Rosie O’Donnell and Radical Christianity

Scott Whitlock over at has exposed the latest looniness from that insightful social commentator, Rosie O’Donnell. As a new host on the ABC sitcom, I mean, talk show, called
“The View,” she explained her concerns about Christianity very clearly in the September 12 episode.

When co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s stated that radical Islam is behind the 9/11 attacks on our nation, O’Donnell responded that “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.” You can watch the clip of it for yourself here.

This kind of thinking is characteristic of the political and theological left, whose ideology inhibits them from recognizing obvious and vital distinctions the way of Jesus Christ and the way of Mohammed. The prophet taught his followers to kill in order to advance his cause. The Lord Jesus teaches His followers to die to advance His.

One reason that such mischaracterizations as O’Donnell’s are loudly applauded in our day (as her comments were by the studio audience) is because we have so few examples of radical Christianity in the West and particularly in America. American Christianity is far more American than Christian (read the latest TIME cover story, “Does God Want You to Be Rich?” if you want a clear example of this; note: the story has a great quote from the IMonk, Michael Spencer).

If more of us who name the Name of Christ were radically committed to Him and His way, our lives and churches would provide such a radical contrast to radical Islam that any attempt to equate the two would be immeidately recognized as absurd. Yes, there are some examples of such Christianity among us–but they are few and far between.

My wife and I once witnessed to an agnostic whose parents raised him to be a “free thinker.” When I asked him what he understood about Christianity his response showed that he viewed Christians in exclusively political terms. He associated us with hard right Republicans. I am not suggesting that he was right to do so, but I do think that too often we make it too easy for such judgments to be made. Conservative Christian organizations (and even some churches) often look more like political action committees than the joyful cross-bearing, daily-dying, enemy-loving disciples that our Master calls us to be.

If Rosie O’Donnell really cared about America and really understood biblical Christianity, she would long for a revival of the radical version of the latter for the welfare of the former. If God in His grace does grant a “revival of true religion”–meaning a revival of radical, biblical Christianity–the difference between the way of Jesus Christ and Islam, as well as the way of Christ and all forms of civic and cultural Christianity, would become astoundingly apparent.

May our Lord quickly raise up a generation of radical Christians.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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