Shane Claiborne preaches “The Best Sermon Ever” from Matt 5-7 (and changes scripture to suit his agenda)
(You can view the sermon here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzbQzn9-_Xk&NR=1 )
A number of people rave about Shane’s talk a few years ago at a youth conference in America. He just got up and read a couple of chapters of Matthew. And sat down. What they all appear to have missed is that Shane changed the scripture verses to suit his purposes.
The ‘sermon’ has been posted on YouTube by his Simple Way colleague Jamie Mofffat. Shane quite clearly uses the NIV text from Matthew 5-7 (not another version, eg KJV, NASV, etc – I have checked them all) but he makes a number of significant changes.
[In this page, words added by Shane are underlined and words he omits are crossed through.]
We may be able to pass over every change of words that he interprets as gender specific (eg ‘men’ changed to ‘men and women’, though many do not view them as offensive and needing to be changed); and perhaps the deletion of ‘from your Father in heaven’ in 6:1 is accidental: Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
But how about:
1. Matt 5:3, where the ‘blessed are the poor in spirit’ becomes ‘blessed are the poor’, and the ‘kingdom of heaven’ becomes the ‘kingdom of God’ (which has a specific meaning to emergents and refers to earthly community rather than the kingdom reign of God or, as some erroneously conceive it, heaven itself ). This no accident because the switch is repeated in 5:20.
2. Emergents do not believe in a literal devil (for them he is a metaphor) so this is probably why Shane changes the NIV text of the Lord’s prayer (he is reading the from the NIV) back to its more traditional form. 6:13 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one evil. Tellingly, he does not choose to revert from the modern ‘debts’ to ‘sins’ or ‘trespasses’ which fits his political philosophy much less well.
3. Shane is meticulous over his change of the text to be gender neutral. Therefore it cannot be any accident that he changes masculine references God (he, his) to the gender neutral (God, God’s) no less than THREE times in four verses. Once might be a slip of the tongue. Three times is deliberate. It is here:
v 30-33: If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he God not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his God’s kingdom and his God’s righteousness
Here is the full text with Shane’s alterations.
1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven God.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers, the peacemakers, (repeated)
for they will be called sons the children of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, people that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
The Fulfillment of the Law
17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven God.
21“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother or a sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or your sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
25“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’[e] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
31“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[f] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
An Eye for an Eye
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[g] 39But I tell you, but I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers friends, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Giving to the Needy
1“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men people. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men people. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9“This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one evil. 14For if you forgive men people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins you.
16“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men people they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men people that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters. Either he they will hate the one and love the other, or he they will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Do Not Worry
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his your life[b]?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he God not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his God’s kingdom and his God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Amen
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s or sister’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother another, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s or sister’s eye.
6“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he and the person who seeks finds; and to him the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9“Which of you, if his a son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he your daughter asks for a fish, will give him them a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up all of the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
A Tree and Its Fruit
15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will just tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man person who built his their house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man person who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, it fell, with a great crash.”
28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.