One of the first projects I undertook when I became a Christian as a teen was to do a line-by-line comparison of Jesus Christ Superstar to what the Gospels actually taught. Now, I LOVED the rock opera (and as a musical work, I still do), but that exercise revealed the paucity of Biblical knowledge that Webber and Rice enjoyed. (Yes, I understand, they were NOT writing a Bible study program, rather a Jesus as feckless revolutionary who let it get out of hand, and Judas as hero, whose effort to "save" Jesus also goes awry. Then there is the "I Don't Know How To Love Him" Magdalen bit. If there had been no JCS, there would be no da Vinci Code.) It also set a pattern for me, in that I do my best to insist on Biblical authority for what I teach and do, which is why my reliance upon grace is so important, as I blow it with astounding frequency.
In the words of Charles Simpson, "I'm not where I ought to be, but praise God, I'm not where I used to be!".
Now I have NEVER seen the like: amazing ignorance of Jesus and His teaching cascading from the lips of commentators and politicos alike. (unless it was the time the Press was shocked and amazed that Jesus had something to do with the Jews, as revealed in "The Passion of the Christ".) It's kind of an "Everything I Learned About Jesus Wasn't Really About Jesus But Was Twaddle I Learned In Kindergarten" moment.
WA-A-A-A-Y back in olden times, the disciples of Socrates, f'rinstance, would write whole dialogues, and posthumously attribute them to old hemlock-breath, sort of philosophical fanfic.
Jesus is getting the same treatment from the political hacks of today. John Edwards is asserting that Jesus would be ashamed of the You-Ess-of-Ay:
During an interview with the faith and spirituality website Beliefnet.com, Edwards, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential bid in 2004, said ""I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs...I think he would be appalled, actually.
He also asserts that our lack of National Healthcare would wring tears from the Son of God.
The focus on the Nation is telling. The liberal mindset operates in terms of Groups, the masses.
Jesus championed the individual. Our relationship with God, one-on-one through Christ, certainly joins us to the church, but we still stand before God on our own. Come Judgment Day, we each of us will stand before Christ as individuals. I will not be able to hide with My Group.
Jesus commands ME to do alms, to give, to help, to teach. He works through relationships, not Groupthink. America is not a Christian nation, by definition it cannot be. America cannot be A Christian. It is incumbent therefore that we individual Christians do our part where charity and helps are concerned.
Proverbs 19:17, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again."
I like the "Message" rendering:
Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full.
That is so neat.
If you are a Christian, you have a responsibility to help the poor. Specifically help fellow believers first and foremost:
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Gal.6:9-10
Certainly we should help unbelievers who ask, but not to the hurt of our brethren. (Not to appear crass, but the care Christians have one for another can and SHOULD be a potent incentive for becoming a member of God's Family.)
Matthew 5:42, "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."