Over the past months, I’ve seen this “quote” posted on FB and other sites. The quote is by an actor (John Fugelsang) whose parents were disenchanted Catholics who went against their religious beliefs to get married. (His mother was a nun and father was a former Franciscan Brother.) It is easy then to see why he is disenchanted with religion and makes these comments about Jesus that are, for the most part, incorrect.
While a graphic such as this may make for lots of shares and likes from the unbelieving and unknowing crowd on Facebook, and give the author more visibility, it is not scriptural and definitely needs to be addressed.
I’m not a theologian by any means and certainly not a wordsmith so I’m responding as a lay person who loves the Lord.
Jesus was a radical nonviolent revolutionary
The simple answer is yes. Jesus was radical in his ministry and teachings.
However, every time Jesus rebuked the temple leaders, questioned Jewish traditions, or broke the “law,” it was because the system was corrupt, the teachers were misguiding the people, or else man’s law was wrong by God’s law. Jesus was acting righteously to restore true practice of being faithful to God, and he had the authority to do so.
who hung around with lepers hookers and crooks
First, I must state that Jesus never “hung out” with anyone other than the apostles. To ‘hang out’ with someone means to get together with friends for entertainment, etc.
Having said that; Fugelsang states that Jesus hung out with hookers and crooks (tax-collectors & prostitutes) insinuating that we should not dare judge such people. But what he doesn’t point out and possibly doesn’t understand in these appeals for loving tolerance, is that Jesus expected these people to change, to repent & no longer be corrupt tax-collectors (corruption & tax-collection was synonymous at the time) or prostitutes. Thus, Jesus only associated with them to change them. He in no way was approving of their sins. These tax-collectors & prostitutes became FORMER corrupt tax-collectors & FORMER prostitutes.
Let’s see what the Bible says: Luke 19:1-10 KJV
1 And [Jesus] entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, [there was] a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that [way]. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw [it], they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Zacchaeus repented of wrong doing and stated he would make things right with those he had wronged. Jesus then stated that salvation had come to his house. He would not have said that had Zacchaeus not been repentant. So we see that Jesus didn’t ‘hang out’ with an unrepentant sinner. Nor did he tolerate their sin. He expected them to change.
Ok but what about the hooker. Again, we must go to the Bible and give context. John 8:1-11 KJV
1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard][ them not]. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Here Jesus tells the scribes and Pharisees that unless they are without sin, they have no right to stone (pass judgement) on anyone else. Then he tells the woman that He does not condemn her. Now here, we must make a very important distinction. Jesus said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The scribes and Pharisees not only had judged her but were preparing to ‘sentence’ her by stoning. (death) This would cause her physical death. However, Jesus’ condemnation would sentence her to an eternal life in hell. Instead, He told her to go and sin no more.
Again, this disproves the statement that Jesus ‘hung out with lepers hookers and crooks.
wasn’t American and never spoke English;
was anti•wealth anti-death penalty
There is no Biblical text that says Jesus was ‘anti-wealth.’ Non!, Nada! Zip! He told his apostles not to take money with them but to depend on offerings but didn’t limit the amount in any way.
As for anti-death penalty. “If no crime deserves the death penalty, then it is hard to see why it was fitting that Christ be put to death for our sins….” If we didn’t deserve the death penalty ourselves, then why would Christ need to suffer it on our behalf in order to satisfy the justice of God? Denying the death penalty directly assaults the justice of the Father—the One who required His own Son to pay precisely that price in our stead. – Professor Michael Pakaluk.” A good article suporting this can be found at http://www.religiontoday.com/news/did-jesus-support-capital-punishment-11575216.html
NOTE: My personal opinion is that I am against the death penalty as it is now used in a broken system.
anti-public prayer (m 6:5);
Mmm, I think he meant Matt. 6:6 here but whatever. Jesus speaking in this passage is not saying it is wrong to pray in public but wrong to pray in public if you do it to be seen by others. My Bible says Jesus Himself prayed in public.
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,(Luke 3:21 [KJV])
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.(Luke 11:1 [KJV])
And the Gospels are replete with instances of the apostles and others praying in public.
but was never anti•gay
Lets’s see what the Bible says. Way too many verses to mention here but I’ll give the gist of Jesus’ feelings on homosexuality (based on what is written in God’s word.)
First and foremost, John 3:16 tells us that “God (Jesus) so loved the world…” and the ‘world’ here certainly included homosexuals. So, Jesus loves homosexuals as much as He loves anyone else. Let’s get that out of the way. However, though Jesus loves everyone, He hates sin which includes adultery.
“(Matt 19:18 [KJV]) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,” So we see here that Jesus groups adultery in with all the other sins. Adultery in the Bible speaks of sex outside of marriage and marriage in the Bible is strictly between a man and a woman. I have a good series on same-sex marriage and what the Bible says here so I won’t go into detail in this post.
never mentioned abortion or birth control
But the Bible does teach that life begins in the womb, that God considers children special and wants humans to have children and certainly that God condemns the killing of the innocent.
never called the poor lazy,
Nope; in fact, the Bible is full of parables where Jesus speaks about the poor and certainly, as Christians, it behooves us to do what we can to those who are down and out.
Personally though, I like Matt. 11:5 where “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. ”
Notice here how Jesus speaks of healing the blind, lame and the lepers, but preaching the Gospel to the poor. Now I would be ‘proof-texting’ if I were to say this proves that we are only to witness to the poor but it does show that our number one priority is to give them the gospel. And while Jesus never called the poor lazy, the Bible does speak of personal responsibility in a number of passages. One that stands out to me is 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ” You see, just because a person is poor does not make them lazy, but there is no problem with calling a person who is too lazy to work, lazy. Those are the one’s who just want to scam the system and live off of the taxpayers
never justified torture
No rational person would justify torture under normal circumstances. However, if someone had kidnapped a member of my family and I thought torture was the only way to make him/her divulge their whereabouts, I’d pull his fingernails out one-by-one till he told me.
never fought for tax cut for the wealthiest Nazarenes
When asked about paying taxes (Mark 12) Jesus says to give to God those things which are God’s and give to Cesar (or the government) the things which are Cesar’s. Nowhere in His teachings did he infer that anyone, rich or poor should pay more or less than anyone else. I personally believe we should have a flat tax where everyone pays a set percentage of earned income period. No deductions, no shelters, nothing. That is a ‘fair’ tax.
never asked a leper for a co pay
Nor did He ever make someone else ‘responsible for healing. Anyone who says they do not believe in co-pays but is not willing to go to any doctors office and pay the co-pays for those folks coming in is a liar.
and was a long-haired
No, this is not scriptural. Nor was it the culture. Look at any of the artworks/statues/reliefs of the time of Christ and you will be hard pressed to find anyone with long hair. And, while Jesus grew up in Nazareth, this had nothing to do with the Nazarite vow which some claim for the reason he had long hair.
Yes, as was everyone else in the area.
Not at all sure where this came from and unfortunately, many of the liberals who read this garbage will believe it. In Matthew 21:13 “And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer;…” Jesus, the very creator God of the universe, owns the universe and everything in it. Now just as an activist for the homeless may choose to live among them for a while rather than living in his/her home, Jesus chose to live among us rather than living in His home (heaven). So to say that Jesus was homeless shows a very ignorant view of scripture and the God of all.
No scriptural basis for this statement.
Again, a total disregard for scripture. In Luke 13: 15-17 we read: “The Lord then answered him, and said,[Thou] hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or [his] ass from the stall, and lead [him] away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”
Jesus ‘shamed’ many during His time on earth. And in case after case, we see repentance. Repentance doesn’t come without a feeling of shame and guilt.
middle eastern jew.
Yep; can’t argue with this one.