I think all of us on social media are inundated with these pictures that circulate, trying to either make us laugh or think. There are so many ‘Christian’ ones, and I put the word Christian in inverted commas because some of them are just not biblical. This one pictured here was up on facebook and it caught my eye. The author here is probably trying to break people’s perception of Jesus, which I don’t disagree with, however they are just creating a new one for Him. Also, if you want to make such bold statements in such a short passage, you need to be careful, because some of what he has written here is either wrong, or misunderstood (by me). I am going to go through some of the statements here and show you why I say this. Now, just for the record, I hadn’t heard of John Fugelsang until today, and quite honestly I don’t know if he is a Christian or not, but the point is what is written on the picture and what we take from it. I have no issue with John, I just want to show you the importance of not believing everything on social media, regardless of the source.
Firstly, Jesus wasn’t American and never spoke English. What has this go to do with anything? To my knowledge no-one has ever claimed that he was and, if they have, they really need to read the Bible.
Jesus was “anti-wealth”. What? Where does it say that? I know, I can hear you scurrying over to your Bibles, looking up the passage about the rich young ruler who wouldn’t give up his wealth to follow Jesus. If you think that God is anti-wealth from that, then we should also assume that God is anti-children. Yes, you read that correctly. Do you think that that is outrageous? So do I… let me explain. God told Abraham to trust Him and sacrifice his son. Does that mean that God dislikes children? No! We’ll all say that God supplied Abraham with a scapegoat (literally) because He didn’t want Abraham to kill his son, He just wanted to know that Abraham put obedience ahead of his son’s life, which he did. If that is true (which I believe it is), could Jesus not have been doing the same thing with the rich young ruler? Unfortunately we don’t know, because the guy failed the test, as money was more important to him than following Jesus. If God is so anti-wealth, why did He bless David, Solomon, Lot and Job (to name a few) with so much? The LOVE of money is A root of all kinds of evil, not money.
Jesus was “anti-death penalty and torture”. Yes, he probably was, but He himself was tortured and killed, yet He never spoke out about it. He actually warned the others that they may have to endure it too. We need to be careful when we claim that Jesus was anti certain things, unless He came out and said it outright. I’m not saying He wanted it, I’m just saying that He didn’t oppose it outright. Jesus never said anything about abortion. Maybe, but He never said anything about facebook either. Just because He didn’t say anything about abortion specifically, doesn’t mean that He didn’t oppose it. Besides, the picture states that He was ‘anti-death penalty’, so is that any worse than abortion? We shouldn’t kill murderers, but we can kill babies? If someone kills their baby 5 minutes after he/she is born, we label them a killer (rightly so), but yet if we kill them before they pass through the birth canal, that is ok? Anyway, this is another discussion, I just find being anti-death penalty but pro-abortion a little contradictory.
Jesus was “anti-public prayer”. He quotes Matthew 6:5 here. If I told you that I once shot a man in the head (I didn’t, relax), you’ll be shocked and horrified and call me a murderer. Then, if you found out that this man was being burned alive and I shot him to end the pain and torture, because I wasn’t close enough to help, you’d label me a hero. The act was exactly the same in both instances, so how can I go from murderer to hero? My motives changed. The same is true here. Jesus is more concerned with WHY they are standing on the street corner praying, that He is with where they are praying. I agree that prayer is a personal act (like it says in the verses following Matthew 6:5) designed to help you grow in Christ, and should be done in private (like Jesus did). There is no issue with praying in agreement with other believers, while in the same venue.
The last point that I would like to make from that is the one about Jesus not being anti-gay. This old chestnut. I know that this is a very contentious issue today, everyone is so sensitive about it, whatever you believe. All I’ll say is that Jesus doesn’t hate anyone, so to say that He hates gays is an absolute lie. God does make His views on homosexuality pretty clear. It is a hate the game not the player kind of deal. I hate lying, but I don’t hate liars. If I did, I wouldn’t have anyone left to love, especially if I include exaggeration. To imply that Jesus hates gays or that He promotes homosexuality (the act, not the people) is risky as I don’t believe either of them are true.
So why did I write this article? To push my political agenda? No. I just want to show people that however ‘nice’ or ‘Christian’ a post seems, it always needs to be sifted through the Scriptures. Even what I write in my blog, I trust that people go and compare this to Scripture and if I get it wrong I would expect you to disregard it.
Be careful what you read (and post) on social media.