Archive for March, 2008

Which Jesus?

March 8, 2008

This morning, I got a hate mail message via my Christians Unite guestbook. The following is a copy of the message with my response.

I got hate mail!!

GUEST’S MESSAGE: The problem is not with God or his son. It falls with Gods followers. You preach love but your message is nothing but hate and intolerance. Your hateful words hurt many families and mostly the children of these families. Because of intolerance Children of Gay families are more likely to commit suicide. You go on about protecting children but at the same time you and your right wing followers hurt more children than another group of people. I thank God that not all Christians are nuts like you and your followers and that they follow God true words…love your neighbor. protect all of Gods children. You will lose your unfounded fight and the true children of God will triumph.

I hope you can sleep at night knowing the harm you have caused gay families and single parent families. You and your followers have made Religion a dirty word. You just prove how crazy all of you really are…Keep up the good work! [name purposely withheld]

Dear Hate Mail Writer,

I can’t quite tell whether or not you are a gay christian movement advocate or a non-believer.I would, however, like to invite you to view the following video:

Marriage, The Image of God.

Then, you can come back here and apologize to me for your hateful words towards me, your misrepresentation of the facts concerning true Christian beliefs, and for personally slandering me because I follow Jesus and His Word, the Bible.

The reality is this. It’s not my words that you hate and reject; it is the Word of God and what He says about homosexual behavior that you hate and reject.

God is truly awesome! Right after this I received this email, the Holy Spirit led me to two different resources that immediately spoke to this particular encounter.

First, I was over at the Rock Church message page, and started listening to Miles’ sermon from Feb. 24th, 2008.

Written Outline

Video Link (Click on “A.R.M.Y.- Part 1 Transformation Accountability.”)

Here is a portion of the lesson plan:

In the story of these three friends they remain faithful to God by not bowing down to the an idol as requested by King Nebuchadnezzar. Their faithfulness to God is extreme because not bowing down to the idol meant death!

Daniel 3:1, 4-6 states, King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.”

In a situation such as that, how would we, as Christians, respond today? To establish accountability relationships in our lives means giving another person permission to call us out in a loving and encouraging way when we are acting in disobedience to the Lord and vice versa.

Honorable Speech
Not only what we do, but what we say ought to honor God. Foul language, dirty jokes, really shouldn’t come from out mouths. How we speak to others ought to honor God as well.

When facing Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego speak with grace and honesty honoring God. Daniel 3:16-18 says, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

You Can’t Be Both…
Sometimes we try to bow down to our idols and be faithful to God, however, this is impossible.Sometimes we try to bow down to our idols and be faithful to God, however, this is impossible. What idol are you bowing down to that you need to rid your life of? If we harbor idols in our lives, whether it be money, the Internet, ourselves, whatever it may be, we need to stop bowing down to our idols.

We must ensure that our God honoring unselfishness guides our actions. Daniel 3:15 states, Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not thinking of themselves in those moments in which they were asked to bow down to the idol set before them. They were literally putting their lives on the line, and God blessed their faithfulness.

Here in the U.S., we are so blessed by God not to be in a position where a government official would force us to bow down to any particular idol, or be pushed into a burning furnace.

However, there are groups who are pushing for legislation that would have an endgame of forcing us to bow down to their particular idol of choice. What’s worse, is that some of these groups are using Jesus, portions of the Bible (those verses that suit their desires and lust); all the while claiming to be true Christians. Well guess what. They are not worshipping the Jesus of the Bible when they place an idol in front of their obedience to Jesus Christ.

I am currently reading, “The Case for the Real Jesus” by Lee Strobel. It is about how a journalist (former atheist turned Christian) who investigates current attacks on the identity of Christ.

The book covers a multitude of attacks upon Jesus and his true identity. Some examples include the infamous “Jesus Seminar,” the “Gospel of Judas,” the “Gospel of Thomas,” “Gnosticism,” and “The Da Vinci Code.” All of these are exposed for the lies that they are by well-supported facts and arguments. The reader is left to reach their own verdict. What is found is the real truth about Jesus.

Chapter Six is entitled, “People Should Be Free to Pick and Choose What to Believe about Jesus.”

I think that title describes the current gay “christian” movement’s popularity. The trouble is, which Jesus are they really serving?

Just before the following excerpt, the discussion was about the fact that we can’t change reality just by refusing to believe certain doctrines that Jesus affirms.

Quote:

We may not like the doctrine of hell, but that can’t change the objective reality of whether or hell exists. We can’t wish it out of existence. It either exists, as Jesus affirms, or it doesn’t.”

Strobel replies that “everything goes back to the resurrection” of Jesus Christ.

Author and scholar, Paul Copan, Ph.D., replies,

“That’s true. If Jesus really was resurrected from the dead, then this vindicates his claims that he really is the unique Son of God. And if he’s the unique Son of God, then we can rely on his teachings being true. And so when we add things or subtract things from his treaching, we’re in error, because we’d be believing something that doesn’t correspond with reality.”

People, the gay christian movement, the emergent church movement, the New Age added to Christianity movement, and all the other heresies out there don’t correspond with reality!

Excerpt:

Which Jesus?

Copan’s [previous] mention of reincarnation turned my thoughts to a related line of inquiry. “So often, people who want to create their own religion will include the idea of reincarnation,” I said. “Why is that?”

“Some people in the West see reincarnation as another crack at life in order to get things right, sort of like the movie Groundhog Day. There’s an attraction to saying we have many opportunities and not just one lifetime. Actually, the reality is quite different.” He gestured toward me. “You’ve been to India, right?”

“I’ve spent some time there, yes,” I said.

“I have too. And I’m sure you’ve noticed that reincarnation is a very oppressive burden in that Hindu culture, as it is in the Buddhist world,” he said. “For example, if you’re a low caste or no caste Hindu, then you’re stuck at that low level because that’s what you deserve from your previous life. And people shouldn’t reach out to help you, becuase they might jeopardize their own karma by interfering with you living out the miserable existence that you deserve.”

I knew he was right. What sounds on the surface like a magnanimous belief that gives people multiple opportunities to live a better life turns out to create a devastating situation for millions upon millions of people who are mired in hopeless poverty day to day.

Another belief that people frequently add to their customized faith is the idea that we’re all divine. “What about this tendency to make ourselves God?” I asked. “Shirley MacLaine said, ‘The tragedy of the human race was that we had fogotten that we were each Divine.’ Why do people tend to gravitate toward that conclusion?”

Copan miled. “I would rewrite her statement by saying the tragedy of the human race is that we’ve forgotten we’re God’s creatures! That’s the problem,” he said, his tone lighthearted but emphatic at the same time. “Given a choise, we tend to select beliefs that elevate who we are, that diminish personal responsibility, that give us greater freedom to call ‘good’ what the Scriptures call ‘sin,’ and that put ourselves in charge of our own destiny, rather than saying to Godk, as the psalmist did, ‘My times are in your hands.’ We want to create our own guidelines that don’t put any demands on us.

“We all know deep down that we’re flawed and imperfect. What kind of god would that make us? We flatter ourselves when we try to put ourselves in the place of God rather than acknowledge that we are God’s creation and that we need to give God his rightful place. We don’t need to be more self-centered than we are; we need to be more God-centered. We can’t find the real Jesus by thinking that we’re his equal.”

His comment about the “real Jesus” sparked a thought. “These days if someone says he believes in jesus, you almost hafve to say, ‘Which Jesus?'” I observed.

“Unfortunately, that’s true,” he replied. “We’re living in an age of biblical illiteracy, where a lot of people have cobbled together beliefs of Jesus. If we ask which Jesus a person believes in, we may be surprised to find that it’s a Jesus who said and did things that no serious scholar believes the historical Jesus did. Or he may be a Gnostic Jesus, sort of an abstract teacher of amorphous sayings who’s divorced from history. But I can’t stress this enough: What we believe about Jesus doesn’t really affect who he is,” he siad, his voice emphasizing each word.

That statement seemed pivotal. “Please, elaborate on that,” I urged.

“Our beliefs can’t change reality,” he said. “Whether we choose to believe it or not, Jesus is the unique Son of God. How do we know? Because he convincingly demonstrated the trustworthiness of his remarkable claims through his resurrection. He is who he is, regardless of what we think. So we have a choice: we can live in a fantasyland of our own making by believing whatever we want about him; or we can seek to discover who he really is –and then bring ourselves into alignment with the real Jesus and his teachings.”

Amen!! Powerful, powerful truth!!

All of these heresy groups that try to make Jesus “in their own image” rather than seeing Him as what God reveals about Him through Scripture, are guilty of leading people astray from The Real Jesus!!

Don’t be fooled by these groups and their false teachers, people!!

Christine

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong to those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

HT: The Rock Church

Lee Strobel.com


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