Article by Gary North of September 28, 2019:
Pope Francis was in Mozambique earlier this month. He was talking with Jesuit priests on September 5. What he said was published on September 26. This is my response.
The Pope was in Africa to promote his view of theology: liberation theology. It argues for wealth redistribution by the state.
Next came a question from Bendito Ngozzo, chaplain of the Santo Inácio Loyola High School: “Some Protestant sects use the promise of wealth and prosperity to make proselytes. The poor become fascinated and hope to become rich by adhering to these sects that use the name of the Gospel. That’s how they leave the Church. What recommendation can you give us so that our evangelization is not proselytism?”
What you say is very important. To start with, we must distinguish carefully between the different groups who are identified as “Protestants.” There are many with whom we can work very well, and who care about serious, open and positive ecumenism. But there are others who only try to proselytize and use a theological vision of prosperity. You were very specific in your question.
Two important articles in Civiltà Cattolica have been published in this regard. I recommend them to you. They were written by Father Spadaro and the Argentinean Presbyterian pastor, Marcelo Figueroa. The first article spoke of the “ecumenism of hatred.” The second was on the “theology of prosperity.” Reading them you will see that there are sects that cannot really be defined as Christian. They preach Christ, yes, but their message is not Christian.
Specifically, he was talking about my father-in-law, but since I have always been the economist, he was talking about me. I followed his footnote. There were links to both articles in the footnote. I clicked on the first one. You can, too. Click here. We read the following:
Pastor Rousas John Rushdoony (1916-2001) is the father of so-called “Christian reconstructionism” (or “dominionist theology”) that had a great influence on the theopolitical vision of Christian fundamentalism. This is the doctrine that feeds political organizations and networks such as the Council for National Policy and the thoughts of their exponents such as Steve Bannon, currently chief strategist at the White House and supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics.
“The first thing we have to do is give a voice to our Churches,” some say. The real meaning of this type of expression is the desire for some influence in the political and parliamentary sphere and in the juridical and educational areas so that public norms can be subjected to religious morals.
Rushdoony’s doctrine maintains a theocratic necessity: submit the state to the Bible with a logic that is no different from the one that inspires Islamic fundamentalism. At heart, the narrative of terror shapes the world-views of jihadists and the new crusaders and is imbibed from wells that are not too far apart. We must not forget that the theopolitics spread by Isis is based on the same cult of an apocalypse that needs to be brought about as soon as possible. So, it is not just accidental that George W. Bush was seen as a “great crusader” by Osama bin Laden.
Rusdoony and I started Christian Reconstruction in the late 1960’s. I was his recruit. Neither of us is remotely apocalyptic. We hold a view of eschatology called postmillennialism, which is anti-apocalyptic. It is in favor of slow, steady work in the fields, helping the poor, starting businesses, starting Christian schools, opposing foreign wars — that sort of thing. Our view has always been this: shrink the state.
The article is a hatchet job. The author clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But that didn’t stop the Pope from recommending the article. The author may not have known about me, but he knows about my position: Rushdoony’s. He has misrepresented this position.
Continue reading here.