The son of a friend - a classic "troubled teen" - thinks he's a lot smarter than he is. Among other things, in rebelling against his parents, he's also rebelled against the faith they've raised him up in. Like many late-teen rebels, he thinks that he's both clever and always right. And, like many troubled teens, he thinks he's a "man" if he takes on established beliefs and turns them on their heads with clever rhetoric.
Recently, he sent me this (below) as an attempt to "prove" to me that Jesus was a Communist-Liberal, and why being a "Christian Conservative" is an oxymoron. I have to believe he cribbed this from someone else, if only because I can't see him taking the time to research this and put it all together. I could be wrong here, but I don't think so.
In words taken from the movie "Moonstruck," he was trying to be "strong on me," proving to me that my beliefs are built on shifting sands. However, all he did do was prove his own ignorance (and the ignorance of whomever first wrote this for him).
As I wrote to him, "each of your 20 points is equally off-base. None of them make Jesus out to be a statist, which is what Communist-Liberals are. They advocating wielding the state's power (including police power) to force people to do things against their will, things the ruling elite (the Communist-Liberals) think are "the right things to do."
Jesus never advocated turning to awesome power of government for solutions. Instead Jesus always advocated that people should do things themselves. He further advocated that people were to do these good things out of free will, not because they were forced to. Jesus and his teachings are the antithesis of what communists and American liberals stand for - state power forcing "good" (as they see it) on people, instead of inspiring people to reach deep within themselves to do good out of Love - love of God, love of fellow man, love of self.
Below are the so-called 20 reasons why Jesus was a "Communist-Liberal" ... and my answers.
Christian-Conservative is a Oxymoron!Twenty facts supporting why Jesus was a Communist-Liberal:
1. He threw the money changers out of the temple and called them thieves. They were just ordinary businessmen in a laissez-faire economy.
The money changers were making a mockery of the most sacred location on earth - God's holy temple - turning it into a marketplace, and practicing corruption in their transactions (robbing tourists by short-changing them and over-charging them). It was a matter of both respect for God and integrity in commerce. Jesus never had an issue with people who worked to make their living - he expected everyone to do that. But he expected them to do so while respecting God and practicing their faith in their business.
2. He said, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."
Many ignorant people like my young friend assume that Jesus is saying, in effect, that "it's impossible for a rich man to get into heaven." But that's not what Jesus meant at all.
In Jesus' time, there was a small, man-sized portal through the massive stone wall that surrounded Jerusalem - it was called "the eye of the needle." It was INDEED possible to get a camel through there, but it sure wasn't easy. The camel first had be persuaded to kneel down on a low wheeled cart. Then the camel had to be blindfolded so he wouldn't freak out going through what was, in effect, a stone tunnel. Next, a few strong men had to push and pull the cart (and the camel) through the "eye of the needle."
What Jesus is saying is that it is indeed possible for a rich man to get into heaven, but he's going to have to really work at it.
3. He encouraged people to give everything they could, and promised that God would support everyone in need. Just like socialism. Matthew 19:21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me
There are several things wrong with this. First, Jesus was challenging someone to take an act out of love to help others - and that his reward would be in heaven. Socialism doesn't ask - it takes. It (not the individual) decides what each person should have, and where those resources are coming from. Which is nothing like what Jesus was saying.
Beyond that, Jesus was making a specific point to a specific individual, one who prized his wealth above all things. He wasn't saying that everyone had to give up wealth. Instead, he was saying that we have to be ready to let go of the things of this earth that we prize, and focus on spiritual perfection and the rewards of heaven. Some might prize wealth - or beauty - or reputation - or ... fill in the blank. This was another way of saying that man cannot serve two masters. You can have wealth if it doesn't control you - but you cannot let anything of this earth control you at the expense of your love of God.
4. "turn the other cheek"
First, you'd have to be pretty ignorant to think that Communists - who practice pogroms and purges and run gulags and murder millions of their own people (Stalin killed 20 million Russians, and Mao killed maybe 60 million Chinese) - ever advocate turning the other cheek.
Beyond that, as with everything else Jesus taught, he wasn't commanding you do something or suffer the punishment of the state (which is what statists like Communist-Liberals do). He was urging, out of love, to allow others to make mistakes without repeating those mistakes yourself.
5. "love thy enemy"
The answer here is pretty much the same answer as "turn the other cheek." This is not something that Communist-Liberals are inclined to do - they'd rather destroy their enemies than love them. Jesus wanted his followers to focus on love and heaven, not hate and things of this earth. If you hate your enemy (it's easy to do), it takes you away from your love of God. If you love your enemy, in the name of God, that brings you closer to God. Judgments are up to God, not to man.
6. "blessed are the peacemakers"
7. "blessed are the meek"
8. "woe unto ye who are rich"
9. "forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors" -- clearly he would favor bailing out poor people with subprime mortgages.
10. "Give us this day our daily bread" -- what a sense of entitlement to demand handouts!!!
11. "Every mountain shall be made low, every valley shall be exalted" --although this is actually from Isaiah's prophecy about the messiah, it looks like a metaphor for proletarian revolution
12. Some early christians (before 200BC) actually established agricultural communes.
13. Jesus is soft on crime: anybody who believes in his scapegoat-like sacrifice will be forgiven.
14. Jesus loves the poor, the prostitutes, the lepers, etc. And he gave them free healthcare! That's not what Ronald Reagan or John McCain would do.
15. Jesus himself said nothing about or against homosexuality.
16. "and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy father which is in secret" -- clearly Jesus opposes school prayer.
17. Jesus performed the "miracle of the loaves and fish" -- divine government handouts for the poor.
18. "ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened" -- giving the poor a sense of entitlement
19. "Blessed are the merciful"
20. "And if any man will sue thee, and take away thy cloak, let him have thy coat also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away" -- He clearly favors caving in to terrorist demands, and giving the poor everything they want. Pacifist hippie communist!!! So why do people who call themselves "christian conservatives" have nearly opposite views to most of the things in this list?