After trying to reach Franklin Graham to no avail, I was doing some research on the Swaggart family. The Swaggart family is famous for the central figure: Jimmy Swaggart. Jimmy Swaggart was a famous Christian televangelist who, although critical of sin, was he himself found to be making use of prostitutes.
Over many years of asking his followers to forgive him, he regained a televangelist presence.
His message is now carried out through his family members (his wife Frances and son Donnie.)
Frances has made some very interesting statements regarding crime and terrorism. After the Paris attacks she went to social media and asked:
You see how she uses the words Christ and Christian so flippantly? She basically has said “American citizen safety must come first,” as though our citizenry is above and greater than the needs of others. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re an atheist and feel this way, what can I argue? But if you claim to be a Christian, I have to say, this philosophy is far afield from the teachings of Jesus. Did He not tell us to care more for others than ourselves?
Yes, we should protect others, including those in our citizenry, but not at the expensive of others… and WE CERTAINLY DO NOT COME FIRST. I am not more important than the Swaggarts, nor they to me. How arrogant to even say that. How much of an ivory tower does one have to live in, to be this arrogant? Or perhaps it’s not arrogance, but a materialistic mind trying to disassociate from the teachings of Jesus and solve her life’s problems with action and politics.
Her comment inspired some volatile responses in agreement (but hardly Christian) :
This is the danger of evocative language. When we lash out at others, especially groups, we can turn people others into even more horrible things – dark things. People who hate and distrust even more. It starts with an evangelist perhaps, who spins some fear up and gets people worried and concerned. Then they get angry and that anger turns to hatred. They begin to distrust others and forget the faith they claim they have.
That’s what we see here. Sure, there will be crime. Possibly there may be terrorism. But what do you do? Put your faith aside? Put Jesus in a box? How convenient. Or will you rise about the hard times and still practice your faith, even when it is more difficult to do?
During the time of Nero, the early Christians were persecuted. Yet these Christians didn’t react with anger. They didn’t create armies or rebellion. They didn’t try and overthrow Rome. There was no “shock and awe,” they tried their best to uphold the peaceful teachings of Jesus – remember that the path wasn’t about surviving in this world – or creating a bountiful materialistic society. They knew the path. They died for it, and loved their enemies all the while.
When I was a child, my mother gave me a book called “He is in Heaven.” It was about a Christian missionary family that went to a land that killed them – the entire family surrendered to their death – loving the people they were sent to reach.
Whatever your view is on the purpose of Christianity, we must all agree that Christianity wasn’t about hurting others, forcing one’s will or taking up the sport of politics to make a difference in this physical world of ours. It was about doing works that change our inner nature. Giving, helping, taking in strangers and tending to their wounds. Even Paul (once called Saul) was a persecutor of the early church and they accepted him as a teacher. Such was the teachings of Christ and such was the nature of the early church.
If that isn’t enough, on Peter Jennings’ World News Tonight Jimmy Swaggart stated:
We ought to take, we ought to take every single Muslim student in every college in this nation and ship them back to where they came from.
Further on Jimmy Swaggarts blog he believes every Muslim who follows the Koran is in league with murder:
Let’s take that last quote from Swaggart off his own blog:
I beg to disagree with both of these gentlemen; ISIS is Muslim. All must understand, while all Muslims are not murderers, all Muslims, at least if they are true to the Koran, are in sympathy with the murderers. – Jimmy Swaggart
What if I were to use that same critical eye of Swaggart on his own faith, we might be able to point out the Old Testament that he and his family like to bring up in their own messages. The Old Testament of the Bible is filled with the same teachings of the Koran! Consider the following passages:
Old Testament Verses Commanding Violence
The point of the following passages is not to condemn the Bible as much as to point out the similarities with other faiths. You see, it’s easy to point to the Koran and say, “Oh it’s a violent book!” But to say that, while holding a Christian Bible (and while quoting from the Old Testament), is to behave illogically. As you will see in the following passages, the Old Testament had passages demanding beheadings, murder, rape, mass-murder/genocide and acts we would call terrorism today.
Bible on War Crimes Numbers 31:15-19 King James Version (KJV)
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
19 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day.
Bible on Killing Those who Worship other Gods Deuteronomy 13:13-15 King James Version (KJV)
13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
Bible on Killing Children: 1 Samuel 15:2-3 King James Version (KJV)
2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Bible on Beheading Enemies Numbers 25:3-4 King James Version (KJV)
3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.
4 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel.
Consider now what Swaggart’s family preaches. They say that while individual Muslims may not be violent, if they follow the Koran they must be sympathy with murderers.
But wait, Jimmy Swaggart stands on the Bible… that same Bible that I quoted above. How is it possible he doesn’t know those scriptures? Or maybe he does…
“Oh but that’s the Old Testament, we don’t live by that today!”
True, modern Christians do not generally follow the teachings of the Old Testament, however most pastors quote from it. I read many quotes from the Old Testament from the teachings of Frances Swaggart (Jimmy Swaggart’s wife) and from Jimmy Swaggart himself.
This raises the question, “How can Jimmy Swaggart and family quote the Old Testament when they wish, condemning the books of other religions calling them ‘violent’ when that same Old Testament has the same/similar teachings?”
It is hypocritical but don’t expect an answer from the Swaggarts. People like this have what Jesus referred to as “hardened hearts.” They are so extreme they demand others leave their nation for their own safety and security of their wealth. This is the
Imagine if this same cruel mentality was applied to Swaggart… We would perhaps have some puritan hearts who demand Swaggart be removed from the country because he broke the law, having illegal sexual relations.
Yes, he made a mistake. I am not going to repeatedly beat a man up for a past error. But when said person continues to judge others, their past becomes an issue… for as they once were, others are. Remember how it felt to be judged unfairly? Perhaps extend compassion for others judged unfairly.
What Exactly Did Jesus Say About Treating Others?
You may notice that folks who are afraid of refugee’s or immigrants will often quote scripture that is outside of the teachings of Jesus. They may quote the Old Testament… they might quote Paul (such as the classic of obey the laws of the nation.)
- Love your enemies (Mat. 5:43-48)
- If someone attacks you, do not attack back (Mat. 5:39 and Luke 6:29)
- Pray for them that hurt you (Mat. 5:39 and Luke 6:29)
- Those who live by the sword will die by it (Mat. 26:52)
- Our calling to others (Mat. 25:35-46)
- Fear not the loss of the body (Mat. 10:28)
- Do not attach to things/money (Mat. 10:29-30)
Nowhere did Jesus instruct His disciples to build an army, level the Roman government, or assassinate evil dignitaries. This is however, what presenters of the Gospel are in fact telling us. It is as though God is so insignificant that God has no power or authority and we much wage the battles on God’s behalf. Such a doctrine is opposite to that of Jesus the Christ.
If we invert the teachings of Jesus, we have a doctrine of fear and distrust of others. We expect the worst and protect ourselves. That’s exactly what the Swaggarts are doing. They are sowing the seeds of fear and distrust. They tell us to protect American citizens above others.
Where did Jesus say, “First, help Roman citizens… let not one harm them.” Where did He even suggest helping Christians above others, or keeping Christians safe by keeping strangers away from them?
Yes, I agree we must protect people from harm – but we must not do so by allowing others to suffer. That’s the message of Jesus in regards to dealing with other people.
How The Spirit of the Inverted Christ is Realized
The inverted Christ appears when people postulate the material world above the spiritual.
That is the nature of Anton LaVey’s Satanism. Anton LaVey took the symbol of the Pentagram (which in Western occultism was a reference to Spirit – the point at the top – above the material world) and inverted it. It is a symbol for the material world driving the spiritual. That is why LaVey didn’t mind hating people. That is why the 11 commandments of LaVey are focused on the “self.” To extend the idea of “self” to another, or the world, seemed illogical to him.
It is with a sad heart that I feel the Swaggart family has more in common with Anton LaVey, than with Jesus. They are wealthy and rich, they drive massive campaigns for donations – this I would imagine has caused them to be concerned with their own materialism. They’re status, they’re livelihood is a focal point. By extension, their followers and believers are a part of their conceptualized “self.” But others who may differ by religion or other criteria are conceptualized as a “threat.”
These threats, the Swaggarts seek to remove, by removing the entire population.
History has shown us the damage this can cause. Isolating a group, marking them as the “evil enemy” and then condemning them for the problems in the world – is a step closer to Hitler. It certainly is the opposite of Christ.