Recently, in the wake of a tragedy, Baptist pastor Roger Jimenez held a sermon in his California church stating that he hoped more “pedophiles” died that day. It was outrageous statements of hate that caused a backlash of anger.
Baptist Pastor Roger Jimenez
When questioned further he continued to stand on his campaign that he wished people like that (gay people) would be put up against a wall and shot. Pretty hostile words and before we get into his knowledge of Biblical scripture, let’s examine his logic, in a CBS interview he said:
“As far as the Bible is concerned, they crossed a line. The sin they performed is worthy of death,” he said. “I realize our society doesn’t take that, but that’s what the bible says. If someone does something that’s worthy of death and they end up dying, I’m not gonna mourn them.” – Pastor Roger Jimenez source: CBS News
But who is Worthy of Death?
Basically Mr. Jimenez is suggesting that if we do something worthy of death and we die – then he feel’s that’s good – even something to celebrate. What he doesn’t understand however, is that everyone (according to the scriptures he quotes from) is worthy of death.
So what is worthy of death, in the Bible? Well the “Old Testament” is filled with many actions worthy of death, including:
- Striking your father (Exodus 21:15)
- Adultery (Lev. 20:10)
- Fornication (Lev. 21:9)
- Cursing a parent (Lev. 20:9)
- Being raped and not yelling loud enough for someone to hear (Deut. 22:23-24)
- Working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-15)
- Being a non believer (2 Chronicles 15:12-13)
- Towns of non believers (Deuteronomy 13:13-19)
- Non Virgins (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)
- Worshiping other Gods (Deut. 17:2-5 and Deut. 13:7-12)
By the pastor Jimenez’s own logic, most likely he too is worthy of death… I’m sure there was a Sabbath day that he worked, or he perhaps looked at pornography or masturbated (lust, according to his scriptures, equals fornication.) Perhaps he has had more than one sexual partner (non virgin) or maybe he struck his father once (or even cursed them.)
You see, by the same measuring stick of the “law” he has judged himself and his entire congregation. This is a common misuse of scripture – defending hatred and murder. Yet when the tables are turned to his own life, I would imagine he would stammer that he’s “saved by the blood of Jesus.”
True salvation is not reciting a doctrinal message – true salvation is in changing one’s life to let go of the animal desires (hatred, ego, pride, arrogance, anger) and entering into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God isn’t something that comes at some point in time – it is here now, as Jesus proclaimed in Luke 17:21.
The Real Christian Message
You see, by using the Old Testament law (as violent people do to defend their barbary) we loose sight of the message of Jesus. For that reason alone, I think the Christian Bible should divorce itself from the law of the Old Testament.
Each time Christ was tempted with the “law” to be used upon poor victims with its brutality, He defended the victims and shirked the law. For example:
- He defended the woman who was being stoned for adultery
- He defended Himself for working on the Sabbath
- He defended His disciples for eating with unwashed hands.
His message was clear on how to treat others (which I cover in another post):
- Be kind to others
- Love one another
- Love your enemies
- Pray for those who despitefully use you
- Love God with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself
The only attack Jesus made was on those who fed off the public by way of power and authority (the religious elite.) In regards to the regular “Joe” sinner, He spent time with them and taught openly.
Of all the “sins” Jesus spoke of, He actually never addressed same gender relationships. I can’t say to why that is, nor can you. It certainly wasn’t because it didn’t exist in Rome… it did exist and to great extent. We don’t know why it wasn’t brought up by Jesus. Rather it was the apostle Paul (who came much later on) who spoke on this subject. Same gender relationships existed within the early church (we know this because Paul condemns it.)
Why it wasn’t discussed in the teachings of Jesus, we don’t know – All we can say, is that our goal is to work on ourselves by loving others (even so called enemies.) To utilize the “law” of the old scriptures simply judges ourselves.
Judge not, Lest Ye Be Judged
The Biblical adage, “Judge not lest ye be judged,” comes from Matthew chapter 7, verse 1. There’s another similar analogy spoken by Jesus in the same chapter of Matthew, verse 5.
Matthew 7: “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Every single person who is filled with hatred, from the radicalized shooter in Orlando, to Donald Trump, to the Baptist pastor Roger Jimenez – they have one thing in common: Judging others. They are not judging themselves, but focus more on others.
When a person focuses on others, rather than themselves, they often have something to hide. When a person works on themselves, they often do not seek to attack others. The more we look inward at our own problems, the more we see we are like everyone else.
In the end…
How do we deal with a person like Baptist Pastor Roger Jimenez?
I believe the best way to deal with the likes of him, is the same way we should deal with those who hate and persecute – love them in our hearts and pray for them without ceasing.
We can also come public and tell people we don’t support this type of hate speech, we can quote the themes of Christianity or other religions in a way to make them more tolerant unto others.
But what we can’t do, is hate the hater. This only creates the seeds of more hatred in your (and my) world. As we sow, so shall we reap… it is the law of cause and effect.
Take a moment today and pray for this pastor… pray that God opens his heart. Perhaps visualize the light of God cutting the chords of hatred that insnare his mind and heart. Pray for any extremist of any belief (or non belief) that kills or hates others.
Let us vow to pray this way for a set period of time, each day.