I don’t know much, but I do know Christ. I have spent most of my adult life studying the Gospels, praying, contemplating, and preaching sermons on the same. I have written roughly 1,000 original sermons; and, since I preach one of the four gospel accounts of the life of Christ every year from Advent through Easter (and often beyond), a good portion of those 1,000 sermons have focused on the life of Christ and how our lives relate to these stories. All of this in addition to following Christ, personally, since having a significant experience in college in the 80’s. I don’t know much, but I do know Christ.
So, after the most recent atrocities committed by the current occupant of the White House and the spineless mass of sycophants pooled at his feet, blasphemously labeled GOP “leadership,” I can, without hesitation, say that none of these men are followers of Christ. Yes, I stand by that statement. I have chosen my words carefully. They may claim to be followers of Christ – I know that many do; but in no way are they doing so in truth.
The latest example is the sickening mockery and cruelty displayed toward Christine Blasey Ford and the millions of women who have been sexually assaulted by men. The current occupant of the White House openly, publicly mocked Dr. Ford without veiling it behind any false deference. But make not mistake, the ludicrous statements made by every senator claiming to “believe she has really suffered an attack, but I just don’t believe it was by Brett Kavanaugh” is treating Dr. Ford with similar mockery and cruelty as well.
Contrast these examples with the words and acts of Jesus Christ: When a bunch of men dragged, before the presence of Jesus, a woman caught in the act of adultery (hypocritically leaving the man behind) and attempted to humiliate and hurt her while at the same time trying to get Jesus to betray his beliefs, Jesus did not participate in their cruelty in any way. Jesus called them out on their hypocrisy, challenging any one of them, “If you have no sin, go ahead a throw the first stone.” Every one of them slunk away in their shame. Then Jesus spoke to the woman with tenderness and care:
“Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
“No one, sir.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus.
That is what Jesus said to a woman who participated in what, at the time, was a serious crime; unlike Dr. Ford and the millions of other women who have had serious crimes committed against them. Even so, Jesus protected the woman’s dignity and spoke a word of healing. The other men literally wanted to kill her! Jesus utterly and openly rebuked them. The worst he said to the woman, in private, was, essentially, “Don’t take part in that relationship anymore.”
Over and over again throughout the scriptures, Jesus treats with tenderness, care and healing those who have been overlooked, cast out, put down, humiliated, and shamed by men. The people Jesus did call out, consistently and publicly, were those who look a lot like the Orange One and his spineless followers, those who had power and used it merely to strengthen their control and further wound those already suffering. Those seeking to follow Christ are shown and guided by Christ to treat with tenderness, care and healing all those suffering, overlooked, cast out, put down, humiliated and shamed; as well as call out, consistently and publicly, those with power who use it merely to strengthen their control and further wound those already suffering. Neither the current occupant of the White House nor the spineless mass of his sycophant enablers are following Christ.
As a white, male Christian, I am sickened and infuriated by those who look like me and disgrace the name of Jesus Christ. I will not allow their voices to be the only ones heard in this hour. All those who have been devastated by an act of sexual assault are dearly loved by God, God’s heart breaks for the hurt you have endured and will, someday, bring a reckoning of justice upon those who have inflicted these crimes. Until that day, all true followers of Christ will do everything they can to make earth as it is in heaven.
Thank you so much for writing this! I agree 100%!
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Thank you, Doug. Just thank you.
Amen, brother! Thank you, Doug, for your insight and willingness to bring an important and leveling pastoral perspective to this conversation. In addition to everything you said, it appears lost on our current so-called leader how outrageous, hypocritical and insulting is his claim that, “These are dangerous times to be a man.” As if the last 5,000+ years of danger, torment and abuse of women mean nothing. This, and so much more, are an outrage to one’s senses. Keep the faith and keep shining your light on the rats in our midst.