• The Confrontational Christ: A Crucial Template for Our Day

    Surge Summary: The question WWJD (“What would Jesus do”) takes on a whole new meaning when one considers the whole picture of Jesus presented in the Gospel: including the confrontational side of Christ. He challenged the Devil and the evil powers of His day. He calls us to do the same today. 

    by John DeGroff

    It was back in the late 1990s that I started seeing a change in how the church as a whole was often portraying the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Personally, I felt that all the “what would Jesus do” swag that was popular then was completely missing the point concerning His true character.

    WWJD was actually a form of subliminal message.  It only focused on a version of Christ that made Him a perpetual pacifist.  Christ’s own words say otherwise:  “Suppose ye that I have come to give peace on earth?  I tell you Nay, but rather division.”  (Luke 12:51) Read the entire portion of scripture concerning what Christ said, Luke 12:49-57.  He shows the part of his nature that makes Him the Confrontational Christ.

    After Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist, at the start of His public ministry, His first confrontation was with Lucifer.  (Mt. 4:1-11) He was tempted to seek bodily sustenance after fasting, safety, and worldly success.  Christ confronted Satan with scripture after each temptation.

    From that point on, I feel it’s not hyperbole to say that Christ probably fought a daily battle, a daily confrontation, between His divinity and His humanity.   (also see Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13).

    Also almost immediately at the start of His ministry, He bumped heads with the Jewish religious leaders.  This turned into a constant event. Great examples are found in Luke14:1-6, Mark 2:1-12 and Mt. 12:9-13, regarding His healing on the Sabbath.  Also Mt. 12:24-30.  John 8:1-11 is the story of the woman caught in adulatory and how Jesus confronted the Jewish leaders regarding their own sins.  Luke 19:1-10 is the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector and how a confrontation with Christ caused the dishonest official to repent.

    Jesus was not hesitant to confront those closest to Him, His own disciples.  It’s part of the story of the woman who anointed Christ with expensive perfume and the disciples’ reaction.  (Mt. 26:6-13)

    Probably the best known example of Christ confrontational is the story of his running the money changers and sellers of animals from the temple.  He did this by use of a whip, which He made.  This version is found in Mt. 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, and Luke 19:45-46.  The event mention here happened in Jerusalem right before His crucifixion.

    However, some scholars believe that the similar version of this event listed in John 2:13-22, happened at an earlier time in His ministry.  This brings the question: did Christ actually use a whip on two occasions?  Regardless, He wasn’t afraid to do, even more than once if needed.

    Christ was also aware that confrontation in this world could be more dangerous than simply having religious or cultural differences.  Thus, His instructions on self-protection found in Luke 22:35-38.

    What we’re seeing and experiencing — (can you say empirical?) — now on a daily basis will no doubt be the test to see what kind of a spiritual backbone we have as Christians.  If your “what would Jesus do” Savior is the limp wristed hippie preaching love, peace, joy, rainbows, unicorns and fuzzy bunnies for everyone always, you’re in trouble.

    The Jesus of scripture, the skilled craftsman carpenter who had the human DNA of David the Warrior King (Luke 3:23-38), the Jesus who knows how to balance kindness with the discernment of evil, the Jesus who never shied away from confrontation even with Satan himself – this is the truly balanced, focused nature of the Christ we need in our lives, our churches and our nation now more than ever.

    I know of no other way to say this without sounding crude, but…Christians need to grow a pair. Especially you pastors and teachers.  The fight is just getting started.

    Final thought.  At the start of this article, I stated that I feel Christ fought a daily battle, a daily confrontation, between His divinity and His humanity.  Ultimately, though, He truly is the Warrior King-the White Horse Rider of Rev. 19:11-16.  “And he had on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”  (v.16)


    Given all the riots, arson, anti-law enforcement rhetoric and just plain hatred for America in general and President Trump in particular, there’s a mood among us deplorables that enough is enough.  If BLM and others can gather in public and protest, so can we.  It’s past time to exercise our First Amendment “right of the people peaceable to assemble.”   Warsaw, Indiana where I live, will be holding a Patriot Freedom Rally on Friday, July 17th, 5-7 p.m., at the Kosciusko Court House Square.  This is a family friendly demonstration of freedom and liberty.  2A supporters, military and first responders are more than welcome.  There are a few guest speakers scheduled also.  This event originated as an idea of my friend Kevin Kyle, a gonzo guitarist extraordinaire who (shameless plug alert!) played on my first SALT cd and is on my soon to be released SALT 2.  The event is not affiliated with any political party, nor is it funded by any organization.  It’s a concerned group of “We The People” types who feel it’s time OUR voices were heard.  Hopefully, more communities will start doing pro-America and pro-Trump rallies (for more information, check out www.facebook.com/events/264124648190155 . Also, please check out my music page at www.facebook.com/DeGroffProjects.)   

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.

    Image: Adapted from: Rembrandt – http://www.nonprints.com/UploadPic/Rembrandt/big/Christ%20Driving%20The%20Money%20Changers%20From%20The%20Temple.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13287138

    John DeGroff is the original bass player for the Christian rock band Petra. He currently plays for the band GHF which is comprised of other original members from Petra. DeGroff has extensive experience as a freelance music journalist and newspaper reporter as well as an on-line music reviewer. He is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and lives in Warsaw, Indiana where he is employed as a care giver for mentally challenged adults.

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