Michael Moore, creator of “Fahrenheit 9/11“, releases his latest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story“, next week in selected theatres. Rick Warner, movie critic for Bloomberg News, interviewed Moore during Toronto's International Film Festival:
Warner: “Several clergymen in the film say capitalism is anti-Christian and that Jesus would have deplored such a dog-eat-dog system. Yet you hear from the right that capitalism and Christianity go hand in hand. Are they reading different Bibles?”
Moore: “The No. 1 thing in the Bible is redemption. The No. 2 thing is how we treat the poor. All the great religions talk about this. The right wing hijacked Jesus 30 years ago. It was all a big ruse, but people fell for it. I don't think people are falling for it so easily now.”
I've previously shared a biblically-based view of assisting the poor based on 1 Thessalonians 5, so I will not revisit that today. Instead, I'd like to focus on Moore's comments that “the right wing hijacked Jesus 30 years ago.” Last time I checked with God, he wasn't available for hijacking. He is the Almighty God, the sovereign ruler of the universe, and the name above all names. Moore makes a ridiculous claim.
To hijack means to take over, to take control, to seize or commandeer. Moore clearly doesn't understand who God is. God is real. He is eternally alive and on the throne. While he lets us drive the course of our life, he gives us the car, the gas, and the know-how. But at his discretion, He can take the wheel at anytime. As such, he is always supreme. It is impossible to usurp the power of God. He is the source of power. He affords us power. He cannot be overpowered.
Given the opportunity, Moore might clarify that he meant right-winged Christians hijacked Jesus' name for their personal benefit and political goals. Thirty years ago takes us back to an explosion of evangelicalism in America that many attribute to such things as Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision of 1973 that polarized our country on the issue of abortion. It also takes us to the establishment of the Moral Majority by the Rev. Jerry Falwell in 1979. But it also traces to the expansion of technology and the introduction of the Internet. All of these factors among many others drew true believers together and breathed new life into Christianity in America. Such factors were allowed under the authority of God, and have only served to heighten the name of Jesus, not hijack it.
Truly, evangelicalism and the Christian right have been around for 2,000 years. Regardless of the decade or century, Jesus' name is God's name. It belongs to Him, and is always under his authority. It always has been and always will be. For man to seize full control of God's name would require God's submission to man–a ludicrous impossibility.
Yes, man has the potential to use God's name in vain, which is why God labeled this a sin in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:7). But taking the name of the Lord in vain doesn't mean to hijack it, nor does it simply mean to use it in conjunction with an expletive. It means to use his name frivolously, inappropriately, or insincerely, thus being irreverent towards him. We are not to misuse God's name. Instead, we are to love his name, praise his name, and give glory to his name.
Do some men and women today use the name of Jesus in vain, to promote their own vanity perhaps, for deceitful endeavors? Absolutely, and this is sin, but it is not a seizure of the supremacy and sovereignty of God.