Jesus, the one name that is the most praised, ridiculed, blasphemed, mocked, cursed, debated. Jesus is the only historical figure to be so revered and reviled by man. Christianity is the only religion that is routinely demonized and made mockery of. Christians, compared to other religion followers,are more made fun of and belittled than all other religions. Followers of Jesus are called, 'Jesus freaks' 'holly rollers' bible thumpers' 'crazies', but you don't see these same monikers being used to describe other religions like Islam or Buddhism. Muslims follow the quran, which they consider to be their holy book, and they kill and maim people and perform various religious rituals based on their interpretations of it and yet NO ONE calls them "Muslim freaks" or "quran thumpers." It's ironic, when Christians witness to people, if the person doesn't believe, then the true Christian is to 'dust their feet off' and move onto the next person. But if a Muslim approaches you and demands you believe in Allah, and the person doesn't believe, the Muslim doesn't go onto the next person, they chop your head off, blow themselves and others up. Men have tried for centuries to take away the deity of Christ in their various seminars and theories such as 'The Jesus Seminar' or the
'Jesus Movement'; the quran and other religions identify Jesus as just another prophet, or good teacher. And NO religious figure in history has been portrayed so heinously as Jesus Christ. Look at the current blasphemous show on Cartoon Network, 'Black Jesus' and movies like 'Ted' and the popular animated show, 'The Simpsons' and these are just few of thousands of blasphemous shows and movies. Jesus Christ is fair game for the comedians, movies, and shows. And the glaring fact that 'Jesus'/"Jesus Christ' is used in almost every movie since the 1980's and it's not used in a honoring way, but used as a curse word, a byword. Pop in any movie and just wait to see how long it takes before, "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" or the combination of 'Jesus Christ' with the 'f'' word is blurted out by the actor/actors. Why can't the script writers find another word to express frustration, annoyance, surprise? Why don't the script writers write, "OH Buddha, or OH Mohammed" for the actors' lines?
Is there a conspiracy to discredit Jesus and the Bible? OF COURSE!!! Satan's plan from the beginning was to discredit God when he deceived Eve in the garden of Eden. Satan hated the fact that man was living in paradise under the protection and guidance of God. If Adam and Eve had obeyed God they would have been able to remain in perfect paradise for the rest of their lives because death only entered into the human race when they sinned. Obey God you get to stay in paradise and live;disobey God you get kicked out of paradise into a hard barren land and you die. The concept of living in Eden did not die when God ejected Adam and Eve out of the garden. God has left a 'life line' to Eden through His statutes, laws, and commandments. Obey God you get life, peace, prosperity, protection, health, protection, God walks and talks with you -just like Eve and Adam got in the garden; disobey God, you get kicked out of God's protection, you get all the curses, destruction, poverty, disease, death, hard labor, and instead of God walking with you, Satan is your blind guide. The literal life line to all that is good is God the Father and Jesus Christ. No other religion, no other being created Eden and its life sustaining properties. There was one Eden, not two, three or a thousand gardens. Just one place where life began. The path to complete health and wellness was through one Person, one way. It is here where Satan understood that it was too easy for mankind to get a touch of Eden if there was just one way. So what better way to get revenge on God and humankind, than to cause confusion, create a duplicate 'garden', that looks similar but doesn't have quite all the characteristics; but don't stop at just one counterfeit garden, no let's create thousands of fake gardens so man will not be able to find the one true garden. Jesus Christ says, "He is the Way, and The Truth, and The Life, and NO ONE comes before the Father except BY HIM.
When you compare Christianity to other religious practices, one has to scratch their head in confusion as to 'why in the world do some of them do the things they do?' Walking on glass, cutting their bodies, putting pins and needles in their bodies, eating weird food, putting their bodies through severe calisthenics, piercing their bodies with hooks, getting crucified. I was watching some travel channel like show, and it was showcasing some country village that was celebrating some religious holiday. Part of this religion activities was to place pins and hooks in the body and hang objects off the hooks and walk up a hill bare foot on rough/rocky roads, and it was a sort of competition as the person who could hang the most stuff off their body and make it up the hill the fastest won some type of prize/recognition. As the narrator was talking to the men participating in this, the men had pins all through their body and blood was running down their face and they were laughing and smiling. All I could think is, "They need Jesus." But the Bible explains exactly why people follow after these bizarre religions.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteous, of men, who suppress THE TRUTH in unrighteousness,
because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are CLEARLY seen, being
understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so
THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were
thankful, but became FUTILE in their thoughts, and their foolish
HEARTS WERE DARKENED.
Professing to be wise, THEY BECAME FOOLS, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God
into an image made like corruptible man- and birds and four-footed animals creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts,
do DISHONOR THEIR BODIES among themselves, who exchanged the TRUTH OF GOD
for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen." Romans 1:18-25.
I am aware of some Christian 'sects' who have strange rituals. The Gospel, as preached by Paul, got him in trouble with the 'Judaizers' because of his preaching about the 'freedoms' in the New Covenant. He debated in Galatians chapter 3 and Acts chapter 15 and other verses, explaining the difference between the Law and Grace, but the Judaizers argued that the gentiles should be keeping the old Mosaic laws too. Paul confirms loud and clear, Christians are under a New Covenant, the Mosaic law was fulfilled and completed by Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross. The law has transformed into something even better, it is now in the hearts of every believer, the law is now even higher than when it was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, because before you could lust after a women and not incur any penalty, but now if a man looks at a woman with lust in his eyes, he is guilty of adultery, which in the Old Testament, this sin would be punished by killing the man and woman, but we are no longer under the Old Testament, we are now under the New Covenant what was created and sealed with the Blood of Jesus Christ. I already know many are going to charge me with being a bigot/hateful for talking about these other 'religions'. This is the world we live in, where common sense and logic have died a tragic death, and now we live in a world where you can't call something that is crazy, crazy, and that's 'crazy'.
That's what trips up a lot of folks about the Christian faith. 'It's too easy' so it must not be real. What just say a prayer and get dipped in water and have faith, that's it? Oh no, there HAS to be more to it than that, many think. There is something in man that makes them feel that for something to be important you have to do a lot of steps/actions to make it special. They feel like the more they do, that makes it more 'holier' or worthy to follow. In the Christian faith, everyone is saved on equal ground, there is no such thing as one person is more 'saved' than the other. Now when it comes to rewards for good work, there is a measuring stick. The one's who gave up their very life for Christ will be rewarded way more than someone who just stayed on the couch all of their life, as proven by the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:29, "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My Name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life." But at the same time, even a person who has many works is no better standing with God than the one who has fewer works for God is no respecter of persons. There are two warnings when it comes to issue of works-the motivation behind the works and the actual performing of works. The simple truth is if a person is truly regenerated, given a new heart by God, their mind renewed by Christ/The Holy Spirit, truly SAVED, it SHOULD lead to good works. There is no such thing a 'lazy Christian' in the Bible. In fact there are some chilling words for those who believe they are Christians but don't work:
The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14 through 30. Jesus talked about three workers, their boss gave each worker a number of goods(talents) based on each worker's abilities. One worker got 5 talents, one got 2, and the other got 1. The ones who got 5 and 2 put in work and increased the number of talents they each had, but the one who had just gotten 1 talent, did absolutely nothing but bury the talent in the ground. Now this parable translates to fact that God is the boss of His followers, and the goods-talents each Christian is given is the Gospel and the good works. Each Christian worker is equipped by God to perform what God created them to do. Some Christians are given '5' talents, some '2, and some '1'. Now back to the parable, the 1 talent worker, because they were afraid, had buried their talent and they called a 'wicked and lazy' servant. Jesus tells His followers, " You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand and, it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16. Christians who 'hide' their faith and do no works are lazy and wicked. What happened to the worker who buried his talent? His one talent was taken from him and given to the one that had 10 and the wicked servant was cast into outer darkness where,
"There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." This should really give Christians who think they can just 'coast' their way into heaven something to be very concerned about. MOTIVATION AND OBLIGATION-What drives you to work for the Lord?
Back to the main purpose of this post. Jesus Christ, the ridiculed One, the One beaten and spit upon, the cursed and shunned One. But one day, one day very soon, ALL THE MOCKING WILL STOP!
There is going to be a Day of Judgment, and God will judge everyone who has ever lived, His wrath is going to poured out on all the wicked and ungodly. The Good News is Believing in Jesus saves us from the righteous wrath of God. But that is not all, He gives us a new heart and mind NOW, and we receive some of His blessing from heaven NOW and are equipped to be able to live a life that is holy and acceptable to Him NOW.
1. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is real, He lived and died and rose from the grave.
2. Believe that you are a sinner, repent-turn from your sins and realize and accept you need Jesus.
3. Confess that Jesus is your Lord and God
4. Find a local Bible preaching church that does obey the commandment for water baptism for the remission of your sins and to identify yourself with Christ.
This is just the first step to a lifelong journey of growing in truth and love with the God who created this earth and everything in it, including every human being that has ever lived.
Bible verses related to this post: Genesis Chapter 2 and 3; Matthew 19:29; Acts 10:34-35; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-11; James 2:14-26; Matthew Chapter 7;Matthew 25:14 through 30; Revelation 19:11-16. Matthew 5:14-16; John 14:6; Romans 1:18-25; Galatians Chapter 3, Acts Chapter 15
Erica Harris is a God Gifted Christian Coach, Counselor, providing insights and truths from the Word of God, The Bible.