ONE OF MY READERS posted a note asking,
“Where is Stephen M. Miller in these troubled times?”
Like I could fix it.
Actually, most anyone with common sense could fix it if anyone with no sense would listen.
But these are not days for listening to anything but what we want to hear.
The reader’s complaint was about me not writing as many blog articles as before.
What I was doing was multitasking.
- Wrapping up Eyewitness to Crucifixion
- Getting close to finishing the New Testament part of the Casual English Bible (I have only 1-2 Peter, Jude, and Hebrews left)
- Creating videos about the Bible and Christianity
- Watching grandkids a day or two each week.
I’ve been reading the news, too.
And I’ve been watching on TV what I’ve come to call News Pornography.
I call it that because it presents a reality that doesn’t exist. Talking heads just say it does. Sadly, millions believe what they hear and see, unaware of the editing going on. Not to mention the fact-checkable lies. Okay, I mentioned it.
Before I wrote books about the Bible, I wrote articles for newspapers as a news journalist. That was my undergraduate degree, News Journalism. I got it from Kent State University when Kent State was making news during the Vietnam War in the 70s.
I know the difference between news and propaganda.
Some TV news channels swing the truth like a hammer to beat the guts out of one party or the other.
Some channels, one in particular, swing lies like a hammer, too. The worst offender is Fox News, an American variation of Russian state-run TV. Their propaganda is intense and effective.
I cannot have a political conversation with friends or relatives who get their propaganda from Fox News. Trying to do that sometimes reminds me of a missionary couple from my childhood who came home from the mission field for a few weeks, hoping to retrieve their daughter from a cult. It didn’t happen.
It takes a long time to break through years of brainwashing. And that’s what we’re getting fed from some of the leading national broadcasters.
Because of it, we have Christians defending their favorite leaders who have become famous for their lies, and who appear to be sexual predators, empty of empathy, and corrupt from their hairspray to their golf balls.
Christians who get their news from objective sources…yes, they exist: Associated Press, Reuters, BBC, among others…don’t understand brainwashed Christians or how to reach them. By the way, a note like this won’t work. It just gets them riled. It’s a mistake to call mistaken souls mistaken if you want to turn them. They hate it. But that’s just one more mistake they make.
Sometimes all you can do is speak the truth and pray that someday it sinks in.
Following an antichrist
Many Christians today follow an antichrist. There are lots of antichrists to follow.
“You’ve heard an antichrist is coming. Look around.
They’re already here, crawling all over the place” (1 John 2:18).
It’s easy to spot them. They are the opposite of Christ. To find them, look for people with characteristics nothing like these.
- Helping the poor. “I’m here to deliver good news to the poor…people treated like dirt will be treated with respect” (Luke 4:18 Casual English Bible).
- Feeling their pain. “He felt for the people. He could see they were facing a lot of troubles and they had no idea where to turn for help. They were like lost sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
- Humbly serving others. “He didn’t come here so everyone could serve him. He came to serve them” (Mark 10:45).
- Paying his taxes. “Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Give God what belongs to God” (Matthew 22:21).
- Living honestly, not as a crook. “People who cheat in little ways will cheat in big ways, too, when they get the chance” (Luke 16:10).
Quest for Christ’s view of immigration
Immigration became a big deal in recent years, a crisis invented to stoke election-time fear, many outside the Fox bubble say.
I can’t find anything Jesus said about immigrants, except perhaps “I was hungry and you gave me food…I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35 Casual English Bible).
But I’m pretty sure he was more welcoming than wallish. Two reasons.
- He was an immigrant. When he was a baby, his family ran for their lives to Egypt when King Herod ordered Bethlehem boys slaughtered. “They stayed in Egypt until Herod died” (Matthew 2:15). Fortunately, Egypt didn’t have a wall or an unwelcoming pharaoh.
- He knew what his Bible said about immigrants. “When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34 The Message).
Putting immigrant kids in cages and their parents on the first donkey back to where they came from certainly seems more antichrist than Christ.
Christians who believe otherwise and who cheer on behavior that’s antichrist are more likely pseudo-Christians, sociologists and philosophers might say. Pseudo-Christians sincerely think they’re Christian, but they’re worshiping a revised Jesus. One who better fits their personal experiences, opinions, and values.
Revised Jesus doesn’t look anything like the original.
A note to the lady
For the lady wondering where I’ve been, I hope this helps.
I’ve been doing my work. And, like most Americans, I’ve been following the news and preparing to vote the devil out this batch of politicians.
May God help us all as we wade through the venom, and look past the distractions, and then under Spirit guidance vote this coming fall to fight off the attack on our Republic, our democracy, and our decency.
We need God’s help because nearly half the nation doesn’t seem able to tell the difference between compassion and callousness, courage and bullying, or facts and alternate facts.
Have I been following the news and thinking about how the propaganda coming from politicians and broadcasters pollutes Christianity? You’re doggone right I have.
So please don’t judge me harshly for withdrawing from time to time to cuddle with my grandkids, and to thank God they’re not little niños and niñas sitting in a cage wondering where Mami and Papi are.
If you think I’m upset, you’re right. Both of my Kansas senators know it. I’ve chased truth all of my life and I’m not about to stand for the Father of Lies calling Truth a liar.
Is it any wonder Jesus told Roman governor Pilate, “My kingdom doesn’t exist anywhere in this world” (John 18:36).
We, however, do.
Wherever we are, with whoever leads us, and under whatever conditions exist, genuine Christians welcome immigrants, feed the poor, and pursue justice by speaking raw truth to corrupt power.
Here’s how Jesus did it.
“You give a ten percent tithe…Big deal. You ignore what’s more important: justice and mercy and devotion…you ritually wash the outside of a cup and a bowl, but you fill them with greed and self-centeredness…you hypocrites. You’re in for it. You’re like a garden graveyard, manicured and presentable on the surface. Down deep, you’re full of dead men’s bones and rotting guts that pollute the dirt” (Matthew 23:23-27 Casual English Bible).
And half the people said, “Amen.”