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The War Against Christmas - Phase 2

Wednesday, 08 December 2004 12:00 AM

Phase two of the war against Christmas is a war against Christianity itself.

As we begin the month that ends with this holiest of religious holidays, a barrage has been launched by two of the nation's leading news magazines, Time and Newsweek, against the legitimacy of Christianity itself.

In the Newsweek Cover Story, the magazine's editor Jon Meachem examines the biblical story about the birth of Jesus, and gives legitimacy to the views of dissenting scholars, raising doubts about the Virgin birth, even to suggesting that Jesus was the illegitimate spawn of a Roman soldier and his mother Mary who was tossed out by her husband Joseph because of her adulterous relationship.

Wrote Meachem: "In later years Christians had to contend with charges that their Lord was illegitimate, perhaps the illicit offspring of Mary and a Roman soldier. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, some scholars treat the Christmas narratives as first-century inventions designed to strengthen the seemingly tenuous claim that Jesus was the Messiah."


In other words many of the "scholars" including those members of the so-called "Jesus Seminar" Meachem relies upon for much of this lengthy article, are questioning the very validity of Christianity which, in their wisdom, they view as largely a myth concocted by the authors of the four gospels and foist upon us gullible believers for the last 2,000 years.

If this article were merely Meachem's first thinly-disguised attempt to pour cold water on the faith of tens of millions of Christians it could be looked upon as a tentative gesture of respect to the paganistic elites whose good opinions he, like the rest of his liberal journalistic colleagues, lust after.

But it's not. This is not Meachem's first flank attack on the religion he professes to be his own. On Friday, February 13, 2004 I wrote a NewsMax.com piece about his first foray into anti-Christian propaganda which I now repeat. It tells you a lot about Meachem, where he's coming from, and where he's headed, and suggests why he chose the beginning of the Christmas season to launch this misleading piece of Scrooge-like propaganda.

Newsweek magazine’s cover story about Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ," carries the byline of one Jon Meachem, but anybody the least bit familiar with the recent statements and articles by Boston college’s Paula Fredericksen, Sr. Mary Boys and the other dissident members of an ad-hoc committee of the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s Conference interfaith group will immediately recognize where Meachem got his material.

This group of Catholic and Jewish scholars has a very clear agenda – to, in effect, rewrite the Gospels to conform to their opinions of what their study of history reveals about the life and times of Jesus Christ. What has been accepted for 2,000 years as the inspired word of God is, in their view, more myth than fact.

To put it bluntly, what Christians have accepted as unerrant, is in the scholars opinion, full of errors.

Here’s what Newsweek had to say:

"Though countless believers take it as the immutable word of God, Scripture is not always a faithful record of historical events; the Bible is the product of human authors who were writing in particular times and places with particular points to make and visions to advance."

In other words, the Bible is not the work of apostles guided by the Holy Spirit and therefor incapable of error. It’s simply the work of four fallible human beings with an ax to grind.

"Gibson set out to stick to the Gospels and has made virtually no nod to critical analysis or context."

In other words, Mel Gibson didn’t consult the self-styled "experts" or pay any attention to their "analysis."

"The writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John shaped their narratives several decades after Jesus' death to attract converts and make their young religion — understood by many Christians to be a faction of Judaism — attractive to as broad an audience as possible."

Matthew Mark, Luke and John, it seems were not evangelists inspired by the Holy Spirit, but merely four hucksters peddling their young religion.

"We can also see why the writers downplayed the role of the ruling Romans in Jesus' death. The advocates of Christianity — then a new, struggling faith — understandably chose to placate, not antagonize, the powers that were. Why remind the world that the earthly empire which still ran the Mediterranean had executed your hero as a revolutionary?"

The Gospel writers slanted their biblical accounts to curry favor with the Romans who persisted in killing them anyway.

"And many scholars believe that the author of Matthew, which is the only Gospel to include the 'His blood be on us' line, was writing after the destruction of the Temple in 70 and inserted the words to help explain why such misery had come upon the people of Jerusalem. According to this argument, blood had already fallen on them and on their children."

Just where did the "scholars" obtain that inside information?

"John's point in putting this line in Jesus' mouth is almost certainly to take a gibe at the Temple elite. But in the dramatic milieu of the movie, it can be taken to mean that the Jews, through Caiaphas, are more responsible for Jesus' death than the Romans are — an implication unsupported by history."

St. John put words in Jesus mouth? St. John, the " beloved apostle" lied?"

"Clear evidence of the political nature of the execution — that Pilate and the high priest were ridding themselves of a "messiah" who might disrupt society, not offer salvation — is the sign Pilate ordered affixed to Jesus' cross. The message is not from the knowing Romans to the evil Jews. It is, rather, a scornful signal to the crowds that this death awaits any man the pilgrims proclaim ‘the king of the Jews."

If that is true, why did the Temple authorities go to Pilate and demand that he change the wording to say that Jesus "claimed" to be King of the Jews. And how do they explain Pilate’s scornful rejection of their demand – " Scripsi, Scripsi" (What I have written I have written). Or did the gospel authors make that up too?

"It was as the church's theology took shape, culminating in the Council of Nicaea in 325, that Jesus became the doctrinal Christ, the Son of God ‘who for us men and our salvation,' the council's original creed declared, 'descended, was incarnate, and was made man, suffered and rose again the third day, ascended into heaven and cometh to judge the living and the dead.’"

In other words Jesus was not believed to be who he said he was for about 300 years after his death. That would have come as a surprise to the tens of thousands of martyrs who died because of their belief in his divinity.

These "teachings" are the teachings of the so-called "scholars" which are at odds with official Catholic doctrine and the teachings of the majority of Protestant and evangelistic biblical scholars. And going to them and the likes of the Jesus Seminar for guidance about Christianity is like going to Saddam Hussein for guidance on how to prevent torture.

What's next Jon? Got a Christian or two you can feed to the lions?

He can be reached at phil@newsmax.com


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Phase two of the war against Christmas is a war against Christianity itself. As we begin the month that ends with this holiest of religious holidays, a barrage has been launched by two of the nation's leading news magazines, Time and Newsweek, against the legitimacy of...
Wednesday, 08 December 2004 12:00 AM
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