Posted by: Yvonne | July 29, 2010

Lifest, Jim Wallis and Q90

The Wallis/Lifest issue came to my attention when I listened to a Crosstalk radio program back in mid-June.  This interview was not specifically about Lifest but it was mentioned during the show which focused mostly on Wallis’ beliefs compared to orthodox Christianity. 

On the July 19th edition of Crosstalk,  Ingrid discussed the “attacks of Jim Wallis against those who questioned his political and religious views in the days leading up to his appearance at the Lifest Christian music festival.”  Apparently, the radio station, Q90, pulled their sponsorship of Lifest due to Wallis’ involvement (see the official response here) and Wallis responded by writing his version of the facts on his blog.   

Since then, an employee of Q90 has contacted us to clarify some of the events concerning their dealings with Wallis.  Here’s Dave Fiorazo comments: 

Defending False Statements by Jim Wallis against Q90 FM; The Battle Continues Dave Fiorazo, July 16, 2010

I really wanted this to go away but then the Appleton, Wisconsin Post Crescent decided to print my week-old comment today, and Sojourners Jim Wallis posted a blog attacking my employer, Q90 FM. Can I tell you an insider secret? My General Manager had no idea that there was a rift between Glenn Beck and Jim Wallis a few months ago, when Lifest invited the liberal theologian to be a keynote speaker. (This will make sense to you in a minute, I promise!) Christian friends and many listeners to the radio station I work at have been asking for more details on why we disagreed with Jim Wallis speaking at Lifest. (Q90 board of directors statement here; http://www.q90fm.com/lifest2010.asp) I have a fresh, vibrant respect for my superiors because of their decision and the way they handled the entire process, which you’d never know from reading Wallis’s new blog. I can’t tell you how many times people have thanked my GM and the board for using discernment, sensitivity, professionalism, and class – their words – in dealing with this sad situation from the beginning. So by today, I was thinking that we wouldn’t be mentioning Jim Wallis as much anymore and we’d be focusing on the beliefs and doctrines of the social justice and emergent church movements. I was wrong. He just wrote a new ‘God’s Politics’ blog called, “Controversy in Wisconsin”, attacking my boss, the integrity and ministry of Q90 FM.

If you’re hearing about this for the first time, after reading his blog about the Wisconsin trip, you might think that those so-called Christians who treated Jim Wallis and Bob Lenz the way they did were pretty insensitive, hateful, and tactless. But the fact is that I work for Q90 FM and I don’t know who he’s talking about! Wallis just bashed my boss and board of directors but I’m not telling you what to think. Decide for yourself after reading all the facts. I’m not saying he’s a bad person, he’s simply wrong. His blog falsely leads people to believe that it was Q90 who circulated attacks against him, “suggesting that I was a communist, a deceiver, and…an avowed Marxist…” Wallis writes, “Does that sound anything like the language of a certain Fox News talk show host who has recently come after “social justice” Christians and me in particular? Oh no, they insisted, this had nothing to do with Glenn Beck.” (Told you this would make sense) Now, if you read the official statement from Q90, you’ll realize that these things were never said. Insider secret #2 is that we never once mentioned Jim Wallis on the air! I’m probably the most outspoken of our entire staff, and in my personal blog you can read my response to the Lifest speech by Jim Wallis and comments from two readers of an Appleton, Wisconsin Post Crescent article, here; (http://www.facebook.com/notes/dave-fiorazo/jim-wallis-and-the-confusing-controversy/402689322729)

Wallis suggested that Q90 started ‘the firestorm’ but I personally believe that it was the decision to bring Wallis to Lifest that began the whole debate. He also said we threatened to protest and that we intimidated Bob Lenz. Insider secret #3; my boss and Lenz have been good friends for years. I want to point out that though it’s true that a letter was sent to churches attempting to alert Pastors about Wallis coming to Lifest, Q90 had absolutely nothing to do with that letter. Zero, nada, zilch, goose egg. We did not make anything up, issue threats, or go after Bob Lenz personally as stated in the blog. Wallis added that we (or the churches) were spreading lies, stirring up trouble, and that when he generously reached out to my boss in a phone call, he refused dialogue with Wallis. To be clear, insider secret #4 is that they had two very long phone conversations. Wallis writes, “But he refused the dialogue unless the station’s demands for my cancellation were met (sounds like Glenn Beck again).” Seriously? If we have to be compared to anyone, I’m glad it’s Glenn Beck and not Keith Olberman or Joy Behar. It gets better! Wallis flat out lies about Q90 and twists the actual series of events. “This was getting quite silly. But when the wild and fabricated charges they began with all fell flat in face of the facts, they were left with not much of an argument. But they stuck with it and pulled out of the festival.” I think I get it; the conservative Christian radio station taking a stubborn stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the integrity of God’s word ‘fabricated charges’ and failed in the end.
Check please!

You might think I’m making this all this up so here’s the blog link on Sojourners; (http://blog.sojo.net/2010/07/15/controversy-in-wisconsin) Please compare the tone and attitude of Jim Wallis’ blog to the Q90 FM board of directors statement. I’d love to know what you think. To the uninformed, we’re just a bunch of foolish Christians who are overly concerned about false doctrines, teachers, and others who could potentially lead people away from Jesus Christ through deceptive philosophies, environmental, or social agendas. This an attractive and deceptive movement in the church that is dangerous. Wallis then speaks for the majority and triumphantly concludes, “Most seemed to feel that the controversy and protest looked pretty foolish and unnecessary after the event had taken place. Many thanked Bob for standing firm against some pretty nasty attacks and pressure. But if the attackers had succeeded with intimidation to cancel a speaker they didn’t agree with, there is no doubt that the tactics of distortion and intimidation would have been repeated in other places.” I’ll be right back, I have to go to the garage and look for a few shovels. I guess there were a few “local pastors who were very sorry about all this and expressed hope that I would still come back to Wisconsin (I assured them that I loved their state and would love to come back).” I’m relieved, and I hope there will be a fair debate next time instead of a one-sided platform.

Let me emphasize that this is NOT about Q90 FM and Lifest. So what now? Do we just forget about it and pretend it was a glitch in our Summer, or do we research the facts and dig even deeper into Biblical truths? Let’s all read Ephesians 6 again and get that spiritual armor on, grab a sword and take a stand! I used to have a T-shirt that said, “Life is short. Pray hard.” It’s time to get to work, friends. Some Christians may think we’re on a comfortable Cruise ship, but one day they’ll wake up and realize we’re in a Battle ship.

Another detailed article about Sojourners; http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=4545

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=155917 – The Apostasy of Social Justice Christians

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1833

On Facebook? Check out the comments so far: http://www.facebook.com/dave.fiorazo#!/notes/dave-fiorazo/defending-false-statements-by-jim-wallis-against-q90-fm-the-battle-continues/404316107729

It would seem that Wallis & Fiorazo have two different accounts of this incident.  Considering the tone of Wallis’ blog post compared to the grace shown by the Q90 response, I tend to lean toward believing Q90 and Dave more so than Wallis.

Mark Tooley, from IRD, seems to agree with me.  In “The Pearly Gatecrasher”, Tooley shares his thoughts on this matter at FrontPageMag:

As recounted by my assistant Connor Ewing, who attended reports (see his onsite report), Lifest organizer Bob Lenz effusively introduced Wallis to the crowd. “I’ve read his books, I’ve studied with him, I’ve been on retreats with him,” he gushed. “This is my brother in Christ. I believe he has a message from God for the church today.”  Wallis pandered to his crowd by hailing them as a “new generation” who are going to “save the church and the world” from the consequences of “bad religious fundraisers,…television preachers,…pedophile priests…[and] White House theology” (presumably referring to the Bush Administration and not to Wallis’s closer partners currently in the White House).

Wallis tried to sound evangelistic by recounting his return to the Christian faith by way of the civil rights movement.  “I had been reading – I heard somebody around here thought I was an avowed Marxist. Well I’m not. But I was reading them when I was a student – Karl Marx, Ho Chi Min, Che Gueverra. But then I began to read the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus said, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’”  Citing the Gospel’s command to care for the poor, Wallis exulted:  “That’s how He knows whether we love Him or not. That was more radical than Karl Marx and Che Gueverra and Ho Chi Min. And I signed up to be a follower of Jesus.”

Almost always Wallis describes being a “follower of Jesus” in nearly exclusively political terms, when most Christians have a more transcendent understanding of their faith.  Wallis had a good time denying supposed allegations of Marxism, without mentioning that he was an enthusiast for the Sandinistas and other Marxist “liberation” movements during the final years of the Cold War. Whatever his current politics or faith, Wallis is indisputably a statist, who views religious groups, especially evangelicals, as potentially ripe political followers for his promise of government as panacea.

According to Wallis, the protesters against his presence at Lifest were widely exposed as “pretty foolish,” thanks to Wallis’s own smash performance.  He recounted that one Wisconsin newspaper quoted him, urging the replacement of “the gospel of Glenn, Rush, Sean, and Bill with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”  Perhaps Wallis would have looked a little less partisan had he not made conservative commentators the exclusive focus of his unfavorable comparison with the Gospel writers.  But in truth, Wallis does ultimately distill the Gospel into a message primarily about political power and coercive redistribution.  Supposedly his religious veneer to the Left’s old statist power-grab is a deliverance from the “old arguments and divisions in the church,” as Wallis claimed.

Read the rest here.

The delusion is becoming apparent and “evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”  (2 Tim. 3:13)

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Responses

  1. http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/InJesus/Ichabod.shtml

    The issue is not the spiritual immaturity of Wallis that was blatantly exulted on the Lifest stage, nor even his non biblical agenda of redistributing wealth and corporate salvation opposed to individual salvation, but the very serious issue is the headship of Jesus Christ over His Church. Wallis was obviously acting outside the Lord’s headship both in his ideology and his comments about the events afterward, but Life Promotions, I believe, has also been exposed as well for walking out from under the Headship of Christ. Not in hosting Wallis only, but other Emergent Church preachers as well. It would behoove the Church to wake up, repent, and move to the full maturity offered in Christ~fully secured under His headship alone.

  2. When is your next post? Really enjoy and benefit from your blog.

    • John,

      Thank you for your kind words and I praise the Lord that you have benefitted from our posts.

      I think I can speak for both Judy and myself in saying that we’d love to have more time to blog; however, we both have families (and gardens) whose care must take a priority.

      Hope to get something up soon!

      Blessings!
      Yvonne

  3. Hey guys. Jim Wallis has just recently posted an article on the Insider Movement on his sojourners wall. The Insider Movement is the false teaching where Muslims are told to remain inside of Islam and follow Jesus. Lots more. It’s interesting how Christ the Rock Community Church hosted a C5/ Insider Movement conference this past August and then Bob Lenz who attends Church there hosts speakers of the same ilk. Something very serious is amiss.

    • Joie,

      Would you provide a link, please?

      Isn’t Bob Lenz the guy who introduced Wallis at the Lifest event?

      Thanks for the info.

      ~Yvonne

  4. Yes it was Bob Lenz who introduced Wallis and actually said that Wallis played a part in forming the man he was today. Ugh. here is the link:

    http://blog.sojo.net/2010/08/10/can-muslims-follow-the-biblical-christ-and-still-be-muslim/

    The C5 stuff is very dangerous. See the web site newsletters about it all at http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com


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