Saying Jesus was Liberal is Wrong

Liberal Christians and liberals in general tell Christians who are conservative that Jesus was liberal.  They will tell you that because Jesus was liberal, you must be liberal if you want to be like Jesus.  While liberals will tell you this, nothing could be further from the truth.  Liberal ideology and Christianity are utterly incompatible.

Saying Jesus was liberal is wrongWhat I am Not Saying

Let me be clear about what I am saying and what I am not saying.  Am I saying all liberals are going to hell? No. Am I saying liberalism espouses ideals and “morals” that are sinful and contrary to what the Bible teaches? Yes, without question.  However, we cannot earn our way to heaven, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB)  The book of Romans tells us that, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Clearly, whether you support Obamacare or redistribution of wealth has no effect on your salvation. Neither does your belief in whether Jesus was liberal affects it.  Now back to the original question: are those who say Jesus was liberal right?

Those who say Jesus was Liberal Ignore Half the Bible

I have to clear up a point about the New versus Old Testament.  Liberals like to tell you that the Old Testament does not matter.  They say that Jesus wiped that all away.  They will tell you that we can not learn anything about what Jesus stand for from the Old Testament, because Jesus was not in the old Testament.  They are wrong on all accounts.

The Apostle Paul tells us in his second letter to Timothy that, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NASB) Jesus himself said this, “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.” (Luke 16:17) In the book of Matthew He says:

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18

The story of the Old Testament is not obsolete and worthless.

Additionally, liberals are wrong when they say that Jesus was not found in the Old Testament.  They are denying basic tenants of the Christian faith.  The Bible is clear that Jesus is God:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3, NIV

So when you see God in the Old Testament, you can replace it with Jesus.  To make this point, I have added Jesus’ name in brackets next to God.  Now let us get into the heart of the issue whether Jesus was liberal.

Being Wealthy is not Evil

Liberal Christians will point to the story of the Rich Young Ruler as proof that being wealthy is evil and proof that Jesus was liberal.  In it a young man of power and wealth came to Jesus and asked what he had to do to be saved.  Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions and follow Him, but the young man would not.  In response Jesus said, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” However this is not the proof that Jesus was liberal that liberals claim it is.

Pastor Jay Abramson, senior Pastor at Valley Community Baptist Church explains this in a sermon titled, “What’s the Danger in Wealth:”

Yes, Jesus Himself lived a very simple life with very few possessions and yes, He asked this wealthy young man to go and sell “everything he had” and give it to the poor, but we have to be careful that we don’t jump to conclusions from those two facts. Jesus didn’t teach voluntary poverty as something everyone should practice. For example, Jesus was friends with some very wealthy people, like Lazarus, like Zacchaeus; He didn’t require them to give everything away before they began to follow Him.
Pastor Jay continues:
“And secondly, at the end of this Scripture passage, when Peter reminds Jesus that he and the other disciples had left “everything” to follow Him, Jesus tells Peter that they will receive ‘in this present age’ – ‘brothers, sisters, mothers, children AND homes and fields.’ So, why would Jesus reward them with ‘homes and fields’ if wealth like that were inherently evil? No, Jesus is not an anti-materialist or a Marxist. But neither is He a Crony Capitalist. When the apostle Paul wrote about what was ‘a root of all kinds of evil’ (please note that he did not say ‘THE’ root, he said ‘A’ root in I Tim. 6:10), he didn’t say that money was that root. He said ‘the LOVE of money’ was that root. So, wealth and money and anything that is used to measure a person’s economic worth, are not evil by definition.”

It is about the person’s heart and what matters most to you. You can watch the full sermon on Vimeo.

To make the point that wealth is not evil even more clear, just look at how the Bible describes Job:

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God [Jesus] and turning away from evil.  Seven sons and three daughters were born to him.  His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east…The Lord [Jesus] said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.'” Job 1:1-3, 8

That sure does not sound like being wealthy is evil.  In fact God and therefore Jesus say this through Solomon, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous,” (Proverbs 13:22) and later he says, “There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up.” (Proverbs 21:20) Once again saying Jesus was liberal is wrong.

If Jesus was Liberal, Why did He Institute a Flat Income Tax Instead of a Progressive One?

When God and Jesus was able to institute an income tax in the Old Testament, why did he institute a flat 10% Tithe and not tiered income tax like liberals always clamor for?  maybe, because those who say Jesus was liberal are wrong?  In fact, God and therefore Jesus warns us about high taxes:

Samuel told all the words of the Lord [Jesus] to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, ‘This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights…He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.  He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.'” 1 Samuel 8:10-11, 14-18, NIV

Oh how I long for a time where God was warning of only a 10% tax.

Charity is Supposed to be Voluntary

The Bible is clear, private property rights exist.  If they did not exist there would be no need for Exodus 20:15, “You shall not steal.” (NASB) As such, charity must be voluntary to be consistent with that.  Peter confirms this in Acts chapter 5 with the story of Ananias and Sapphira.  They sold their property and brought a part of the money to the Apostles, but  claimed that it was all the profit from the sale.  The Apostles knew that it was not everything and they confronted Ananias and Sapphira.  Did the Apostles decry them for not giving them all the money?  See for yourself:

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.'” Acts 5:3-4

If Jesus was liberal and taught his disciples all to love communism, why did Peter not demand the rest of the proceeds? If Jesus was liberal and taught the disciples to all be liberals, why did Peter remind Ananias that the land and the profits of the sale were his all along?  That is because those who say Jesus was liberal are wrong.  Paul confirms this, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Jesus Told us to Help People

When people claim that Jesus was liberal point to, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world,” (James 1:27) and other similar verses.  This is the greatest condemnation of the idea that Jesus was liberal: Jesus wanted us to help people and liberalism does not help.  Look at the affect that six and half years of it has done to America.  The labor force participation rate is stuck at a 38-year low. Liberalism and Obama are driving up healthcare costs, this from Politico:

“The cost of Obamacare could rise for millions of Americans next year, with one insurer proposing a 50 percent hike in premiums, fueling the controversy about just how ‘affordable’ the Affordable Care Act really is.”

On top of causing insurance costs to rise, but it also does the opposite of what Obama and the Democrats claimed it would do: it is causing millions to lose their insurance.  The Congressional budget office is estimating that 10 million will lose their employer based insurance by 2021.  Liberalism does not help.  We see this in the fact that you are 50% more likely to die as a patient in England than you are here in America.  If you say Jesus was liberal, you ignore these facts.

Conclusion About the Idea Jesus was Liberal

To claim Jesus was liberal, you must ignore many facts.  You must ignore half of the Bible.  In order to claim that Jesus was liberal you must ignore that no where does it say being wealthy is evil or wrong.  You must ignore that God and therefore Jesus warned about rulers asking for high taxes.  If you think Jesus was liberal, one must deny that Charity is supposed to be voluntary.  Finally, since Jesus wanted us to help people, you must ignore the economic and historical reality that liberalism destroys and does not save. I follow Jesus, therefore I oppose liberalism with every fiber of my being. Nothing is farther from the truth than the idea that Jesus was liberal.

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Andrew Hansen

Andrew Hansen

I am a 25 year old college graduate with a B.S. in Business. For as long as I can remember, I've had an in interest in history, politics, current events and faith. I consider myself an evangelical conservative libertarian. I love to read and write, and I am an aspiring Fantasy author.
Andrew Hansen
Andrew Hansen

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2 comments

  • Hi, great and well written article. I have just a few comments. Number 1, you tried to refute the idea of Jesus being a liberal by contrasting certain versus with what you believe are central tenets of liberalism (which as a side thought is very broad, you have referred to it as encompassing a few socialist ideals but liberalism as a whole is far more nuanced). Just because you a draw a contrast from a few verses by no means disproves that Jesus wouldn’t be a liberal today. Your logical inference follows the pattern of equating extremely socialist ideals with liberalism. I personally think we don’t know how Jesus would have identified politically, although I do think he would oppose abortion and gay marriage. It seems you draw lines in the sand to highlight and warn people that socialist ideals cannot be married with Christianity at all and that they must choose between the two yet you readily admit that that doesn’t matter in terms of salvation. I don’t think Jesus would be spending his time vehemently and angrily condemning the other side, I think he would look for common ground and a chance to convert them. I am FB friends with you and you only highlight conflicts daily. From a non-believers POV you and the radical Muslim both do similar things, warn and highlight perceived differences while establishing a strict binary. It seems your anger over politics motivates you more than you’re drive to be passionate and reach out to those who don’t yet share your ideas. Also, you refer to the LFPR but its intellectually dishonest given that he was handed the problem of the second worst depression in American history. Also you don’t mention any of the other stats that show the growth since the recession. I too wish the LFPR was higher but a truly objective evaluator of performance would note all of the changes since the recession. Again, it seems like your hatred of Obama motivates your selective evaluation of the economy’s performance.

    Thanks

    • Thank you for taking the time to reply.  This post was supposed to be a limited exposition on a specific subtopic of economic liberalism: redistribution of wealth, and whether being wealthy was evil.   My next post, which I hope to have up today or tomorrow will look at social issues.  We can talk about whether specific laws or bills fall under this, but this post was intended to just an analysis of general what I consider liberal policies.  Certain positions may not fall under this than that is fine and this does not apply, but I would argue that many liberal economic policies and mantras fall under it to one extent or another: income inequality, progressive [Marxist] income taxes, death tax, and the whole “you didn’t build that.”  No, we cannot know whether Jesus would be a Republican, Democrat, Independent or what, but we can see what values he taught and try to apply them.

      As for why I am writing this, it is because it matters.  It matter practically, morally and it matters according the Bible.  This is what Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians:

      Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:6-12, NASB

      Seeing wrong without trying to do anything about it is itself wrong.  Jesus himself had incredibly harsh words for followers of him to teach in his name that doing wrong is alright, “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

      As for economic performance, is it really a strong economy or is it weak?  Yes the stock market is high, but is that because the economy is doing better?  It is what I like to call a Jenga economy: it has been built up by undercutting the foundation.  The stock market is high because of artificial stimulation by the Federal Reserve.  As for Obama inheriting a mess, I would argue that the mess was not of Bush’s creation, but Clinton’s.  The crash was caused by a domino affect started by the Subprime Loan crisis which was created by Bill Clinton.  Bill Clinton’s revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act that forced banks to give the subprime loans.  I would argue that Bush had a bigger mess to clean up from his predecessor than Obama did; though the mess Bush had to deal with was less obvious.