This spring, a group of Christian liberals (yes, apparently “Christian liberal” is a “thing,” not an oxymoron) plans to visit Lynchburg, Virginia, the home of conservative Liberty University, and protest what they consider the “toxic evangelicalism” coming from leaders like Liberty’s president Jerry Falwell and others like him who happen to support President Trump.
The “Red Letter Revival” was announced last week by Christian author and social justice warrior Shane Claiborne via Twitter, and is set to take place April 6-7. According to his website bio, Claiborne “heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living ‘as if Jesus meant the things he said.’”
For a group billed as a Jesus-centered alternative to both the Christian Left AND the Right, the positions taken seem awfully Leftist, and include such gems as “Wherever your power and influence might lie, it is magnified when shared and held by those who are poor, oppressed and looked over by society,” and “Questioning cultural norms is healthy and can lead to wholeness,” among others.
Yeah, Karl Marx would have been totally down with it, his atheism notwithstanding. (Which is another problem, but I’m getting ahead of myself...)
While there are no plans specifically to directly confront Liberty officials, Claiborne seems to have targeted the college’s hometown based on his claim that some Liberty students want the school “to be known for its love for Jesus (rather) than its love for Trump.”
In other words, if you’re a Christian and you support the president and his agenda, you’re somehow not following the Founder of your faith as well as these Birkenstock-clad hippies are, because Red Letters, or something.
Truly, does anyone have a ladder high enough to get these people down from their high horse?
It’s a giant strawman, of course, but one people like this, and other liberals who call themselves “Christians,” construct and use to great effect. Jesus said to turn the other cheek, so it must mean nations and individuals shouldn’t be allowed to protect themselves. Jesus said not to judge, so who are we to say two lesbians shouldn’t be married and “mother” children? Jesus said to love our enemies, so it obviously means capital punishment is a no-go (as if life in prison would be more merciful... maybe we should just “love” them and let them go free!). Jesus said to give to the poor, so he’d obviously dig Nancy Pelosi’s welfare state (minus the “crumbs” to working people, of course). Jesus said to love your neighbor, so we should give every Muslim in Somalia a one-way ticket to the United States and a house in the ‘burbs, that is if we want to stay on the right side of the Almighty.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. By selecting the “Red Letter” words, often out of context and usually interpreted out of alignment with the rest of the Bible, liberal Christians (and not just the ones aligned specifically with the group mentioned above) build a theology of sorts around proof-texting and use it as a bludgeon against conservatives and particularly Trump supporters.
To them, rather than the Lord of all Creation, Jesus is a smiling, winking doofus giving you a thumbs-up for your “tolerance,” sort of like Kevin Smith’s “Buddy Christ” statue. To them, rather than pieces of a much larger picture that must be rendered consistent with their context, observable reality, and the rest of the Bible, the recorded words of Jesus Christ are used to justify policy positions that are, for all intents and purposes, from the pit of hell.
Put it this way, “Red Letter Christians,” if your positions are so “Godly,” why do so many non and anti-Christians agree with them too?
From abortion, gay marriage, and immigration to tax policy, gun rights, the death penalty, and even the welfare state, liberals, Christian and otherwise, have somehow managed to convince a significant percentage of Americans that they are on the side of the angels, while conservatives and especially Trump-supporters are flirting with damnation because of their “mean-spirited” policy positions.
Nevermind that our policy positions actually, you know, WORK.
But for them, it’s their way or the highway. In a viral blog post that sums up their view quite well entitled “Following Jesus And Supporting Donald Trump Are Utterly Irreconcilable,” Christian Leftist (again, NOT an oxymoron) Zack Hunt lists Trump shortcomings to support his case that someone can’t support the president and follow Jesus at the same time.
“We must choose a master: either Christ or Trump,” concludes Hunt. “Because we cannot follow Jesus while also supporting someone who, in the most literal sense of the word, is anti-Christ.”
Anti-Christ? Seriously? While we’re bringing up the Bible, how about this…
Isaiah 5:20 reads, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”
Not to be judgmental or anything, but if any one group deserves an extra helping of this “woe” from the Almighty, it’s these modern day Pharisees.
This Spring, the “Red Letter Christians” will be in Lynchburg protesting Trump, Falwell Jr., and whatever perceived “mean-spirited” agenda item they happen to be triggered by that day, and they’ll be twisting the words of the Son of God to justify their absurd, unworkable policy positions.
Truly, if Jesus weren’t sitting at the right hand of God looking down at them with a scowl and a gigantic thumbs-DOWN, he’d be rolling in his grave!