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Title: Resisting Jesus
Source: Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
URL Source: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/12/joseph-sobran/resisting-jesus-3/
Published: Dec 25, 2020
Author: Joseph Sobran
Post Date: 2020-12-25 08:15:26 by Ada
Keywords: None
Views: 125
Comments: 7

Subtracting Christianity: Essays on American Culture and Society — As always in our time, Christmas is provoking dissent from people who don’t want Christian symbols on public property or Christmas carols sung in public schools.

Many Christians find this annoying and churlish. Some even feel that Christianity is being persecuted.

The columnist Michelle Malkin writes, “We are under attack by Secularist Grinches Gone Wild.” Pat Buchanan goes so far as to speak of “hate crimes” against Christians.

I disagree. In some parts of the world, from Sudan to China, Christians really are being persecuted, even murdered. But what is going on in America’s symbolic opposition to Christianity is something different.

Miracles Lewis, C. S. Best Price: $1.95 Buy New $7.00 (as of 06:42 EST - Details) Sometimes I think the anti-Christian forces take Christ more seriously than most nominal Christians do. The Western world, including many of those who consider themselves Christians, has turned Christmas into a bland holiday of mere niceness. If you don’t get into the spirit, you’re likely to be called a Scrooge.

The natural reaction to Christ is to reject him. He said so. In fact, when he was taken to the Temple as an infant, St. Simeon prophesied that he would be a center of contention. Later he predicted his own death and told his followers they must expect persecution too.

His bitterest enemies weren’t atheists; they were the most religious men of his age, the Pharisees, who considered his claims blasphemous — as, by their lights, they were.

Nice? That’s hardly the word for Jesus. He performed miracles of love and mercy, but he also warned of eternal damnation, attacked and insulted the Pharisees, and could rebuke even people who adored him in words that can only make us cringe.

To many, he was a threat. He still is. We honor him more by acknowledging his explosive presence than by making him a mere symbol of nice manners. At every step of his ministry, he made enemies and brought his crucifixion closer. People weren’t crucified for being nice.

The negative witnesses

When Women Pray: 10 Wo... Jakes, T. D. Best Price: $17.33 Buy New $16.78 (as of 06:42 EST - Details) Some people think you can take Christ’s “teachings” and ignore his miracles as if they were fables. But this is to confuse the Sermon on the Mount with the Democratic Party platform. Chief among his teachings was his claim to be God’s son: “I and the Father are one.” “Nobody comes to the Father except through me.”

His teachings are inseparable from his miracles; in fact, his teachings themselves are miraculous. Nobody had ever made such claims before, enraging pious Pharisees and baffling his pious disciples at the same time. After feeding thousands with the miraculous loaves and fishes, he announced that he himself was “the bread of life.” Unless you ate his flesh and drank his blood, he warned, you have no life in you.

This amazing teaching was too much. It cost him many of his disciples on the spot. He didn’t try to coax them back by explaining that he was only speaking figuratively, because he wasn’t. He was foretelling the Last Supper.

At virtually every step of his ministry, Christ accompanied his words with miracles. And the remarkable thing is that his enemies disputed the words rather than the miracles. Of the wonders he performed, there was no doubt; they attracted, and were witnessed by, large crowds. It was their meaning that was controversial.

The blind saw, the deaf heard, cripples walked, lepers were healed. Where did he get the power to do these things? From God or the devil? He used them to certify his power to forgive sins, the claim his critics — enemies, rather — first found outrageous.

His claims still reverberate. The Gospels attest the total coherence of his mission, the perfect harmony between his words and his deeds, even the careful order of his progressive self-disclosure. His modern enemies, many of them professed Christians, don’t try to disprove the miracles; they simply assume he never performed them. And now some of them assume he never spoke many of the words the Gospels record him as saying. The Power of Your Subc... Murphy, Joseph Best Price: $3.00 Buy New $4.25 (as of 06:42 EST - Details)

This skeptical attack floors me. The poet Tennyson remarked that Christ’s greatest miracle was his personality. Could anyone else — the four simple authors of the Gospels, for example — have made him up, and put such resonant words in his mouth? “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” That’s another claim that seems to be holding up pretty well.

Such a strong, indeed unique, personality could only meet strong — and unique — resistance. This is why Christians shouldn’t resent the natural resistance of those who refuse to celebrate his birth. In their way, those people are his witnesses too.

###

This article, which was published originally by Griffin Internet Syndicate on December 23, 2004, is one of 117 essays in the anthology of Sobran’s columns titled Subtracting Christianity: Essays on American Culture and Society (FGF Books, 2015).

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#1. To: Ada (#0) (Edited)

Such a strong, indeed unique, personality could only meet strong — and unique — resistance. This is why Christians shouldn’t resent the natural resistance of those who refuse to celebrate his birth. In their way, those people are his witnesses too.

hmmm...this is true.

Sometimes I think the anti-Christian forces take Christ more seriously than most nominal Christians do.

this may be true too...the former obviously (to some of us) see Him as a serious threat to their plans (see my tagline); while many Christians are oblivious to the true nature of the battles raging all around them.

The natural reaction to Christ is to reject him. He said so. In fact, when he was taken to the Temple as an infant, St. Simeon prophesied that he would be a center of contention. Later he predicted his own death and told his followers they must expect persecution too.

I guess I was ignorant of that, and had to look it up, if anyone is interested:

The Prophecy of Simeon

Luke 2:25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed...

biblehub.com/kjv/luke/2.htm

biblehub.com/luke/2-34.htm

biblehub.com/luke/2-35.htm

Yes, they truly ARE witnesses for Him in their own way...I wonder how they feel about that.

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Merry CHRISTmas!

AllTheKings'HorsesWontDoIt  posted on  2020-12-25   15:30:42 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


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#2. To: AllTheKings'HorsesWontDoIt, Ada, 4um (#1)

thanks for your reply

To me, it would be well if we celebrated much more His victory over death at His resurrection, than we do His birth.

Blessings and peace to all in this coming year.

Lod  posted on  2020-12-25 21:20:02 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


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