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August 20, 2010

Wallis Admits to Soros Funding

Jim Wallis has admitted that Sojourners has received funding in the past from liberal billionaire George Soros' Open Society Institute.

Last month, Marvin Olasky asked Wallis to admit his affiliations on the left when reported on the money from Soros in World magazine.

George Soros, one of the leading billionaire leftists—he has financed groups promoting abortion, atheism, same-sex marriage, and gargantuan government—bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004. A year later, here's how Jim rebutted a criticism of "religious progressives" for being allied with Soros and MoveOn.org: "I know of no connections to those liberal funds and groups that are as direct as the Religious Right's ties to right-wing funders."

Since then Sojourners has received at least two more grants from Soros organizations. Sojourners revenues have more than tripled—from $1,601,171 in 2001-2002 to $5,283,650 in 2008-2009—as secular leftists have learned to use the religious left to elect Obama and others.

In a Patheos interview, Wallis suggested that Olasky was lying.

“It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for a living. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’t receive money from Soros. Given the financial crisis of nonprofits, maybe Marvin should call Soros and ask him to send us money.

“So, no, we don’t receive money from George Soros. Our books are totally open, always have been. Our money comes from Christians who support us and who read Sojourners. That’s where it comes from. In fact, we’ve had funding blocked, this year and last, by liberal foundations who didn’t like our stance on abortion. Other liberal groups were happy to point out to them that our stance wasn’t kosher on abortion, so our funding was blocked.

“So tell Marvin he should check his facts, and not imitate Glenn Beck.”

Jay Richards of National Review and Olasky responded to Wallis. Here's Olasky again:

Want to see for yourself what someone apparently did not want you to see? Click here to download the PDF, go to page 225, and you’ll see the grant to Sojourners.

You can also see the 2006 grant by downloading the 990-PF for that year and going to page 125. And by the way, look at page 114 of the 990-PF for 2007: another $100,000 grant to Sojourners “to support the Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform campaign.”

Wallis released a statement through a spokesperson to Patheos.

I should have declined to comment until I was able to review the blog post in question and consulted with our staff on the details of our funding over the past several years. Instead, I answered in the spirit of the accusation and did not recall the details of our funding over the decade in question. The spirit of the accusation was that Sojourners is beholden to funders on the political left, which is false. The allegation concerned three grants received over 10 years from the Open Society Institute that made up the tiniest fraction of Sojourners' funding during that decade -- so small that I hadn't remembered them.

CT has asked Sojourners if Wallis has any further response.

Comments

I don't really have any problem at all with Wallis taking Soros money.. The problem comes from accusing a Christian brother of lying without knowing that what you are saying is true.

It is good that he came clean. It is good that he came clean publicly. He does owe Olasky an apology.

Adam,
Having worked for similarly-sized nonprofits for my entire professional life, I find it very hard to believe that the CEO of a $1mil to $5mil organization would have to check to see if they had received a $100,000 grant from a particular foundation. At the nonprofits I've worked at which are this size, the CEO was regularly updated on the progress of large grants, signed cover letters for any application materials, and personally signed thank-you letters to large donors - at minimum. In fact, the CEOs were usually involved in the actual solicitation, by meeting with the donor or the donor's representatives. While it may seem like a relatively small percentage of their revenue, grants of this size make or break the budgets of nonprofits.

This is not "gotcha journalism", why given the small budget of Sojourners did Mr. Wallis not know about the donations? Why was he rude in responding to a classy man like Joel Olasky? The reported episode is good journalisms - showing again that Mr. Wallis and Sojourners have associations and partnerships with groups that express and promote views that are far from the bounds of traditional orthodox chritianity and ought to be viewed as such. Thanks CT for keeping us up todate!

Mr. Wallis,
If the contributions received from Open Society Institute/George Soros are only the "tiniest fraction" of Sojourners funding during that decade (actually 3 sizable donations in the last 6 years) simply write one check for that “tiny” amount and be free of the controversy. Since it is a "tiny" amount your organization won't miss it.
I can provide you with a short list of ministries/not-for-profits that would be greatly blessed by the contribution of this "tiny" amount ($400,000.00 US)--and in the spirit of fairness would promise not to be beholden to you or Sojourners for your generosity.

Sensationalistic journalism? That simply depends upon whose ox is being gored.
It is not just appropriate but mandatory that all Non Profits to be totally open and above board about exactly who is funding them and to whom they are allowing themselves to be held accountable.
Let's face it: Soros would not be funding any organization that was not in agreement with his political philosophy. It seems that Soros is quite pleased with Sojourners political and doctrinal stances.
Sojourner's and Wallis' response to that revelation is telling, isn't it?

Sojourners is a Democrat front group. It is supported by failed DEMOCRAT Congressional Candidate Tony Campolo and the whole Obama managerie. Joel Hunter, Sojourners and the rest would never speak with such vicious verbage as the hate they spew at Christians who actually walk the walk.

What this tells us is that Jim Wallis has sold his soul to political power just as much as members of the religious right have done. For the Christian, following basic standards of Christian behavior trump political power games. Telling the truth, loving fellow Christians and treating them with kindness and respect, blessing our enemies when they curse us, are all to be so basic to our nature that we would rather fail poitically, economically and socially rather than violate them. Jim (and members of the religious right) needs to repent of making politcal power an idol that he puts ahead of his committment to Christ.

Both members of the political left and right think that if they have the right political position that gives them the right to disobey God's Word on the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is basically the same sin as those who claim to be theologically right but who are arrogant and prideful. It justification by right thinking or right politics, not justification by grace. At some point they have got to come to realize that there is no salvation through politics, but only through Christ.

Political power seems to be a very intoxicating drink that turns people who were once sincere Christians into political lackies, who do whatever their puppet masters on the right or left tell them to do. We need Christians in politics that are so Jesus focused they are willing to take stands that are unpopular with their party, just because Jesus asks them to. We need Christians who will continue to do what is right even if that is not what works. We need need Christian in politics who reject the idolatry of pragmatic power in order to follow Jesus and his idealism that calls us to love our neighbor as ourself.

Great post, Paul Johnson. You have summed it all up and not much more can be said. These revelations prove that those who sell their souls to the political left are no better than those who sell their souls to the political right. Sad that politics have become more important to them than the Gospel and they are willing to sin to achieve and maintain political power.

This is not "gotcha journalism" or "sensational reporting", but revealing the truth.

"There's no salvation through politics." okay Paul but you have used this platform for preaching an entirely different issue. The issue isn't really using politics for anything, in my estimation it's about Wallis lying to the media when asked about his "Open Book" non profit donors. The reason the question was asked was not really about politics either, it was about why Wallis pretends to be an Evangelical as he promotes a political far left, non biblical agenda.

This issue, regarding Wallis and his Social Justice Gospel is very serious because his kind of thinking is creeping into the Church undaunted. He is a false teacher and we have been warned of such by Jesus himself. I am very grateful for the journalism here and that the topic was dug into because it reveals not only who is supporting Wallis but how he will twist the truth in an outright lie to accomplish his own agenda. He needs desperately to repent.

I find it amazing that "Christians" would criticize World mag for digging into the sorted support of Sojourners by George Soros. Does one actually believe Wallis had no idea of the funding by the Open Society Institute? To criticize Olasky for asking the question and excusing Wallis for ducking is ludicrous. Oh how far the "Religious Left" will go to excuse their allies behavior!

It is very true that left wing politics do not equal the gospel and that there are many in the church who just dress up liberal politics in evangelical clothes. But it is just as true that right wing politics dont equal the gospel and that many churches dress up conservative politics in evangelical clothes. Jesus is Lord and judge of all and both conservativism and liberialism fall short of the glory of God and deserve damnation. There is no safety except in Jesus alone. Finding errors with the left or right will not earn your way into heaven. We all need to repent of our political pharisaism for conservatism and liberalism are both filthy rags.

When accepting funds, you have to be as pragmatic as Salvation Army founder William Booth, who said there was only one problem with "tainted" money: "T'ain't enough of it."

Because here's the difficulty: in a two-pole political system, both poles are inevitably wrong on some Biblical positions. And the system inevitably draws people toward unbiblical positions according to the pole they've chosen.

As a result, many people define "left-leaning" foundations as "bad" because they might support abortion, etc. At the same time, the same people may consider "right-leaning" foundations "good" that don't support widows and orphans in their distress, etc.

God's given us plenty of guidance in Scripture -- much more than the proof-texts for our chosen party lines that we like to cite. But finding and applying them will require us to think seriously about genuinely biblical ways of conversing politically, acting politically, and serving in the public arena.

What is amazing is how few christians seem to be able to distinguish the work of the Lord, i.e. the Gospel, from their economic political agendas. God wants people to believe in His Son, to repent of their sins and enter His eternal Kingdom through Yeshua. God is (IMHO) almost entirely disinterested in human acheivements unless the be devoted to His Glory. We fail when we presume the will of God to be political, economic, or social justice. God is all about love, mercy, grace and holiness. We are ususlly so full of old stale agendas which border on and enter into legalism that we forget that it is our call as christians to lose our lives, not to gain the world. Yet we seek to gain the world for the oppressed and have them carry us after we give it to them. God does not value human agendas.

It's about time someone busted Sojourners. They won a 1st-place award at the Evangelical Press Association annual conference a few years ago for an article based on David and Bathsheba to argue, basically, that anyone in the military is an incipient rapist.

How that was allowed to be published much less win an EPA award was just beyond me at the time. Seems like maybe EPA also needs a good investigation.

Wrong is wrong, lying to something so obviously easy to verify goes to show how mixed up the administration is. If they can't come clean to something this simple how can we trust them with the rest of the country?

Because it is easy to forget your six digit contributors. Hmmm

I am amused that Wallis' statement is less a repentance, and rather more a return volley. " I answered in the spirit of the accusation..." They made a MEAN accusation, so I gave a MEAN answer. It was THEIR fault.

I am reminded of Adam and Aaron; blameshifters both.

Wow! He really thinks that is a small donation? Do you think he could forward me those annoying donation funds? Since that "tiny donation" didn't even stimulate a single cell in his brain, I am sure he won't mind. I have a wonderful Start-Up (currently me, the wife, and her father) that provides technology service to the average Joe. I can use those pesky "tiny" fund and truely stimulate the economy with fresh new jobs.

How can I sign up for that?

From my 80 year experience, "all liberals are liars but not all liars are liberal!"

I spent the better part of three days with Wallis when he was invited to do a workshop and several speaking engagements at my church. This was before he was rich and famous......

He was CLEARLY a redistributionist, talking about the rights of welfare mothers to have their every wish granted courtesy of you and me. He does not believe people need to be accountable or responsible for their actions. If someone is rich, then he doesn't deserve the money and it should be redistributed to someone Wallis approves of.

His wife who is an Anglican "priest" is just as much radical as is Wallis.

He will not call out Soros and other supporters of death for the unborn. He happily takes their blood money to spread his version of "Christianity."

Oh and is it any wonder the "mainline" churches are bleeding members? Lukewarm faith is hardly an inspiration.

The progressive Left is guilty of Projection.
It's what they do.
They accuse their opposition of lying because that's what they do all the time.

Millions of dollars are too small to remember? I don't buy it. He is a liar, plain and simple.

There goes one more loosing all his credibility. $5M you just overlooked? The majority of the money you receive you didn't know that? May be Wallis should go to a priest for some confession.

It's sad to see how many people are showing how little they know about a topic before they comment on it. The reason this needed to be pointed out is because Jim Wallis is the President of the United State's spiritual advisor, and is a part of the attack against those who tell the truth by telling an outright lie himself when he said,

"It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for a living. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’t receive money from Soros. Given the financial crisis of nonprofits, maybe Marvin should call Soros and ask him to send us money.

So, no, we don’t receive money from George Soros. Our books are totally open, always have been. Our money comes from Christians who support us and who read Sojourners. That’s where it comes from. In fact, we’ve had funding blocked, this year and last, by liberal foundations who didn’t like our stance on abortion. Other liberal groups were happy to point out to them that our stance wasn’t kosher on abortion, so our funding was blocked.

So tell Marvin he should check his facts, and not imitate Glenn Beck."

Jim Wallis was a radically anti-Capitalist/pro-communist activist in the 1970's and now is disguising his radicalism as "social-justice."

The importance of this story is clear when considered in this context. The facts have been checked Jim. You are a liar who will do and say anything to achieve your goal of world communism.

This is just another good example of what's wrong with politics. It's the tip of the iceburg so to speak. Untell we change the way funding is handled, used, and precived we will always have undue influence. This is the hart and soul of the problem you are compremized from the get go. It is impossibable to make an unbias decision, it is only human nature to feel beholdin' even if there are no strings attached. Why is it that thoses that toute their honor and honesty are the least likely to possess thoses same qualities.
Untel we change that we will always have less than. If we were to be transparent and open (our books so to speak are avalibable for every one to see)how much more honesty and honor would we garner. Few if any walk the walk.

Over the years, Wallis has brought light to many Biblical issues that are too oft ignored by US Evangelicals Church as a whole - caring for the poor, alien, orphan, widow, etc. – and I applaud him for that.

But Wallis also has a tendency to be remarkably uncharitable to people on the political right, using language like "right-wing" and "liar" as much as a drunken sailor uses obscenities. Wallis should show a little more love to his brothers and sisters who disagree with him; maybe then he could have less trouble getting his facts straight.

That said, many of the comments on this thread calling Wallis's faith into question and the like make me want to puke. They make Wallis, even in his misinformed bursts of rage, look like a positive choir boy in comparison! Wallis has problems, but some of the nuttiness on the Religious Right well outdoes his antics; no wonder Wallis looses his cool so often!

Jim Wellis is as much a bonified mainstream Christian "spiritual advisor" to Obama as Rasputin was a mainstream medical and spiritual advisor to the Romanoffs in Russia. To me it's crystal clear that with Obama it's all about perception and a projected image that he is and will be anything anyone wants him to be at any given time depending upon how much mileage he can get out of it when in reality it's all just smoke and mirrors because he will stop at nothing for anyone ... for him the ends really do justify the means, always has .... he's not a sell out especially to activists, radicals and yes, Islam also ... in his fathers memory ..he respects that immensely. His actions and statements prove that.

What floors me is these organizations get millions and millions. He can't remember donations that "small"???? Tell you what, send some of those tiny donations my way and I will make better use of them for sure!

Look folks... If you claim to be a Christian, act like it. What does this mean... Wallis is a wolf in sheep's clothing and trying to pull the sheet over your eyes. WAKE UP Christians! Don't let your political views change your Christian beliefs. Don't let the (D)s or (R)s change what you know to be true. Read the Bible. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. -- Proverbs 3:5-6

If John believes that Glenn lies a lot, maybe he can state when and what was said that was a lie. Just to say a person lies is typical of persons that can't prove anything, but are trying to smear someone hoping that it will stick. Facts will see if you know what you are talking about.

the true magic is how people like to believe the lies on the left.

The non-profit Christian organization I worked for absolutely knew EVERY penny we were receiving. We also totally refused to take ANY money or goods or services from any organization or persons that we felt were not aligned with Christ, and/or would call our integrity into question. We simply trusted two things to be true- 1.)Satan knows it is often easiest to enter a ministry through financial dealings, and 2.)God can and will provide all we need in His way and His time.
I am not buying that this man had no idea his organization received these funds. Ridiculous. If true, he is completely incompetant and not focused on Christ. If a lie, he is completely incompetant and not focused on Christ. What more do we need to know?

Let me get this straight. Wallis got money from a man who has financed groups promoting abortion, atheism, same-sex marriage, and gargantuan government—bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004. And Wallis is calling Beck a liar. How can the man live with himself. Perhaps Wallis can stop talking about how he's "Evangelical." Nonsense!!
Good work CT

Even his spiritual adviser lies. Everybody in this administration (Regime)lies. This is without a doubt, the most corrupt administration in my lifetime and I am 70 years old. These people reek of corruption. I have never seen a bigger bunch of liars all congregated in one place. I don't believe anything that comes out of this administration's mouth. We are in deep trouble and better get moving and get this guy and his cronies out of office as soon as possible. This is not about Dems and Repubs anymore.

Mr. Olasky and Glenn Beck have proven themselves to be humble, self-effacing, and able to admit their mistakes. Thank you Mr. Olasky for facing the fire and giving us the truth. My husband and I have followed your career through World Magazine for many years. "By their fruits ye shall know them." Glen Beck has presented his research with humor,
documented facts, and humility. Both men have acquitted themselves honorably. I will not comment on Mr. Wallis. God is his judge.

for a non-american like myself two things are truely amazing:

1) how everything is about money (asking "who paid for this" seems to be more important than actual content)
and

2) how Americans go absolutely haywire when "Religion" and "Politics" are getting to close to each other...

From an international perspective I have to say: who the heck is Olasky, Beck, or Soros I don't know. But Wallis has made a lasting impact on Christians worldwide. I am not saying that his ideas are allways helpful, but at least he has had the courage to put his finger on some sore spots - and maybe that's why some (Christian) people get so agitated (in both ways).

Greetings,
"Moruti" Lutz
(Polokwane, South Africa)

Wallis's influence has become strong in some evangelical circles including, I fear, Cedarville University, where the Director of Bioethics favors "social justice," using a rather distorted Old Testament Jewish misinterpretation of Shalom.

Cedarville allowed Wallis to come to campus and present himself as an angel of light saying, "It's not about right and left, it's about doing what's right." I understand the notion that you need to know what your enemies are saying to combat them, but when Jesus addressed those with whom He disagreed, there was no doubt where He stood and where they stood.

To answer so emphatically in saying he had not received any money suggests he knew what he was talking about. If he didn't keep up with donations he had no right to answer as he did. It is not cristal clear that he lied and know he was lying.

I would always believe and trust Glenn Beck. Not Mr. Wallis anymore.

Wallis is truly a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is like most modern leftists: dishonest, defensive, deflective, accusatory.....anything but transparent and up front. They must hide who they truly are in order to get any attention or credibility. Wallis will be protected by his fellow leftists in the media, but they cannot cover for him indefinitely. The truth may be temporarily derailed and retarded by Wallis and Soros apologists, but, thank God, it will eventually arrive....someone earlier implied that Wallis had done more for the cause of Christ than Marvin Olasky...such ignorance!

For years, Jim Wallis and the Christian left have been bemoaning that conservative Christians are inappropriately tied to political causes, so this revelation about his financial ties to someone like George Soros of all people, is particularly troubling.

Wallis' excuse (after verbally trashing Olasky) is that he didn't "recall" getting this money. Really?We aren't talking about not knowing that he received $25 from some obscure jerk on the internet. He says he doesn't "recall" his own organization getting $200,000 from a polarizing political and international figure like George Soros.

Interesting response by Wallis. First, rip your critics to shreds and question their integrity. Then, when you are proven wrong, don't apologize but continue to deflect (note how he focuses on what he refers to as "the spirit of the accusation" by Olasky - what, an evil spirit??) and then continue make excuses.

Wallis does his activism ‘in his own name’ (not in the name of any church denomination) and ‘on his own dime’ (not from offering plate money). This is how Christian leftist activism should be done – honestly (take note UMC & PCUSA). Wallis should be proud of this, but he should have taken that honesty to the next level. When he received the money from Soros, he should have written on the Sojourners website about it: about how it might not look too good; how he doesn’t’ agree with Soros on a lot of things; but how he is in no position to turn the money away, etc. Hindsight is always 20/20, but this should be a lesson to all of us: certainly we should be truthful in that we should not tell explicit untruths; but let’s take honesty to the next level and be ‘open books’ – being diligent not to conceal anything. We all know this is easier said than done. But Jesus calls us to such lofty goals.

I think the accusation of 'liar!' is flying around a bit too freely here. One impression I got from Wallis' comments is that he uses that pejorative as a lame Ad hominem attack against his critics, rather than answering their arguments. Glenn Beck is a strident critic of the left, not a liar. Beck, a popular conservative entertainer/talking head, is raining on Wallis’ parade and Wallis is throwing a hissy fit. For all the years Wallis has been in politics, one would think he’d developed some thicker skin.

And, rather than playing Wallis’ “liar, liar” game, I think his critics (and I am one) should address the substantive issues: the principle one being that Wallis has conducted an unholy marriage of Christianity and Marxism; and in so doing has subjugated the transcendent truth of the gospel to earthly political goals. It might rightly be said that he has been swayed by an ‘evil’ ideology, but is it overreaching (and unhelpful) to say that Wallis, himself is ‘evil’.

I'd much rather see Christianity Today focus a little more on Great Commission issues instead of politics.

Why, Steve and visitor from South Africa? Politics is part of life and our Messiah, Yeshua recognized that when in righteous anger he chastized, no, excoriated the socio-political religious hypocrites of His day.

In South Africa and many countries in the world, look around, what do you see? Massive Gov't corruption, bribery to obtain anything, lawlwssness, the rape and killing of women and children on a huge scale, not to mention a huge human slave market. Now, ask us again why we need to be so vigilant here with Evil. Yes, E*V*I*L.

The real danger in mixing Christianity and politics is not that you run the risk of a "Christianist" theocracy. It is far more likely that politics will corrupt a person's Christian beliefs by convincing them that the ends of "social justice" justify the means. Christians should participate in politics (in a lawful manner), but have to be careful not to be snared by it.

Case in point: Wallis' non-apology of an apology was an artful dodge, and as slick as anything you will ever see from a political official caught in a fib and seeking to divert attention.

Did Wallis ever apologize to Glenn Beck?

A person's "god" is that being or cause or principle beneath which all else is subordinated. The question is: "Who or what do we Serve?" If we ask how Wallis can "lie" so easily (ie., how he can subordinate truth thusly to his higher principles) we see that this process reveals his real "god." It is obviously NOT the God of the Bible, for the latter linked lying to the satanic. Wallis obviously has no such allergies. He serves another god, one who hates the words/system of the God of the Bible -- namely Exodus 20:16. I wonder ... Who could that be????

Soros' money is worse than tainted, and Jim Wallis is what he accuses others of being: a liar. For the church at large, he is worse, and I am gaining hope that the church can break free of the choke-hold Wallis and his false gospel of guilt and redistribution and Marxism.

So what about those who have had associations with Jim Wallis? Say, someone like the leader of the largest Vineyard Church in Columbus, Ohio...Rich Nathan? He has allowed this progressive teaching (totally unbiblical) from his pulpit? Should he also not step down?
Yes, perhaps he has been duped, or does he share the same twisted belief in "community salvation?" If he was duped...shame on this man for not checking out his guest speakers more closely. If he has the same beliefs...then perhaps it is time for him to step down. In fact...in either condition...he should step down...for not sticking to the Biblical truth that is GOD's WORD.
You remember..."THE WORD"...Nancy Pelosi's favorite word!

Look up both the definitions of "secular humanism" and "open society". Notice how they overlap?