Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Whenever a Christian political activist uses a variation of “What would Jesus do?” you can be assured that they will claim that Jesus would support exactly the same political position that they do. That is why when liberal evangelical Jim Wallis asked ” What Would Jesus Cut? ” from the federal budget it wasn’t a surprise to anyone to find that the budget priorities of Jesus are exactly the same as those of Jim Wallis.

Similarly, this this week we are told by some liberal Christians that Jesus would support the Occupy Wall Street protest. But is that true?

To answer that question, J. E. Dyer takes a shockingly commonsensical approach: In order to determine “what would Jesus do” she recommends looking at what Jesus actually did :


With the Occupy Wall Street protest entering its fifth week, there is no shortage of commentary reflecting Christian perspectives . Some, like Jim Wallis of Sojourners , are generally sympathetic to the protests. Bruce Wydick at Christianity Today takes the opportunity to point out that the conditions being protested have been brought on by a crisis in American values ; they cannot be blamed neatly on one sociopolitical faction or another.

Other writers ask themselves, ” What would Jesus occupy ?” (See here as well.) And that’s an important question. I believe the true answer, based on his life on earth, is: nothing. It is a remarkably simple answer, but one with profound implications. Our society has become all but deaf to those implications, glorifying as we do the force majeure of entitlement and sanctimony. But Jesus is the very antithesis of an occupier.

Among the most famous words of Jesus are those recorded in Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (NIV) No passage more clearly reflects the attitude with which Jesus lived his life on earth, and with which he approaches us today.

Jesus never went anywhere uninvited. Even when he rebuked the money-changers in the Temple, he did not approach the institution as an antagonist, demanding entry on his own terms. He entered the Temple in obedience to the Father, as a Jew going to worship: exercising the privilege of a Jew under the commandments of God and the system of worship and priestly authority God had instituted. At no time did Jesus enter the premises of any person or institution on any but an orderly pretext.


Read more . . .

Show 0 comments

Tags

Loading...

Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles