The Real Jesus
Views 122 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 18 - 2014 | By: Samuel Muthiah
About a week ago, posters making some radical claims about Jesus began appearing around campus. While the author of the posters made some good points, some of the claims made by the posters are illogical. However, the general message behind the posters, that we perhaps need to reassess who Jesus really was, is true and is something in which the Westmont community should engage.
The posters begin by saying, “Jesus was a radical nonviolent revolutionary who hung around with lepers hookers and crooks.” It goes on to assert Jesus’ Middle Eastern background, then to deny that Jesus ever supported conservative stances on social or economic issues such as abortion and taxes.
Some of these claims are true, and very important to recognize. Jesus indeed, as the poster claims, was a Middle Eastern Jew who never spoke English, not an American. He did advocate for a radical nonviolence. However, the posters also make claims that do not make much sense.
While the claim that Jesus “never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes” may very well be true, tax cuts were never an issue for Jesus. One should not decide that Jesus was against tax cuts because he never publicly spoke out against them. One may very well look at the various aspects of Jesus’ ministry and decide that he would have been against tax cuts for the rich. However, one should not come to that conclusion in the way the posters do.
There are similar problems with the posters’ claims about abortion and birth control. However, the posters suggest two main ideas that Westmont should take very seriously.
Firstly, it suggests that one’s view of Jesus should affect one’s politics. Indeed, if someone is Christian, their relationship with Christ should affect all aspects of their life, including their politics. This principle does not violate the separation of church and state as some may claim. It is rather someone advocating for what they believe to be best for our country with their idea of what is best being influenced by their belief in Christ.
Logically, the next question should then be, “What does Christ say about politics?” This is the second main idea raised by the posters. While the posters definitely have their faults, they point out part of Jesus’ radical nature that is too often ignored. The Westmont community needs to look closely at Jesus’ radical political claims and the implications those claims have for us.
These posters that have appeared around campus may leave much to be desired theologically. Nevertheless, they still raise important issues that should not continue to be glossed over by those at Westmont.