taking the words of Jesus seriously

If you didn’t get a chance to see Stephen Colbert talk about Christmas on Comedy Central you missed something special. It’s a bit edgy and has somewhat of a political partisan bias, and we Red Letter Christians do try to be non-partisan, but in terms of getting a good insight into the radical nature of Red Letter Christianity, nothing you have been watching on television will measure up to him.

In these two little rips about living out the message of Jesus, Stephen Colbert makes it clear (in his own special way) that for most of us middle class Americans the words of Jesus seem to be impractical especially what Jesus says within the Sermon on the Mount. His irony and sarcasm might upset some but for all of us he says some things that contrast the words of Jesus with the dominant values of Christmas in our affluent society.

Or as Stephen says, “if this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition — and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

Despite the irony and sarcasm, Stephen Colbert’s message in these two clips is one that all Christians should take to heart. Namely, that caring for the poor despite its profit for us or its sensibility in our minds is something we must do.

Enjoy the video and make sure to stay around for his grand finale!

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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