Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rock, Sand, and Scissors Cut Both Ways?

I remember a certain group of mainline Protestants and "emerging" Christian social activists who practically had apoplexy ever time they imagined that former President George W. Bush was using some kind of secret coded language to make his policies appeal to Christians. "Jesus was not a Republican or a Democrat" they constantly reminded us. Well, I just heard President Obama directly and explicitly (not in code) compare his proposals for drastically increasing federal spending to Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount (specifically the parable of the wise and foolish builder).*

I propose the following questions for discussion.

1 ) Will these folks I mentioned use the same standard in judging President Obama's appropriation of Christian theology for his own political purposes? Or, is Jesus now a Democrat?

2 ) The Bible verse in question is not a generic proverb. In raising the question of rock versus sand, Jesus was not making a generic reference to being wise, he was talking about people putting into practice His own words. The parable incorporates all that Jesus has said up to that point. Therefore, is President Obama suggesting that people who disagree with his spending policies are not merely unwise but are also specifically opposing Jesus teachings? Which ones? Would that include, "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets"? Or how about "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves"?

* source: A YouTube video clip of a CNN feed of the President's speech linked on Townhall.com.