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Get it Right
Just recently, I was listening to an interview on a political television talk show where the topics of the day were, of course, climate change and the health care plan proposed by the current administration. Hoping to appear as the one holding the higher moral position, a proponent of these two issues pointed their finger at the host and asked, “What would Jesus do?” At hearing this overused and stupid comment for the umpteenth time, I cringed. The misuse of the name and person of Jesus is inexcusable. “What would Jesus do?” is to be expected of someone that is completely ignorant of the JudeoChristian scriptures and its truths. Instead of knowing Him, most people today operate on a concept of what others say He was like. I say was, because today Jesus to most is only an historical figure that lived and died and currently serves only as a moral reference when it comes time to intimidate someone in a conversation where superior morality is at stake. Other than that, He has no relevance in today’s technically sophisticated world, which many believe faces problems and challenges 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 Jesus becomes completely distorted, either by ignorance or design. In the end their documentaries are extremely misleading to anyone who is not familiar with the scriptures. It is filled with a lot of “maybe” and “probably”. It reminds me of when Jesus confronted the Pharisees, (the political and religious rulers of Israel) who by their corruption of the 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 the blind; it is no different today. It never mentions that He claimed that He had come to reconcile mankind back to God through the forgiveness of our sin and that repentance is essential in this process of establishing a relationship with the Living God through Him. It is a theme mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels and the Epistles. People today, as then, are so ignorant and far from God. They create Him according 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 on contemporary issues? The best answer is simply to look into the scriptures themselves to see firsthand not what He would say or do, but what He actually did say and do. One unfamiliar with his ministry would be surprised to know some of the things Jesus taught. Would you believe that Jesus does not arbitrate in arguments of a personal or political nature? The expectation is that we could arrive at sound decisions by practicing what He actually taught. His teachings are insight given to us to assist us in navigating through life His way. Although there is much written in scripture that He actually said, most of it is ignored, and usually misused. For example, during the mid 1980’s, when the Feed the World campaign was in its heyday, a well known performer was asked what his reason for participating was. He answered that feeding the hungry was everyone’s responsibility and implying a moral directive he said, “After all, Jesus turned stone into
bread.” The truth be known, Jesus was tempted by Satan to turn stone into bread in order to coax him into ending a fast, to which Jesus replied, “It is written, that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. Bottom line, Jesus refused to turn stone into bread. Our challenge is to know the scriptures well enough to be able to confidently apply His teachings and commandments into any situation before us. In the gospel of Luke, in chapter 12, verses 13 and 14, a man asked Jesus to intercede on his behalf and to tell his older brother to share the family inheritance with him. Jesus’ response to the man was, “Who made me judge or arbiter over you?” When people are at odds with each other and then assume that Jesus would actually take one side over the other in their personal matters, they are seriously mistaken. There is always a selfish interest involved and furthermore, that is not why He came into this world. His mission was much more magnificent than that. Never the less, there are lessons to glean from in the scriptures where Jesus offers sufficient information for us to draw on concerning events in our lives. Take the concept of the redistribution of wealth, for example. The proponents of this concept always make a moral case of it and claim to own the moral high ground saying they possess more compassion than those who oppose it. Their charges of racism and a lack of compassion towards the poor is common Page Two 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 the redistribution of wealth once when it was presented to Him. What he had to say may surprise you. In the Gospel of John, in the 12th chapter, verses 1 through 8, a woman by the name of Mary was anointing the feet of Jesus with a very expensive perfume which was worth about a year’s wages. The disciples of Jesus were present, including Judas Iscariot, who later would betray Jesus. Upon witnessing this, Judas voiced his objection insinuating that the perfume was being used in a selfish manner when it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus knew his true intent. Judas, being the keeper of the money for the group, would often help himself to whatever he wanted from the group funds. His attempt to appear pious and concerned for the poor was merely a way to cloak his greed with a false sense of compassion. A closer look reveals that elements of the current health care debate are present in the lesson of the story. To begin with, Judas inferred that he knew better than Mary (who owned the perfume), how best to use her personal property. He obviously felt that it should be confiscated and sold. I say confiscated, since it would be impractical to pay full value for it only to resell it. It would have been easy to intimidate this lady into surrendering her perfume because of the public favor that Jesus and His disciples enjoyed among the believers. Judas also hoped to deceive the others into believing that his was the morally correct position; keep in mind that Judas easily blended in with Jesus
and the other disciples, thus capitalizing on their popularity with the every day people. He was in fact a corrupt liar and thief. Jesus rebuked him by telling him that she had done the right thing and said to Judas, “You will always have the poor among you to help whenever you want, but you will not always have me”. Today we see the same dynamics at work in the proponents of the concept of the redistribution of wealth. As in every issue they create, they claim to be concerned only with the welfare of the less fortunate (aka the poor). They, in their arrogance, claim to know better how to spend the wealth of those who actually earned it. They accuse those who disagree with them of having no compassion towards the poor, and their solution to every problem is to create confiscatory tax policies in order to steal the wealth of those who earned it, only to use it to secure power for themselves. Like Judas, they attempt to cloak their greed in piety. In their own eyes, theirs is always the morally higher position, when in fact they, like their predecessor, Judas, are also corrupt thieves. In support of my argument, it doesn’t surprise me at all that so many of the people nominated by this current President to serve in his administration are guilty of tax evasion and yet the silence of the compassionate ones is deafening. It seems that if their compassion for the poor were genuine and they were as magnanimous as they would have us believe, they would be eager to contribute their honest share so as not to short change the needy. Although they would never admit it, they seem to prove the argument of proponents of small government whose complaint is that we are overtaxed and that repulsion to over taxation is an outworking of our instinctive passion for freedom. Believe it or not, the desire to be free is a passion instilled in us by God. It is what has driven mankind to fight and die for freedom throughout history. It also prompts the conscience of many to 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 a practical application. Because of their ignorance of the truth, they become impressed with themselves thinking they are shrewd, but they repeat the mistake of Judas by not knowing the true nature of Jesus or the scriptures that He inspired. They don’t know that the scriptures teach that if a man is lazy and unwilling to work, he should not eat. They don’t know that the scriptures admonish thieves to stop stealing and to work so that they will always have something to share with others. They don’t know that 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, at different parts of the day, hired men to work his fields and that they all unknowingly agreed to work for the same wage. When the men that were hired in the morning learned at the end of the day they were being paid 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 no right to complain, saying that he had kept his agreement with them that it was his money and that he was free to use it any way he wanted. Page Three
I wish that they would be honest about their intentions and just come out and say that they want to be our dictators, but I understand why they can’t do that. If they did, they would be laughed out of town on a slow boat to Europe. Instead they practice deceit, insult our intelligence and they chronically lie. But like Judas, they underestimate the ability of others to discern their intent. When the Lord Jesus Christ taught generosity, it was for us as individuals to practice on a one on one. It was not a command given to the governments of the world that they should dictate the amounts and the causes we are to fund. We are to live our lives, for which we will all give an account, in a manner consistent with the Holy Scriptures, which for purposes of this argument, emphasize personal responsibility. It would be good to note that anyone misrepresenting the person of Jesus should take into consideration that there is a serious consequence for misrepresenting Him to others. It is one of the more serious sins a pastor or preacher can commit in their station, but it also applies to all of us. The scriptures teach that whoever misleads another or fails to share the truth with them could potentially have the blood of those individuals on their head at the Judgment, if their listeners should they never receive Christ as their Savior as a result of being misled. I can only hope that people unfamiliar with the Bible would look into the Bible and learn of God’s immeasurable love for each of us; that they would learn of the need of salvation which offers a personal relationship with Jesus, and that He actually is alive because He is in essence one facet of God, who is eternal. I would hope that they would see the need for repentance in their own lives and experience the peace He offers. Finally, through proper and consistent study of the scriptures, one would learn to distinguish between the truth from lies. Jesus promised this when He said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” He reinforced His promise when He said, “Whoever the Son sets free is free indeed.” So, don’t fear to exercise and insist on your God-given right to be free, both from sin and corrupt government leaders, and reject the lies of those who would enslave you. God does not require us to surrender sound judgment and to quietly submit to godless leaders.