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By: Adrian D. Ruiz

By: Adrian D. Ruiz

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Published by: api-26527550 on Dec 26, 2009
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12/25/2009

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Get it Right
By: Adrian D. RuizJust recently, I was listening to an interview on a politicaltelevision talk show where the topics of the day were, of course,climate change and the health care plan proposed by the currentadministration. Hoping to appear as the one holding the higher moralposition, a proponent of these two issues pointed their finger at thehost and asked, “What would Jesus do?” At hearing this overused andstupid comment for the umpteenth time, I cringed. The misuse of thename and person of Jesus is inexcusable. “What would Jesus do?” is tobe expected of someone that is completely ignorant of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and its truths. Instead of knowing Him, mostpeople today operate on a concept of what others say He was like. Isay
was
, because today Jesus to most is only an historical figure thatlived and died and currently serves only as a moral reference when itcomes time to intimidate someone in a conversation where superiormorality is at stake. Other than that, He has no relevance in today’s
technically sophisticated 
world, which many believe faces problems andchallenges that only the sophisticated modern man can hope to solve.Man saving mankind instead of Jesus saving mankind.For example, the pathetic presentation by National Geographic of the“The Real Jesus”, is a good example of how the true personage of Jesusbecomes completely distorted, either by ignorance or design. In theend their documentaries are extremely misleading to anyone who is notfamiliar with the scriptures. It is filled with a lot of “maybe” and“probably”. It reminds me of when Jesus confronted the Pharisees, (thepolitical and religious rulers of Israel) who by their corruption ofthe Mosaic Law misled the people as to the true nature of who God is.In His disgust, He called them blind guides. The blind leading theblind; it is no different today. It never mentions that He claimedthat He had come to reconcile mankind back to God through theforgiveness of our sin and that repentance is essential in this processof establishing a relationship with the Living God through Him. It isa theme mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels and the Epistles. Peopletoday, as then, are so ignorant and far from God. They create Himaccording to their need to justify a political or personal position.They have no clue as to who God is or what He is like.So, what legitimately can be said about what Jesus’ take would be oncontemporary issues? The best answer is simply to look into thescriptures themselves to see firsthand not what He would say or do, butwhat He actually did say and do. One unfamiliar with his ministrywould be surprised to know some of the things Jesus taught. Would youbelieve that Jesus does not arbitrate in arguments of a personal orpolitical nature? The expectation is that we could arrive at sounddecisions by practicing what He actually taught. His teachings areinsight given to us to assist us in navigating through life His way.Although there is much written in scripture that He actually said, mostof it is ignored, and usually misused. For example, during the mid1980’s, when the Feed the World campaign was in its heyday, a wellknown performer was asked what his reason for participating was. Heanswered that feeding the hungry was everyone’s responsibility andimplying a moral directive he said, “After all, Jesus turned stone into
 
bread.” The truth be known, Jesus was tempted by Satan to turn stoneinto bread in order to coax him into ending a fast, to which Jesusreplied, “It is written, that man does not live by bread alone, but byevery word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. Bottom line, Jesusrefused to turn stone into bread.Our challenge is to know the scriptures well enough to be able toconfidently apply His teachings and commandments into any situationbefore us. In the gospel of Luke, in chapter 12, verses 13 and 14, aman asked Jesus to intercede on his behalf and to tell his olderbrother to share the family inheritance with him. Jesus’ response tothe man was, “Who made me judge or arbiter over you?” When people areat odds with each other and then assume that Jesus would actually takeone side over the other in their personal matters, they are seriouslymistaken. There is always a selfish interest involved and furthermore,that is not why He came into this world. His mission was much moremagnificent than that. Never the less, there are lessons to glean fromin the scriptures where Jesus offers sufficient information for us todraw on concerning events in our lives.Take the concept of the redistribution of wealth, for example. Theproponents of this concept always make a moral case of it and claim toown the moral high ground saying they possess more compassion thanthose who oppose it. Their charges of racism and a lack of compassiontowards the poor is common
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rhetoric in the arsenal of liberal propaganda. Often, the question of“What would Jesus do?” manages to work itself into the argument. Well,believe it or not, Jesus actually did reject the concept of theredistribution of wealth once when it was presented to Him.What he had to say may surprise you. In the Gospel of John, in the 12
th
chapter, verses 1 through 8, a woman by the name of Mary was anointingthe feet of Jesus with a very expensive perfume which was worth about ayear’s wages. The disciples of Jesus were present, including JudasIscariot, who later would betray Jesus. Upon witnessing this, Judasvoiced his objection insinuating that the perfume was being used in aselfish manner when it could have been sold and the money given to thepoor. Jesus knew his true intent. Judas, being the keeper of themoney for the group, would often help himself to whatever he wantedfrom the group funds. His attempt to appear pious and concerned forthe poor was merely a way to cloak his greed with a false sense ofcompassion.A closer look reveals that elements of the current health care debateare present in the lesson of the story. To begin with, Judas inferredthat he knew better than Mary (who owned the perfume), how best to useher personal property. He obviously felt that it should be confiscatedand sold. I say confiscated, since it would be impractical to pay fullvalue for it only to resell it. It would have been easy to intimidatethis lady into surrendering her perfume because of the public favorthat Jesus and His disciples enjoyed among the believers. Judas alsohoped to deceive the others into believing that his was the morallycorrect position; keep in mind that Judas easily blended in with Jesus
 
and the other disciples, thus capitalizing on their popularity with theevery day people. He was in fact a corrupt liar and thief. Jesusrebuked him by telling him that she had done the right thing and saidto Judas, “You will always have the poor among you to help whenever youwant, but you will not always have me”.Today we see the same dynamics at work in the proponents of the conceptof the redistribution of wealth. As in every issue they create, theyclaim to be concerned only with the welfare of the less fortunate (akathe poor). They, in their arrogance, claim to know better how tospend the wealth of those who actually earned it. They accuse thosewho disagree with them of having no compassion towards the poor, andtheir solution to every problem is to create confiscatory tax policiesin order to steal the wealth of those who earned it, only to use it tosecure power for themselves. Like Judas, they attempt to cloak theirgreed in piety. In their own eyes, theirs is always the morally higherposition, when in fact they, like their predecessor, Judas, are alsocorrupt thieves. In support of my argument, it doesn’t surprise me atall that so many of the people nominated by this current President toserve in his administration are guilty of tax evasion and yet thesilence of the compassionate ones is deafening. It seems that if theircompassion for the poor were genuine and they were as magnanimous asthey would have us believe, they would be eager to contribute theirhonest share so as not to short change the needy. Although they wouldnever admit it, they seem to prove the argument of proponents of smallgovernment whose complaint is that we are overtaxed and that repulsionto over taxation is an outworking of our instinctive passion forfreedom. Believe it or not, the desire to be free is a passioninstilled in us by God. It is what has driven mankind to fight and diefor freedom throughout history. It also prompts the conscience of manyto repent in order to be set free from the bondage of sin in our lives.Like all wisdom that God imparts, it has both a spiritual and apractical application.Because of their ignorance of the truth, they become impressed withthemselves thinking they are shrewd, but they repeat the mistake ofJudas by not knowing the true nature of Jesus or the scriptures that Heinspired. They don’t know that the scriptures teach that if a man islazy and unwilling to work, he should not eat. They don’t know thatthe scriptures admonish thieves to stop stealing and to work so thatthey will always have something to share with others. They don’t knowthat the scriptures say that a man must provide for his own family.They don’t know that Jesus once told a story of a landowner that, atdifferent parts of the day, hired men to work his fields and that theyall unknowingly agreed to work for the same wage. When the men thatwere hired in the morning learned at the end of the day they were beingpaid the same wage as the ones that were hired in the late afternoon,they complained to the landowner. The land owner told them they had noright to complain, saying that he had kept his agreement with them thatit was his money and that he was free to use it any way he wanted.
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