We received further proof last night many in the media are biblically illiterate. Case in point Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post was speaking as part of a panel on CNN last night shared what she thought was some exclusive insight into a statement made by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the campaign trail.
One observation. I don’t know… this seems to have slipped through the cracks a little bit but Ted Cruz said something that I found rather astonishing. He said, you know, “It’s time for the body of Christ to rise up and support me.” I don’t know anyone who takes their religion seriously who would think that Jesus should rise from the grave and resurrect himself to serve Ted Cruz. I know so many people who were offended by that comment. And you know if you want to talk about grandiosity and messianic self-imagery I think he makes Ted Cruz makes Donald Trump look rather sort of like a gentle little lamb.
Ok, news flash for Kathleen Parker, Jesus has already risen from the dead. This is why we celebrate Easter. In fact without Jesus’ resurrection the Christian faith would pretty much be pointless.
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins,” (1 Corinthians 15:13-16, ESV).
Secondly, “the body of Christ” is a theological and biblical reference to the Church (universal, not local) so Cruz is not calling on Jesus Christ to serve him. Read Romans 12:4-5. If that really were the case I’d agree with her, but that isn’t what he was saying.
Third, I’m curious what Christian she actually knows who believes what Cruz said meant what Kathleen Parker thought it meant. Who are the lots of people who were offended?
Fourth, perhaps “these people” were offended at the notion of Cruz saying the Church – followers of Jesus – should rise up in support of him. There is not just one candidate a Christian could get behind with a clear conscience. The problem with Parker’s statement is that Cruz never said “It’s time for the Body of Christ to rise up and support me.”
Cruz said in a recent conference call with supporters, “If we awaken and energize the body of Christ– if Christians and people of faith come out and vote our values– we will win and we will turn the country around.” I’ve heard him say this numerous times.
Now I’ll have to both agree and disagree with Senator Cruz over this statement. First, when he says “we” he’s talking about the church, not his campaign. He doesn’t make the statement saying the Church should support him. His intent is to point out the effectiveness of a unified vote of Christians who vote biblical values.
That shouldn’t be controversial. Evangelicals are a large voting bloc and if they were unified you would see different results on election night. We would probably see different types of candidates running. We would see some differences in our state capitals and Washington, DC. In that sense I agree with Cruz.
Where I disagree is that ultimately it isn’t an election that will turn the country around. What we need is revival and it isn’t going to come from Washington. God transforming hearts through the power of the Gospel will impact individual lives that will make healthier families and stronger communities. Seeing more people who come to Christ, apply His word and live His values will eventually make a difference in our culture and in the world.
Kathleen Parker’s criticism, however, was completely off-base and theologically flawed.