That’s the title of an essay in the Dallas Morning News by Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist in Dallas. As an aside, this is the same church I mentioned earlier in the year that opened its new and improved 3,000 seat, super-sized church-theater-business at a cost of $130 million. Jeffress, it seems to me, is not the kind and loving Christian he pretends to be but rather a shrewd and glorified god henchman. I’ll let you read his opinion piece, if you desire, but he has no place, really, bringing his god, his judgment and his views about abortion into this fray with Syria.
I’ve heard Mr. Jeffress say this before: we need to “reclaim God’s absolute and unchanging moral law.” I know….It makes us wonder if he’s even read the Bible. If he had read the OT, he’d know that his God has committed plenty of acts that are now considered immoral to our society.
If he had read the Bible, he’d surely open his state-of-the-art church to the homeless in his city. After all, God’s house, which enjoys benefits from the taxpayers, is not in use at night nor during most days, and there are plenty of folks who need shelter in Dallas.
If he had read the Bible, he’d know that all the times he speaks of knowing God’s will and intentions, of playing god’s mini-me, was a big no-no. He’d know not to judge gays. He’d know not to judge other believers. He’d know not to speak for God like this: “Think about this one time in heaven God was sitting up there with his sketch pad and he said, ‘you know I’m going to design human beings and would it be fun of they started doing this together with one another,’” Jeffress explained. “God dreamed up sex, He thought it up for our enjoyment, He gave us the equipment to enjoy it with.”
Did he now? I thought God added “equipment” right after Adam and Eve showed their naughty side–as punishment–just as the snake lost its legs. Gee. I guess the Bible is all about interpretation.
If Jeffers had read anything about the history of religion, he’d know that the Catholics and the Mormons and even the Muslims he criticizes are all relatives of his Baptist church, all variants of the same “cult.” (He seems to love that word.) It’s kind of ironic that, in tearing down the separation between church and state as Jeffress desires, he aligns more with the prophet Muhammad and the Islamic faith that he scorns.
Robert Jeffress is the reason why you and I continue to have these dialogues. He’s the reason we want religious leaders to stay in their churches. So every time he gets the urge to shame Americans, every time he wants to fortify his private army at the expense of peace in the populace, every time he sits in his ivory chapel and proclaims judgment on the people below, we don’t have to hear or see him. He has his very own (very extravagant) soapbox with his very own mini-me’s who will nod and clap and cheer. That should be more than enough.
I tried to understand this man, the leader of our nation’s oldest megachurch and the shepherd of 10,000-plus apparently content sheep here in Dallas. Really, I did. I figured if so many people liked him, he must be somewhat likeable.
I’m sure that’s what folks said about Bashar Assad, too.