– Newsweek, January 12, 2018
“If you’re a Christian, you shouldn’t care about the end of the world, you’ll be in Heaven. Let Trump drop the bomb, I don’t care.” – paraphrased from several conversations I’ve had (and maybe you have too) on social media over the past year.
“Trump’s eventually going to have enough and then do the right thing and just use the nukes. And it’s about time too.” – paraphrased from several other conversations I’ve had (and maybe you have too) on social media over the past year.
Trump supporters (some of them, anyway) seem obsessed with the idea of ‘The End’ and nuclear war and they see it as A GOOD THING.
To be blunt, what the fuck is wrong with these people?
They claim to be Patriotic Americans, they claim to follow Jesus, they claim to love their neighbor. But they are also ready to nuke the crap out of people and kill millions and bring about the end times to Jesus will come.
And these are people in the front row of the so-called Christian Right. Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Falwell, Jr. and many others have expressed this type of thinking since Trump was elected President. They’re ready for Jesus to come and they’re OK with nuking the world to make it happen. (Or at least war, some other nonsense they see as fulfilling Biblical Prophecy.)
In their opinion, Jesus is OK with killing and harming millions, if not billions, in the name of God, so it clears the way for Him to return.
To be even more blunt, what the actual fuck is wrong with these people?
(Side note, if you don’t like my choice of words, I apologize, but I also direct you to my blog post “I Love Jesus But I Cuss A Little“.)
How can you claim to follow Jesus, but at the same time want America to nuke everyone, causing untold destruction, pain, misery, and death? What sort of theology leads you to the belief that the United States can and should start a war for the purpose of bringing back Jesus?
There’s a lot to unpack, Biblicly. (The issue is obviously greater than just theology, but that’s where these folks claim to be coming from, so that’s how I’ll answer them.)
The verse that gets thrown at me most often as justification for war is Luke 22:36:
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” (NIV)
“See?” they might say to me, “Jesus wasn’t anti-war! He told them to get a sword!”
And there’s this verse in Matthew:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword (10:34 ESV)
“See?” they might say to me, “Jesus is all about conflict and fighting and division! That’s what He wants here!”
And they point to the Revelation of John and its (supposed) description of Jesus:
Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. (19:15 NIV)
“See?” they might say to me, “Jesus is about to slay millions with is sword and rule with his scepter!”
And of course, there are a lot of verses in the Old Testament that talk about war and God commanding the Israelites to slaughter all the people and Psalms and Proverbs about enemies being struck down and so on…
Is this the Jesus that really was? Or just the one they have made up to justify what these earthly men want?
Even if you are a Biblical literalist, who sees the Bible as literal and/or infallible, you have to be raising your eyebrows at any interpretation that leads to Trump dropping The Bomb on anyone.
How can Christians be in support of death and pain and destruction?
What did Jesus say in his own words? If we claim to follow Jesus, shouldn’t that be the highest authority, even above the rest of the Bible? If we’re Christians, shouldn’t we follow Christ and not Moses or David or Solomon or Paul?
Also, when we’re looking at Jesus words, shouldn’t we take ALL his words, in context rather than just picking verses that support our position (like those above?)
If we follow Jesus, shouldn’t we follow everything He taught and not just the parts we like?
Now, obviously, a study of the Gospels (the first 4 books of the New Testament containing all the quotes from Jesus) is a huge undertaking. Many have devoted their entire lives to it and have written volumes and volumes on the subject. I can’t hope to possibly write a summary here that could sum up everything Jesus said, did, and taught. It’s beyond the scope of this blog.
But what I can do is give you a place to start for you to look for yourself and reach your own conclusion, which, in my opinion, is what God really wants from all of us. He wants us to take an honest look at what He has said and done and decide for ourselves.
And since we’re talking about Jesus, that is where I want you to start. The New Testament, the first 4 books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Read them. In any order, doesn’t matter, since they all 4 talk about the same events from the point of view of 4 different authors. They overlap. All together they are kind of a long read in one sitting, but it can be done in an afternoon you want, but I’d suggest taking some time and not just blow through them.
While you’re reading or when you’re done consider these questions:
What idea or concept did Jesus talk about and practice the most?
What did Jesus say about our enemies?
What opinion do you have about Jesus? Is he someone you’d like to be with or is he someone you think is just angry all the time?
When Jesus speaks, do you think He means for his lessons to be applied to everyone, no matter who they are or what position they hold in work or government? Or can some people ignore Him for the “greater good”?
I’m not going to tell you what to think about Jesus. I want you to figure it out. From my writing above and elsewhere you have probably figured out my opinion of the idea “Jesus is OK with war”. But I want you to tell me what you have figured out out Jesus opinion on the topic.
Comment below or on the page on Facebook! I want to hear your thoughts!