Refugee? Mixed-Race? Please stop co-opting Christ

In the last few years some Christians as well as some false teachers have written articles about Jesus that have caused Christians to be concerned.

One article called Jesus the Mixed-raced savior, pointing to some of the non-Israelite women found in the genealogy of Jesus, others, especially around Christmas, have have written on social media pointing out the fact that Jesus himself was a refugee, having escaped from Herod as he sought to put Him to death. Many other articles and posts have been written using Christ as a prop for political and sociological beliefs.

It seems that all in all there is a growing desire to co-opt Christ.

Perhaps because of a love for the lost, there’s a desire to help people identify with Christ by making him sympathetic to many injustices that the world is facing. Of course, I disagree with this as there is no need for it, but I understand it as I desire to see souls saved.

There also might be the temptation to justify our political leanings by using the Bible. Obviously if the Bible says something it is much more powerful than if Trump or Obama said it. While the Bible does clearly speak on many issues it is imperative that we do not twist it in order to justify our positions. This is terribly dangerous and sinful but an understandable temptation as well.

So, when it comes to identifying Christ as a mixed-race savior or as a refugee, I can understand the desire to do so. It doesn’t automatically mean that the one who does so is a heretic, though it might. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are politically idolatrous, though it might. It might be simply that they are saddened for the refugees around the world and want to make Jesus more attractive to the refugee they are evangelizing. But even with these motives it is quite dangerous.

Sure, Jesus had some women in his line who were not Israelites but to diminish or eliminate his “Jewishness” is a big theological problem and misses the point entirely. And sure, Jesus was escaping from a murderous king, and in that sense, he was seeking refuge, but one would have to grant that pretty much any Jew moving away from Israel during that time would be considered a refugee (in today’s world) since they were under Roman oppression.

And it is this very Roman oppression that Jews were facing during Jesus’ time on earth that brings me to the main point of this article.

Any time we make Jesus’s ministry about anything other than fulfilling His mission of being the perfect lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) we are in danger of at least distorting the Gospel if not even teaching a false one (Gal. 1:8-9). 

The reason in this case is simple. 

If by pointing out his multiple ethnicities and his refugee status we are setting up Christ as some kind of social justice fighter we are co-opting him, meaning we are using Him for our motives, and twisting his mission while on earth.

If Jesus came to “preach liberty to the captives” (Luke 4:18), and if the word “captives” includes anything other than captivity of sin, then He failed, and He failed miserably. 

In fact, the Jews tried to murder Jesus in His own hometown (Luke 4:29) because he was insinuating that He was not going to set Israel free from Rome let alone do any miracles there.

Jesus frustrated fellow Jews continually because He kept showing and telling them that his mission had nothing to do with making our lives better in this life. 

He didn’t free Israel from Roman captivity, though he could have.

He didn’t heal every disease, though he could have. (Luke 4:42-43)

He didn’t cast out every demon, though he could have.

He didn’t kill the Roman guards when they came to arrest him, though he could have. (John 18:6)

He didn’t stop Pilate from slaughtering those Jews, though he could have. (Luke 13:1)

He didn’t stop the tower of Siloam from collapsing, though he could have. (Luke 13:4)

He didn’t put an end to human suffering, though he could have.

He didn’t put an end to death, though he could have.

Obviously, I’m not saying that Jesus didn’t make the world a better place when he was on earth. He healed many, fed thousands of hungry people, and even raised his friend from the dead, but ultimately, the healed experienced pain again, the fed got hungry again, and even good old Lazarus experienced death again.

If we make Jesus’s ministry about fighting injustice, we are misreading the New Testament and moving away from the Gospel.

Jesus’ focus was the cross. (Heb. 12:2) It was to rescue humanity from their sin. (Matt. 20:28) It was to be the lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

While it is absolutely tragic to see so many face injustices in this life, it is more tragic to consider the fact that after living a difficult life, every single malnourished person on earth, every single slave, every single woman who is raped, upon breathing their final breath, will instantly be judged for their own sin and tormented in Hell for eternity.

And while it is one of the evidences of salvation for Christians to love and care for those who can’t care for themselves, (James 1:27) it is a fool’s errand to set our final hopes on something so minuscule (in comparison to eternity) as fighting injustice. 

Please spend your life rescuing sex slaves from the grips of wicked men, please fight to end abortion or whatever your heart desires but doing it without the Gospel or twisting Jesus’ mission for political or other reasons is wrong and will cause you to twist the Gospel itself. 

Messing with the Gospel story to convince someone to accept it, or worse yet, to win a political argument is counterproductive and ultimately unbiblical. It cheapens the Gospel and distorts the true mission of Jesus Christ.

I beg you to stop messing with the Christmas story, souls are at stake. There’s no time to play games when billions are dying without Jesus and going to hell.

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