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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

What was Jesus?

A blogger friend of mine posted the following meme on one of his blogs, directing it at "political conservatives" who also "profess to be Christians". 



And rather than plaster my thoughts all over his blog, I thought I'd post them here.  He reads here, so he'll know I'm not doing it behind his back.

#1- "Jesus was a radical, non-violent revolutionary."  True on the radical, true on the non-violent, but the revolutionary part has become more associated with the political aspects of the term.  Of course the definition does include someone who avows "constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change ".  I guess what bugs me here is WHY this should be conceived as a dig at Christian conservatives.  Are we against change?  Certainly not, when it makes sense and is beneficial.  Witness the Reagan Revolution.  Jesus sought to create a fundamental change that would lead to anyone willing having the ability to be with Him in heaven.  He certainly never said, "Just pass the Bible and we'll find out what's in it later."  The Bolsheviks were in favour of fundamental change as well; some thought the world should accept them non-violently.  75 years later, the fruit of their labors were people that mostly non-violently changed them out fundamentally.

#2- "who hung around with lepers, hookers, and crooks."  Of course they were REPENTENT lepers, hookers, and crooks, who were leaving their old lives and considering them as rubbish.  Again, I wonder what the point of this in the meme was- do liberals have the exclusive on compassion for the dregs of society?  Hmm, let's see.  Who would rather these people be given a chance to WORK for a better life; and who would rather sustain them in their position so that they never strive to be better?  Think about this, how many times did Jesus say, "Here, let me pick you up and carry you around, " and how many times did he say, "Pick up your mat and walk"?

#3- "Wasn't American and didn't speak English".  Overlooking the stupidity of expecting Him to be a citizen of a nation that wouldn't exist for almost 2 millennia and speak a language that wouldn't be heard for about 1,500 years, there is a point to the underlying assertion.  As a Christian, we shouldn't look at an alien (individual) as dirt because of his nationality.  However, in the world of mortal man, a world that Christ told us to be in but not of, you need look no further than what happened to Rome when they no longer could keep "illegal immigrants" out.  You can debate if Rome was worth saving; likewise, you can debate whether it was right for a nation who was able to use economic barriers to rise above the rest of the world to maintain those barriers or to drop them and sink to the "mediocrity" of the rest of the world.

#4- "was anti-wealth".  Not sure where you gather that one at.  Wealth is not a sin of itself.  It is the way it modifies a man's life that brings the problem.  He certainly had no problem being buried in a rich follower's tomb; He likely spent his first three years on earth sojourning in Egypt, living off the gifts of the Magi.  Ask Harry Reid if he's anti-wealth.  I have, but never seem to get an answer.

#5- "was anti-death penalty".  On the basis of rescuing the woman caught in adultery.  But the point of His action wasn't that stoning her was wrong.  Indeed, His Father gave the Law to Moses, and "the Father and I are One."  WHY He acted as he did was that He read the hearts of the men accusing her.  Some of them, she may have slept with, others might have been ones who tried to sleep with her  (or someone like her) and got turned down.  And, of course the main motivation was to try and trip Him up.  This, also, was the point of the writer of the meme (not the poster), as will be seen shortly.

#6- "was anti-public prayer", on the basis of saying, "Do not be like the Pharisees who wear long robes and pray long prayers in public for all to see."  I'd have to say that this section is the closest to hitting a bullseye.  We should pray in private, just us and God.  TO GOD, not for the benefit of sycophants.  But that private prayer can be done anywhere, and worship cannot be restrained to one's bedroom.  The meme writer never bothered to look at 2 Samuel 6:


20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”


So Jesus wasn't anti-PUBLIC prayer.  He was anti-PRETENSE prayer.


#7- "but was never anti-gay".  What, just because the Gospel writers never told the "story of James and Thomas when Jesus caught them in the hayloft?"  Again, Jesus said in Matthew 5:18:

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.


And that Law included that to "lie with a man as with a woman is an abomination," and Paul confirmed that that still held true in SEVERAL places.  Peter himself, the Rock on which Christ would build His church, gave Paul's writings equal weight with the rest of Scripture.  Nice try, try again.  Oh, look, they did:

#8- "Never mentioned abortion or birth control".  Do I really need to mention how He knew us in the womb (many places including Psalm 139;13) or what happened to Onan (Genesis 38)?  Again, once the meme writer really gets into their agenda, their words just don't hold up.


#9-  "Never called the poor lazy".  No, but he did call the lazy lazy (see Matt. 25:26).  The people that conservatives have a problem with, Jesus would have likewise told to "pick up your mat and work!"

#10- "Never justified torture".  Well, there's one I can say is correct.  He endured torture, but didn't condone it.

#11- "Never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes".  No, but in Luke 3:12, he told them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to."  Can we talk about the Cincy IRS office raping the horrible Tea Party?

#12- "Never asked a leper for a co-pay".  Really?  Matthew, Chapter 8:


When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

A co-pay is when you have to do something to gain the insurance benefit you seek.  The leper's co-pay was to present himself according to the Law.  A SWING AND A MISS!


#13- "and was a long-haired, brown skinned, homeless, community organizing, anti-slut-shaming, Middle Eastern Jew."
In order:
- Prove He had long hair.  Paintings by men who weren't alive at the time don't count.

- Race baiting much?  Conservatives want all men of all color to have the benefits derived from being a productive member of society.  Liberals seem happy to keep them in the slave chains of entitlements.

- But He was always productive, lived a worthwhile existence, wasn't a drunkard or an addict, and didn't make $200 a day begging for hand outs at the corner of Coldwater and Wal-Mart.

- Oboy, Obama and Jesus had a job description in common.  Of course Jesus showed the same face to everyone; Obama organized his "fellow African -Americans" in one hand while helping slumlords kick out residents into freezing cold without penalty in the other.  Do a little research before you call someone Messiah, people.

- And I'm sure He would have found something nice to say about Sandra Fluke, too.

- You mean, like the ones Obama wanted to give all their land and security over to the Palestinians?

In conclusion, I hope that my blog friend will realize this is not an attack on him, and he can believe as he likes.  But as for the memes he chooses to promote, I quote Captain America:

"You have your definition of a hero, and I have mine.  But mine involves being a little more aware."

11 comments:

  1. I like what you did here, Chris. You took each line, explained it in detail, without too much opinion just facts. I feel like that's the problem today. Memes just pop up and people just copy and paste. It's no wonder our youth (and even my age) get their news from places like Twitter and Comedy Central. It's fast, easy and takes no thought. Thanks for breaking this down.

    Item number two was what really hit home with me. Jesus loves everyone. He just wants them to truly be sorry for what they've done and accept Him into their heart and they'll be forgiven. Such a simple concept that's easily distorted.

    The case of hearing only what you want to hear and knowing only what you heard.

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    1. Couldn't have said it better myself than your last sentence. Thank you.

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    2. I'm just glad I finally made sense over here! =P

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  2. Jesus loves your friend who posted that meme.

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    1. Jesus loves everyone. Don't think He quite agreed with his point, though.

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  3. I'd like to see you have more discussion in your comments that what you have. Maybe you got a lot of visitors who were stunned speechless.

    I think you really nailed your assessment of this divisive bit of nonsense. You hit every point squarely on the nose like it deserved to be. That meme is just one of those shameful bits of propaganda that folks look at and pass around thinking it's all pc and such.

    In addition to your closing advice to the blogger let me quote from Romans 14:22

    "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves."

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. "Divisive bit of nonsense." Well said! Thank you for the comment... and the verse!

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  4. Chris:
    In the "realm" of SPIRITUAL: GUN-SLINGING 101, remind me to NEVER even attempt to go toe-to-toe with you.

    You hit the TEN-RING on EVERY...SINGLE...COUNT!
    (and I used to teach Sunday School)

    I love the manner in which you provided TEXTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY against those points.
    And you did with it such panache, too.

    I will gladly defer to your knowledge of scripture.
    VERY well done.

    Keep the faith and preach on, brother!

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    1. Yeah, you should tell that to the "yet another Catholic that wants to burn out the heathens" I had the misfortune to meet on FB. I can't for the live of me figure out where they get the recurring idea that the crusades accomplished anything, but to them, we'd all be speaking Arab without 'em.

      Thank you for the compliments. It isn't real hard to upend sound bites with sound reasoning.

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  5. BROTHER MARTIN ~
    I read the meme that your "blogger friend" posted, and I was laughing out loud!

    I skimmed some of your responses, but I already knew how that would go. I knew you'd reply with the same sorts of verses I would use.

    I will say this for you though: You are a better "Christian" man than I am. Because there's no way a person who would post a thing like that would be called "a blogger friend of mine". I lost patience with those folks more than a decade ago, and nowadays, all I'd want to do is smack them down and shame them for the rest of the (logical) world to see.

    As I said (and meant), you're a better Christian man than I am. I simply can't "play nice" anymore. Tried that but it just wasn't in me.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: I recall many years ago being in a record store and at the checkout counter was a sign that said something like: Be A Vegetarian! Be More Like Jesus Was!

    I had to point out to the cash register dude that Jesus was NOT a vegetarian. (Yeah, you know which verse I quoted.) He was really surprised: Wow! Really?

    I didn't want to discombobulate his entire life by also telling him that Jesus is NOT Pro-Choice either.

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    Replies
    1. And if I'd have posted any of this on his site, I'd have been told I was making a personal attack. He's a nice, intelligent guy whom I just don't see eye to eye with on much.

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