Christians on the Left must have a stronger voice | Pierre Ormerod

WWhen Jesus saw the crowd, he went up to the mountain, and after being seated, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak and taught them, without saying: “Blessed are the rich, for your wealth is trickling down and everyone is a winner.

“Happy are those who are full, for it means that you do not deprive us of the rest.

“Happy are you who are laughing now, for you are obviously hardworking, responsible and honest people.”

It would be reductive and misleading to simply describe Jesus as a left-hander. And Marko Attila Hoare wrote earlier this week of the dangers of attributing a particular point of view to a particular political wing. But it’s safe to say that, in terms of the left’s usual famous causes, Jesus is doing pretty well: Nonviolence, support for excluded and foreigners, the redistribution of power and wealth in favor of the destitute and the poor, forgiveness, Taxation, reconciliation, figs.

Yet there is such a thing as the Christian right. Besides, you’ve heard of it. However, you probably haven’t heard of the Christian left, and you probably had no idea that the Christian Socialist Movement existed. And now that you know it exists, here’s something else: it won’t exist next week. He changes his name to Christians of the Left.

Yes, just like senior labor officials learn to pronounce the word without vomiting, the CSM abandons the “socialist”. There is obviously concern that this may have deterred potential supporters. But what if the word socialist was not the problem? What if the word Christian was the problem?

Many who could sympathize with the teachings of Jesus would shy away from anything Christian. Often they would have good reasons to do so. It can mean judgment, ridiculous doctrine, and bad parties. Worse, it can mean bigotry, violence and terrible parties. The Christian Right – embodied in the UK by groups like Christian concern – was so successful in promoting his ideology that you might well think Christians only care about what jewelry they are not allowed to wear, what days they are forced to work, and gay men having heavy gay sex. Christians have often done a great job killing people who disagree with them, which doesn’t really help.

Probably the nicest thing that can be said about “Christian” is that it doesn’t make sense. It somehow describes the beliefs of both Westboro Baptist Church and Desmond Tutu. It’s barely even biblical, only appearing twice in the New Testament (and one of those times just indicates where it was first said). Jesus never used it.

In any case, it seems that Jesus cared less about what people believe than what they do. Sheep and goats are separated because of their actions, not their beliefs. The man who said “no” but did the will of God was favored over his brother, who said and did the opposite, and so on. Those who thought God was happy with them were educated and said that in reality God was happier with people they considered sinners. Labels weren’t his thing.

There is no doubt that the left-wing followers of Jesus need a stronger voice, if only to present an increasingly (understandably) disinterested audience with a more complete picture of the faith. And I wish the Christians of the left good luck; their very existence may cause some spectators to reassess faith. But for left-wing Christians to make the change they want in the world, they will need to work with people who are not Christians and people who hate religion but share their goals – and who would much earlier be called socialists. rather than Christian. .

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