Jesus, the liberal Democrat
By Michael R. Shannon
web posted October 31, 2011
It's tough enough trying to be a Christian in this secular world without taking misleading doctrinal advice from non–believers who deny the divinity of Christ.
But some Christians obviously can't resist because Hindus, Buddhists, Zen masters, Wiccans, pagans, fire worshipers, polytheists, agnostics, atheists and Unitarians continue their work of trying to get us to follow the "real" teaching of Jesus.
The latest advice comes from the religion columnist for the Washington Post: Lisa Miller. Lisa is a conflicted Jew. The kind who goes to a Reform synagogue and says prayers for Israel, but her bizarre philosophy of moral equivalence leads Miller to believe Israelis are mean to Arabs. So she feels like it's time to redefine the word "Israel," at least for prayer purposes.
Fresh from altering the intent Jewish prayer, Miller turns to occupy Wall Street with helpful advice on how Christians should respond to this civic tantrum.
Lisa knows just how Jesus would have responded, had He spent a few days in Zuccotti Park: "Thus, (H)e might have sympathy for the various causes espoused by the campers (end hydrofracking, tax the rich, support unions, cap executive pay.)"
Poor Jesus, He never gets a break. Plagued by Pharisees during his own time – thrown among parasites today.
Miller's non–divine Jesus is an advocate of what John Eldredge calls "wispy wisdom." Christ becomes non–judgmental, vegan philosopher whose market beliefs are Karl Marx without the aggressive beard and class struggle.
Naturally Miller turns to Bart Ehrman for expert agreement. Ehrman's a favorite of secular, non–believing reporters because he's a former evangelical Christian who lost his faith over typos in the New Testament. Today Ehrman is an agnostic professor of religion and the go–to guy for reporters looking to enlist Jesus in the Socialist International.
Still, even cursory readers of the New Testament know Jesus did not spend a lot of time discussing investment strategy, although Matthew 25: 14–30 comes close.
Theologically it's complicated, but the parable concerns a rich man going on vacation. He gives three of his servants ten, five and one talent of silver and then heads for the beach. When he returns, the master calls the servants to account. The ten–talent and the five–talent men invested and doubled their money. But the one–talent servant buried his for fear of losing it.
The master praised those who doubled their money, but fired the one–talent servant, which sounds to me like a rousing endorsement of capital gains.
If you really read the Bible, it's hard to co–opt the Savior into your earthly political plans without simply inventing theology.
He had plenty of time to confront civil authority, yet Christ focused on religious authority. He didn't discuss the politics with the Centurion or tax rates with Matthew. In fact the only system of government approved by God was that of the judges, and the Jews disliked that so much they demanded a king. Democracy and the consent of the governed are not mentioned in the New Testament because it's not a political science or economics text. The Word is directed at individuals and not banks, corporations, the GOP, Congress or Parliament.
But Miller does real damage when she repeats the big lie of our modern, dissolute age. "The Jesus of history would love them all. What Jesus really said, and what he meant, are the subjects of culture's greatest controversies, but one thing is sure. Jesus gave preferential treatment to society's outcasts."
This half–truth is used to justify homosexuality, shacking up, sex before marriage, out–of–wedlock births and much of the rest of the degeneracy of our age. But it's a lie.
Jesus' ministry was in sharp contrast to that of the Pharisees who weren't interested in people unless they were already members of the club. Jesus did do outreach. His ministry was directed at sinners and He welcomed them. For adulterers, thieves, terrorists, prostitutes, tax collectors, men with anger issues it was come one, come all.
But to remain in His presence you had to be willing to change everything.
He changed the names of His disciples, ordered them to abandon their families, and rebuked them for lack of faith. The prostitute and the fornicator had to lead a moral lives and the thief stopped stealing, to mention but a few.
Yes He reached out without regard to your past or your station in life, but if you were to follow Him, it was under His rules and Christ did not grade on the curve.
That's the truth Miller and other liberal Bible hijackers conveniently overlook.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send a link to this story
Send a link to this story
Get weekly updates about new issues