I was an adult before I became a Christian and first read the Bible. I was shocked by much of what I read, because I had been sold the “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” narrative. Jesus was meek and mild with ‘honest’ adulterers, whores and worst of all-tax collectors.
But he was plenty tough on the religious authorities, who were then called scribes and Pharisees. Although there are many quotes to confirm this, one will give you the gist of Jesus’ criticism of the religious leaders of his day: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you make yourselves look good on the outside, but inside you are full of extortion and excess.” (Matthew 23:25)
Remember, he said this in public and before large audiences.
In America, rightwing Christian leaders have belly-flopped en masse into the Jordan River of politics and taken up where the scribes and Pharisees left off. Many people fret about the Bilderbergers, that exclusive band of elites who meet in secret conclave annually to decide how to take over the world. American rightwing Christian leaders also meet in secret to decide how to take over the world but few notice them-and they like it like that. One woman participant said, “Only the best people attend these.”
This statement should induce nausea in any Christian. They think they are the “best people?” Woe, to you, scribes and Pharisees, elitist snobs.
They must skip over the Book of James:
“Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the (rich man) and say, “Here’s a good seat” but say to the poor man “Stand there” or “Sit at my feet” have you not become judges with evil thoughts?” (James chapter 2) James gets even hotter: “But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you?”
Yes, James was a commie, the Apostle Paul was a socialist and Jesus was very far from meek and mild. How inconvenient for the rightwing Christian leaders, who tote the rightwing party line. James Robison, for example, said dependence on the government for such things as food is idolatry; that is, one should depend only on God for food (as if God doesn’t use human beings.) When Robison can pray down manna on EBT recipients, we’re all set. And when the “Christian leaders” can heal the sick by laying their hands on them, national health care will wither away from lack of need.
While they claim one should depend only on God for food and shelter-in direct contradiction to Jesus’ strong statement “Whatever YOU DO for the least of these, you do for me,” they do not claim one should depend only on God for defense. Au contraire, we need a big, mean military, even though the Bible says we should not trust in horses or chariots but only in God. When the rightwing Christian leaders can triumph by marching seven times around Bejing, for example, blow a trumpet and watch the walls fall down, the military will also wither away from lack of need.
Rightwing Christian leaders are rightwing leaders, but they are not Christian. It’s just politics, and twisting religion to fit a political agenda. If they believe in Jesus, even a little bit, they should ask themselves, “What ticked Jesus off?” The answer is plain-the hypocritical religious leaders of his day ticked him off.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.