Tag Archives: Jesus

Sex and Resentment, part 2

resent

I’m not apologizing for my last post on Sex And Resentment, but even as I was hitting the button to publish it, I felt that it wasn’t ‘complete.’ I’m not saying that what I wrote was wrong, and it’s not that I didn’t attempt to “speak the truth in love”; I did some heavy editing in order to pull back on my normal curmudgeonly-ness. But as I rehash the topic in my mind, I find that I am still somewhat uneasy in my mind about it.

All-wise Curmudgeon that I am, after I’ve written about a topic, I usually feel that I am done with it. I confess an affinity with L’il Abner’s mother, Mammy Yokum, who was known for her pronouncement, “I has spoken!” After all, as the old saying goes, “CSL said it, I believe, that settles it”, right? **

But this topic won’t let me be. Continue reading

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Apostle’s Creed, part 8

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,

“suffered under Pontius Pilate,”

This line of the Creed makes two statements that the apostle affirms.

First, the apostle is stating a fact of history. Christians are stating that Jesus was born, lived, taught, died, and was resurrected during a specific period of time. By connecting the time with a person in the annals of history, Jesus is placed on earth, in Judea, under the rule of Romans, during the decade that Pilate was Roman procurator (26-36 AD). This anchors the Christian faith in human history, and keeps Jesus real; Christ is not some ethereal spirit flitting in and out of time. God, in and through Jesus, met mankind where the sandal hit the road. He is a God Who says, “Do as I do”, not “Do as I say.”

The second statement that this line makes is much more theological: Jesus, the holy Son of God, suffered a cruel, agonizing death, even though, as God, He could have secured His safety and release with a word. The night before He was crucified, Jesus prayed to His Father to be spared this agony, if it were possible. But strengthened by God and by angels, He endured the crown of thorns, the whipping and beatings for one reason: the reconciliation of mankind to God.

I have a small confession to make. I’ve seen Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ only twice. I saw it the first time in the theater, and on VHS tape, a couple of years after it was released. The violence of the film shook me. It’s not that the violence was gratuitous; after all, the film is only two hours long, and Jesus was in the hands of the Temple guards and Romans for hours. No, it was that the violence that was shown was, of itself, so brutal, but not nearly all of what Jesus went through for you and me. I bawled in the theater, and I bawled in the privacy of my living room. It was overwhelming, devastating, to see just some of what He endured.

“He suffered under Pontius Pilate.”

Oh, how He suffered. But Hebrews 2:10 tells us that by His suffering, He brought  “many sons and daughters to glory.”

CSL

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Apostle’s Creed, part 6

(Again, I am extending something I wrote over 7 years ago.)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, Virgin Birth. The miracle of Christ’s birth. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Is it a coincidence that I consider this line of the creed just as we are ending the time that we celebrate this event? Who knows? But it is appropriate that I rise, for a moment, from my wonder at this season and make my statement of faith. Jesus was unique in His person, unique in His conception. He was fully God, and fully man. “You can’t believe in a story like that, can you CSL?” Yes, I can. He was the God-man, sent to Earth by God the Father as the Lamb of God. Pure, spotless, sinless, he came to bear our sin, that we might be reconciled to God. His virgin birth was part of the miracle of salvation. He became our brother, not our judge/condemner. He came to bring us to God, not harangue in our guilt. As a loving brother, He came to show us the God who loves us, not hates us. Although we have estranged ourselves from Him, Jesus tells us that the Father is still waiting, still drawing us to Himself. And the Virgin Birth is part of the drawing. God became one of us, to show us the Father.

Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:11-15

It is this confession of belief that separates Christian from non-Christian. C. S. Lewis’s famous trilemma cannot be evaded. The crux of Christianity rests solidly on this statement, or it falls as a house of cards. With statements like “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God,” and “I and My Father are One,” Jesus left us no wiggle-room. We either accept those words as truth or turn from them as the ravings of a lunatic or the deception of a liar. Like Peter, I have confessed,

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,…” John 6:68

 CSL

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