Aug 16 2011

Whom would Jesus indebt? Update and Bump

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:46 am

This is a repost of something I put up a couple of years ago, with a new link to a supporting article in the UPDATE below.


Having become recently weary with claims made by various folks about how Jesus would do this, or wouldn’t do that, or just the very silly WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) line that some people seem to think is the all-time discussion ender, I have a few to propose myself.

What baby would Jesus abort?
What mother would Jesus tell, “It’s your body and no one should tell you what to do”?
What person would Jesus rob to provide for someone else?
What child would Jesus fail to protect?
What person would Jesus make helpless by stealing her only weapon?
What person would Jesus send federal marshals to, in order to collect unpaid taxes to be used to support other people?
What school system would Jesus sue, for allowing prayer to Him?

Some will say these are unreasonable questions, and that others are just as fair. I’ve heard a few. Here goes:

What person would Jesus allow to starve? Answer: many hundreds of thousands during His lifetime and ministry, based on likely world population at the time and known economic conditions. “You will always have the poor with you.” It is simply impossible to make the case that Jesus’ life and death were mostly about “taking care of the poor” in an absolutist, goal oriented sense, where that goal is understood as transcending almost all others, because He did not Himself live that way, nor did he demand that others do so. He spoke against “injustice” in relation to the poor. You may argue about what that means, but only in the light of the fact that He did not Himself attempt, even with his human abilities, to spend every moment and every resource in taking care of the poor, let alone His divine power, which could have been used subtly in very many ways to essentially end poverty in Palestine… and elsewhere. We have no reason to think there were not still plenty of hungry people when he left one town for the next, and scripture gives us no reason to think otherwise.

What person would Jesus arm?
Answer: Shepherds. “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” Who is responsible to protect sheep, and themselves, so they can protect the sheep? Who ARE the sheep? You decide.

What would Jesus drive?
Answer: Whatever would get him where he needed to go, within reason. I don’t suppose he’d have driven a semi-truck. Maybe on food deliveries. Probably not.

Who would Jesus bomb? Answer: See above about arms and shepherds. Sometimes, life is hard. But Jesus would surely not have suggested that Britain allow itself to be bombed without self-defense, which, sadly, often means “bombing back.” Response question: Which British child would Jesus have selected to be killed because British forces didn’t return fire on German factories and infrastructure, even admitting the limited accuracy of then-current technology, and knowing innocents would be killed? Secondary question: Which Polish Jewish child would Jesus select to be gassed because the Allies were stupid in their prosecution of the war, starting with when Hitler occupied the Rhineland with military forces? It is safe to say that all of Europe could have done with better “shepherds” than Chamberlain and Daladier.

The point: very few slogans are up to the job of telling the truth. And particularly, I am very suspicious of slogans involving the name of our Lord.

UPDATE:  Tim Dalrymple has a lovely new post called Whom Would Jesus Indebt? at ReAL.

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