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The “Occupy” Jesus (and Other Inventions)

So when did Jesus go soft? When did He go anti-capitalist? When did He suddenly become this holy hippie who winks at sin and rails against the establishment? When did He stop making exclusive claims, dividing people, and warning about a place of eternal torment? When did Jesus stop being the Judge, and simply become the Good Shepherd? When did He stop loving CEO’s and day traders? When did He join forces with Michael Moore? When did He become a professional protester?

When was Jesus crowned “The King of the 99%”?

The Occupy folks get one thing right — Jesus would probably get angry with us. He would probably overturn a few tables.

I’m just not sure He’d overturn the tables we want.

And really, that’s what I love about the biblical Christ. He was enigmatic, He marched to His own Drummer. His kingdom was not of this world and the moment the crowds attempted to “take Him by force to make Him king” (Jn. 6:15), He fled to the hills.

Which is why I’m leery when any social / political movement seeks to attach Christ to their cause.

Saying that Jesus is “behind the Occupiers” is as wrong-headed as saying He’s a Tea-Partier.

Listen, I believe human life begins at conception (not sure when else it would begin). I have participated in Pro-life events and contributed to Pro-life causes. I believe that abortion may prove to be one of the greatest evils of our generation. But I must be careful not to make Jesus the King of My Cause.

Do I think Jesus is against abortion? I do! But the moment I start organizing movements and protests, the moment money starts flying, the more pacts are drawn, sides are taken, and people are statisticized, is the moment things get sticky. When I start proclaiming God’s on my side, I better watch out.

For all I know, Jesus might overturn tables in some Pro-life campaign offices.

Despite what some want us to believe, helping people “unite” or overthrow capitalist systems did not seem to be a priority to Jesus Christ. Getting this president or that spokesperson elected didn’t appear on His docket. In fact, organizing campaigns of any sort, even ones of noble cause, wasn’t on His agenda. His aim was much bigger, much “deeper.”

So be cautious about trying to make Him the King of Your Cause… because He might end up overturning a few of your own tables.

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{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Nicole January 11, 2012, 7:43 AM


    • Paul Borner September 13, 2015, 1:15 PM

      Almighty JESUS the One True GOD is Loving. He cares for all His children. Trust JESUS. Obey what He tells you day to day.
      Some solutions to pollution and energy problems are found at: UniModEngines.com

      Love and Peace

  • Heather Day Gilbert January 11, 2012, 9:14 AM

    I agree with you on abortion proving to be one of the greatest evils of this generation…my husband recently mentioned, “Have you noticed that you don’t see many Down’s syndrome children anymore, like when we were growing up? It’s because they’re all getting aborted.”

    • TC Avey January 12, 2012, 10:27 AM

      Heather, I recently read an abortion stat that between 1973-2008 that approximately 52 million babies have been aborted. That equates to around 39,000/day. This came from the Guttmacher Institute which used to be a research group affiliated with Planned Parenthood. Haven’t found any other numbers, but I’m sure there are variations of this out there.

  • JoLynne January 11, 2012, 9:39 AM

    Thank you. I’ve been thinking similar things for a long time.

  • Lelia Rose Foreman (@LeliaForeman) January 11, 2012, 10:48 AM

    So true. Two of my children were conceived by rape, or so the mothers claimed. I have never understood by babies should pay to price for their fathers’ sins.
    I love you, Mike. It is great how you can stir up controversy and dialogue.

  • Jill January 11, 2012, 10:49 AM

    Mike, you’re really a genius at pushing buttons. Jesus may not have been “soft”, but he wasn’t the captain of an army, either. And just to wrangle over semantics, Christ spoke of eternal punishment, not torment.
    But I agree with you to a point. Our causes, or our responses to perceived problems may be wildly off base. On the other hand, why would anybody bother with a cause if they didn’t feel it was morally right? Zeal can be a good quality. Look at Paul. He passionately persecuted Christians, then with equal passion preached the gospel.

    • Mike Duran January 11, 2012, 12:27 PM

      Jill, I’m not at home and can’t give you the exact quote, but Jesus’ parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus clearly speaks of the one being in physical anguish. But it’s not central to this post. I think we can be resolved about moral issues w/out making Christ the campaign spokesperson. We were involved in Operation Rescue when it first began and regularly picketed abortion clinics. As much as I believe defending the unborn is a worthy cause, I can’t say with certainty what Jesus would do to oppose abortion.

      • Lyn Perry January 11, 2012, 5:09 PM

        Although you’re right, it’s not central to this post, I agree with Jill, the bible doesn’t speak of eternal torment. Yes, Luke 16 mentions torment, but leaves off the adjective. Plus, this is a parable and the big picture speaks to the divide and is not a didactic on the nature of hell.

        I guess my point is, even when we speak about Jesus we need to be careful what how we describe him for we often misconstrue what he’s about. No, he’s not soft on sin, but he’s not harsh either – “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”

        • Mike Duran January 11, 2012, 7:27 PM

          Lyn, I’ll concede the “eternal torment” issue. Reluctantly. But the next step to taking the “eternal torment” out of “hell,” is often to eliminate the doctrine of hell completely. And I just don’t see how annihilation can ever be equated with hell.

          • Lyn Perry January 11, 2012, 8:02 PM

            It’s a good discussion we should have some time (unless you’ve posted about it before, I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months). Questions can cover what eternal life actually means – and whether our human spirit is ontologically eternal or contingently eternal. Anyway, not to go off topic. Thanks for commenting back.

  • Katherine Coble January 11, 2012, 2:58 PM

    I am against abortion; my father was the product of rape and would’ve perhaps been aborted in another era. Instead he went home with the doctor who delivered him and grew and fathered children of his own. Were he killed I wouldn’t be here. Nevertheless I contend that Operation Rescue’s methods were often unChristlike and failed often to consider the needs of the mothers. I began in 1989 to fight abortion in a different way and am at peace with that decision.

    As for this latest band of rabble rousers (am I the only one who sees commonality between Operation Rescue and the Occupy movement?) they thrive on attention and they KNOW bringing Jesus into it will get folks talking. I figure Jesus is big enough to take it.

    • Mike Duran January 11, 2012, 7:18 PM

      Katherine, having been involved in Operation Rescue for several years, I see little real parallels between those two, either in their driving ideology or implementation. Heck, I’m still not exactly sure what the Occupiers want. Pro-lifers, on the other hand…

      • Katherine Coble January 12, 2012, 10:55 AM

        Sorry–I was in tangent land yesterday.

        Essentially I have issues with OR doing things like yelling at women going into clinics, holding up graphic signs showing dead babies, that sort of thing. I also have issues with OR’s plans of intentionally getting arrested for trespass–another tactic shared with Occupy.

        And those are straight-out-of-the-yippie-handbook old school protest tactics. And those are the same things that Occupy uses to make whatever nonpoint they’re making.

        • Tony January 12, 2012, 4:17 PM

          The yelling thing sounds bad. . .but the graphic images? Graphic images played a role in freeing the slaves — people DO need to see what’s going on. And abortion images have been shown to be very effective. In gradeschool — when actual education was still the goal — they showed us an abortion video. Was my first step toward becoming pro-life. . .and the images still haunt me.

          This article says it all: http://www.abolishhumanabortion.com/2011/10/true-horror-taking-place-in-our-country.html (Warning, Graphic Images)

          Okay. . .now I’ll stop sidetracking the discussion. 😉

    • Tony January 12, 2012, 3:55 AM

      There’s a pro-life organization that is known for crapping on cop cars and having public sex? O_0 Whoa. . .

      Teasing, teasing. 😉

      But. . .what do you mean, “fight abortion in a different way. . .”?

  • Susan January 11, 2012, 4:13 PM


  • Bob Avey January 11, 2012, 5:13 PM

    I agree with you 100%, Mike.

  • Jay DiNitto January 12, 2012, 6:51 AM

    Appropriating Jesus for your non-sequitur political cause might be what He had in mind when He said not to take His name in vain.

  • TC Avey January 12, 2012, 10:23 AM

    I appreciate you posting on this topic, especially since you draw a large crowd. I have found many people (especially Christians that I know) feel disconnected from OWS, however it is something we need to be aware of because they are claiming to speak for the majority. I feel I am part of the majority and they DO NOT speak for me. Some have a few noble ideas, but there is some major corruption going on that I don’t think even those involved in the protests are aware of.
    I had not seen this latest poster used by the OWS. I have posted a times on OWS if anyone would like to come over and get a brief overview of who some of the key players are and what some of the agenda’s being pushed are (Communism, anti -Israel, etc)

    I listed a few links to these posts so you don’t have to muddle through my entire blog to find this info.




  • Tim George January 12, 2012, 2:32 PM

    Hence the reason, we as an elder body at our church, decided sometime ago that politics are not a topic for the pulpit. Where an individual member or even elder stands politically is a personal decision. I’m so so conservative I tend to lean right when standing still. But that is checked at the door when it comes to making doctrinal statements and speaking in the name of Christ.

  • Rachel January 13, 2012, 9:50 AM

    Exactly, Mike!

  • victor hugo vaca jr January 24, 2012, 10:43 AM

    WWCHJD? What Would Crackhead Jesus Do?

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