“Where there is no vision, the people perish”-Proverbs 29:18
Jerry Fawell Jr. expresses the Antichrist ideology of Fundamentalist Christians in The Washington Post’s Magazine feature titled “Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country’”, which inspired this post.
By Eileen Fleming
Over two thousand comments have been posted in reply to Joe Heim’s interview with Jerry Falwell Jr., who became president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in 2007, following the death of his father who founded the school.
I almost laugh out loud when I hear Democrats saying things like, “Jesus said suffer the little children to come unto me” and try to use that as the reason we should open up our borders. It’s such a distortion of the teachings of Jesus to say that what he taught us to do personally — to love our neighbors as ourselves, help the poor — can somehow be imputed on a nation…
NATIONS ARE MADE UP OF PEOPLE and Jesus always confronted hypocrisy in high places.
It’s a distortion of the teaching of Christ to say Jesus taught love and forgiveness and therefore the United States as a nation should be loving and forgiving, and just hand over everything we have to every other part of the world. That’s not what Jesus taught. You almost have to believe that this is a theocracy to think that way, to think that public policy should be dictated by the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus warned: “For of those to whom much is given, much more is required” –Luke 12:48
The reason WHY Fawell and other white evangelical leaders still strongly support President Trump, is really all about the money, as Fawell admits, What earns him my support is his business acumen. Our country was so deep in debt and so mismanaged by career politicians that we needed someone who was not a career politician, but someone who’d been successful in business to run the country like a business. That’s the reason I supported him.
The fact that Trump could no longer get USA bank loans for his ‘business’ and the fact that the deficit and America’s debt have increased since Trump became the president is not on the radar screens of Trump’s fundamentalist supporters who also ignore the simple fact that Budgets are moral documents.
Falwell also opined that Obama “decimated the military” but Trump is rebuilding it; but ignores Jesus warned he who lives by the sword will die by it and “Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” – Rev. MLK, Jr.
Fawell continues: There’s two kingdoms. There’s the earthly kingdom and the heavenly kingdom. In the heavenly kingdom the responsibility is to treat others as you’d like to be treated. In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do what’s best for your country….
Some say life is a dress rehearsal and many comprehend that those who think they know the most are usually the most ignorant because “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right…Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”-Thomas Paine
The Bible is an anthology of many books. It is a record of people’s experience of God’s self-revelation. It is an account of our very human experience of the divine intrusion into history. The book did not fall from heaven in a pretty package. It was written by people trying to listen to God. I believe that the Spirit was guiding the listening and writing process. We must also know that humans always see “through a glass darkly . . . and all knowledge is imperfect” (1 Corinthians 13:12).- Richard Rohr
The gospel-which means good news, that Jesus preached, was very political and a direct challenge to the politically powerful and the arrogant, self-satisfied, self-righteous teachers of the law.
Two thousand years ago the Cross had NO symbolic religious meaning and was not a piece of jewelry.
When Jesus said: “Pick up your cross and follow me,” everyone back then understood he was issuing a POLITICAL statement, for the main roads in Jerusalem were lined with crucified agitators, rebels, dissidents and any others who disturbed the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces.
In the latter days of Nero’s reign [54-68 A.S.] through the domination of Domitian [81-96] Christians were persecuted for following the nonviolent, loving and forgiving Jesus. That Jesus was first left behind when Augustine penned the Just War Theory.
Augustine was the first Church Father to consider the concept of a Just War and within 100 years after Constantine, the Empire required that all soldiers in the army must be baptized Christians and thus, the decline of Christianity began.
With the justification of war and violence supplied by Augustine’s Just War Theory, wrong became right. Nothing much has changed in two millennia, for in today’s Orwellian world politicians claim the way to peace is through war and that nuclear weapons provide protection.
American money claims ‘In God we Trust’ but the truth is America’s faith is in an out of control Military Industrial Complex that seeks domination, power and control over any who would defy and challenge the American status quo. Eisenhower warned America not to bind our economy to the Industrial Military Complex, and like most prophets, he was ignored.
In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine legitimized Christianity and thus, those who had been considered rebels and outlaws began to enjoy political power and prestige. Jesus’ other name is The Prince of Peace, and with the marriage of church and state, his true teachings were reinterpreted. The justification of warfare and the use of state sponsored violence corrupted what Jesus modeled and taught. Jesus was always on about WAKE UP! The Divine already indwells you and all others. Jesus taught that to follow him requires that one must love one’s enemies and forgive all who hate, curse and revile them.
Jesus lived a life that proved evil can be opposed without being mirrored, and that the cycle of a “tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye”, will never bring peace and justice.
Before Emperor Constantine brought Christianity into the mainstream, all the early Church Fathers taught –and all Christians never served in the army but instead willingly suffered rather than inflict harm on any other.
The term Christianity was not coined until three decades after Jesus walked the earth. Until the day of Paul, followers of Jesus were called members of The Way; the way being what he taught!
Jesus was never a Christian, but he was a social justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up [intifada in Arabic] for he challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Military Occupation.
What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces, by teaching the subversive concept that Caesar only had power because God allowed it and that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Occupation above the elite and arrogant!
Clement, Tertillian, Polycarp and every other early Church Father taught that violence was a contradiction of what Christ was all about. There have always been those Christians who spoke out against this corruption of scripture and they have been ignored, reviled, rejected, mocked, persecuted and maligned throughout time. There have always been Christians who have never abandoned the true teachings, such as the Quakers, Mennonites, some Catholics and Protestants who have been faithful witnesses to Christ by denouncing violence and caring for the poor.
There have also always been Jews, Muslims, atheists, anarchists, secularists, rebels and revolutionaries who have lived lives that embody the message of Christ; who have in fact done what Jesus actually said, which is most revolutionary!
All institutions are man made and the Bible was not FAXED in from heaven, it was written down after centuries of the oral history being passed down. Whenever stories are retold, they change, and we all know this if we ever played the childhood game of telephone. Scribes were imperfect human who made many mistakes as they recopied texts; many also added their own point of view and some even left out what they chose to.
The most decisive event in the history of Christendom occurred when Emperor Constantine accepted the Christian faith, for an earthly king now protected those who had once been persecuted. Both a patriarchal monarchical state and church were formed at the same time. Power struggles and debates were common among the early Christians. Individual churches determined which texts were read, and they all had their favorites. Constantine sought to unite his empire, and uniting the church was a savvy political move. He announced he would pay for fifty illuminated copies of scripture to be bound, and thus the biblical canon was established and sealed. There was fierce debate among the bishops about what should be included and what left out.
The proto-orthodox, who had now become the dominant voice, determined what was heretical for everyone. The proto-orthodox demanded much-loved scripture to be burned, usually because it did not fit their understanding of God. We know more today about how diverse Christianity had once been with the discovery of the Nag´ Hammâdi Library. [READ MORE HERE]
Every individual is but one cell in the cosmic Body of Christ and no religion owns Jesus!
“In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4
“Its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part [of The Body] suffers, every part suffers with it.”-1 Corinthians 12:25-26
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and all the prophets said, “You will recognize the believers in their having Mercy for one another, and in their Love for one another, and in their Kindness towards one another; like the body, when one member of it hurts, the entire body hurts.”
In the gospel [good news] told in Mark 3: 31-35, the mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him out. The crowd around Jesus told him, “Your mother, sisters and brothers are outside asking for you.”
Jesus replied, “I am here with my mother, sisters and brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother.”-Mark 3: 31-35
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and ‘sins’ honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.
God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” –Isaiah 55:8
Jesus continued: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8
“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”
In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy’, “For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you”, Jesus warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.
“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”
And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.
Richard Rohr gets the last word:
Jesus thus stood in solidarity with individuals who were excluded, deemed unworthy, or demonized. Why? Because the excluded from any group always reveal the unquestioned idolatries of that group! He even partied with sinners and tax collectors, and the “pure” hated him for it (see Luke 15:2). The way Jesus tried to change people was by loving and healing them, accusing only their accusers. Why did we not notice that? His harshest words of judgment were reserved for those who perpetuated systems of inequality and oppression and who, through religion itself, thought they were sinless and untouchable. Jesus did not so much love people once they changed, but he loved people so that they could change.
Eileen Fleming writes for TADN:
Eileen Fleming produced the UNCENSORED:
“30 Minutes with Vanunu”
Contact her HERE
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