The new polytheism

“I came down from heaven” (John 6.38)

There are, essentially, four major categories of people when it comes to Jesus:

(1) an unbeliever who denies historicity of Jesus
(2) an unbeliever who accepts historicity of Jesus
(3) a believer in Jesus who denies accuracy of the gospels
(4) a believer in Jesus who accepts accuracy of the gospels

Category 1 is unreasonable: Jesus is historically verifiable (not exploring in this article).

Category 2 is at least understandable: Someone could objectively examine the evidence and become convinced that Jesus lived, without having any interest in what is said of him in Scripture.

Category 4 is reasonable: Based upon the historicity of Jesus, it is not unreasonable that someone would study the Scriptures, and come to believe them to be the particular revelation of Jesus Christ, and come to faith in him.

Category 3 is the most unreasonable of all: This is the person who accepts the historical Jesus, claims to be a believer, but not in the gospel version of Jesus.

Category 3 is not only the most unreasonable position, but the most convenient as well. This person gets the best of both worlds: the joy of Jesus, in just the form they like. They get to keep what they like, and toss what they don’t, and no one can stop them.

Isn’t this the most dangerous position of all? If not the Jesus of the gospels, why Jesus at all? We might as well call our god George Washington, or Genghis Khan. Without the Jesus of the gospels, there really is no Jesus at all.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why so many so-called, professing Christians believe so many different things about Jesus – about what he actually said, or didn’t say; what he condemned, or didn’t condemn; or what he did or didn’t do – perhaps this will help you understand.

Professing “Category 3,” Christians have taken a page from the Hindu playbook: rather than finding the true God as revealed in Scripture, they have just taken the liberty to create 1,000,000 others they like better.

The only difference is, they’ve named them all “Jesus.”

Unfortunate, but not far-fetched for a self-serving, pseudo-tolerant, pluralistic society.

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Rick Kelley

I began preaching in Wallace, WV (2000-2002), and worked with the church in Proctor, WV (2002-2004). I graduated from the West Virginia School of Preaching (2004), served the church in Prestonsburg, KY as pulpit minister from 2004-2014, and am currently laboring with the Massillon, OH congregation (2014-present). Outside of biblical studies, I enjoy spending time with my much better half, Samantha, and our six children (Christian, Hannah, Noah, Emma, Evan & Leah). We have an equal parts sweet and goofy Golden Retriever (Max), a rather energetic Australian Shepherd (Mallie), and a very chill Goldendoodle (Moses).

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