Dear Conservative Christians—Exactly What Jesus Do You Believe in?

Dear Conservative Christians,

I need your help.

I’m trying to figure out your stance, here.

I can’t make sense of it.

You’re telling me that you’re a follower of Jesus.

Yet, I’m looking at the last 18 horrific months here,
at hundreds of thousands of people taken far too soon and with such unfathomable ferocity,
at so many people needlessly dying alone in hospital rooms,
at a recent timeline littered with so much sorrow and such breathtaking grief,
at ICUs overflowing, and people dying in emergency room lobbies, and children on brutal machines forcing them to breathe because they cannot,
at one of the single most traumatizing seasons in our history.
And I’m looking at you, supposed Christians, in your obstinate refusal to wear a mask or get vaccinated or make the smallest of sacrifices to keep people from getting sick and dying—and I’m wondering just what Jesus you’re telling me you follow.
It’s not the love your neighbor as yourself, Jesus.

It’s not the lay down one’s life for one’s friend, Jesus.
It isn’t the Jesus who had compassion for the harassed and helpless crowds in front of him.
It isn’t the Jesus who healed the bleeding and touched the leper and embraced the terrified.
It isn’t the Jesus who scores of sick people came flocking to; lowered through rooftops or crawling through the mud or pushing through crushing crowds, in hopes of getting relief for their bodies and their minds—both assailed by their present pain.

Exactly what Jesus are you emulating, praying to, and perpetuating:
as you threaten school board members,
accost strangers in grocery store parking lots,
protest in front of hospitals,
expel mask-wearers from your business,
taunt and threaten on your church signs—
and stridently resist any efforts to stop the spread of this insidious virus?

I can’t find that Jesus in the Bible. Maybe you can. Feel free to show me.

If only you could see how much you’re blowing it here, what an opportunity you’re missing, how big a waste this all is.

If there was ever a perfect moment for you to be the kindhearted, generous people you say you are, it is this moment.
If there was ever a day made for you to embody the empathetic, sacrificial heart of your faith tradition, it is this day.
If ever there was a time when you could clearly incarnate the God so loved the world message of Jesus in a way that altered the planet—it is this time.

This could have been your finest hour; the loud testimony of your better angels.

There is a disparate, wounded, terrified multitude stretched out in front of you right now, just begging for you to show up with something resembling the Jesus they’ve heard about.

But you aren’t doing that.

Instead, you’re complaining,
you’re doubling-down on defiance,
you’re magnifying conspiracy,
you’re digging in your heels,
you’re mocking caregivers,
you’re refusing to help—
you’re partnering with the sickness and the suffering.

And it’s simply antithetical to Jesus.

It is adversarial to human life around you, and a willful rebellion against the deep love for humanity that his life and work were marked by.

Worse than that, it’s a sin.

It’s a sin not to wear a mask or get vaccinated.

It’s a sin to have in your power, the ability to bring wholeness and healing and rest to the exhausted humanity in your path—and to choose not to.

It’s a sin to be given the gift of doctors and scientists and medicine and learning, and to choose to ignore them.

And it’s a sin to pass the buck to God, simply because you are so politically poisoned that you aren’t willing to do what it right and good and loving.

If you have a problem with that, talk to Jesus and tell him why you refuse to love your neighbor and tell me how that works out.

As for me, I don’t know exactly what Jesus you believe, but I know I’m certain of one thing: it’s not any Jesus I know.

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