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An Open Letter To Glenn Beck: Social Justice And The Gospel

05/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Jim Wallis Christian leader for social change; President and Founder @Sojourners

Dear Glenn,

You first urged Christians to leave churches that preached social justice. Today, you went further, saying that social justice "is a perversion of the gospel." Well, that says it all. Perhaps you don't realize that most Christians believe social, economic, and racial justice are at the heart of the gospel, not a perversion of it. You also engaged in a series of lies and distortions about me personally.

Glenn, could you please dispense with the personal attacks and get to the substance of what you and I are saying about social justice? I don't want to personally attack you, and I hope you will stop slandering me. Instead, let's have a conversation about whether social justice "is a perversion of the Gospel," as you say, or at the heart of the Gospel, as I say.

I know you are used to a monologue on your show and elsewhere, but let's have a dialogue -- civil, reasonable, respectful, moral, and, above all, biblical -- to discuss what you have charged. You asked people to leave their churches, a serious thing, so until we have a public dialogue about this, or until you apologize, I will keep asking people to stop watching your show.

And Glenn, we can't report our pastors to church authorities as you suggest, since our church authorities also believe that social justice is central to the gospel. Pope Benedict XVI and the National Association of Evangelicals would have to turn themselves in -- to themselves. So, because we can't do that, we will turn ourselves in to you, hoping our names will all be put on your backboard. Or, we could just talk about this in a civil manner.