LGBT Activist Twisting Jesus’ Words Into a Judgmental ‘Jesus Hammer’
“I find it appalling that so many of you supporting segregation profess to be Christians. Jesus, the Christ, always defended marginalized [sic]. … Make no mistake, the Lord is on our side.”
— Mom in Texas, schooling legislators on her view of Jesus’ politics. See the video below.
Do you remember the old folk song, “If I had a hammer, I’d-a hammer in the morning”? The woman quoted above is using Jesus as her hammer to justify imposing transgender ideology on others. I find it appalling.
I’ve already spoken about the manipulative, emotional tactics she used trying to get people to shut down their brains as she gave this testimony before the Texas legislature. Let’s resist that. Let’s start our brains up again, and keep them in gear.
Here’s a good place to start: Did Jesus “always defend the marginalized”? Better yet: Does that statement even mean anything? The answer is no. Obviously no.
“Marginalized” Doesn’t Always Need Defending
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I’ll be interacting on this topic live by video next week on The Stream’s Facebook page — Tuesday, May 22, at 8 pm Eastern time, in the next edition of “Contentious Questions (Because some questions are just that way).”
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People get marginalized for all kinds of reasons — and some of those reasons are perfectly good. They get left out of decisions because they’re new in the company. They’re relegated to last chair in the trumpet section because they haven’t practiced enough. They’re second-class citizens in Hollywood because they’re porn movie producers.
So again, what could it possibly mean for someone always to “defend the marginalized”? Would it mean insisting that businesses let rookies set strategy? Demanding everyone gets to play a solo at the concert? Boycotting movies until the Academy gave out Oscars in the pornography category?
No one could “always defend the marginalized.” Not even Jesus. He would have had to deny His own character and moral truth.
Of course He stood up for everyone’s essential worth, and we should too. There are ways you and I could help bring any of the folks I’ve just mentioned into the mainstream. We could coach and mentor the newcomer, so that over a long period of time she would gain real influence. We could give the trumpet player incentives to practice. And we could go stand on the porn producer’s desk and tell him to just stop it!
Jesus Knew When, How — and When Not — To Defend “Marginalized”
Of course I’m not saying there are always good reasons for people being marginalized. Far from it. Consider the woman Jesus met at the well in John 4. She fit four marginalized categories all at once: female, Samaritan (a race hated by the Jews), theologically confused (also a big problem for the Jews) and sexually immoral.
God never intended either race or sex to be reasons to belittle or exclude, as so often happens. Jesus handled those two categories in exactly the right way, simply treating her as a human being worthy of respectful conversation. But he also corrected her misunderstanding of God, and he called her out on her immorality. Jesus stood with her on two marginalized categories, and called her out on two others.
His example in this one interaction plays out everywhere in His ministry. But in fact there’s no policy of “always defending marginalized” anywhere to be found in Jesus’ ministry. He healed a widow’s dying son; he also healed a Roman officer’s dying servant. One was marginalized, the other wasn’t. There’s no policy of “defending the marginalized” anywhere in view.
Or again, Jesus coached the fisherman-disciples in how to follow him, and he coached the Pharisee Nicodemus, too. Where’s the policy? It can’t be found. Not in the Bible, anyway. You have to look for it elsewhere — not in the Bible — like in this woman’s strained attempt to convince herself the Lord on her side. You can find it, too, in the writings of leftist theologians, who make it their habit not draw the Lord’s truth from the Bible, but to pour their ideologies into it instead.
The one needs freedom and vindication as its solution, the other needs (or wants) social approval and social power.
Marginalization Does Not Equal Oppresssion
Of course they have to have someplace to pour it, and the most conveniently shaped vessel for it is Jesus’ stand for the oppressed. Early in his ministry Jesus quoted from Isaiah, saying,
The Spirit of the Lord is on me
Because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free the oppressed,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
He came to set free the oppressed. More often than not this meant setting people free from themselves, from their own sin, as he did with the tax collector Zacchaeus. “Today salvation has come to this house,” Jesus said of him, “for the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
Obviously there’s overlap here, for many are marginalized precisely because they’re oppressed. But not all, as we saw above. And conceptually, to be oppressed and to be marginalized just aren’t the same. The one needs freedom and vindication as its solution, the other needs (or wants) social approval and social power. If two problems have different solutions, they’re not the same problem. Marginalization doesn’t equal oppression.
The Kingdom of God in Grace and Righteousness — That’s What He Always Defended
For Jesus, though, neither oppression nor inclusion was ever the first issue. There was only one thing for which He always stood: the Kingdom of God coming in the grace of God and in the righteousness of repentance. That’s what His Isaiah quotation was about, above all.
For some reason, though, we don’t hear this Texas mom telling the lawmakers she wants help getting her son freed from his confused gender condition. We don’t hear her grappling with whether this “marginalization” exists for good reasons or for bad. We don’t hear her broaching the question, “Is this the way Jesus meant it to be?” No, we only hear her using His name for the meaningless, “Jesus always defended marginalized.”
Twisting Jesus’ Words: Dangerous for Her, Ominous for Us
She came in to that meeting with judgment in her heart and a twisted version of Jesus as her cover for it. She re-manufactured His own words into a Jesus hammer to pound people with. That’s dangerous business. I find it appalling.
And ominous. Count on it: There’s more of this more to come. What defense do Christians have against this misuse of God’s word? One above all, and a second to support it. We have to know what it says. And we have to keep our brains in gear.
See also my earlier article on LGBT persuasive rhetoric in this woman’s testimony. It’s a virtual clinic in manipulative tactics.