The Washington Post saw fit recently to publish an essay by a purported Christian believer, T.R. Reid, which while steeped in phony sincerity was a direct attack on the Christian faith. The suggestion was made that the Gospel of John is by nature anti-Semitic and historically inaccurate, and should no longer be used for the Easter service. The writer, overcome by a peculiarly British pomposity, made up some convenient but erroneous history to support his anti-Christian diatribe. He determined that the "symbolism" and the moving ceremony of the Easter service were too important to be dragged down by St. John's racist rantings. In short, he blasphemed.
In all humility, and awareness that Christ doesn’t need me to defend His Word, I’d like to take a shot at it none the less. The Gospel of John is my favorite book of the Bible and upon it hangs the doctrine of salvation, substitutionary atonement, and much else. It is, more even than the other Gospels, the book that emphasizes Christ’s divine nature. Without the eternal verities taught in this book, we are doomed. To even suggest censoring or removing this most critical of books is an attack on something far more important to mankind than the American economy, the Cuban six year old, or even, dare I say it, the cost of petrol! As to the Jews how does my believing in my religion hurt them? Yet if they are in error, then their very souls are on the line and their blood is on my hands if I don’t say something. I have this in writing from God in the words of Elijah the prophet (a Jew!).
Mr. Reid, the Post's correspondent in London, claims that Pilate was a strong figure who could not be swayed by the Jews. He is incorrect. Pilate was in trouble already back in Rome, and the Jews very deliberately warned him that if he wavered on this, he "was no friend of Caesar"; a title rather than a phrase, and the accusation mirrored the one already made against him for his conspiratorial actions in Rome. Unlike public officials in modern America, Romans faced sanction when called to order.
That Jews crucified Christ is hardly a matter of dispute; that Romans drove the nails into Him is well known too. How this is anti-Semitic escapes me. We know that Ted Bundy murdered females yet that does not make all white males serial murderers. The Apostles were all Jews, too; indeed every single book of the Bible was written by inspired Jewish writers. So it’s very clear that Christianity is not by nature anti-Semitic quite the opposite. St. Paul speaks of our obligation to the Jews to "whom were entrusted the very words of God." If someone takes the Bible as an instigation to anti-Semitism, then they are stupid, or, worse, evil. If someone pretends to see the Bible as an instigation to anti-Semitism they are most certainly not stupid, but they are just as certainly wicked, and consciously so.
Further as Peter said to the Sanhedrin "is it better to obey you or to obey God?" And he says elsewhere that "all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, exhorting…" etc. Dare we even consider rebuking God for inspiring His Apostle to write as he wrote?
My point? That this sly form of attack, similar to that of the notorious "Jesus Seminar," is more than just the blatherings of a jaded phony Brit scribbler. It is an attack on the very foundation of the Christian faith.
Anti-Semitism has been the Devil’s tool for ages. First, in the form of persecution against the Jewish people. Second, in this current form, against the Christian faith. For an attack on the Christian faith is an attack on the very doctrine of salvation that marvelous gift that God has vouchsafed to all. Christians who persecuted Jews did so at the risk of their own souls. Politically correct writers and "tolerant" theologians of the post-modern school use this in reverse, using their claim of anti-Semitism as a tool to sow doubt in the teachings of Christ. They do this at the risk of not only their own souls, but the souls of those whom they purport to teach. We are warned in John, and Malachi, and elsewhere, that false shepherds will break in and savage the flock, like ravening wolves. We are to resist them, God to punish them. That is what it says in the Word.
Mr. Reid feels that soothing the injured feelings of modern Jews is more important than teaching the Truth and he wraps it all in a lie. He is a very dangerous man. That he, and his kind, are successful is proven every Sunday in Britain. The churches are empty. What will happen to those people, Jew and Gentile alike, on that Great and Terrible Day that looms in the future of every man? Will Mr. Reid speak up in their defense? I think he will be rather too busy on that day.
As C.S. Lewis wrote, traitors start by professing their loyalty to the king, and attacking his servant. When the king has no servants left, the traitor strikes him down. His point is well taken. Like devilish termites, these heretics eat into the substance of God’s Word, knowing all the while that if only they can discredit a single sentence, they have won. For God’s Word is inerrant to attack a sentence of it is to call God a liar.
To the unbelievers let me make a suggestion. Consider the issue of religion, and very carefully, since this issue is either the most important one in life or at the very least, a significant one, since even if false, world events often hinge upon it. Now ask yourself why, of all religions, only Christianity is vulnerable to the free fire zone of the vitriolic hacks like Reid? Who could write such an essay about the Jews or the Muslims? Or even the Buddhists, who of all religions should be indifferent to criticism? Zen anyone? Try writing an essay suggesting that the Torah or the Koran be edited or suppressed, and see what happens. Hint: you will not be published in the Washington Post. The fact of the matter is, Christianity is attacked ruthlessly and routinely. We are mocked and scorned, in print and electronic media, and our ways are under increasing assault by the world system in the form of the statist elite, the feminists, the homosexual activists, and the public school system.
Are we so bad, really? You may not like my opinion but you know darn well I make a good neighbor. We Christians are statistically highly unlikely to commit any crime other than "intolerance," and the fact that intolerance is considered a crime, should scare you a great deal. The fact the Christianity is under attack should scare you even more. What if it is true? What if Jesus Christ is the Truth and the Light? The only begotten Son of God? The Word made flesh, through Whom all things were made that were made? What if the only way to the Father is through the Son? Like it says in the Gospel of John.
If it's not true, why not leave us alone, stay home on Sunday, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, you will die and that ain't my supposition check the statistics. No one gets out alive. If you think Christianity is a myth, why not simply ignore it, the way you do other religions and cults and philosophies?
The answer to that is simple, and I make no apologies for it. There are only two religions, and only ever have been two. The first, the world religion, is one of works, of deeds, based entirely on man, and his various check lists of accomplishments which he imagines will determine his access into heaven, nirvana, or simply that good moral life so many claim to seek. This religion comes in many guises and has many names, but it all boils down to man, and the god that man has made in the image of man. In the image of what Luther called "that silly bitch, reason." It is reasonable to do what is fashionable. I don't however, recommend it.
The other religion, the only other religion, is classical Christianity. Man, the imperfect critter who fell into sin, cannot enter into the Kingdom of God because God's requirement is after all, perfection. Sorry, amigo, that's how it is. Hence Christ. Before we even fell, God had predetermined our redemption in the Person of Christ. It is not reasonable, and does not presuppose any acts of our own all the work is done by Him. Even our good works "are stored up for us from before the creation of the world."
So why attack us? We are harmless lunatics if wrong and often quite useful regardless. We average pretty darn patriotic. We work hard, and give much of our substance away freely. We tend to help the poor with more than words, and don't break the laws of the land. I urge you to consider these facts and ask yourself why the world hates us so badly. Why a second rate writer whose skill set so obviously simply does not feature, can be published in a major state propaganda organ like the Washington Post, just because the silly guy chose to mock the Christian faith?
The answer is simple. The world loves its own, and will welcome he who comes in his own name. The last days began when Christ split history in two and the clock started ticking. This is the period of grace, and the other side hopes most desperately to keep us from that saving grace. That's what it has been about, always. How frustrating for the other side tribulation just makes God's church that much stronger why, it says so in the scripture! And the Devil can cite scripture with the best of us so this is not a carefully kept secret.
Does Christianity seem silly to you? Perhaps it does. It certainly did to me at one time. So I investigated it closely, eschewing the words of those who wanted to tell me about it, and I let the Bible tell me about it instead. The source, Luke. The only knowledge we have of God's plan is there. The creation shouts of His existence, but the Bible explains His nature, and His plan for our salvation. No wonder the other side aims the big guns at the Word.
Thus we must keep the facts in order. Christianity is about the Truth of the Word of God, the divine nature of Christ, and the free gift of salvation. Only that. You can change it, but after you do, don't pretend that you have something called Christianity any longer. Deal with it as it is, or walk away from it. Is that free will? Nope. It's free won't. Your sins are forgiven, and yes, Mr. Reid, you, and all the rest of us, are sinners. Please excuse the affront to your self esteem. That forgiveness is free, but it wasn't cheap. The price was paid on Good Friday, on the cross, and that story is told best in the Gospel of John.
Mr. Peirce fought with the Rhodesian freedom fighters (the Ian Smith side, of course).