My son, if sinners entice you, don’t be persuaded. If they say—“Come with us! Let’s set an ambush and kill someone. Let’s attack some innocent person just for fun!
Proverbs 1:10-11 (HCSB)
God‘s anger is revealed from heaven against every ungodly and immoral thing people do as they try to suppress the truth by their immoral living. What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them. From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness. While claiming to be wise, they became fools. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for statues that looked like mortal humans, birds, animals, and snakes. For this reason God allowed their lusts to control them. As a result, they dishonor their bodies by sexual perversion with each other. These people have exchanged God’s truth for a lie. So they have become ungodly and serve what is created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen! For this reason God allowed their shameful passions to control them. Their women have exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. Likewise, their men have given up natural sexual relations with women and burn with lust for each other. Men commit indecent acts with men, so they experience among themselves the punishment they deserve for their perversion. And because they thought it was worthless to acknowledge God, God allowed their own immoral minds to control them. So they do these indecent things. Their lives are filled with all kinds of sexual sins, wickedness, and greed. They are mean. They are filled with envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and viciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, haughty, arrogant, and boastful. They think up new ways to be cruel. They don’t obey their parents, don’t have any sense, don’t keep promises, and don’t show love to their own families or mercy to others. Although they know God’s judgment that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do these things but also approve of others who do them. Romans 1:18-32 (GW)
The crowd shouted loudly to crucify the man Jesus who claimed that He and His Father were one. He dared to declare himself God. To a devote Jewish elder this was deemed blasphemous. How could a mere human claim to be equal with God let alone be God? They could not tolerate anyone who would claim to take the place of God in the world, this was a place they held for themselves. For the ruling elders set themselves up as final authority on all things God and all things right and wrong. Theirs was the last word, the ultimate ruling, the final voice all were to obey and bow down to. Now their authority was called into question, their viewpoints being challenged by this carpenter’s son. They could not allow a simple man like this challenge their positions of authority and dethrone them from their lofty positions of power and influence. If this man was allowed to gain a following their powerful positions would be greatly weakened by an ever-increasing pool of opposition. Therefore it was important to quiet this rebel rouser before he could influence a larger percentage of the population.
The voices of mainstream thought and ideology was never to be questioned. Theirs was the loudest voices and they wielded the greatest influence in society and those who held these positions liked it that way. Any attempt to challenge these all-knowing, purveyors of all that is true and right were dealt with forcibly and decisively. There was to be no doubt in anyone’s mind who was in charge and who made the rules.
This was the reason Jesus had to die. It wasn’t because he committed any crime deserving of death but it was because he dared to speak truth to power. He dared to challenge their school of thought and challenge their leaders and rulers. He dared called them out on their duplicity and falsehoods. He dared say that their way was not the right way and that there was another way. And what authority did he cite as his source? He did not quote some secular scholar nor credit an accredited academy or attend any institution of higher learning. He did not run in the approved circles, nor did he hold any approved credentials from any recognized authority, He only cited his authority from God.
How could an unlearned carpenter’s son know what is right and wrong? How could a non-seminarian understand the scriptures or dare challenge anyone who has spent their entire life studying from the greatest theologians of the day? Only those approved were permitted to espouse biblical scholarship a simple average person could not be permitted to teach in their synagogues. His voice and position needed to be dealt with intense opposition. His voice needed to be silenced.
Why would these leaders fear an uneducated, non-credentialed, simple carpenter going about talking to people about the bible? They feared him because what he was saying they knew was true, and the truth was what they have worked so hard to hide from the people. They knew their positions were wrong but they were not going to ever admit it to anyone, nor allow anyone to challenge them.
Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Kill this messenger and the followers will disperse, and then things can go back to the way they are supposed to be. The people will return to following our ways and not questioning our authority nor challenging our rulings. Unfortunately for the ruling class the death of Jesus did not stop the movement for it continues til today. What they failed to realize was what Jesus was saying was 100% true and truth can not be killed. Truth will remain regardless of all attempts to dismiss it.
And the battle continues to this day. Liars still attempt to kill the truth and deniers still try to silence believers. Take Phil Robertson as the latest example of a public verbal crucifixion. His is just another in a long list of such attacks which seem to be happening more often than in times past. What was his crime? Attempting to put a bit of God-consciousness back in mainstream America, and for that he was viciously attacked.
This is the way public opinion works in this country today. If it goes against the all-powerful tides of a current societal view, you will assuredly be drowned out under the voices of scorn and rebuke. Tolerance of unpopular views has become intolerable. What we are left with is a fear of character, a hesitancy to stand behind that which has helped define the person you are. Speaking out for differing views and challenging the things as they are is a dying practice in this society. There is an overwhelming sense of complacency and slumbering that has descended upon hearts and minds, infecting the pool of personal thought and stagnating true social and political progress.
The take away from all of this is no matter how much things change, much remains the same. Those who want to suppress the truth to live their wicked lives will stop at nothing to silence those who speak the truth especially if they cite God as their source.
Yes, and all whose purpose is to be living in the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, will be cruelly attacked. Evil and false men will become worse and worse, using deceit and themselves overcome by deceit. 2 Timothy 3:12-13 (BBE)
Let us be thankful that at least up to this point deniers are only resorting to verbal assassinations and have not yet risen to real crucifixion. In other countries believers are not as fortunate.
What can we expect in the future? Much of the same I’m afraid and probably worse since the only remedy for what ails us is Jesus and many have already crucified Him again and again, and will continue to do so to anyone who happens to call on His name, and is bold enough to speak in His name in the public square.
Let’s face it folks, there are many in America who do not want Jesus or want anything to do with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But be strong and of good courage for greater is He who is in us then he who is in the world.
But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)
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