Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Young evangelicals high on social issues, but lean toward socialism

A research and educational institute has found young evangelicals are moving to the left politically -- many of their convictions are supporting more liberal public policies. A number of books and reports find evangelicals under the age of 30 have a strong desire to help the poor, and are concerned about the environment as well as other social justice issues.

Ryan Messmore of The Heritage Foundation tells OneNewsNow, "What we found is that a lot of young evangelicals have a good passion about caring for people in need and we want to say 'Amen' to that passion. The problem is that that passion is often directed in bad policy initiatives and approaches."

Messmore says many young evangelicals interpret God's call to help those in need as providing more government assistance and redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor.

"What we're trying to argue is that if you really care about poverty, if you really understand what poverty is, it's not just material in nature," he says. "It's not just a lack of money or finances that the government can come along and meet. Given who we are as human beings, we have a wide range of needs -- and a true approach to helping people in need takes into account all of those approaches."

The Heritage Foundation attempts to help young evangelicals see that families, churches, and local neighborhood initiatives are more effective in addressing the real needs of the people rather than the government.

Socialism 'unbiblical'
Historian James Rose says socialism is an "unbiblical" idea of man and government that has become very popular with many Americans.

Rose, founder of the American Christian History Institute, says many Americans are welcoming European-type socialism as a model for the United States. Rose points to the biblical story of Israel when the nation cried out for a king to rule over them instead of God. When God responded to their request, he told them their king would "take" from them all that they had -- an early example of socialism, Rose suggests. (Listen to audio report)

"Socialism is a false, deceitful view of man and government. It seeks to do things to people while it undermines individual responsibility and private capital," he explains.

"This view of man and government appears to offer safety and security and to supply our needs and wants, [but in fact] it makes the individual more and more dependent on public policy and less and less able to be independent and self-governing."

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