Why Jesus Wouldn’t Be A Good Christian Pt. 4

I think its safe to say that Jesus would be Pro-Life. And, this wouldn’t have been some radical political statement. No, this would have been the very being of Jesus. The reason for this love of life, was because the Spirit of Jesus was the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that produces new life. The same Spirit that causes us to be born again. This is the Spirit that births life into things. This Spirit as Jurgen Moltmann has wonderfully put it, creates the Vitality of life. The very reason worth living. This was the Spirit of Jesus. This is precisely why Jesus loved life. He celebrated the least of these. He celebrated with sinners. He tells the thief on the Cross that he will be with him in paradise. As much as Jesus move towards the brokenness of the world, he also moved to celebration. Jesus had a vitality, a love of life.

Jesus would have been Pro-life but not by the way that we understand it. I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus would have been against abortion. But, more important then that was Jesus radical life of non-violence. This was Jesus central point around the Sermon On The Mount. Jesus whole point was built around creative justice. The idea of this justice was not meant to retaliate against your oppressor, which shows you are just as evil as they are, but, to disarm yourself and allow them to do it again which exposes their true evil. When we retaliate against others, we validate and justify the violence of our oppressor. Jesus, who fulfills the law, no longer participates in the law of repay evil with evil. Rather, he builds a life of exposing the evil, which puts their smallness in its rightful place.

While many are quick to pull out the Old Testament use of violence as a vindication for violence, it must be noted of all the times God told them not to fight. In the battle where Moses raised his arms, God had spoken to them that they would win if they allowed him to fight for them (Exodus 14:13). In other Old Testament passages you’ll see God tell his people not to fight (2nd Chr. 16) and when they did they would fall to the consequences of violence..

Richard Rohr once said “If you want to see the History of Violence, look at the History of Religion.” Sadly, this is true. We as Christians have not helped ourselves look like Christ. If its not the Crusades, then its in Ireland. If its not in Ireland, it’s the killing of the Anabaptists after the Protestant Reformation. We Christians are chronically good at fighting and making enemies with each other. The only enemy we are called to fight is not flesh and blood but powers and principalities.

This violence, it seems to me, has much more to deal with our own avoidance of our broken humanity. Instead of feeling our own pain, we pick a fight with Homosexuals about whether or not they can get married. Instead of feeling the pain of all of the abuse, starvation and sickness around the world, we pick a fight with someone over their doctrine. As Christianity becomes more polarized, we are at risk of mass violence with each other once again. If we do not learn how to fight for each other, rather than against each other, then our violence will once again serve as the wounds of our brothers and sisters, and as another scar of human history. Jesus called us into non-violence, can we follow?

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6 thoughts on “Why Jesus Wouldn’t Be A Good Christian Pt. 4

  1. Sara Mangan says:

    Thanks for a great, thoughtful post.

  2. anyamariepiper says:

    The thought of Jesus calling us into non violence makes me ponder of the anger Jesus demonstrated when he overturned the money tables outside the Temple (John. 2:15), called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers,” (Matt. 12:34) or told them their blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven? (Matt. 12:32).
    I firmly agree that the church and Christians haven’t handle things the right way, especially when it comes to so many standing in the crowds of homosexual parades holding signs and screaming your going to hell as well as bombing abortion clinics in the name of Jesus. I find it horrifying to even be considered a christian and wonder if Jesus would have called these “so called Christians” something more than just a brood of vipers.

  3. I think if you read the New Testament and don’t feel more confused and unworthy on one level, then you didn’t understand it. To me, the bottom line is “Try and be like Me. You will fail. And, I will still love you.” Trying to live by the New Testament would be crippling if you weren’t invited by God to fail and still be loved by God. Almost every step we take is a misstep.
    As far as non-violence, the whole “turn the other cheek” thing is all good and well until you have the cheek of someone else, like your child, to be concerned about. Suddenly, the guideline isn’t so easy to follow.
    On the point of anger and non-violence, those are two separate things. It’s interesting also that the only time Jesus gets really mad is when people professing to be his Father’s followers are doing things His Father wouldn’t want to be done or are not doing things they should be doing.
    Finally, I agree, within the Body of Christ, we spend more time worrying about whether or not everyone is following the rules, as we see them, that we spend little to no time doing what Christ commanded. I don’t think that anywhere was it written to go and stage a protest against ‘sinners.’ Christ was pretty clear about what he wanted us to do: Matt 25:34-40

    “34) “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37) “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38) When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39) When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40) “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “

  4. Kurt Willems says:

    Great post friend! I’d say that abortion is just as important as opposing all forms of violence… maybe a nuance that is important to me as a pro-life guy from the womb to the tomb! Good stuff overall…

  5. Arthur Sido says:

    Amen to this. Being pro-life is far more than being anti-abortion although opposing abortion is certainly part of being pro-life.

  6. Being a father of two grown kids and two still at home, with the oldest being twenty-seven and the youngest thirteen, I feel I’ve learned a lot about being a parent. One thing I’ve always told my kids, something I’ve always been consistent about even amongst other changes of heart, is that it’s okay to get mad. There’s nothing wrong with getting mad, even if the anger is for the wrong reasons, or misguided. What makes the difference between a Christian and a non-believer is what you do while your’re mad. When Jesus was angry there in the temple, it was a righteous anger, not a worldly rage. When GOD would act against not only the enemies of HIS people but also against HIS chosen, it was a righteous anger, not a worldly rage. I guess it’s important to understand the difference between the two, righteous anger and worldly rage. Compare the motivation behind the anger of the Pharisees and Saducees against JESUS with the motivation of the SON’s anger in the temple. You’ll see the difference, and knowing that there is a difference is as important as knowing what the difference is.

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