One would think the very designation of “Christ” in Christianity would make it hard to dismiss the life and teachings of Jesus and his call to be faithful followers. But then, Jesus said a lot of hard things about sacrifice, selflessness and unconditional love that we would rather ignore.
So when the Way of Christ gets in the way of fear-based, power-seeking politics one needs a quick maneuver to provide religious cover (biblical justification) for such waywardness.
Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress — who has pledged his undying love to the current occupant of the Oval Office — shows precisely how this is done. Just push Jesus aside with a claim that God’s self-revelation in Christ is of no more importance than anything else one might cherry-pick from the Bible.
While many faithful Christians enter this Lenten season with a more-intent focus on the life and teachings of Jesus, Jeffress rationalizes that anything else one chooses to believe and can scrounge up a verse or two to justify it is just as good.
Here’s how Jeffress, in a Religion News Service commentary, provides such justification for ignoring Jesus:
“And since Jesus fully affirmed every word of Scripture, we can assume that asking ‘What would Jesus do about immigration?’ is the same as asking ‘What does the Bible really teach about immigration?’”
No, we can’t assume that! Jesus is the way we know God best. He is the culmination of God’s progressive self-revelation throughout the Bible. Jesus matters more!
Therefore, Jesus should be the lens through which all scripture is to be understood and applied. Jesus was and is more than just another biblical character or solely a sacrifice for our eternal security.
His life and teachings revealed not only the nature of God, but the ways in which those who claim his name are to live — even when it’s hard and doesn’t foster our desires for social supremacy.
It is no wonder that the many so-called “biblical worldviews” or “Christian worldviews” manufactured by right-wing preachers and politicians have little to nothing to do with Jesus. You can check it out for yourself at jesusworldview.org.
Is it really too much to ask that those who claim the name of Jesus might actually put his life and teachings above all other allegiances?