If you dared to check my twitter mentions right now, you would find leftwing activists enraged that I accurately pointed out the phrase “least of these” in Matthew 25 refers to Christians, not the poor in general. In fact, there is wide consensus on this point through church history. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Chrysostom, Jerome, Ambrose, the Venerable Bede, Augustine, Anselm of Laon, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Erasmus, Zwingli, Luther, Calvin, and many other Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant church fathers all agree. But the left is in an absolute meltdown over me pointing it out.
Their meltdown is very similar to their meltdown when Betsy Devos mentioned historically black colleges and when Ben Carson mentioned slaves were immigrants — a claim made several times by Barack Obama.
What you need to remember when you see all this outrage coming so fast and seemingly at a coordinated scale is that the surface issue has little to do with their outrage. There are ulterior motives to the outrage in all these case.
The primary motive is silence. They want to ensure that I never speak up on Christian aid to the poor again. They want to ensure that Betsy Devos self-censors on black education. They want to ensure Ben Carson self-censors on black opportunity. They want to impose self-censorship to prevent competing ideas that they resent having to rebut.
They want to be able to set narratives without challenge and rewrite facts without question.
In my case, as my twitter mentions are overflowing with leftwing outrage, it is worth noting that the reaction indicates that the other side at least instinctively understands two things: 1) they have to keep Christianity from asserting exclusivist claims, and 2) they need to keep Christianity endorsing their social and political ends. As soon as they fail at either or both, the Church becomes their most dire enemy again.
The left needs churches to demand government intervention to help the poor. If churches reasserted themselves in this area and competed against the government, they would more likely than not succeed and show that government aid in its present form is not needed. Additionally, as long as the left shuts out any voice challenging the interpretation of the social gospel derived from the willful misinterpreting of Matthew 25 they will not have to answer a host of questions about their contradictions. First and foremost, they will not have to answer for how they think the church has nebulous sexual ethics, but a precise plan for government intervention for the poor.
All the wailing and moaning over my statement, Devos’s statement, Carson’s statement, or the many statements Trump has made are all attempts to get us to shut up lest the left have to mount actual argument. They know their arguments cannot withstand the truth so they would rather never have to deal with it.