Wednesday, August 24, 2022

In the Image

What happens when an activist pastor starts picking a fight? Well, if he's going to convince you that he's just like Jesus, then he has to start preaching a Jesus that looks just like him. 

Let's go back to the pastor that we were talking about yesterday who was picking fights against political conservatives. It wasn't long after he started making this his platform that this pastor started rewriting Scripture. He said he was "updating" it to what Jesus would say if He lived in our world today. And what this pastor did was to take a well-known passage in Matthew about caring for the poor and protecting the rights of the many, and he filled it with a bunch of political talking points from his own persuasion and put the emphasis not on the act of the Christian, but on the shoulders of the government. 

The whole Scripture became about implementing policies and passing laws and re-structuring society. And this pastor insisted that this is what Jesus would have preached.'s not what Jesus preached. At all.

So the pastor makes the claim that Jesus didn't preach it because Rome was different than America, because the times were different, because we have different relationships with our government now. And further and further and further away we get from the actual words and heart of Jesus because this guy just keeps spinning this story further away until it suits his own needs - the activist mission he has adopted for his platform. 

I would hope that I wouldn't have to explain why it's unlike Christ to be talking about changing the governmental structures of a nation and putting the burden of charity onto the state, but it's also true that this pastor received an outpouring of support for his statement. By the hundreds, social media users started chiming in with "Amen!" and "You preach it, brother!" Which means that not everyone is able to tell the true, historical, Son-of-God Jesus from the fake gospels being preached by activist pastors such as this. 

So let's be clear - Jesus always put the burden of charity on the individual's shoulders. On the Christian. He always preached a Gospel that says that it's your responsibility to do good in this world, not simply to vote for it. It's your responsibility to help your neighbor, not just to point her toward an established program. It's your responsibility to be the hands and feet of God in your community, not to elect leaders who will do it for you. 

The Jesus that this pastor is now preaching is far removed from who Jesus really was, but at this point, He has to be. Because this pastor has picked this fight and staked this claim that he is just like Jesus, that he is more like Jesus than you are if you disagree with him, and now, he has to preach a Jesus that looks like him. Because he has to convince you that this is who Jesus is so that when you look at him, you see Jesus. 

Actually, what he wants is that when you look at Jesus, you see him. 

Do you see how quickly this gets off track? 

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