How have we gotten the message of Jesus so damned wrong? One way I believe we might’ve taken a wrong turn or two in following the Way of Jesus is by not heeding his own teachings and example. In the article, Mohler quotes passages from the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 9) and even dabbles a bit into the writings of Paul (Romans 13). But he curiously ignores the red letters of the gospels which could shed a little light on what a Christian (i.e., a follower of Jesus Christ) should or should not support. SOURCE: Missing the Point: Al Mohler & the Death Penalty | Michael Kimpan | Red Letter Christians.
The above quote comes from an article in response to the leader of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and it’s 16 million members in support of the death penalty. It is one of the many ways our current versions of religion have veered so hopelessly off the message of its founder. None of Jesus’ words without taking them completely out of context can be construed to support execution!
About the only time Jesus became physically abusive was in turning over the money changer’s tables in its current day churches and then no one was seriously harmed. It is kind of funny that the only times Jesus got so upset it was due to misaligned practices of the religious leaders. I kind of think he probably feels the same about many in this current bunch too.
It totally dumbfounds me how so many Christians and particularly their leaders seem to purposely ignore the words of Jesus in the biblical text. I started blogging over at my other blog Red Letter Living in 2008 and one of the first comments I got was from one of the leaders of the denomination I belonged to at the time. He said that I should not be concentrating on the words of Jesus as all the words in the bible are equally important and without error. This very comment started me on a long downward slide with that denomination which eventually ended when they said I was no longer a member of their church.
The very definition of the word Christian is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. If I take that literally, and I do, how can you say his words are no more important than even the smallest prophets in the Old Testament? By make that claim you are either promoting everyone up to the level of Jesus or you are denying the divinity of Jesus as Christ. We all need to challenge our leaders when they become so misguided as has the leader of our Baptist brethren. Let’s all do what we can to put Christ and his messages back as the central focus the Christian church. To do otherwise is to me to deny Christ!!