“Liberal” Kirsten Powers rightfully rips Churches

By Ben Barrack

Kirsten Powers is a liberal but she also has a history of making the conservative argument when would-be controversial stories should be placed front and center by churches because the mainstream media refuses to do so. Consider Kermit Gosnell, the former proprietor of a modern day concentration camp. His trial was reminiscent of Nuremberg. The banality of evil was on full display. It was a story tailor-made for the mainstream media to ignore. If there was an entity that could have – and should have – picked up the baton and forced it to the headlines, it was the churches.

Powers: Nails Churches for ignoring Christian Persecution.

Powers: Nails Churches for ignoring Christian Persecution.

They did not. You know who did? The “liberal” Kirsten Powers at the liberal Daily Beast. The pro-choice liberal did what the pro-life churches would not; she called attention to Gosnell’s Nazistic atrocities. She did what churches had an obligation to do but didn’t. Odds are quite good that churchgoers who even know the name Kermit Gosnell, likely learned it from Powers, not their pastors.

Well, Powers is doing it again. This time she’s going after the churches for their silence in the face of Christian persecution and she’s absolutely right. Christians are being slaughtered all over the Middle East in numbers not seen for centuries. Again, that the mainstream media isn’t covering this horrifying reality is not surprising. Perhaps the silence from the pulpits shouldn’t be either but that only makes it more shameful, especially when a “liberal” pundit is quite correctly lecturing them.

Via Powers at the Daily Beast:

Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.

As Egypt’s Copts have battled the worst attacks on the Christian minority since the 14th century, the bad news for Christians in the region keeps coming. On Sunday, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 85 worshippers at All Saints’ church, which has stood since 1883 in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Christians were also the target of Islamic fanatics in the attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, this week that killed more than 70 people. The Associated Press reported that the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab “confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated Muslims from other people and let the Muslims go free.” The captives were asked questions about Islam. If they couldn’t answer, they were shot.

In Syria, Christians are under attack by Islamist rebels and fear extinction if Bashar al-Assad falls. This month, rebels overran the historic Christian town of Maalula, where many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The AFP reported that a resident of Maalula called her fiancé’s cell and was told by member of the Free Syrian Army that they gave him a chance to convert to Islam and he refused. So they slit his throat. {emphasis mine}

As for reasons why churches don’t speak out, all we can do is speculate because church leaders aren’t all that willing to discuss such glaring weaknesses. When it comes to the human condition, cowardice may be the most rationalized of emotions because it is viewed so dishonorably. It’s so bad that those afflicted with it would rather be viewed as intellectually vacant. It is massaged into arguments that seem to be logical but are not just delusional; they can run counter to the church’s teachings.

European churches have been growing emptier for years. In many cases, these empty churches are being converted into mosques.

Churches in America – like the Republican Party after Mitt Romney snatched defeat from the jaws of victory because he wouldn’t fight – are misreading the facts as to why people are not in the pews. As a consequence, the problem is exacerbated. Sure, there are charismatic pastors who are able to maximize church growth while not being all that controversial but imagine what such pastors could do if they threw caution to the wind.

Whether Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, or non-denominational, it makes no difference. As the thinking goes, the best way to get more people through the doors is to abstain from controversy and to be non-judgmental. Sure, this may get more parishioners, but it can lower the moral standards. After all, the gate is narrow. We all have a pilot light inside us but for it to become a raging flame, controversy is necessary. Jesus was the most controversial man in history. What’s more powerful, a hundred people who are on fire for justice and righteousness or a thousand people who can’t even heat a bowl of soup?

Pastors of diluted churches will point to the story of how Jesus reacted to the prostitute who washed his feet in Luke 7 or Zacchaeus in Luke 19 and say that Jesus welcomed all, even the sinners.

Ah, but what of Matthew 19: 16-22? The otherwise righteous rich man who wanted to retain all of his wealth and possessions while also seeking eternal life. Jesus made him choose and the man chose wrongly.

Are not Pastors, Priests and Bishops who seek greater multitudes and fuller gift buckets in exchange for their own silence on matters of moral outrage and continued 501(c)(3) status choosing wrongly too? The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30) isn’t just about one guy who helped another guy who was left for dead. It was about a lowly Samaritan who did so while “holier” men ignored the injured man.

As a “liberal”, Powers represents a class of people viewed as less righteous than “church-goers”. Yet, it is she who is holding “righteous” churches accountable for not helping their persecuted brethren.

Instead of invoking the passages about the tax collector and the prostitute, how about living Matthew 25: 32-40.

Will churches who highlight the gruesome Kermit Gosnell atrocities or the savage persecution that is taking place in the Middle East lose congregants? Perhaps, but the passions of those who remain would be stirred to acts of righteousness not seen in a long time.

Who knows? Maybe one such church could win over Kirsten Powers.

Imagine the possibilities.


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