John Fugelsang’s quote is so theologically off, it’s embarrassing. In his video, he ends his quote by saying, “that’s only if you believe what’s actually in the Bible”. Let’s break down this quote of his.
“Jesus was a guy who was peaceful, radical, nonviolent revolutionary” (from the video)
When we think of Jesus, we do get the image that He is peaceful and nonviolent. But in the same time, Jesus broke the law (e.g. the Sabbath), rebuked authorities, and questioned the Jewish law. Is that considered peaceful? Additionally, Jesus Himself said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). The word ‘sword’ here means persecution of Christians. How is persecution peaceful? The Pulpit commentary does an excellent job of interpreting the peace of Jesus: “The Prince of Peace did not come to cast in peace as something from outside. It would show itself eventually, but from within outwards.”
“Who hung around with lepers, hookers, and criminals”
What does Fugelsang mean by this? That Jesus approved of sin, or…? None of us are perfect. Many of us are friends with a leper, hooker, or criminal, if we aren’t one ourselves. And when He “hung” around with them, it was for the purpose of changing them, to bring them to Him; such as Zacchaeus. Romans 2:4: “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness…not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”
“Who never spoke English, was not an American citizen”
Yes, thank you, we know.
“A man who was anti-capitalism”
Not sure where Fugelsang is getting this from. A system doesn’t necessarily have to be “good” or “bad”. However, it can be used for the good or the bad. Critics of this system say that capitalism is greedy. But is the system itself greedy or are humans greedy? There’s evidence that supports that greed is human nature, biological. Also, there’s an important distinction that many seem to overlook when it comes to “capitalism” and “greed” – there is a difference between self-interest and selfishness; C.S. Lewis wrote about this. A couple of other important points are (1) Several times Jesus encouraged His disciples and all Christians to give voluntarily, and (2) Jesus stated in Luke 10:7 that a “worker deserves his wages”.
I will quote from Timothy and I know many will whine about it not being ‘a direct quote from Jesus’. But since we believe what’s actually in the Bible, we believe that the Bible is God-breathed, and that Jesus and God are One. 1 Timothy 6:17-18: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good… and to be generous and willing to share.” Notice how it doesn’t say that an individual can’t be wealthy? It says to be generous with wealth. Just in case you missed that, John, Jesus isn’t anti-wealth, He’s anti-avarice. Let’s not forget all the wealthy figures in the Bible who loved God.
“Anti-public prayer (YES HE WAS Matthew 6:5)”
Let’s re-read this verse: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” (Bolded and italicized for emphasis, and pretty self-explanatory). Jesus Himself prayed publicly, like at the feeding of the 5,000, the 4,000, and in John 17. Many other important Biblical figures prayed in public too.
Well, technically, He never spoke of it. However, the New Testament (though debatable) seems to be against the death penalty for everything except murder. One of the reasons for this is that Jesus told Peter those who kill by the sword will be killed by the sword.
“But never once remotely anti-gay”
Not sure if he’s talking about homosexuals or homosexuality. Jesus loves all people. When the Bible writes “for God so loved the “world”, it really means everyone. But Jesus also hates sin, which Paul and others spoke off. Don’t cherry pick, John.
“Didn’t mention abortion”
KILL ALL THE BABIES.
Human life is so sacred. Crusades for Life gives a great defense of the unborn in the Bible. There are a lot of things that Jesus never mentioned, that’s why we take the Bible as a whole.
“Didn’t mention premarital sex”
If you believe what’s actually in the Bible (not letting this comment go), John would know that premarital sex is adultery, which Jesus is against. Additionally, Jesus went a step further and said: “Anyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
“Who never called the poor ‘lazy’”
The Parable of the Bags and Gold (Matthew 25:13-40) speaks on laziness. Jesus even called the lazy servant “wicked”. This parable also shows that sometimes laziness leads to poverty.
Never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes
Jesus never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest or the poorest Nazarenes. ‘Then Jesus said to them “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s (not, “Give back to Caesar what is yours”) and to God what is God’s.”’(Mark 12:17). He also paid His taxes (Matthew 17:24-27).
“Who was a long haired, brown skinned – that’s in Revelations”
I bet you’re one of those people who also believe Jesus has breasts, because, you know, that’s in Revelation. Almost the entire book of Revelation is metaphorical. He was neither white nor brown-skinned.
Jesus chose to live amongst people because that was His ministry, to reach out to others. Homeless is the wrong word to use.
Jesus never spoke for or against slut-shaming, so I’m not sure where he’s getting this from. Unless he’s speaking of the adulterous woman, but that’s really a stretch since there’s no connection to be made there, theologically speaking.
“A Middle Eastern Jew”
Yup, pretty much common knowledge and not even a point in his favour.
This is why it’s so important for Christians to know their Bible. Because, if not, people like John Fugelsang will change everything that Jesus is and stood for by taking Bible verses out of context and twisting it for their own gain.