What Jesus Never Said…


To look at the Evangelical church, (of which I have been a part of close to 30 years), you would think that Jesus had a lot to say about modern day social and political issues. So lets put some words in Jesus’ mouth according to the “gospel” of American evangelicalism.

“My Father in Heaven wants you to be rich, and healed, and the head and not the tail.”
“Truly, truly I say to you that a woman who uses birth control is worse than a trollope, she is a slut. Make sure your taxes don’t give her free birth control.”
“if one is poor, or needy or is a single parent, do not encourage them, by giving them anything. They made their bed, thus they need to layeth in it.”
“If thou be my follower, thou must protest and picket abortion clinics. Telleth them they are damned to hell if they do not repent.”
“Likewise, followeth the lead of my prophets that tell sodomites that they are hated by My Father. Maketh sure that they feel condemned and shamed. Do not alloweth any law to protect even the youngest of them. Bullying laws are just a plan of the enemy to spread the ho-mo-sex-ual agenda.”
“America is the New Israel. I care more about America than any other country, therefore maketh fundamentalism the religion of America.”
“If thou dost not vote, or if thou voteth for anyone but a tea party republican, thou commitest a great abomination.”
Is this the Jesus of the Bible, the One that so many “Bible believers” claim to follow? In Bible I read Jesus says the following…

“If someone strikes you on one cheek offer him the other cheek as well.”
“If someone forces you to go one mile, go two.”
“Love the Lord, your God with all your being.”
“Love those who hate you and do good to them.”
“Love your enemies.”
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

And Jesus’ life exemplified mercy, grace, forgiveness, selfless giving, compassion, unconditional love. He lifted people up, showed them a better way, was incredibly patient. This is the Jesus I follow and try (so very poorly) to imitate.

We need to change our approach, and we need to repent of our “us against them” mentality, and repent of our pride. We need His grace to apologize to the world for not loving them, and for not presenting to them the Jesus found in Scripture.

 


39 thoughts on “What Jesus Never Said…

  1. I am with you on all but the birth control one. It’s not that I am against certain forms of birth control, but I don’t want to pass it out like candy to those who just want to lead a consequence free lifestyle.

    1. thank you for your comment. As far as birth control goes, I am not advocating passing it out “like candy” either, What I would and do advocate is that it is available for women through their insurance policies if they use it. There are other medical reasons for using birth control other than “birth control”.
      Peace to you.

      1. From a very practical perspective, which is better….birth control (even if you “hand it out like candy”) OR children born to parents unable to care for them? Many might say that there are families willing to adopt such children but the reality is that, more often than not, unplanned children stay with their birth families. If those families lack the resources (financial, emotional or otherwise) to care for the child, many more problems are created.

      2. I like your thoughts. I would go one further. Is it better for a girl/woman to abort or for a girl/woman to have access to free birth control?

      1. @Brad: I don’t know who pays for your health insurance, but I know who pays for mine. I do. Me and my employer. And THAT is the issue. Birth control pills are also used to treat illnesses that cause infertility if left untreated. Those who assume that every woman who needs to have access to birth control is trying to live consequence free are the ones who need to get their minds out of the gutter. Not everything is about sex!
        I was put on BC pills to try to head off a hormonal imbalance at age 15. Sadly it didn’t work and I was never able to conceive. But how dare you try to deny me the chance to experience the only thing I ever prayed for for myself, to be a mom.
        You don’t know what paths people are on or what is in their hearts, how dare you judge them and still call yourself one of His.

      2. @ Elise…I am sorry that things did not work out for you, even with birth control. It is without a doubt one of the most painful things that many women go through, and it is a hurt that doesn’t seem to go away.

        You made some good points here too. It is not all about sex. And it is the employer and the insurance companies themselves that pay or not don’t pay, NOT the taxpayer.

        You are right as well, it is not up to us as finite creatures to lump everyone into one catagory and then judge according to our biases. The church in Amerca has been doing that years now.

        Peace to you.

    2. I suppose the same could be said of those who smoke, drink, eat fatty foods and don’t exercise – they are now asking us to pay higher insurance rates so they can lead a consequence free lifestlye. Why only go after one group of people who desire no consequences and not others. And why no outcry about the mandate that viagra is covered.

      1. there has been. It’s just been a murmur for the past couple of years. Additionally, several insurance companies and employers have begun using incentives/ penalties for their overweight clients and those who smoke.

    3. Pfft..20 years of enormous emotional, personal and fiscal responsibility is a lot of ‘consequence’ for sex. May you sire many children that you can’t afford and all the baby mommas take all your money in child support…because I don’t think you should have consequence-free sex either.

    4. Aren’t condoms already available over the counter to both men and women? Aren’t they also handed out at clinics free?

      Who are these people? Are you really so ready to punish low and middle income mothers and wives and force them to choose between feeding their families and creating more mouths, just to hopefully ruin the day of some ghost whore that the media told you about?

      Are you also actively advocating denying herpes or other STD medications to cheating men and women so they won’t live a “consequence free lifestyle”? Are you advocating denying coverage for erectile dysfunction meds and hysterectomies? We wouldn’t want those people to be allowed a “consequence free lifestyle”.

      Nobody lives a consequence free lifestyle. Nobody. To believe that you”re effecting anybody in some moral way is sheepish ignorance. Get out and meet some humans.

      1. Oh yes you do! Didn’t you ever watch the Dugger’s “19 Kids And Counting” 🙂

  2. Brad, it’s not about “you”, it’s about what is consistent with the teachings of Jesus. I assume you have a computer, do you think twice about the sweatshops child laborers worked in to make you that computer? Maybe what you could and should be advocating is what Jesus taught, not your cafetetia-style distorted apostasy religion you confuse with Christianity

  3. Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Christians do sometimes tend to dig in their heels, don’t they. My only issue is all the government hand outs and letting government rather than churches care for the poor, widows, etc. I read that the government wastes apporx. 75% of every dollar collected in taxes. Compare that to churches and other non-profits who use 80 % and higher of every dollar collected for their intended purpose.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I think that the government needed to step up and do what the churches are suppose to be doing because the churches have by and large abdicated that role. It became more important to churches to build multi-million dollar edifices, have the latest and greatest lighting, sound and other amenities, pay pastors huge wages, so that they can get the best speakers (I know of one church locally that pays the senior pastor over “$80,000 a year, the congregation has less than 200 people, but they are more concerned about updating the kitchen and the parking lot than reaching out to the community). The churches focus in many cases is inward rather than outward, so the govenment is needed to care for the suffering in our society.

  4. Well… Christians has done so much in the past that we all got misrepresented in one way or another..but that anyway should not mean that we should deviate from the teachings of Bible. But we sure got to correct our approach or perspective.( if our values have been reflected Otherwise). Christ hated sin, not sinners… I personally don’t think abortion and gay marriage is acceptable in Christianity. But we gotta do what Christ showed Us. we are not the people to judge others…the best we can do is show them Christ in our lives…if that cant be done, holding the banners or blockading any place would sometimes add insult to injury. May the lord help us all to be on the right side on the judgement day…:)

    1. You are so right, we need to be careful no to deviate from Scripture. But we have, and worse than that we claim that we are acting in accodance with Scripture when we are not. Even a cursury reading of the Gospel accounts of Jesus life would prove to most Evangelicals the what we do and say, and how we treat people outside the church walls does not overall reflect Jesus. I cannot understand our blindness.

      1. Exactly..we should be reflecting Christ to the world outside church walls…:)

  5. Good reflection and reminder. You forgot school prayer, evolution, and the bizarre belief that Christianity is oppressed in America.

    I’ve said for some time that the world really needs Christians who are not mere megaphones for the dominant America consumerist, militarist, social darwinist society. We could do with a few Christians who believe they are meant to be a light to, and not a power over, the world.

    1. Thanks John. The main problem with American Christianity is that we see ourselves as a victim of persecution. And I agree that we are not called to force our beliefs on a secular society, but rather as you said, be a light to draw people to the love of God in Jesus.

      We need to reject melding Christianity with American politics and American Fundamental. The gospel is wider, and longer, and deeper than that.

  6. The place to counsel someone about what to do morally is in church. Not to use the power of government or the power of an employer to impose his or her will on another person.

  7. a.) i had rather women use birth control “like candy” than have an abortion…and let’s be clear, birth control pills are something that have to be taken EVERY DAY to work. SO, if you don’t want it passed out “like candy”, do you want the alternative, the “morning after” pill? i didn’t think so.

    now, as a christian, unapologetic liberal (who just happens to be gay), i think we need to practice what we preach…we need to simply live our faith without pointing accusatory, condemning fingers at our brothers and sisters on the right. they work my last nerve, too, but when we’re no better than they are when we go down the path of pointing out what we (rightly, IMO) see as their hypocrisy.

    1. Thank you David, I agree with you on birth control…

      And as far as pointing out the inconsistencies in Fundamentalism, I think that there is a place for that. I admit here as I have throughtout many of my posts that I am far from perfect, in fact I westle with Paul in taking away the title “chief of sinners”. But I do not say that flippantly, I truly mean it. That being said, Jesus, Himself embraced all kinds of people in the socio-economic strata of His day, but He did call to task, those who while claiming to live for God, were actually not reflecting the God of Scripture. I guess in some small way that is the example I am trying to follow. I hate, truly hate how the Gospel of grace is maligned today, leaving out so many people.

  8. Let me be clear so that none of you confuse me with some of the names I’ve been called here, by other Christians nonetheless. There are a TON of great uses for birth control. My wife and I use a form of birth control and my wife has used BC pills for other medical reasons in the past. I have insurance through my work, and we pay that, plus the copay, etc. No issues with that. What I do take some issue with, however, is my tax contributions paying for programs that provide birth control at no cost to people who would use it to avoid consequences of sex, such as unwanted pregnancy (which many would end in a worse consequence of abortion), STDs, and others. I am not suggesting legislating morality. I do like what someone else said, that the CHURCH ought to be helping people who can’t afford these items, (i.e. the uninsured, under-insured, etc.). We ought to be caring for the poor in these ways.
    We DO need to be careful about where our money is going. Even when our money is being funneled into a large insurance company or gov’t program. We always have a choice about where our money is going and we have a responsibility to use the resources God has given us for His glory.
    And seriously, the name-calling has to stop. It’s not only not Christ-like, it just isn’t kind. Thanks Mark for a very thoughtful post and hosting this discussion. I look forward to reading more from you soon.

  9. “If thou be my follower, thou must protest and picket abortion clinics. Telleth them they are damned to hell if they do not repent.”

    This is interesting. How do the anti-abortionists cope with Numbers 5, wherein the priest is told exactly how and when to induce an abortion in an unfaithful wife?

    1. Indeed. Actually, I was unaware that such a passage existed! I will have to take a look at it myself. Thanks for your comment>

  10. I read a tract yesterday that explained that God is concerned with glorifying His name. Rallying is OK as long as we don’t bring shame to His Holy name. If we can’t argue in our defense with out insulting, demeaning and dehumanizing those who disagree with us, we need to shut up. Our treatment of the topics of abortion and homosexuality have done more to push the lost away from the Church than convict people of their sins. Jesus said “love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. ALL of the law hinges on these two commands” (emphasis mine).After 17 years as a Christian, I have been unable to memorize all the OT law but I can remember these. (I fail at them every day but I keep trying) Jesus also said to take care of the plank in your own eye before you worry about the speck in mine. I really believe a lot of Fundamentalists focus on specific topics because they’re “safe” for their group. I’ve never heard a baptist preacher rail against gluttony but there are a lot of chunky folks in the pews. I truly believe if we love God first, our actions will reflect that.
    On another note- why does every argument about birth control center around single women being promiscuous? I was a married with 2 kids. I wasn’t sure if I was through having kids but I was working as a CNA 24 hours a week for less than $7.50/ hr and going to nursing school full time. My husband was working crazy hours as a driver for a small local company that didn’t carry insurance. My insurance ate up half my paycheck and the other half went to daycare. On top of that, my BC pills had a copay of $35-$50. I wasn’t having wanton, bacchanalian sex. I just knew that on the rare occasion my husband and I did have some alone time, I didn’t want another baby.

    1. Those are the two commands that I stress often. The Gospel boils down to unconditional love, and grace. Love God. Love Others.

      Thanks again for sharing.

  11. Mark, I love you and I love your blog.

    This post is exceptional.

    You are one of a kind and the Christian community is lucky to have you.

    Never change.

    1. Thank you my friend, and I love you as well. My heart is broken by how things in the church have gone. Mercy, grace, unconditional love, and compassion have taken a back seat to judgementalism and rejection. Jesus called us to so much more, because God is so much more then we can imagine. And His arms grace and acceptance are much wider and more encompassing then many will admit. Keep seeking Him, His love for you is eternal, His grace for you is in every breath you take.

  12. I am so thankful to have found all of you! I really thought I was the only Christian who has been struggling with these same issues!

    1. I am glad that you are here! I hope that this blog can help you feel a little less alienated too.Feel free to cantact anytime. Peace to you.’

      mark lee

  13. I know a woman, my cousin actually, who went on a rant about how she knew a pregnant teenager, and someone at the church was throwing a baby shower for her. She was furious that these “so called Christians” would encourage premarital sex this way. If you have a baby shower then she is being told what she did was right. That it was a bad example for other girls in the church, and only her family, if they chose, should help her.

    Yes, I think all unwed women get pregnant because they are really hoping to fill their cabinets and drawers with cute bottles and bibs, I had my son at 18, and the next one at 20, solely because I was hoping people would buy diapers, that I wouldn’t have needed without the baby! (and, I was married for the second one, nevermind the fact he was abusive and unfaithful, God was happy for us.)

    But yes, the important part of the Bible is where Christ put all born again Chrstians on slut patrol. *

    I think I prefer (and believe) in the version of Christianity that requires you to love everyone.

    *I hope all the sarcasm is obvious, this is a topic that can really get me worked up!

    1. I have heard that same line of reasoning over and over again when it come to people in churches having baby showers for unwed teens or other things for sinners that we “approve of”. There is the vine of legalism that is growing in the church that chokes out love and grace. It is watered with the tears of those abused, misrepresented, and rejected by those that call themselves Christian. And it is overgrowing the gospel message.

      Thanks for reading too. I have been reading through your blog as well, it is very interesting and I will comment there too.

      Peace to you.
      Mark Lee

      I like sarcasm btw 🙂

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