Zacchaeus and Christian Support of Destructive Administrations

Via:  larry-hampton  •  one week ago  •  9 comments

Zacchaeus and Christian Support of Destructive Administrations
People may bear the name of Christian, but if they support corrupt administrations who do harm in exchange for political favor or for the sake of winning a decades-long culture war, they are out of harmony with the teachings of Jesus.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Luke’s gospel brings us the story of a tax collector named Zacchaeus who walks away from his support of and participation in a systemically unjust and exploitative system to become a Jesus follower. In response to Zacchaeus, Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9).

The picture we get from the synoptic gospels is of a 1st Century Jewish prophet of the poor traveling through his society’s margins, teaching and calling his audiences to a distributively just society where those on the edges are included. Jesus appears in the stories as one who, like prophets such as John the Baptist before him, was a voice on the margins, “crying in the wilderness. ” Jesus’ vision was of the kind of society that the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas refers to as God’s just future.

Do Jesus’ ethical teachings still offer anything relevant to us in the 21st century, as we work to reverse systemic injustice? I’m convinced they do.


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Larry Hampton
1  seeder  Larry Hampton    one week ago

Luke’s story indicates that Zacchaeus was Jewish but also complicit in the injustice of the larger Roman empire. Like many Christians today who continue to unconditionally support the present administration in the U.S. despite harms to decency, democracy, minoritized people, and our planet, Zacchaeus participated in Rome’s economic exploitation of the vulnerable people around him.

Donald J. Trump fan 1
1.1  Donald J. Trump fan 1  replied to  Larry Hampton @1    6 days ago

Because all Christians not buying into the social gospel of liberation theology or the stagnating mainline establishment catholic or Protestant views of the Lincoln project must be lost for daring to disagree or for supporting a President who has kept his word.  

Larry Hampton
1.1.1  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.1    6 days ago

I’m not sure I’m even understanding your post; but, let’s try any way. 
first off you keep mentioning “Lincoln Project”       Which I had to google as I haven’t a clue about them. 
Regardless, support for an evil person is not excused. 

1.1.2  Drakkonis  replied to  Larry Hampton @1.1.1    5 days ago

Is this post directed at Trump or the misunderstanding of the Gospel according to Social Jesus? 

Larry Hampton
1.1.3  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Drakkonis @1.1.2    5 days ago

I don’t understand your question. Could you please expound a little further?

2  Drakkonis    6 days ago

Um, wow. This is so weird. I had no idea that you'd posted an article on this when I included a link to this article in your other post. 

Larry Hampton
2.1  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Drakkonis @2    6 days ago

Thanks Drakkonis, perhaps universal inspiration ?!

Donald J. Trump fan 1
3  CB     5 days ago

I am glad this is pulled out for a topic. Because the article needs some elaboration on.

  1. Yes, Donald Trump is attempting to swing this country to a conservative side under his complete umbrella of control. Yes, I can see it plain as day! Trump is doing it with a minority party of conservatives and republicans (and not all conservatives and republicans at that) assent .

  2. The article writer is in manifest error to attempt to turn Zacchaeus into a newly minted copy of a social justice warrior. Doing so strips away context in order to establish a pretext. There was a provision in the Old Testament:

    Leviticus 6.

    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the LORD, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, or through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, 3 or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; 4 then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him or the lost thing which he found, 5 or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering. 6 "Then he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to the LORD, a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering, 7 and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he will be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt."

  3. Compare: Luke 19: But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Zacchaeus make amends base on one of the civil laws written down and relevant to the people of his day. Thus, he aided in the removal of a guilt sin, for which the villagers who saw Jesus attending him was complaining. The article writer is wrong to draw a "social gospel" from this verse, and specifically to do using it alone.


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