Did you know that the Bible does not teach that Jesus rose from the dead? Did you know that “the body of Christ” always refers to the actual body of Jesus? Well, that’s what highly paid liberal Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker claimed in response to a comment made by Sen. Ted Cruz during a campaign stop in Iowa.
Here’s what Parker said in response to Cruz’s comment about how the “body of Christ needs to rise up” and support him:
“One observation. I don’t know … this seems to have slipped through the cracks a little bit but Ted Cruz said something that I found rather astonishing. He said . . . ‘It’s time for the Body of Christ to rise up and support me.’ I don’t know anyone who takes their religion seriously who would think that Jesus should rise from the grave and resurrect Himself to serve Ted Cruz. I know so many people who are offended by that comment. And you know if you want to talk about grandiosity and messianic self-imagery I think he makes Ted Cruz makes Donald Trump look rather sort of like a gentle little lamb.”
No one else on the panel corrected her.
She needs to pick up a copy of Kenneth C. Davis’ Don’t Know Much About the Bible. Better yet, go right to the source and pick up a Bible. There’s one in the numerous hotel rooms she stays in. Ad fontes1 is the rule for any good journalist: Go to the sources, in this case, the original source, the Bible.
The four gospels – the first four books in the New Testament – spend most of their narrative on the Passion Week, the week leading up to the crucifixion, burial, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus. You can’t miss the bodily resurrection of Jesus. It’s what’s celebrated every Lord’s Day and more elaborately on Easter.
Of course, she could be confused because our nation has masked the meaning of the resurrection with bunnies peeps, and chocolate eggs.
The bodily resurrection of Jesus is front-and-center not just in the Gospels but in the entire New Testament: “He was buried, and . . . was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4, 17; Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 34, 37; 17:31; Rom. 4:24; 6:4; 8:11; 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:15; 2 Cor. 4:14; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12; 1 Thess. 1:10; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 1:21).
You don’t have to be a Christian to know this fact, but you do need to know to have knowledge of this doctrine in order to call yourself educated, especially if you’re going to comment on the Christian religion.
Even atheist Richard Dawkins has lamented the lack of basic knowledge of the Bible:
“I must admit that even I am a little taken aback at the biblical ignorance displayed by people educated in more recent decades than I was. . . . The King James Bible of 1611 — the Authorized Version — includes passages of outstanding literary merit in its own right. . . . But the main reason the English Bible needs to be part of our education is that it is a major sourcebook for literary culture. . . . Surely ignorance of the Bible is bound to impoverish one’s appreciation of English literature.”2
And I would adds, evangelical culture since there are tens of millions of them in the United States who are engaged politically.
In addition to her misstatement about the resurrection, Parker misunderstood and misapplied Cruz’s comment about the “body of Christ.” Here’s what Cruz said:
“If we awaken and energize the body of Christ – if Christians and people of faith come out and vote our values – we will win and we will turn the country around.”
Cruz even defines “body of Christ” in his message: Christians.
Trip Gabriel correctly interpreted Cruz’s “remarks in a January 10, 2016 item for the New York Times: ‘When he [Cruz] took the stage . . . at a theater in Winterset [Iowa], he said the key to Republicans’ taking the White House was simple, and would not require a compromise with moderates. “We have to awaken and energize the body of Christ,”’ he said, referring to faith-driven voters.” (H/T: Newsbusters)
In Christian theology, “body of Christ” refers to Christian believers that make up the church: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church” (Col. 1:24; 1 Cor. 12:27; 12:12; Eph. 4:12; Col. 1:18). There it is: His body = the church.
What do you think Parker would make of comments of a presidential candidate who calls on Christian voters to put on “the full armor of God” (Eph. 6:10-17) as they deal with the slings and arrows of persecution and political moral degradation?
- Latin: literally “to the fountains.” [↩]
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Bantham Press, 2006), 340-341, 343, 344. Quoted in James G. Crossley, “The End of Reception History, A Grand Narrative for Biblical Studies and the Neoliberal Bible,” Reception History and Biblical Studies: Theory and Practice, eds. William John Lyons, Emma England (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015), 51, note 19. [↩]