In a very troubling video, Theodore Shoebat, son of former Muslim Walid Shoebat, has claimed that if "sodomites" had walked into the temple of Jerusalem, Jesus would have killed them.
This is absolutely outrageous, totally unscriptural and downright dangerous.
Mr. Shoebat, I urge you to repent.
To be perfectly clear, I agree with Theodore that homosexual practice is detestable in God's sight (as stated plainly in the Scriptures); I totally oppose same-sex "marriage"; and I firmly believe that homosexual activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of religion, speech, and conscience.
I also share Theodore's abhorrence of the abusive acts of homosexual predators, just as I abhor the abusive acts of heterosexual predators.
At the same time, I categorically reject his encouragement of violent acts against homosexual men and women, and I renounce his statement that Jesus would have killed homosexuals who walked into the temple.
That is utter rubbish.
After referring to gays as "faggots," Theodore said on his video, "When you have the sodomites coming out into the streets [meaning, in a gay pride parade] and the Christians come and beat them up, the people who are beating up the sodomites don't really get punished because the society is so conditioned that way. ... If there's a law written in the hearts of the people, then the people who are fighting this evil, physically, with their hands, fighting them, beating them up, those people are not going to get in trouble."
But, he added, "we don't have that in America."
So Theodore is telling us that it's a good thing when "Christians" physically attack gays and lesbians who are marching down the street in a gay pride event, in particular when these "Christians" do it in a country that will not punish them. And the reason the country will not punish them is because "there's a law written in the hearts of the people," meaning, the law of God that detests homosexual practice.
Not only is this not supported anywhere in the New Testament, which teaches us to overcome evil with good (see, for example, Romans 12:17-21), but it is flatly against the law, since, as much as we may oppose these gay demonstrations, we do not have the right to take the law into our hands and attack homosexual men and women. And if you have God's heart of love and you want to see them saved and transformed, why would you want to beat them up?
The fact that Theodore laments our lack of anti-gay violence is deplorable, and to the extent that he speaks these things as a professing Christian, he hurts the cause of the gospel, brings reproach to the name of Jesus, and blemishes the witness of 99 percent of true Christians who reject his violent rhetoric.
In fact, after listening to Theodore's words, one can only wonder if he would commend Yishai Schlissel, the ultra-Orthodox Jew who stabbed six participants at a gay pride event in Jerusalem last year, shortly after being released from prison for stabbing three participants at a similar event in 2005.
Lest you think I'm exaggerating, consider what Theodore said about Jesus Himself, referring to John 2:14-15: "In the temple, He found the merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves; also the moneychangers sitting there. Then He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the Temple, both the sheep and oxen. He dumped out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables" (TLV).
Theodore states, "Jesus Christ took up a whip and beat people up in his Father's temple," adding, "Now imagine if sodomites were in his Father's temple. Jesus would have killed them all. He wouldn't just have hit them; Jesus got violent!"
First, the prophet Isaiah tells us explicitly that Jesus did not get violent: "His grave was assigned with the wicked, yet with the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth" (Is. 53:9).
If Jesus had whipped people bloody, that would have been violence. Instead, He overthrew tables and drove out the vendors, using a whip on the cattle.
So, I'll take Isaiah's word for this rather than Theodore's.
But even if you want to claim that Jesus swung a whip at people to drive them out of the Temple, it's more than a massive jump to claim that "if sodomites were in His Father's temple, Jesus would have killed them all."
Actually, there's a good chance that there were "sodomites" in the temple—or, if not "sodomites," then others, like adulterers, who also deserved the death penalty under Old Testament law. (Jeremiah 7:1-11, which underlies the gospel accounts of Jesus' cleansing of the Temple, would suggest that, just as in Jeremiah's day, there were adulterers, murderers and idolaters who hypocritically worshipped at the temple in Jerusalem, and all of them were liable to the death penalty at that time.)
Jesus, who knew what was in man (John 2:24-25), surely knew that there were gross sinners in the temple courts. But He didn't kill them; He died for them.
Not only, then, are Theodore's words terribly dangerous, since some unstable listeners might think they are doing God's service by attacking or even, God forbid, trying to kill homosexual men and women.
But they also bear false witness to the character of Jesus, who "when He was reviled, He did not revile back; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but He entrusted Himself to Him who judges righteously. He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. 'By His wounds you were healed'" (1 Pet 2:23-24).
It is my privilege to work with godly leaders throughout America and around the world, a good number of whom are frontline, fearless Christians who stand firmly against homosexual activism, and every single one of them would join me in renouncing Theodore Shoebat's words.
His words do not represent Jesus, they do not represent the spirit or letter of the New Testament, and they do not represent His true followers.
Share this article widely if you agree with me, and let's pray for Theodore to embrace God's heart and submit to God's Word.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Has God called you to be a leader? Ministry Today magazine is the source that Christian leaders who want to serve with passion and purpose turn to. Subscribe now and receive a free leadership book.