Progressives, Evangelicals, and the Third Way

Progressives, Evangelicals, and the Third Way

By Brannon S. Howse

One of the honorary chairmen listed on The Response website was Samuel Rodriquez. And according to another website, one for Come Let us Reason, Rodriquez was also part of the “Third Way’s” leadership team that drafted the “agenda” to bring “evangelicals and progressives” together. The report was called, “Come Let us Reason Together: A Fresh Look at Shared Cultural Values Between Evangelicals and Progressives.” 


I wonder if the leadership of the New Religious Right has even heard of the Hegelian Dialectic Process. Do you think they know that as far back as 1953 socialists had infiltrated churches and religious organizations in order to transform America from within? This tactic was taken straight from the teachings of Saul “the Red” Alinsky


Pastors and authors of the Emergent Church sing the praises of socialism. As I explained in Grave Influence, the Emergent Church champions the neo-Marxist call for a utopian society through spiritual evolution where good and evil merge to form a “better” third option. So would you be surprised to discover that the Third Way document which calls for evangelicals and progressives to merge includes “statements of support” by neo-evangelicals, members of the New Religious Right, New Apostolic Reformation, and Emergent Church leaders? The endorsers include: 

Rev. Brian McLaren, author of Everything Must Change;
Johnathan Merritt, Founder, Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative;
Rev. Tony Jones, Author of The New Christians and Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier;
Dr. Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary;
Richard Foster, Author of Celebration of Discipline and other books;
Dr. Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus, Eastern University;
Rev. Samuel Rodriquez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference;
Rev. Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners;
Dr. Ronald Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action;
Rev. Bob Roberts, Pastor, Northwood Church.

Ironically, the Come Let Us Reason Together Governing Agenda website includes statements from NARAL Pro-Choice America and People for the American Way. Concerning NARAL, Wikipedia states: 

…formerly the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, then National Abortion Rights Action League, and later National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, is an organization in the United States that engages in political action to oppose restrictions on abortion and expand access to abortion. NARAL is often used as a short form of the name.


NARAL Pro-Choice America’s statement reads:


[quote] As new leadership emerges in Washington and across the country, we have a unique opportunity to change the tone of the debate over reproductive rights. To that end, Third Way’s proposals are a welcome addition to this process. As our movement for common ground continues to gain steam among Americans across the political spectrum, we are watching with interest to see if anti-choice politicians will put aside their divisive old habits and join us in working for practical, commonsense solutions to help prevent unintended pregnancy. [end quote]


Wikipedia also says this about People for the American Way: “People For the American Way (People For) is a progressive advocacy group in the United States.” The organization’s purpose statement reads:

[quote] Third Way has taken on a daunting challenge in reaching across culture war battle lines to build momentum for policies to move the nation forward. People For the American Way will continue to advocate energetically for full legal equality for LGBT Americans and for women’s right to reproductive choice. Nonetheless, we recognize the significance of broadening evangelical support for these core principles including efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy and prevent job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Just as passionate advocates for religious liberty sometimes disagree on the application of that core constitutional principle to specific policy questions, we know that there will never be unanimity on these difficult questions. But there is great value in conversation that seeks to find shared support for ways to move the nation toward the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity for all. [end quote]


What makes this call to cooperation especially ironic is that People for the American Way operates a website called This site tracks activities of the Religious Right and spent months talking about Governor Perry’s prayer event that was sponsored, supported, and promoted by pro-family and evangelical leaders. Yet the New Religious Right is so non-discerning and non-judgmental about their partnerships with theologically and doctrinally erring groups that they chose as one of their honorary co-chairmen a minister who assisted in developing a report supported by NARAL and People For the American Way, a large progressive organization. 


On almost a weekly basis I am finding more evidence that reveals that the political and theological left and right are converging. Many of the members of the New Religious Right are so undiscerning and so poorly read and informed on the philosophies ruling the day and they are so ignorant of basic biblical doctrine, that they don’t even know they are welcoming a Trojan horse. 


The New Religious Right leaders I have warned are so intellectually challenged that some of them could not even keep up with most basic of terms I used in our conversations. One major New Religious Right leader told me he did not even know what the word pantheism means. This same New Religious Right leader told me he believes that people who do not believe Jesus is the only way can still go to heaven. In another conversation, I asked this New Religious Right leader what his eschatology was in regards to the rapture of the Church. This very public and long-standing member of the New Religious Right had to turn to someone inside his own organization and ask them what he believes as he did not know the answer to my question. 


The Third Way holds a variety of non-biblical positions as revealed in its document entitled “The Governing Agenda,” which states that their goals include “making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees simply based on their sexual orientation.” Although “Come Let Us Reason” calls for an “exemption for faith-based employers,” it is worth wondering how long such an exception would last. What about all the Christian families running their own small businesses? I believe this goal of “making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees simply based on their sexual orientation” will eventually include transgender, transsexual, and other such groups. If the stated goal of Come Let us Reason ever becomes a full-blown reality and your family business hires a man in a suit who shows up the next day in a dress, it would be illegal for you to terminate his employment. 


What must the executives at Home Depot think of many “pro-family” leaders? At one time, pro-family leaders criticized them for embracing the same-sex agenda, and yet some of the same New Religious Right can be observed in projects or initiatives with those who embrace “Come Let us Reason.” Other aspects of the document’s “Governing Agenda” which I find troubling include:


[quote] Prevention policies include grants for sex education (age-appropriate, medically accurate and complete contraceptive information with an abstinence emphasis) and support for teen pregnancy prevention programs, including after school programs and resources to help parents better communicate with teens, and increased access to contraception for low-income women. [end quote]


Do you want to see more tax dollars going into our schools with a mixed message of abstinence along with “complete contraceptive information”? Why then were members of the New Religious Right honoring as a co-chair of The Response Samuel Rodriquez, who was part of the leadership team that composed the Come Let Us Reason Governing Agenda? Rev. Rodriquez reportedly is also an apostle of the New Apostolic Reformation. His name is in the membership directory of the “International Coalition of Apostles.” Rev. Rodriquez is also listed, at the time this book is being written, on the executive committee of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Have you kept up with what this radical organization has been involved with over the past few years? Let me just give you just one example. The NAE is promoting what is called “The Circle of Protection,” which states:


[quote] Funding focused on reducing poverty should not be cut. It should be made as effective as possible, but not cut….National leaders must review and consider tax revenues, military spending, and entitlements in the search for ways to share sacrifice and cut deficits…. [end quote]


In other words, the National Association of Evangelicals wants to continue the failed “war on poverty” in order to redistribute more income of working Americans to the slothful and lazy among us. Where in the Bible—or in the U.S. Constitution—is it the job of the government to fund the poor? 


In 2005, David Noebel wrote a letter to the leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals, warning that the organization (through its publication Toward an Evangelical Public Policy) seemed to be embracing Jim Wallis and his pro-communist agenda. He cautioned, “If the NAE is going to follow the ‘evangelical progressives’ (translation: leftists, socialists, communists, statists, etc.) they will be making the biggest mistake of the 21st century.” Unlike the New Religious Right leaders of today, Dr. Noebel understands that another word for progressive is “socialist.” John Dewey, for example, was the father of progressive education, but he was also an atheist, socialist, and signatory to the 1933 Humanist Manifesto. He also headed the Fabian organization, League for Industrial Democracy.  


This drift toward socialism is certainly welcomed by those with a one-world agenda. The list of federal programs focused on assisting hungry and poor people mentioned on the website of The Circle of Protection include numerous programs that promote the goals of the United Nations and its quest for global governance and sustainable development.


The Circle of Protection website lists Rev. Rodriquez as one of its “primary signatories,” along with Jim Wallis of Sojourners. David Noebel has written an excellent piece on Jim Wallis that you can read in its entirety on our website at, but here is an eye-opening excerpt:


[quote] First, Jim Wallis has had relationships with the communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). 


Second, his “Witness for Peace” was an attempt to defend the Nicaraguan Sandinistas! Wallis, together with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright (Obama’s former pastor of 20 years) “rallied support for the communist Nicaraguan regime and protested actions by the United States which supported the anti-communist Contra rebels” (Family World News, February 2009, p. 7).


Third, Wallis and his Sojourners community of fellow-travelers believe Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua, and the other revolutionary forces “restructuring socialist societies” are the communist paradises the United States needs to emulate in order to establish “social justice.” Writing in the November 1983 issue of Sojourners, Jacob Laksin notes, “Jim Wallis and Jim Rice drafted what would become the charter of leftist activists committed to the proliferation of Communist revolutions in Central America” (Laksin, “Sojourners: History, Activities and Agendas” in, 2005).


The ugly truth is Wallis wishes to see the destruction of the United States as a nation and in its place “a radical nonconformist community” patterned after the progressive, socialist commune he established in Washington, D.C., in 1971 (Laksin, Ibid.). [end quote]


The New Religious Right is fast becoming a company of the confused. Progressives base their liberal social action on theological liberalism. And today’s New Religious Right leaders are becoming theologically liberal or ignorant. Either way, New Religious Right leaders are an easy mark for infiltration. Their philosophical and theological ignorance make them easy dupes for the progressives.


Bear in mind that progressives do not care if the Church in America specifically promotes socialism by name as long as the Church is so weak theologically and doctrinally that it accepts socialism in principle. Ironically, many of the NRR believe they are fighting socialism even as they give credibility and an audience to “evangelical” progressives. Willow Creek Community Church is cozy with Jim Wallis’ Sojourners organization—the senior pastor’s wife is a writer for the organization. 


Evangelical progressives and theological liberals must be laughing at how easy it has been for them to lead today’s New Religious Right leaders around by the nose. Did you ever think the NRR could fall into a trap such as The Response, even after being warned? Do these men not own computers with a search engine? Did they never think of Googling the names of their new comrades before hooking their wagons to theirs? Does the New Religious Right think they will save the country from Obama’s socialism while embracing evangelical progressives? The New Religious Right cannot even save themselves from useful idiot status!    


If today’s pro-family and Christian leaders had taken time to read Grave Influence when it came out in November 2009 and if they had heeded my detailed warning on how socialists were attempting to infiltrate them, they would not be in the mess they are in today. I believe the next generation of pro-family leaders is extremely ignorant when it comes to the worldviews and philosophies of the day, and as a result, it is being taken captive by the philosophies of men that are not according to Christ as warned in Colossians 2:8. 


Evidently some pro-family groups have no problem accepting the policies with which Samuel Rodriguez is associated. On January 19, 2011, Focus on the Family released a press release announcing that they would be working with the organization Rodriguez heads in order “to reach US Hispanics, the nation’s largest and fastest growing demographic, with faith and family help resources tailored specifically for this audience.” In February 2012, Focus on the Family featured Rodriquez for a webcast to churches for a date night. The American Family Association also advertised that Rodriquez would be a featured speaker at an AFA marriage conference in 2012.

Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.