If Jesus Gave A Speech At Liberty University (Here Are Some Things I Think He’d Say)

Screenshot 2015-03-24 13.26.00

Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz became the first candidate to announce they’re running for president in the 2016 election cycle, during a speech he gave at Liberty University. Liberty students were required to attend or face a fine, so Cruz had a pretty decent crowd to help try to insert some perceived energy into his political campaign.

As I sat last night and listened to the speech, and thought about the ways in which secular political loyalty has bled into the Kingdom of God, it made me wonder if Jesus himself would be invited to give a speech at a Christian university in America? And, if he did get invited, would he get thrown out mid-speech for sounding liberal or un-American?

Personally, I’d be shocked if he were invited and even more surprised if they didn’t cut his mic– because here’s some things I think Jesus would say about our current culture that would rub people the wrong way:

 “You have heard some of my opponents say that we must kill and destroy every last member of ISIS… But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who hate you, so that you can become God’s children!”

“You have heard some of my opponents say that we must find ways around the drug shortage for executions in America, but I tell you: Let he who is without sin administer the first injection!”

“You have heard some of my opponents say that we are exceptional,  but I tell you: No, we are not! There is none exceptional except for God.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say that the poor should go and find their own healthcare, but I tell you: Woe to you who say this yet will not touch their burdens with your own fingers.”

“You have heard some of my opponents downplay the seriousness of police violence against minorities in our country, but I tell you: It would be better for one to fling themselves into the sea than to harm a child.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say there’s nothing wrong with a Christian being filthy rich, but I tell you: It will be easier for a camel to fit through a needle’s eye than it will be for a rich Christian to enter heaven!”

“You have heard some of my opponents say there’s nothing wrong with corporate wealth and greed, but I tell you: Just wait and see what I’m going to do at the temple this passover.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say that we must get rid of all restrictions on guns, but I tell you: If you want to follow me you must put away your weapons! If you live by them, you’ll die by them.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say we must be tougher in the area of justice, but I tell you: Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say we should build a giant wall to keep people out, but I tell you: Invite the poor, the lame, and the blind– then you will be blessed because they cannot repay you.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say we must be bold and draw hard lines in our churches, but I tell you: What sorrow awaits  you who slam the door to the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces!”

“You have heard some of my opponents say we must return mandatory prayer to our public schools, but I say: you hypocrites! You love to pray in public where everyone can see you. Instead you should go to your house, close the door, and pray to your father in secret.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say we must ‘stand with Israel’, but I tell you: Oh, Israel! You who kill God’s messengers. How I longed to stand with you, but you would not receive me. You will not see me again until you are ready to bless me.”

“You have heard some of my opponents say we must pass laws ensuring that we don’t have to bake cakes for gay weddings, but I tell you: If a gay person asks you to bake a cake for their wedding, bake them two!”

“You have heard some of my opponents on both sides say we need to ‘take this country back’ but I tell you: It will be the meek, not the politically powerful, who will inherit this country.

“You have heard some of my opponents promoting ‘rugged individualism’ and that the poor must fend for themselves, but I tell you: Depart from me! For I was thirsty and you didn’t give me water. I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. I was naked and you didn’t clothe me. I was a prisoner and you didn’t visit me. I was an immigrant, but you tried to keep me out.”

See? I just don’t think the message of Jesus would be all that popular today in many Christian universities. These are just a few of the things Jesus said that I think would rub our culture the wrong way, but I’m sure there are many, many more that would offend people on both sides of the political spectrum.

In the end, I know the message of Jesus is crazy. But it’s the only message I’ve found that’s beautiful enough to give my life for- so this message of Jesus is where you’ll keep finding me, regardless of whether or not he ever gets invited to speak at a Christian university.

About Dr. Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey is an author, speaker, and blogger. He is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell and received his Doctor of Intercultural Studies from Fuller. His first book, Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, is available wherever books are sold. Benjamin is also the co-host of That God Show with Matthew Paul Turner and a syndicated author with MennoNerds, a collective of Anabaptist/Mennonite voices.

He is currently signed to HarperOne and is represented by the Daniel Literary Agency in Nashville, Tennessee.

You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.