Do They Know What Jesus Actually Said?

I was listening to a talk show that I enjoy on satellite radio. It's what I do when driving in the car. Not surprisingly, the topic had to do with the presidential campaign...what doesn't these days? The host made a comment about evangelical Christians which I would qualify, because it is no more fair to lump all evangelicals together than it is to lump all progressives together, and sometimes people can represent both camps.

What he said was something like this: "Why is it some people who claim to be followers of Jesus seem never to have listened to a word he said?" I think what he was getting at was the hard sayings of Jesus, but also the sayings having to do with love.

Sometimes, not always, political folks who say they speak for Christianity manifest very little of what could be called a charitable, or loving, attitude. Certainly some of the harshest language about President Obama has come from those identifying as Christian.

Although he identifies as Christian, they insist he is not. Some of the most stringent critics of social programs, including affordable health care, say they cannot wait until a new president is in office so that they can do away with the Affordable Care Act.

Some of the most vocal opponents to any kind of laws dealing with registering firearms or strengthening current gun-control laws say they speak from a Christian perspective. At least one commentator has asked when reverence for guns came to equal reverence for God in America? Truth is, there are times when the Gospel can, and should, cause us to have to take a stand on social issues, even though such a stand is unpopular.

But there is a chill wind blowing across America that hints that there is room for only one interpretation of scripture and Christian faith, and that is the one that supports the status quo, or takes it back in time. We should be troubled and wary at this turn of events, and those who believe that the Gospel is meant to transform people's lives with programs that include, not exclude, had better speak up soon, before it's too late.