My heart is heavy from a Bible that says defend the oppressed and a Church that says just preach Jesus.
Just preach Jesus, but don’t preach anything he stood for or taught. I will leave your church if you do.
Don’t preach about touching lepers or loving the poor or proclaiming liberty to captives and setting the oppressed free or loving your neighbor or welcoming the stranger as if they are Jesus himself or how the Samaritan is today’s Mexican or Muslim.
Just preach Jesus.
Just preach Jesus so I can do whatever the hell I want and still go to heaven. While the broken around me are living in hell.
But it’s their fault, because my political party told me so. Go get a job you miserable poor person, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, just don’t do it in my country! Go to a jobless and foodless land to get a job and when you die trying, don’t come crying to me. I’m self-made. If I can do it, so can you. And don’t forget, Jesus loves you.
Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so, and Jesus loves no one else except people like me, for my political party told me so.
Just preach Jesus, but not what he stood for or taught because that would contradict with what my political party stood for and taught.
So I’ll just listen to them and you just keep preaching Jesus. And we’ll live under the facade that we believe the entire Bible is God’s Word.
Meanwhile the churches with the lesbian pastors who believe all religions are the same and everyone is going to heaven can be the ones who apply Jesus to the poor and marginalized. The ones who actually apply Jesus’s 2nd greatest commandment. The ones who see the cross as louder than the American flag when there is a broken and bloody body in the road that is of a different skin color than us and a different nationality than us and GOD FORBID, not American. The ones who don’t care to ask for paperwork when what is needed is lovework.
We’ll just keep preaching Jesus. A Jesus who cared so much about borders he made sure to walk through Samaria, across its border, and forced his disciples to go with him.
But those Mexicans are all just a bunch of rapists and murderers and thugs and criminals and they deserve what they are getting. I know this because I’ve sat down with each and every one of them and interviewed them. I’ve looked into the eyes of thug and rapist children with their thug and rapist moms who have no food to eat back in Mexico and I’ve said “damn you thugs, how dare you come into my country, go to hell.”
They are a bunch of criminals. Their crime is not wanting their kids to die of starvation. It’s fleeing from having to sell themselves or their children into sex slavery in order to put food on the table. It’s wanting a job and to be able to work hard to provide for their families and to give their children a future. Damn those criminals! Punish those criminals! I would never commit those crimes! I would let my children die! I am an upright citizen! I would make a way legally! We would eat mud! We would eat grass! We would obey the law!
And I’ll keep preaching Jesus. A Jesus who loved power and comfort and keeping people out. A Jesus who only loved the clean and those with their lives in order and those who could feed themselves. A Jesus who stepped on the poor and told them there was no place at the table for them. Who only loved you if you are American. Who said his love with words but did nothing about physical and emotional needs.
I LAMENT FOR THE CHURCH.
I LAMENT THAT I AM PASTOR WHO CANNOT STAND UP AND PREACH WHAT JESUS STOOD FOR WITHOUT BEING LABELED A “LIBERAL” BY A CHURCH THAT CAN ONLY SEE PARTY LINES AND KNEE JERK REACTIONS AND AUTOMATED ROBOT PUPPET RESPONSES PROGRAMMED INTO THEIR HEADS BY POLITICIANS WHO MAKE SURE RICH WHITE PEOPLE CAN STAY RICH AND UNPOLLUTED BY THE WORLD. AND WE CLING TO THE POLITICIANS AND NOT JESUS BECAUSE WE LOVE TO WIN AND WE LOVE TO BE RIGHT AND JESUS WAS A LOSER WHO TELLS ME TO PUT OTHERS ABOVE MYSELF AND THAT THOSE WHO LOSE THEIR LIVES WILL BE THE ONES WHO FIND IT. JESUS TELLS ME THE GREATEST IS THE SERVANT BUT MY POLITICIANS TELL ME THE GREATEST IS ME.
So just keep preaching Jesus, but I don’t want to deal with anything he said that my golden donkey or elephant doesn’t like.
I lament that if you stand for the unborn and for sex being between a man and a woman within marriage and that Jesus is the only way to heaven, you are a Republican.
I lament that if you see immigrants and refugees as people and don’t believe the stereotyping, propaganda, racist lies about them that clump them all into propaganda groups like “terrorists” or “thugs” or “rapists” and you seek to keep young Mexican-American children with their immigrant parents and you believe that the poorest of the poor can find food and a livelihood in our country, or you care that black people have equal opportunity as white people and acknowledge that 400 years of legalized oppression has modern day effects, then you are a Democrat.
Satan is a master deceiver.
It doesn’t have to be this way, Church.
It’s not replacing Jesus with social issues, it’s applying Jesus to life. It’s being filled with the gospel that paid for our sins on the cross, filled in a way that we want sin to stop! That we want Jesus’s commanded love to overpower all sin, including racism and oppression and stepping on the poor, as well our own passivity, negligence, greed and complicity. PEOPLE are not SOCIAL ISSUES. People are who we are called to love in the 2nd greatest commandment. People are the ones laying in the road that the Good Samaritan helps, no questions asked.
A lament is a prayer and this is my prayer. If you disagree with the way I pray, please keep your thoughts to yourself this time around. Better yet, please pray for me. I certainly need it.
These are not “the official views of Crossroads Church,” they are mine, and I need some space to have them, lest I burst every time I read my newspaper alongside of my Bible.
Author of Beyond the Battle: A man's guide to his identity in Christ in an oversexualized world
Host of the The Flip Side Podcast
Join an online men's small group led by Noah and team at BeyondTheBattle.net
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