Jesus Who?

In this clip you’ll hear the name of “Jesus” used and abused freely by a number of charlatans as they anoint and pray over Donald Trump, the personification of pride, to be the next President of the United States. It might be helpful to take just a moment to clarify who they aren’t referring to.

This is not the Jesus who said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” No, this jesus has personal relationships with countries (a bit of nonsense even on a purely semantic level) – specifically the secular nation of Israel and the United States. You may be forgiven for struggling to discern the evidence for such a relationship in the behavior of these two nations. Different jesus.

This is not the Jesus who said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” This jesus understands that in order to be strong and respected in the world, one must be ruthless in business and vicious in speech. This jesus sees the value in spite and trash-talk and understands that only a bimbo would ask a hostile question of the celebrities’ Anointed.

This is not the Jesus who said, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.” No, this jesus knows that the successful man’s first priority must be looking out for number one and that we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves before we try to help our neighbor.

Speaking of neighbors, this is not the Jesus who gave the starring role in His parable about loving our neighbor to a political and religious enemy of the people of God, a member of the most hated class of foreigners in His time and place. No, this jesus builds fences, calculates quotas, crunches financial estimates and asks for immigration papers before even thinking about referring the needy to the appropriate bureaucracy for eventual assistance.

This isn’t the Jesus who has chosen the weak, foolish, low and despised over the powerful, wise and noble (okay, so the foolish/wise thing checks out, but not the rest of it). This isn’t the Jesus who was rejected and murdered by His own people because they preferred a celebrity Messiah to the suffering servant. No, this jesus gets the theory of trickle-down blessings. He knows that the rich and famous are vital to redeeming the culture, and that we’ll all benefit from a redeemed culture, right? This jesus is smart, peeps.

This isn’t the Jesus who called men who abandon their wives adulterers, who treated women as valuable co-laborers and elevated them to equal status and importance. No, this jesus understands that when a strong man’s needs aren’t being met, or when his wife is unreasonably jealous of all the time he spends arranging and judging beauty pageants and drooling over objectified bodies, the best resolution of a bad situation might be to dump her and pick a younger, more flexible hottie who will be a help meet for him. This jesus wants to bless that man and his family, at least until it’s time to move on to the next one.

This isn’t the jesus who said, “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer – I have overcome the world.” This isn’t the Jesus who assures us that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the joy in store for us hereafter. No, this jesus knows that you can have your best life now, if only the right celebrity pastor speaks the right words over you to secure all that good stuff and you have enough faith to claim it.

This isn’t the Jesus who resists the proud but gives grace to the humble – who justifies the weeping sinner but turns a deaf ear to the self-congratulating Pharisee. No, this jesus knows that the world needs strong leadership from men who know they are awesome and are willing to say so. This jesus appreciates the strength of character it takes for a man to say that he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness. This jesus knows that politics and world leadership is no place for humility. In fact, this jesus loves his followers so much that he enjoys seeing them applaud themselves after a bunch of pompous prayers to the camera.

This is ‘Murican jesus, baby!

There’s only one problem: ‘Murican jesus doesn’t exist. These prayers go no farther than the camera they are intended for. They have no response beyond the hollow applause of the participants. The real Jesus – the one who was, and is, and will be, after the last great empire has passed its time on the world stage and exited into oblivion – is not a divine vending machine. The real Jesus is building a much greater kingdom than that anticipated here. These self-important false prophets have no idea what a dangerous game they are playing by taking His name in vain.

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