The Toxicity of a King

The Toxicity of a King June 7, 2023

Photo by Jimmy Chan: Pexels

I hate to admit it, but we have watched the series called “The Great,” which is mostly a non-historical version of the reign of Catherine the Great of Russia. It is entertaining, but I don’t necessarily recommend it, especially if you’re still a little squeamish about sex and language.

We also watched the documentary “Shiny Happy People” about Jim Bob and Michelle and the IBLP movement. In it, they repeatedly remind everyone about the hierarchy, Jesus, then the father, then the wife, then the children. You are to be under authority and obey or you are in trouble, just like Paul said, but not Jesus.
Jesus was disrespectful to his mother and didn’t obey her.

Some of my friends who have evolved somewhat in their faith, want to exclaim that Jesus is King. Period. This seems noble at first, but I feel it is a little misguided. Nothing about Jesus life indicates that he wanted to Lord over other people and he encouraged us not to do so either. “King Jesus” they say as they worship the Messiah (another thing he never condoned), according to the Bible.

I appreciate that my friends are removing most of the hierarchy, but I’m worried that they are leaving part of it intact.

Why does this bother me? The problem I see, from being in ministry for 20 years and talking to hundreds of people out here in the desert, is that not only did Jesus not condone this, but often he doesn’t show up in a tangible way in our lives, and when that happens, others step in to tell us what Jesus wants from our life.

Doesn’t happen in your life? What about your pastor? Isn’t he or she lecturing you for 45 minutes EVERY week about what “King Jesus” wants from you. It might as well be a medieval scenario where he/she reads from a scroll that says “Thus saith the King…”

Jesus, or as some say, the Christ consciousness, is still a part of my life even though I have continually deconstructed for six or seven years. I studied his words intently for over two decades, and now I have continued to contemplate them for almost another one.

I never actually referred to him as king, as I preferred to use the word Lord. But both words have the same connotation. Kings and lords have little regard for their subjects. We can say he was a “Good King” except to the gentiles whom he totally ignored and looked down upon. I guess, in that way, he is a king, but not a good one.

People will make whatever assumption they want about me, but I literally have a reaction to the term “King Jesus,” and I think Jesus would have also had a similar response.

Monarchies are an ancient and ineffective way of governing. They have always taken from the poor to give to the privileged. They have never been about Jesus’ idea of love, only their primary motivation of fear and control. If there is a king, the congregation will be more under control, but really the control is mostly by the local leadership, not Jesus himself.

How about we get rid of all titles like King, pastor, etc. Maybe we can find a way to experience true community without being coerced by a king or government or a church. I have continued to live a morally upright life for 6 or 7 years now without considering the Church or Jesus or the Bible to be my authority.

Not King Jesus, just Jesus.

Be where you are,
Be who you are,

Karl Forehand

Photo by Jimmy Chan:

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