Thinking Out Loud
4/12/12 at 11:13 AM 0 Comments

Preaching "Another Jesus"

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Craig Cunningham
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches "another Jesus" at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Charleston, West Virginia. His gospel fans the flames of racial hatred and anti-American sympathies that view the United States as the symbol of evil in the world.

When congregations depend upon their spiritual leaders to "preach the word...", there is a trust that should never be broken. Even more important, Jesus himself - the Good Shepherd- appoints leaders to serve as under-shepherds in His place until He returns. This is also based upon a trust between the Lord and the spiritual leader- the pastor. A key function of the pastor is to teach the members about Jesus!

Unfortuantely, the evidence that the Christian faith within a significant part of American culture has been co-opted and perverted by those who actually worship at the altar of governmental authority instead of following the lead of the Good Shepherd is clear. The apostle Paul warned the early church of such influences within the Body of Christ, even as the Christian faith itself struggled to take its first steps in its infancy. They too had to be constantly reminded of false prophets, preachers and teachers. Many groups also sought to wear a cloak of Christianity while using the name of Jesus to carry out their own perverse and vile agendas. In 2 Corinthians 11, verses 3 and 4 Paul shared his concern with the Corinthian church leadership on this matter…

(3) But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (4) For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough [NIV].

The King James Version of this passage describes the preaching of another Jesus… it means describing, portraying or presenting Jesus to others in a way that skews or perverts the gospel so grossly that the message of Him being the Son of God sent to be sacrificed in humanity’s behalf is lost. When one preaches another Jesus, the entire focus and purpose of the Gospel is perverted and those who applaud it do so because they themselves have been led away from the Gospel, and can no longer see Jesus as the one God intended. Essentially, they as with many congregations find themselves lost and separated from the truth! (Let us not forget that Rev. Jim Jones was able to lead nearly a thousand people into a suicide pact in Jonestown, Guyana- with nearly 70% of that population being black!).

Most recently, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright demonstrated just that at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Charleston, West Virginia by running a revival that did more to ignite vengeance, hatred and strife than to draw attendants closer to God. In one case Rev. Wright distorted Jesus’ words as recorded in Matthew 25:41-46 to fit his case for racial strife and government dependency.

The Jesus that Rev. Jeremiah Wright et.al. preaches is actually subordinate to a greater message of racial vengeance and government benevolence. In one of his sermons, he insinuated who would and who would not enter into the kingdom of heaven, calling out the names of Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and members of the Tea Party movement as being those who would not...

“When I was hungry, you fed me. You didn’t cut food stamps. When I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink… you didn’t shovel all the money to the rich. When I was in prison, you did something about the mass incarceration where you got black folk going to jail because of this war on blacks—not a war on drugs. And as much as you’ve done it unto the least of these my little ones, you’ve done it unto me! That’s Jesus talking, that ain’t Jeremiah!”

(41) “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (42) For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, (43) I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ (44) “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’(45) “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ (46) “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Rev. Wright’s message is more about tricking more people to readily receive the mark of the beast than to place their trust in God! Government dependency for food stamps and free services and provisions seem to be the most central part and essence of his gospel. The thing or person one depends upon the most can easily become their god!

In spite of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's hatred and vitriol, the question is "How can so many pastors withing the Christian community tolerate and allow such perverse rhetoric to be spewed from their pulpits unless there is some measure of agreement?" It is true that many pastors, churches and denominations have turned their members over into the hands of government to do for them those things that God has given the church itself the power to do! The notion of justifying higher taxes for the sake of the poor is an age-old Marxist stream of thought that renders government all-powerful and master of all!

As we can also see, the perverted gospel that Rev. Wright preaches runs throughout much of the African-American churches, whether Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, and others. Perhaps this is why there is so much strife and confusion within! However, the problem is not necessarily Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but the pastoral leaders who allow the preaching of this other Jesus from their pulpits to occur in the first place!

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