When I look into the face of a blasphemer like the guy in this video, I can only pray that he remove the name of Christ from his lips as it will go easier for him on the day of judgment. Adam Ericksen, the pastor of the infamous Clackamas United Church of Christ released a video on social media claiming that Jesus was a far-left social justice activist who came to set the “captives” free—and apparently, those captives are homosexuals, feminists, and the oppressed leftists.
Well, the Jesus they worship didn’t do too well because here they are 2000 years later still begging their Jesus to affirm their sin and set them free. But the reality is that they are captives to their own sin because Jesus has not set them free. These are the people who love to quote John 3:16 but ignore the rest of the passage after it: “…but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
These people, as John 3:19 states, “loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” That is their judgment—they refuse to come to the light, that is Christ, lest their evil works be exposed. Instead, they remake a false Jesus in their own image and likeness and worship it instead. Their Jesus, they say, is a far-left social justice warrior who advances identity politics and cultural Marxism and they twist passages like Luke 4 to do it.
This passage, of course, has nothing to do with identity politics and the theory of oppressor-oppressed dynamics in our culture—one that is completely false or at least turned around. In reality, in our culture, only Christians are systemically oppressed by the pagan culture.
But this passage has to do with the spiritual captives, those who are in bondage to their own sin. Jesus came to die for those who would believe in Him and he stood as a substitute, bearing the full wrath of God on the cross for those who would repent and turn to Him in faith. He satisfied God’s wrath, defeated sin, and rose again on the third day, ascended into Heaven, and now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on High forever making intercession for His people so that they can freely worship and serve Him.
That it was it means for Christ to proclaim the good news to the poor—the poor in spirit—and to set free the spiritually enslaved.