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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: 181
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.

+ + + + + + + + + + +

Merry CHRISTmas!

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


#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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#3. To: Lod (#2)

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

That well may be...but we might possibly have lost such a one as Brother Nathanael without first the celebration of His birth...

I have a terrible memory, but this is one thing about Bro Nathanael that has always stood out for me...

"...THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE I GREW UP was made up of Jews, Catholics, and Protestants. Every year at Christmas time in the 1950’s, all of our Gentile neighbors put up the Nativity Scene on their lawns. I simply loved looking at the Nativity Scene! And I wanted to know more about Jesus Christ. But we were forbidden to even mention Jesus Christ’s name unless we used it as a curse word. ..."

"...we were not allowed to study Christianity in our Bar Mitzvah class. The teacher, (I will never forget this scene as long as I live), Mrs Schecter, who was built like a bull dog, got up in front of the class and said:

— “Now children. We have studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. But we are not going to study Christianity. You see children, Christianity was made up by a manic-depressant by the name of Saul of Tarsus who wanted to blame the crucifixion of a criminal named Jesus Christ on the Jewish people. And Saul of Tarsus you should know was a “self-hating” Jew. He hated being a Jew so much that he even changed his name to “Paul!”

Now it happened dear children that 500 years after Jesus Christ was crucified, the Roman Catholic Church took the crazed writings of Saul of Tarsus and made a religion out of it. They called this religion, “Christianity.” Thus we are not going to bother studying this false and hate-mongering religion.” —

I was very disappointed and said to myself, “How could so many people over 1700 years base their lives of virtuous conduct, (as I saw it), upon a man’s ‘crazed writings?’”

When I got home I asked my father what he thought about Saul of Tarsus. My father answered, “Saul of Tarsus tried to convince Jews to become Christians. But we are born Jews and we should die as Jews.” ..."

"I FINALLY LEFT my home and synagogue to go to college in Los Angeles in 1968. But I forgot about my promise. It wasn’t until 1970 that one of the Jesus Freaks who were very popular at that time gave me a New Testament. I opened it up and started reading the Gospel of St Matthew. I was struck by the “Jewishness” of the writing. And I soon found myself captivated by the person of Jesus Christ!

He was a man who rubbed shoulders with the common people. He was a man who taught the people from every-day life experiences. And what I liked most of all about Him was when He said to the religious leaders, “The harlots and tax collectors go into the kingdom of heaven before you.” I could almost see Him saying this to Mrs Schecter who called Him a “criminal.” I simply found myself falling in love with Jesus Christ!

I devoured the entire New Testament from cover to cover and could not put it down. I did read about the sufferings of Jesus Christ and it made me cry. And I did read the ‘crazed writings’ of St Paul and knew that there was nothing ‘crazed’ about it at all - but were words of hope and purpose. I said to myself, “Judaism is bankrupt. But the Christian message is full of promise and life.”

When I finished the last Chapter of the Book of Revelations, now at the age of 21, I got down on my knees, wept, and asked Jesus Christ to forgive all my sins and be my Saviour.

Soon afterward I met an old pious woman at a Church gathering who came up to me and said, “God has so much for you and so much for you to do.” Like a cryptic oracle, long awaiting its coming, I am just beginning, 37 years later, to see this prophecy come true."

https://www.realjewnews.com/?p=180

Would the New Testament have meant as much to Bro Nathanael without first having fallen in love with the Nativity? I don't know.

Blessings and peace to you and yours as well, and to all.

AllTheKings'HorsesWontDoIt  posted on  2020-12-26 00:24:24 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


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