Last month, in a sermon the media described as “fire and thunder,”  the Rev. William Barber, head of the NC NAACP, mounted the pulpit of Zion Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and began to excoriate all things political — to the right.
Barber singled out by name U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R) of South Carolina, arguing, “A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy.”  Barber said that Scott was just a mouthpiece for the Tea Party. The remark received considerable attention, even making the national news.
But it was what Barber said about pastors on the religious right that was largely overlooked. Barber said “[i]ssues such as voting, healthcare, environment and education ‘are moral issues, faith issues.’”
And he also added, “Any profession of faith that doesn’t promote justice and standing against wrong is a form of heresy… Pastors who obsess about topics like prayer, homosexuality and abortion while neglecting justice, poverty, fair play and equality issues ‘are just running their mouths.’” 
Conservative evangelical ministers would certainly agree that the many social issues Barber named are “moral issues, faith issues.” But it is Barber, we believe, who has embraced a heresy.
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