Pat Robertson suggested this past Monday that the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, be assassinated by operatives of the United States government! Though his comments are newsworthy because of his following in the 700 Club and his political stature and role in the political religious right, his comments however are out of synch with everything that has been handed down to us from the teachings of Jesus Christ. What I am suggesting here is that Pat Robertson and individuals of his ilk are not practicing or preaching Christ but have become adherents of a political movement in this nation that attempts to use Christianity towards their own narrow political ends. I believe that there is a role for Christianity in the events of the world, but the teachings of Christ leads us to love one another, strain and stretch to understand each other, and dare to know each other enough that we come to an understanding of one another and from that create a world that is not built on might and winning but on understanding and unity. Clearly the comments of Robertson defy the framework we find in the gospels of Jesus Christ.
What do we find in the Good News of Christ? We find love is expressed continually and unceasingly. The gospels admonish us to do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. We finds words in the gospels that define the mission of Christians as the elevation of the poor, freedom for those who are oppressed, salvation for the lost, and hope for the hopeless. Jesus says come unto me all of you who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest. He does not say come to me those who are looking for political expediency and I will show you who to and how to assassinate!
I am continually amazed at how so many preachers have ceased to preach Christ, or to proclaim him out of the rich simplicity of his teachings and have resorted to a kind of theology that is not gospel based but is based on a narrow point of view that keeps the powerful powerful and the poor poor!
I am too.
Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler is National President, Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice and Senior Minister, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ Washington, D.C.