Has anyone heard of this? I was scanning the AM dial during my drive between churches this morning (from St Paul’s Episcopal to Salem Evangelical) and stumbled across this guy conducting a call-in show pretending that he was Jesus. The callers call him Jesus, and refers to himself as Jesus. Rarely has anything I’ve heard on the radio upset me so much.
When I first tuned in, he was giving a rather poor explanation of original sin, comparing the difference between Calvinist and Arminian views. Then, some poor guy called in asking what he should do, as he claimed he kept trying not to sin, but sinned anyway. This “Jesus” impostor began berating him “Dr. Laura” style. I’m sorry, but nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus berate and belittle sinners. Jesus saves that for the self-righteous. This phony Jesus’ words were, “If you really cared, you would stop sinning,” going on and on to make the caller feel as bad as possible – I can’t really express how bad it really was. There was none of the love, forgiveness, grace or power that are evidenced by the Jesus of the New Testament, just this voice of self-righteous condemnation calling himself “Jesus.” Wow.
Whatever happened to, “Neither do I condemn you?” Or, “Go, your sins are forgiven?” This legalistic bullshit really pushed me over the edge. If teachers are warned to be careful, this should go many times over for someone actually representing himself as Jesus.
I looked online and sure enough, found The Jesus Christ Show. I expected to find some wacko group behind it, but see that it’s apparently considered mainstream evangelical and been on the air for several years. Nowhere did I find any evangelical leader speaking out against this blasphemy. Why? I’m telling you, if I didn’t really know the Gospel, what I heard today would be enough to make me an atheist.
If anyone is confused, here is what Paul had to say in response to this specific situation (which he outlined in Romans 7), from Romans 8:1-4,
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
That’s the real Gospel. No condemnation. Set free from the law of sin and death. What part of this does Neil Saavedra (who “plays” Jesus) not understand? Has he read Romans? Or Galatians? Here’s what Paul had to say in Galatians 1 about those preaching a false gospel (which adds human effort into the equation):
Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
I should not be out of line, then, by calling up this false Jesus and telling him to go to hell, not that it would do any good. I’m sure I would be branded a liberal and summarily dismissed. That doesn’t bother me; what does bother me is this: where are all of the other voices calling for the end of this show? If they’re out there, I’d like to know. I couldn’t find anyone through Google.
I should know better than to even consider listening to Christian radio, but my neighbor Randy is on sometimes, and he’s good.