The Tears of Jesus
Updated: Jul 30
What has brought us to this new approach and interpretation of the New Testament with so much emphasis on abortion and LGBTQ rights? These two issues are hardly found in my New Testament.
There are forty thousand Christian sects throughout the world. Modernly, the Christian faith has stagnated. The number of Catholic seminarians is down over 75% since 1968 in the United States.
Right wing evangelists seemingly have decided in America that the central theme of the New Testament is the evil of abortion and the gay community. Can they defend their position? Their rules seem strident, hostile and demanding when my Bible says, “the law killeth and the spirit giveth life”. Many states, following The Supreme Court's decision, are passing laws that now say a fetus is the dominion or domain of the State or Federal government. Doctors in many of the states cannot determine outcomes or viability of a fetus without following statutory precepts. In cases where the health of a fetus is questionable, doctors are now afraid to make life or death decisions for fear of the law.
What is most peculiar about all the new rules for fetus protection is the seemingly quick abandonment of that fetus after it is born. In difficult economic situations for the mother, there is no promise of medical care, food stamps, or child care. Many of those forced to give birth will be uneducated, poor and otherwise overburdened. Where might the government be in this period of stress and burden for the mother? What has brought us to this new approach and interpretation of the New Testament with so much emphasis on abortion and LGBTQ rights? These two issues are hardly found in my New Testament.
What has led us to this theological and or political outcome?
The lust for power and money – materialism as it were – are the usual suspects. The fear of Hell and consequences of negative behavior seems individually more remote than ever. The world is not a steady place as troubles abound. Political instability, climate change, and modern social ills, via the internet, all lead to cultural dismay in the marketplace. Children under 18 are being shot at schools and at home. Gun proliferation is the modern tragedy that divides us in the United States. The number one cause of death for children is guns, followed by suicides. These are disgraceful statistics. A minority of Americans that venerate guns are not alarmed over sacrificing our children at the altar of the gun lobby. God help us for the tragedy that is growing, not receding. Hard to believe but some Congressmen, “for hire”, wear assault weapon lapel pins more than likely paid for by a lobbyist.
Our Founding Fathers had a spirituality that carried them through the Revolutionary War. This spirituality was reflected in demands for religious freedom in the new United States of America. All faiths protected. None excluded. None with exceeding power over the other. In the Civil War, President Lincoln instigated a day of thanksgiving to God. In his second Inaugural Address, Lincoln cited passages from the New Testament. He once stated he was, “driven to his knees in prayer because he had nowhere else to go”. In the summer of 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the battleship U.S.S. Augusta to construct the Atlantic Charter, that would deal with the threat of Nazism. The ship’s Navy band, many times, played Christian battle hymns in support of the conference. In World War II, Chaplains of all denominations served in every American battle zone.
The separation of church and state is established in the United States. Christ said, “render unto Caesar’s, what is Caesar’s and to God, what is God’s.” And Peter said in the New Testament, “honor your government, pay your taxes, and pray for those in authority.” It was never intended that the United States become a theocratic government. And the U.S. Constitution holds there will never be a religious test to hold office. We need a rebirth of the principles outlined by our Founding Fathers. They were dedicated to accountability and the rule of law applied to public servants. That same reaffirmation of love and caring found in the New Testament should be our companion, as we try to protect our children and grandchildren from the mayhem they are facing. Christ used the Beatitudes to show the way to those blessed in His eyes. He showed in the Parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew that Heaven can be obtained by helping the poor, the sick, the hungry, and those in prison. But in Luke, the Parable of the rich man and Lazurus suggests that hell and suffering await those who remain indifferent to the least among us.
How could a man who was not God, give us the following insights?
"Love God with your whole heart, your whole mind and your neighbor as thyself."
"Love your enemies, be good to those who hurt you."
"Come to me all of you who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest."
"Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find."
Of course, He gave us many, many more insights.
Jesus and Mother Mary were at a large wedding that is running out of wine. Mary looked at Jesus in a loving manner, asking him for help to keep the wedding festivities going. Jesus then did his first miracle by converting water to wine as the celebration went on many more hours. Just imagine, this is the first miracle of Christ and his mother requested it. Who could make up a story like that? Later, Christ began his ministry and performed many, many other miracles; giving sight to the blind, curing the sick, and raising a person from the dead. Many of these miracles were reported by Matthew, Luke and John.
Thomas Jefferson (one of my heroes as a Founding Father) was a man of enlightenment, who did not believe in miracles. So, he rewrote the New Testament, honoring Christ, but eliminating the miracles. However, from my studies of a just God and his miracles, these miracles are really peanuts compared to creating a vast universe that is impossible to measure. Trillions of objects are floating though space, but so far, only our Earth shows signs of 10,000 atmospheric feet of oxygen and life. Does this sound farfetched? Yes, admittedly lack of evidence of life elsewhere does not completely prove there isn’t any. So, goes the mystery to this day. Anyone who thinks they shall have all of these needed answers should step forward and reveal them.
I believe in God because I choose to. But I arrived at my faith via evidence found in my research. Abraham Lincoln was a believer, Werhner Von Braun, Einstein, and countless others saw the hand of God via the predictably orderliness of the universe. So many men and women, much smarter than me, believed in a Creator. Now I am afraid of the “new God,” who according to some in high places, who, if He came back to Earth, would purchase an assault weapon and set up headquarters in the Wall Street area!
We need the traditional God now, in my opinion, and that of many others. And we do not need cult like imitators of a God in our political life. We must embrace that loving God who has given us the spirit of truth to assist us in creating a just society for our children and grandchildren. God bless America and that U.S. Constitution that helps us create justice for all our citizens.
The greatest compliment we can pay God is to relentlessly seek peace in our lives and to relieve all suffering, especially in children.
God bless the United States of America.
Intro photo by R. Barnard, as seen in the United Methodist Church web site article by Crystal Caviness.