One morning a few years ago, I sat down on our couch and started to read the Gospel of Matthew from start to finish. I had, of course, read the book before, but perhaps not as one cohesive work. It would prove to be quite dangerous.
As I read through the story, I began to realize that the story it told, and the teachings of Jesus, presented what could be described as a “liberal” worldview. Capitalism didn’t fit into the picture, nor did any kind of superiority. The Gospel of Matthew contains the Sermon on the Mount, several parables, instructions to love your enemy and to forgive others. Jesus quotes the Old Testament to “liberalize” it, turning it from a “judge others” approach to a “forgive others” one.
“They” say that Matthew’s purpose is to show that Jesus is the Messiah. I think the Gospel of Matthew revolutionizes first Century Judaism.
Anyway, my mind turned completely around, as if I’d read this stuff for the first time, and also realized that Jesus did not support the kind of world that Sean Hannity (who I listened to daily) and Donald Trump espoused. In fact, there was nothing conservative about Jesus at all.
This doesn’t mean that Jesus would be a Democrat–his kingdom is definitely not an Earthly one (at least at this point), but his dream was that his Kingdom would be done on earth. This means radical love, radical forgiveness, and radical humility, which means more liberal than American politics in total.
Who is my neighbor? Forgive how many times? Blessed are the who?
So yes, that day was the first day I had actually read this book, and it changed my life.