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Steve Lunetta: Jesus would be a conservative Christian

Posted: March 25, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 25, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

"Look at what this feller wrote about Jesus! Its a disgrace!"

By his tone, I could tell that I was in for a long conversation with Uncle Earl.

"Why, any fool knows that Jesus was a Republican! He was a white merchant who believed in supply-side economics, trickle-down theory, and Keynesian monetary policy. Just look it up!" Earl often mixes up his parables with his platitudes.

I responded, "Actually, my dear uncle, Jesus of Nazareth was probably the most a-political person who ever walked the Earth. This foolish game of what-if does little but stir up people’s passions and pull us apart. And He wasn’t white."

"But, my boy, I just can’t see where this guy gets off. Look at this. He says, ‘His mother had to give birth in a barn because of discrimination.’ That’s just flat-out wrong! Scripture says that ‘there was no room for them at the inn.’ Not anything about race." Earl was on a roll.

"And take a gander at this part," Earl continued. "‘Would Jesus see it as a waste of taxes to give single mothers a subsistence allowance? Or would he favor giving that money back to the wealthy (or just well-off) and hope it trickles down to the poor?’ Is he kidding? We have a clear idea of Christ’s opinion on the topic!"

"And that is?" I queried.

"The Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful to pay taxes or not. It was a trap, since there was no correct answer. However, Jesus’ answer stunned them all.

"He said, ‘render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.’ In other words, be a dutiful citizen and pay taxes but in all other things, serve the living God!" Earl was making sense.

I added, "I see what you mean. Time and time again, Christ healed and fed those in need around him without regard to money or politics. The concepts were completely disconnected. So to associate them together is quite foolish."

Earl went on, "This feller also goes on to say, ‘I believe He would oppose abortion, though He might favor some abortions if they were to save a mother’s life.’

"Interesting that he thinks he can read the mind of God. You might as well say that ‘Jesus likes pineapple shortcake and can hit Clayton Kershaw’s curve ball.’ Both statements would be just as logical and make as much sense."

Uncle Earl was starting to calm down but I could tell that he was not through yet.

"The very fact that Jesus completely avoided the topic of an earthly kingdom and instead focused on the Kingdom of God showed that politics were not his concern. After questioning by the Roman prefect, Pilate declared, ‘I find no guilt in Him.’ Even a Roman ruler recognized that Jesus was no political threat to them."

I could see an opening. "But, Earl, how can you say that Jesus was a Republican?"

"My dear nephew, that was just hyperbole. It was meant to overstate a topic in the hopes of getting a rise out of someone.

"There are often people in this world who do this sort of thing. In this case, the columnist created a contrived viewpoint to get folks talking. It was really pointless."

"I can see what you mean," I conceded. "But what about this statement that ‘Christians who favor the right-wing agenda are hypocrites in the same vein as Pharisees’? Isn’t that very insulting and denigrating?"

"Of course it is. But we are all adults here and can take the statement for what it is. It is an opinion that does not seek to build bridges but instead destroy them. Name-calling is a shameful practice and one which does harm to rational discourse." My uncle was seeing clearly.

He continued, "When Jesus called the disciples to be ‘fishers of men,’ He was not talking about walking a precinct putting literature on high-propensity voters’ door mats.

"He was talking about them serving God by sharing the Gospel and changing the world. It was a calling far higher than mere politics. Jesus was neither Republican nor Democrat. He was the Son of God."

With that, he fell silent. My uncle’s wisdom had blessed me once again.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and hates stupid what-if games. He can be reached at slunetta63@yahoo.com.

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