I’ve been thinking about some contrasts lately…
In Matthew 8:20 Jesus said, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Creflo Dollar, an Atlanta “pastor,” has asked 200,000 people to “sow” $300 or more so his ministry can buy a Gulfstream G650 executive jet. The cost of the plane? A cool 65 million dollars! Wow…
In Luke 19, Jesus comes into Jericho and a short guy named Zaccheus climbed into a tree to get a better look. Zaccheus was a crooked tax collector. The religious leaders were less than happy. “But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:7-10
I once had a pastor’s wife tell me, “People who aren’t Christians scare me, you never know what they will do or say…”
The religious leaders of the day tried to trap Jesus by asking him about paying taxes. Jesus’ response in Matthew 22:18-21, “Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? Do you have a coin? Let me see it.” They handed him a silver piece. “This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”
21 They said, “Caesar.”
“Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”
Christians have decided to flex their political muscle with rallies, protest signs and pressure on leaders. There are Christian voting guides to make sure we get a “Christian” country. When Ted Cruz announced his bid to run for President, he did it at a Christian college. You often hear media people talk about the “Christian Right.” The term “Evangelical Christian” no longer means a set of values and beliefs, it is now a political term that is used derisively in some circles.
A few years ago there was a craze of WWJD bracelets. “What Would Jesus Do?” became a watchword to Christians to remind themselves to ask that simple question, and act accordingly.
I want to start a new bracelet for people that will have “HWJDI” printed on it. The acronym stands for “How Would Jesus Do It?”
Can you see Jesus carrying a picket sign? Did Jesus lash out at the political leaders of his day? When Pilate was threatening him with death, Jesus never once questioned Pilate’s right to carry out the proceedings. Tony Campolo once said that when Christians flex their political muscle they become everything that Jesus wasn’t. What happened to reaching out in love, not judgement? What happened to compassion instead of recrimination? I think Christians may have gotten a little power-mad back in the Moral Majority days, and it has not been good for us.
Make no mistake about it, as an American, I have rights and responsibilities. I should vote my conscience. I should contact my Congressman if I am upset about something. I should do all of that as Jerry Godsey, not The Most Holy Reverend Jerry Godsey. My voice should be that of an American citizen, not a citizen of heaven.
I love 2 Corinthians 10:4 that says, “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” God has given me a cruise missile to change this world, why would I use a picket sign?
Trying to do God’s work God’s way… Jerry