When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
In fact, you don’t see it at all, because Christians feel free to flout this command of their Lord’s. I mean, he couldn’t speak any more plainly than he does here, could he? And yet, Christians, you don’t invite the poor, the dispossessed and the disabled to your luncheons and dinner parties. Like the rest of us – that’s the unsaved and sinners in Christian-speak – you only invite your friends, family and fellow-believers. If you’re well-placed, maybe as an official of the established church or as an obscenely wealthy evangelist, you invite those who are similarly rich and famous. As far as you’re concerned Jesus and his ridiculous ideas can just f**k off.
What? You object? You don’t say this, Christians? It would be blasphemous? But of course you say it, when you spiritualise his point, explain it away (‘what he really means is…’), claim the context excuses you or just plain ignore him.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I don’t blame you. Jesus’ expectations are totally unreasonable – idiotic even. But I’m not a Christian; I don’t pretend to follow him and don’t have to do as he says. You, on the other hand claim him as your saviour, your God, and profess to live your life in obedience to him. Except you don’t, do you; you wilfully disregard the clear, direct instructions, like this one, that he gives you.
You much prefer setting your own agenda, whether that’s ‘defending God’s standards’ (your God is incapable of defending his own standards?), bashing the gay or making sure you yourself are ‘blessed’. But these are not part of Jesus’ agenda; his good news (mad as it is), is much more concerned with elevating the lowest of the low, including inviting them into your homes and feeding and entertaining them.
So how about it Christians? How about it all you outspoken men of God – Stephen Green, Steven Anderson, Scott Lively, Matt Barber, Franklin Graham – and all you other Christians; isn’t it time you got down off your soap-box of whatever it is you’re opposing this week and made a start doing what your saviour commands you to do?
Well, isn’t it?