Wallis criticises theology of American general
Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community in Washington DC has criticised an American general who likened the war against Islamic militants to a battle against "Satan".
Critics charge that the comments by Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin made in uniform before evangelical Christian audiences, threaten to reinforce Muslim suspicions that American antiterrorism efforts are part of an anti-Islamic crusade.
In an open letter to the general, Wallis suggests that Boykin is ìa product of bad theology and church teaching.î
The letter criticises the general for calling himself a ëwarrior for the kingdom of God,í and points out that most of his service was with the Special Forces and the CIA.
In a slightly humorous but stinging letter Wallis says; ìYou apparently have no doubt that ëAmerica is still a Christian nation,í while other nations ëhave lost their morals, lost their values.í You think ëGeorge Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States,í but that ëHe was appointed by God.í You say, ëHe's in the White House because God put him there.í And maybe you believe God has put you in the new position to which you were just appointed as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.î
He continues; "Because your views sound like a ëChristian jihadí at a time when the United States government is sensitive to offending the Muslim world, you have become a controversy.î
ìYour critics say your private religious views are your own business, but when you speak with your uniform on, you're a spokesperson for the U.S. military and government. We don't need to make the Arab world angrier at us than they already are.î
ìYour theology bears no resemblance to biblical teaching. You utterly confuse the body of Christ with the American nation. The kingdom of God doesn't endorse the principalities and powers of nation-states, armies, and the ideologies of empire; but rather calls them all into question.î
Wallis continues; ìThere is a legitimate issue of church discipline here. When a high-ranking military officer espouses a zealous religious nationalism that claims the name ëChristianí for both his nation and his army, and when he invokes the name of Jesus - not to love our enemies as he instructed, but rather to target them for destruction - the church must discipline that errant brother and name his public statements for what they are, not mere political incorrectness, but idolatry.î