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Life In and Around the Tumor Ward

Seems the Jews are mad at the Baptists, and as a Baptist, I feel obliged to help them feel better about the situation.

Which is this: one particular Baptist, a Mr. Albert Mohler (who happens to be the president of a seminary in Louisville, Ky.) made an offensive comment about the Jews. Failure to tell the Jews they are “going to hell” is like a doctor failing to tell a patient he has a “deadly tumor,” so Mohler told a gathering of Christian Jews (and I know that last phrase itself offends many Jews).

Jews do not like to be likened to a “deadly tumor,” for understandable reasons.

And to be honest, if Mr. Mohler is genuinely interested in making his Christian faith attractive and appealing to Jews, calling their religion a “deadly tumor” is not a good way to start.

But what the Jews need to understand (and I do not know if this will actually assuage their irritation) is that they are not alone in the tumor ward. In fact, the ward is very crowded, according to Mohler. It is actually over-crowded: Muslims, Secularists, Papists, Infidels, Apostates, Liberals, and Freethinkers of all sorts, not to mention a host of Christians that don’t conform to the Mohler standards of orthodoxy.

It is quite surprising that there is enough room for the Jews in the tumor ward. The last time I took a walk around the ward it was so full of Baptists that I can’t imagine finding room for anybody else. Perhaps they have built a new wing or something.

You did notice that I said I had taken “a walk around the ward.” That means, of course, that I also am a resident of this notorious domicile for unacceptable people. I didn’t realize I had a tumor–or more precisely, that I was a tumor–until Mohler and his group of ecclesiastical physicians diagnosed me.

They have unusual abilities in this regard, you know. It is what we could almost call a gift ”I am sure they would call it a spiritual gift. It has become so well-known that many on the street refer to it simply as Mohler Tumor Vision (or MTV, for short).

For some years, now, they have been traveling about the country spotting these ugly, life-threatening, death-ensuring tumors. No telling how many families, congregations, institutions, organizations and even entire religions have been put on notice.

It has been such an unusual ministry that historians already refer to “the tumor trail.” I heard the other day that young Mohler protégés (they certainly would not be protégées!) are already preparing doctoral dissertations on the matter.

Now, I share all this as background information for this most recent diagnosis: Judaism, according to the latest MTV report, constitutes a tumor among the people of God and have been told to report to the tumor ward.

The Jews are upset, and we all can understand why.

Being told you are a tumor is depressing. Psychiatrists tell us that depression is at an all time high among the American population. Now we know why ”at least in part.

A depressed person, however, takes small consolation from being told that many other people are depressed. Likewise, just because the tumor ward is full does not mean that the Jews are going to feel a lot better about their lot in life.

But look at it this way: over the years, Jews have been singled out for abuse, ridicule and persecution. This time, they are right in the middle of a very large population. In fact, there are more people actually inside the ward looking out than there are outside looking in.

And to be quite honest, the tumor ward turns out to be not such a bad place.

Dwight Moody is dean of the chapel at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.