I’ve been an ordained minister for about 16 years now. In that time, I’ve had many discussions about spirituality and the Bible. Every now and then, someone will say something to me that sticks out. It might be funny or interesting or even slightly bizarre. It’s part of why I love being a pastor.
Earlier I wrote a blog post called “10 Bizarre Things That Have Been Said To Me.” I’m following that post up with a few more interesting things that people have said to me.
Jesus Was A Democrat
Some time ago, I had a discussion/argument with someone about political values. I shared my viewpoint while my friend shared hers. After several minutes of getting nowhere, she threw her hands up in desperation and said, “Jesus was a Democrat, you know!”
I don’t think so. Jesus wasn’t a Democrat, or a Republican, a Libertarian, or a part of any political party. When challenged on the topic of whether or not to pay Roman taxes, Jesus asked to see a denarius. Recognizing the coin to have Caesar’s likeness on it he said, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
Regardless of what people might think, Jesus was interested in furthering God’s kingdom above any political party or global agenda. That’s important to remember in our heated political climate. While we may love our country (and I sure do!), our first priority must always be to Jesus and to His Kingdom.
I’m A New Testament Christian
In 2015, I taught a long 31-week series covering the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Part way through the Old Testament I was approached by a woman after the service. She stopped me in the hall and said, “I really don’t like the Old Testament God.”
It was hard for me to hide my surprise. I responded and asked her why she felt this way. She said, “Well, the Old Testament God seems very cruel to me. He’s always smiting this person or that person. I like my God to be kind and loving. That’s the way I see him. I guess I’m a New Testament Christian.“
There’s no such thing. Actually, the New Testament makes little sense without the Old Testament. Plus, Jesus was constantly explaining the Old Testament to his disciples and to the Pharisees. If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us.
And the lady? Given the fact, there were many, many people in the hallway and some were lining up to speak with me, I didn’t really have time to investigate further. I shook her hand and wished her a good week.
I Pray While I Sleep
During a conversation on the topic of prayer one evening during small group, people began sharing their different methods for prayer. One person talked about their prayer journal, another mentioned they pray on the way to work. Most said they tried to pray before bedtime. One young man took this idea to another level. “I pray while I’m sleeping,” he said. “In my dreams.” Ooooookay!
I know the Apostle Paul said that we should pray “Without Ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17), but this has got to be too far. I wonder if this would have been a good excuse for Jesus’ disciples to use when they accidentally fell asleep while keeping watch in the Garden of Gethsemane. We weren’t sleeping, Jesus, we were praying!
Racism Killed Jesus
I have a pastor friend who leans farther to the left than most of my other pastor friends. That’s cool, I suppose, but his politics tend to seep into his theology.
Once we were talking over breakfast about the death of Jesus and about why it’s essential, and he pointed out that Jesus was really killed by a racist mob who were loyal to the Roman government.
I realize this concept fits nicely into our micro-aggression culture, but it’s simply not true. Two facts (not feelings) must be confronted. First, it was the Jewish High Priest who formally charged Jesus with the crime of blasphemy. Remember, Jesus was a Jewish man. Secondly, Jesus himself said, “no one takes my life from me” (John 10:18). He willingly gave his life on the cross.
While racism certainly exists in our culture and around the world. It was not the cause of Jesus’ death.
What have you heard or said around the church that is interesting, funny, or just plain bizarre? I would love to hear about it. Feel free to send me an email and let me know all about it. God bless!