A progressive liberal 'comes out' as Christian

Religion
by Nick Eicher

Posted on Monday, March 23, 2015, at 4:15 pm

Last week, I talked with John Stonestreet of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview about the “coming out” of liberal writer Ana Marie Cox as a Christian. In a piece posted last month on the website The Daily Beast, Cox, who founded the political blog Wonkette, confessed the reason for her happier disposition these days. 

“I try, everyday, to give my will and my life over to God,” she wrote. “I try to be like Christ. I get down on my knees and pray.”

Cox also made a public prediction that other believers would not accept her confession of faith. She thought that because of her liberal politics, her conversion would not be seen as genuine. In an appearance earlier this month on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, she said that hasn’t been the case.

“The reactions have been incredibly warm for the most part,” Cox said. “So I was proven wrong in a really, really great way, [a] really humbling and terrific way. It’s been quite a week.”

Stonestreet said Cox’s experience reflects how good the church is at welcoming new believers into the fold.

“Even recent history is filled with examples of the church welcoming in sinners. After all, our faith begins by assuming not that I’m good and you’re bad, but that we’re all bad,” Stonestreet said. “As the famous saying goes, the ground is level at the foot of the cross. And I think Ana Marie Cox saw that we want to welcome others into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.”

But the church does not always do a good job instructing believers in how to grow and live their faith. The church needs to better teach how to apply the Christian meta-narrative of creation, fall, restoration, and redemption to everyday life.

“All of these essential gospel understandings need to be applied to areas of work and vocation,” Stonestreet said. He added that Christians should not attack other believers, particularly those new to the faith, for holding opposite positions about political issues.

“Scripture said if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out,” Stonestreet said. “Maybe we need to add if Twitter causes you to sin, get off of it. In cases like this, we hear of a conversion, and this individual says something we disagree with and then we attack them on Twitter, as if there’s not a real individual with real emotions on the other end. So I think all of us need to take a hard look at how we’re communicating our positions and challenging. Maybe [we should be] asking questions, but being gentle and loving while also being truthful.”

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Nick Eicher

Nick lives in St. Louis, loves the Blues (as in the NHL), is executive producer of WORLD Radio, and co-hosts WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickEicher.

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