There is a lot of misleading propaganda in the culture war. Someone said that the first casualty of war is truth. John Fugalsang’s popular meme depicting Jesus as a “Radical Non-Violent Revolutionary” is good example of misleading propaganda.
Among other things, Fugalsang asserts that Jesus never…
• “mentioned abortion or birth control”
• “justified torture”
• “fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest”
• “asked a leper for a co-pay”
Tax cuts, insurance and co-pays never existed in the 1st Century A.D., so why would Jesus mention them? But consider the claims.
Anyone who would claim that Jesus thought folk were justified in reaching into the womb to kill offspring carries the burden of proof.
Jeremiah records God saying:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5, ASV).
The Holy Spirit through Jeremiah affirms person-hood and consecration before birth.
It should be mentioned that there is a difference between a “contra”ceptive – which prevents conception – and “day after pills” which kills the already conceived. Other than the Catholicism and a few others, the issue for us is over abortifacients that end a pregnancy after conception.
From the many statements about the value of life – including the unborn child (meditate on Exodus 21:22-23) – we know what the “Bible” Jesus read taught about the sanctity of life. Here, Fugalsang implies Jesus’ silence gives approval.
Regarding torture, another subject about which Jesus never said anything, I teach there is no justification for torture. But, that’s on what I have read elsewhere in the Bible. Here, according to Fugalsang, Jesus’ silence on torture is prohibitive.
Regarding tax cuts for the wealthy, this is a simple anachronism and isn’t helpful to anyone.
If you care about biblical ethics and how they apply, we need to avoid such claims that amount to little more than political cheap shots, cast in a false piety that impugns both politics and piety.
Nowhere in his teachings did Jesus infer that anyone, rich or poor should pay more or less tax than anyone else.
If we’re going to judge on the grounds of “fairness”, only a flat tax where everyone pays the same percentage of earned income fits, because charging folk different percentages is not fair and is contrary to Scripture.
Notice what God tells Israel:
“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15).
Regarding the leper and “Co-pays” we’d have to wait for a few centuries for Christians to invent the hospital and the advent of health insurance. “…In-patient medical care in the sense of what we today consider a hospital, was an invention driven by Christian mercy and Byzantine innovation” (wikipedia.org).
Biblically, Fugalsang’s assertion is simply false.
“And behold, there came to him a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou made clean. And straightway his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them” (Matthew 8:2-4).
The gift Moses commanded was a sacrifice, if folk are going to force a modern situation into the ancient texts where it doesn’t belong, well, then there’s your “co-pay.”
We live in a “win at all costs” world; the carnal-minded will approach life with that mentality, the disciple of Jesus won’t.