Reader: I have a question: the author, C.S. Lewis, once wrote (quoted another?) that concerning Jesus Christ there are only three possible answers:
1. He is who He said he was; True God and True man
2. He was a fool
3. He was a liar and a fraud
According to this thinking, Jesus Christ could not be "just" a great prophet.
Do you see a way for Jesus Christ to be a fourth possibility?
If so, how and what would be the fourth possibility?
Do you agree with me that each and every person should sincerely ask God for the help needed to come to believe whatever the TRUTH is that God wants everyone to know and believe concerning Jesus Christ?
Do you agree with me that each and every person should sincerely ask God for the help needed to come to believe whatever the TRUTH is that God wants everyone to know and believe, and therefore demonstrate that their heart is first and foremost on pleasing God, doing His most holy will?
Do you agree with the idea that every minister, of every faith, should be expected to strenuously encourage all the faithful (without judging anyone) to be seen working to know everything that God wants everyone to know and believe, whatever that is, just because God wants everyone to know and believe it?
Do you know of a better way for ministers of all faiths to publicly cooperate in this basic endeavor than the "Poster and slip of paper idea to help all parents, of all faiths, be better parents" idea on eternalvisionfarmer.blogspot.com ?
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: Douglas,
I am glad you enjoyed the essay. Thank you for sharing.
As to your questions, C. S. Lewis got sidetracked by personally attacking Jesus. The question should simply be framed as, “Did Jesus, or do the claims made about Jesus’ life, comply or violate with God’s Bible?” As we are seeking truth, the first step is to verify what truth is. And I feel for our purposes, we can accept the Bible as absolute truth, i.e., God’s words, which I have sufficiently covered in other essays here, and later in this note.
God said not to add to the Bible (Deut. 13:1). Adding the New Testament, adding new holidays, adding new ideas that God became man, etc., each violate this Biblical command. Furthermore, God said through His prophet Isaiah (40:25), “there is nothing to which you can equate Me.” Thus, God cannot become man, for then He will be equatable to man. Reason too dismisses such a notion that the all powerful God should render Himself subjugated to natural law by becoming flesh. Such a notion originates in the infantile part of man’s psyche seeking a tangible deity, and not in intelligence or evidence. This is akin to the Jews’s sin of the Gold Calf once Moses was ostensibly gone. And Moses reminded the people that they saw no form of God at Revelation. Why? This crucial lesson is that God is not equatable to His creations, i.e. the physical world.
For these reasons, a follower of the Bible cannot agree with your premature conclusion that “each person should ask God for the help to believe what God wants everyone to know and believe concerning Jesus Christ.”
What God desires of each man and woman can be discovered. Would you not agree that by following God’s proven actions, and not historical fabrications, we will obtain a more accurate understanding of God’s will? God gifted reason and intelligence to us all, so that we engage these faculties and agree with what they demand, and dismiss what they cannot prove. Had God desired we live by blind faith, these faculties would be of no use. But, As God gifted man with them, He desires we rely on our senses, rejecting a belief that an ocean is before us when it is not. He desires we accept mass witnesses of any event, but suspect the testimony of the few or one person. Why? The latter contains possible motive of fabrication, while the former, i.e., masses, cannot possibly be motivated to equally lie. Thus, God desires man to rely on his reason.
Now, as there were no masses ever in history witnessing any miracle other than the Bible’s miracles including Revelation at Sinai, we have no basis to believe such claims, other than these. All other religions are based on the words of a few people, or individuals. Such claims cannot be validated. When God wishes to make His communication to mankind known without doubt, He ensures masses witness it. No one can perpetrate a lie so large, telling others that they witnessed intelligent words emanating from a fiery mountain together with millions of others, had it not occurred. For if he lied, the masses would ask him, “Where are these others with whom you claim we all witnessed this event?” Certainly, all those to whom he lied would not replace their true history, transmitting a new delusional lie to their children. No claim of a mass-attended miracle would ever be adopted in place of one’s own known history, and certainly, it would not become world history, accepted by all others as truth 3300 years layer.
However, as Revelation at Sinai is the only Jewish history, and is accepted even by opposing religions (Christianity and Islam), this can only be explained due to the true nature of the event. And, had Revelation been a lie, we would at least be in possession of the “real” Jewish history. But after thousands of years, there remains one identical Bible; one unanimous Jewish history. And if it were true that the Bible is a grave distortion, why is the distortion identical everywhere on Earth? Did all nations conspire to distort the truth identically? That is most absurd. Distortions would be of numerous versions. The Dead Sea scrolls and the writings of medieval Sages confirm the Bible is unchanged.
For these reasons, we accept Revelation as truth, and as the only evidence in history of God revealing a religion. To repeat, other religions are based on the words of a few people, or individuals, and no history is validated by the claims of the few. Certainly this is so, when the claims have conflicting reports.
But God did not give the Bible to the Jews alone. As all other nations were idolatrous at that period in history, Abraham was the only monotheist; he was the only individual who would accept and transmit God’s ways to all others. And that is precisely what Abraham did, until he had thousands of followers. God eventually made his seed great, giving them His Bible through Moses at the only mass-witnessed revelation in history. No other time has God spoken to masses; no other time did He reveal another religion. And why would He? He knows all, and as He gave a Bible, wherein He commands man to never add to, or subtract from it (Deut. 13:1), this is because He knows this Bible is applicable to all mankind throughout all time. Man will never change his design, so God’s prefect Bible system need not change. Those other religions violate God’s word by adding books to His texts, creating new holidays and religious rites, claiming unsubstantiated prophecies and suggesting heretical notions that violate His prophets.
To close, your conclusion does not adhere to the guidelines the Creator demands we follow, namely, trusting our senses, and our reason. These are proven guides of God’s will, since He created both. But to live by blind faith and accept stories and notions that violate the Bible and Prophets, and are also without proof, in fact violates God’s will in gifting man reason and senses.