Anti-poverty Christian groups are up in arms after popular political commentator Glenn Beck urged Christians to leave their church if it talks about social justice.
Beck, a Mormon, said the word “social justice” is code for communism and Nazism.
“Beck says Christians should leave their social justice churches,” wrote the Rev. Jim Wallis, CEO of the social justice ministry Sojourners, in response to Beck’s comments.
“[S]o I say Christians should leave Glenn Beck,” he added in a commentary posted Wednesday on The Huffington Post.
Wallis said the Bible from beginning to the end is clear that social justice is an “integral part of God’s plan for humanity.”
In his radio and television show last week on Fox News, Beck urged Christian viewers to talk to their pastor or priest about the word social justice if their church uses the term. If the church leader refuses to change the church’s commitment to social justice, then they should leave, Beck continued.
“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church website,” the TV and radio personality said. “If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words.
“Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!” he exclaimed.
Later in the show, Beck held up cards with a hammer and sickle on one and a swastika on the other. He said communism and Nazis both have the same philosophy and in America “social justice” is the code word for both.
“They talked about economic justice, rights of the workers, redistribution of wealth, and surprisingly, democracy,” he said.
Wallis, in response, refuted the controversial claim and highlighted how the Catholic Church, Black churches, Mainline Protestant churches, and an increasing number of evangelical and Pentecostal churches believe that social justice is central to biblical faith.
“I don’t know if Beck is just strange, just trying to be controversial, or just trying to make money,” the long-time anti-poverty activist wrote. “But in any case, what he has said attacks the very heart of our Christian faith, and Christians should no longer watch his show. His show should now be in the same-category as Howard Stern.”
Meanwhile, anti-hunger ministry Bread for the World said it does not usually feel compelled to respond to Beck’s outrageous statements. But it said his recent comments had “gone too far.”
“[W]e say Jesus called us to care for ‘the least of these,’” wrote Jim McDonald, managing director of Bread for the World, in an e-mail to The Christian Post. “No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it is impossible for biblically-literate people to deny the thousands of verses in the Bible about hunger and poverty.”
Sojourners and Bread for the World are calling on Christians to send Glenn Beck a message to protest his comparison of church-based social justice and communism.
Notably, Beck’s religious group, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or the Mormon church, is widely regarded by Christians as either a heretical Christian sect, a cult, or another Abrahamic religion.
Among the Mormon beliefs that are contrary to core Christian doctrines is the rejection of the validity and veracity of the Bible. Mormons believe that the proper translation of what God wants believers to know is found in another source – the Book of Mormon.
Mormons also reject the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed – which are based on the Bible and were agreed upon by the ancient Christian churches as statements that true believers should affirm.