Conservative Christians. That’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. I know that conservatives like to think of themselves as the “Christian right,” but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Aside from the fact that they like to focus on the condemnation of homosexuality in the Bible (while conveniently ignoring all of the accompanying verse), they seem to have no understanding of the instructions that Jesus left for Christians. With that in mind, I thought I would point out a few of the verses that they have forgotten in their attempts to blend their religion into their politics.
Let’s start with the condemnation of taxes. Many conservatives think that taxes are terrible. What they fail to remember is that the Bible respects the collection of taxes:
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13:7)
Jesus also instructs people to pay the taxes that the government has declared they owe:
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:15-21)
All of the screaming that conservatives do about taxes being too high seems to go against the instructions that are laid out in the Bible. Of course, their next argument is that they will pay the taxes, but the taxes shouldn’t be so high. They call the President socialist and talk about how he is “evil” and even the “anti-Christ.” Again, there are some verses that they seem to have forgotten about the people chosen to lead our country:
17 “The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.” (Daniel 4:17)
In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. (Proverbs 21:1)
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. (Romans 13:6)
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:13-15)
Obviously the Bible is telling us that we need to respect our political leaders. If this is true then I say that the disrespect that conservatives have been showing President Obama during his term and the election is contrary to the commands given to Christians in the Bible.
Now the part that you have all been waiting for…the constant complaints that President Obama is a socialist. While I don’t believe that, there is another famous leader who could be considered a socialist. In fact, I believe with all of my heart that, if he had lived today, his words would be condemned by the very conservatives who claim to live by his teachings. Yes…Jesus would be considered a socialist.
And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” (Luke 3:10-11)
34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, (Acts: 2:44-46)
32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32-35)
When conservatives condemn “redistribution of wealth,” they are actually condemning the teachings of the one man whom they pretend to revere among all men. The one they say they are supporting when they throw the first stone at homosexuals and people of different faiths and backgrounds. They forget that the teachings of Jesus were radical and progressive in his time.
I am a liberal Christian. There are many of us. We do what we can to follow the teachings of Christ…all of them. We don’t pick a verse and use it to take away the rights and equality of a group that we fear and hate. We don’t teach our children that it’s okay to submit to greed as long as you earned the money. We believe in what the Bible tells us about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. We are here to give our neighbor, whether he is poor, of a different religion, of a different race, or of a different sexual orientation, a hand up in the world. We are the Christian left and we will not stand for ignorance, hate, and greed being justified by our faith.