A while back, I wrote an article about transgender as the new black, which is a phrase that simply means it's a hot new trend. But I never thought I'd see the day when Jesus was portrayed as a transgender according to the gospel of Jezebel.
Dubbed The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, performer and poet Jo Clifford wrote the perverted play that combines theater with storytelling, the spoken word and ritual that promises to leave everyone "feeling blessed." It left me feeling grieved.
"Join Queen Jesus for a revolutionary queer ritual in which bread is shared, wine is drunk and familiar stories are reimagined by a transgender Jesus," the description of the play, written by a trans playwright, reads. "Team Jesus is now embarking on a national and international pilgrimage of creative, spiritual and LGBTI sites and spaces, forging partnerships with theatres, church groups and communities on the way."
Mainstream media is celebrating the blasphemous work of live art. The Guardian listed it as a "show not to miss." And BBC Four said it "reaffirms everyone's right to live free of discrimination and prejudice."
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"The play imagines a transgender Jesus coming back to the world today," Clifford said. "She [transgender Jesus] pitches a sermon and tells a few very familiar gospel stories. She has a communion, shares bread and wine with the audience, which is really a gesture of solidarity in the face of death, and she gives a blessing. So it's a very important, very intimate show."
Clifford, a transgender woman, describes himself as a practicing Christian and feels "religious people so often use Christianity as a weapon to attack us and justify the prejudices against us." He denies that the play portraying Jesus as the Queen of Heaven is in any way blasphemous and keeps emphasizing that he's a practicing Christian.
"As a practicing Christian myself, I have no interest in attacking the church or mocking the church or make fun of the church or in anyway being blasphemous or offensive," Clifford says, suggesting that Christians who are moved by this play are authentic in their faith while those who are offended are not. "I simply want to assert very strongly, as strongly as I can that Jesus of the gospels would not in any way wish to attack or denigrate people like myself."
No, Jesus would never attack a lost soul. He came to seek and save that which is lost (Luke 19:10). But Jesus is not the Queen of Heaven. Jezebel is—and portraying Jesus as a drag queen is offensive to authentic Christians. Painting Jesus as a gender-confused Messiah is blasphemous. And perverting the image of Christ is exactly what Jezebel does.
My heart breaks for Clifford and people like him who look for ways to justify a lifestyle from which God desperately longs to rescue them. Clifford is ultimately no different from any other sinner looking for a Bible verse to sanction a sinful lifestyle, whether it's adultery, alcoholism, lying, stealing, etc.
There is a difference, though, between practicing Christianity in the name of Jesus and practicing sin in the name of Jesus. There is a difference between tolerating Jezebel and glorifying Jezebel. There is a difference between using the gospel as weapon to destroy hurting people and using it as a sword to set people free.
I refuse to use the Word of God as a weapon, but I will use it as a sword of the Spirit to demolish strongholds:
- Genesis 1:27 says: "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
- In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul points out fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, homosexuals and "effeminate" men (KJV)—men who dressed as women to engage in prostitution—but Paul says these effeminates were set free from their sinful practices when they turned to Christ.
- When we're practicing sin, it darkens our mind (Eph. 4:18). In fact, the devil has blinded the unbeliever's mind (2 Cor. 4:4). I believe it's a strong delusion that causes them to believe the devil's lies (2 Thess. 2:11).
Jesus came to set the captives free. Some of us were captives to drugs. Others were captives to sexual immorality. Still others were captive to idolatry. God is no respecter of persons, nor does He tolerate sin forever.
Jezebel, the queen of heaven, preaches a hyper-grace gospel that seduces people into idolatry and immorality. Jesus preached a gospel of truth, light, hope and deliverance. Jezebel excuses our sin because that spirit hates us and wants to see us go to hell. Jesus lays an axe to its root so we can spend eternity with Him in heaven.
I pray that Clifford and all those who are blind to the gospel's light will encounter God's heart and find true justification in Christ. Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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