So recently Jerry Falwell died. Jerry was the founder of Liberty University, Thomas Road Baptist Church, and the Moral Majority. Right after he died, I went to the New York Times website and read comments people made about his life-people honestly did not like him. In more than one post, Falwell was compared to Hitler!
Now I understand that the Gospel is not supposed to be popular, and we’re not supposed to be trying to be liked; but the level of hate that people were attributing to Farwell was shocking to me. In no way should a follower of Jesus life a life that they could be compared to an evil dictator.
The reason that Falwell was attacked was because he stood up for what he believed. In fact, that was the purpose of the Moral Majority. He wanted to motivate those with moral opinions to stand up for what they believe and vote conscious, which actually what most people applaud.
I respect Falwell’s integrity. Al Sharpton, Falwell’s ‘political opposite’ in a public address even had the same remarks. I only will say this: I do not believe it is the way of Jesus.
Luke 10 is where Jesus sends out the disciples to spread his message concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. It is here He gives his followers the method by which they are to spread the message. He gives these commands:
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
This is what I see Jesus telling His disciples: Go out, give evidence of the Kingdom of God, and then explain the sign by saying, ‘the kingdom of God is near.’ This is Jesus instruction on how to spread the kingdom.
Jesus does not tell his followers to debate moral issues with people they come in contact with. He simply tells them to give evidence that God’s kingdom is here. To Jesus truth of the kingdom is not in the weight of the argument for it, but in evidence of its presence. This is why I think that political coercion is not the way of Jesus.
Coercion is defined as ‘the use of force or threats to make people do things against their will and force used to make somebody do something against his or her will.’
Does this seem to be what Jesus is telling his followers to do?