, June 27, 2008

What Would Jesus Steal?

An interesting historical perspective on "progressive" Christianity from Gary North. While using the rhetoric of both mainline protestant and evangelical Christians, progressives ultimately depend NOT on voluntary decisions of mind and heart, progressives must ultimately depend on the police power of the State to enforce their brand of "goodness." They must ironically ask "what would Jesus steal"......and, of course, the answer is Jesus would not use the police power of the State to steal.

In many cases, leading progressive intellectuals at the turn of the twentieth century were former pietists who went to college and then transferred to the political arena, their zeal for making over mankind, as a "salvation by science." And then the Social Gospel movement managed to combine political collectivism and pietist Christianity in the same package. All of these were strongly interwoven elements in the progressive movement.
The Social Gospel movement, which began in the United States in the 1880's, shared an ethical principle with the Progressive movement, which began at the same time and in the same social circles. This ethical principle can be summarized as follows: Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote.