Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Liberal Interpretations #3

I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m waiting for it because I know that I will. Sometime between now and shortly after Christmas, some liberal is going to try to use the Christmas narrative as an example of why the government must do something to help the poor. The details of the events surrounding the birth of our LORD Jesus Christ will be twisted into something that not only completely ignores the spiritual and joy filled aspect of the Christmas narrative, but that will also deliberately distort the root cause of the situation that Mary and Joseph found themselves in some two thousand plus years ago.

For political reasons alone, someone is going to claim that Mary and Joseph were homeless people, and that their impoverished state caused them to resort to seeking shelter in a stable when Mary went into labor. This is not simply an error in interpretation. It is a deliberate and willful lie. And anyone who has ever read the scripture passages that describe the actual events knows better.

As best as I have been able to ascertain, this unfounded and ridiculous claim was first made back in late 1991 by the so called “Reverend” Jesse Jackson. It has been regularly repeated by him and others since then, and will all but inevitably be repeated by him and/or others this Christmas as well.

The simple truth is that there is absolutely no good reason, Biblical or otherwise, to believe that Joseph and Mary were homeless or impoverished. In fact it is likely that they had a good sturdy, though probably modest, home. After all, Joseph was a carpenter, and apparently quite a good one. I can say this because the scriptures make it clear that Joseph, his skills and his family were well known in their community. (Matthew 13:55-56)

No, Mary and Joseph were not homeless. Nor were they poor. But they were ordered, by a government edict, to leave their home in Nazareth, travel many rugged miles down to Joseph’s ancestral home town of Bethlehem. And why was this necessary? So that Joseph and his family could be registered for tax purposes. (Luke 2:1-5)

And as I have already made clear, there is no good reason, biblical or otherwise, to believe that the young couple was unable to afford to pay for a room at one of the local inns. The problem was that when they arrived in Bethlehem, they found that all of the inns were already filled with people. Most likely with people who, like themselves, were forced to leave their homes, so that they too could be added to the tax roles. As a result, when Mary found herself going into labor, the young couple was forced to utilize the only available shelter and privacy they could find, a stable. (Luke 2:6-7) And it was there that Mary gave birth to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So from a pure worldly viewpoint, the seemingly sad conditions that this young family had to endure were not a result of poverty and/or homelessness. They were in fact a direct result of government tax policy.

Of course those who read and study the scriptures are quite aware and understand that nothing happens without GOD’s foreknowledge. And in this particular case, GOD preordained all of the circumstances so as to fulfill the prophecy that the messiah would, according to HIS plan, be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

As a side note, and as another example of GOD’s perfect planning, Jesus is “the bread of life” (John 6:35) and the name Bethlehem means “the house of bread”.

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Another misinterpretation that we have all heard before, and are likely to hear liberals espouse time and again is that Mary was an unwed mother. This too is completely false.

Mary was espoused to Joseph. This is not like being engaged in today’s world. In the Jewish culture of that day, an espoused couple was considered married in ever sense of the word except that couple was not living together, and had not yet consummated their relationship. An espoused couple could only be separated by divorce.

The fact that Mary was not an unwed mother is confirmed by the scriptures which refer to Joseph as Mary’s husband (Matthew:1:19), and to Mary as Joseph’s wife (Matthew:1:20) even before the birth of our Lord and Savior. In fact when Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant, knowing all too well that he could not be the baby’s father, he was ready to quietly divorce her. At least he was until he received a visit and message from the angel of the LORD. (Matthew:1:20-25)

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So we have now debunked two more of the deliberate distortions of scripture that liberals have made. Sadly, there are many other such false claims, and in all likelihood the socialist liberals will come up with even more of these kinds of twisted interpretations, misapplications and out right lies about what the scriptures teach. For that reason, you can be sure that, GOD willing, there will be a Liberal Interpretations #4, #5, #6 and however many more it takes.

Meanwhile, let me wish everyone a wonderful and blessed Christmas season. May GOD keep and protect you and yours.

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Related Scriptures:

Matthew 13:
Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

Luke 2:
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Micah 5:
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

John 6:
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

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18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

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