Lunatic, Liar or Lord?

In his famous book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis makes this statement, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense.” about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life on Monday released the results of their latest poll which indicated that Christians, even those labeled evangelical, are not convinced their beliefs are the only way to Heaven. About 7 out of 10 of those surveyed said they believe that many religions can lead to eternal life and that there is more than one true interpretation of the teachings of their own religion

I was not totally surprised to hear these results, for though my own experiences are anecdotal, of course, over the past few years I have become more and more startled to see that people who call themselves Christians give little heed to what the Bible exactly says. Furthermore it’s astonishing to hear “Christians” speak glowingly of Heaven for their deceased friends and relatives who rarely attended church, and who made no claim at all to Christianity.

Was Jesus mistaken then when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life?”

Of course He was not mistaken. Neither was He in error when He added, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Our problem is that either we don’t read the Bible, we selectively read it, or we don’t believe it. For clearly the Bible teaches there to be only one way to Heaven and that way is through Jesus Christ. Not all roads lead to Rome, and certainly not all roads lead to Heaven.

This startling result from the Pew researchers is a reflection of the pressure within our society to be tolerant, accommodating and inclusive. Truth must be designed, we are told, so that none are made uncomfortable as they handle their own version of law and principle. There are no absolutes, truth must adjust to the mores of the day and to the whims and conventions of the community.

But such thoughts are contrary to scripture. If there are other ways to Heaven, then Jesus was crucified for nothing. Calvary should merely be the name of a piece of land and Golgotha only a strange word. Beatings and a bloody crown should be called a bit of fiction and the telling of an unbalanced man.

26 thoughts on “Lunatic, Liar or Lord?

  1. Pingback: don t speak liar

  2. originalamela,

    I understand your reluctance to study the New Testement. For I have little desire to read the koran. Would you however, be willing to study the Old Testement?

    There are hundreds of predictions regarding the Messiah, as you know, many of them very specific. For instance:

    Genesis 49:10 says the Messiah would be of the tribe of Judah and a descendent of Jacob.

    Genesis 49:10 says the Messiah woudl be born in Bethlehem.

    Zechariah 11:12 says the Messiah would be betrayed for 30 peices of silver.

    The chance of one person fulfilling just these 3 prophesies on their own is 1 to 120,000. And there are hundreds more that were fulfilld. None that went unfilled. All from the Old Testement. Again, what if it’s true. Happy reading.

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  4. originalamela

    thankyou,for the response,glad that it wasnt out of anger,but i have no intention of studying the new testament as i am jewish;)

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  5. I’m a little new to the spiritual discussions, but I think Normal is right. If you think about it, the government wasn’t exactly fond of hippies, most people within power of any organization like the straight and narrow people, not the oddball idealists..and the Pharisees and Sadducces were the power in the land when Jesus came about…they couldn’t handle Him or His ideas very well, and thusly went about planning his death… all the while not even realizing this was part of the plan altogether to bring about the redemption of God’s Children.
    As for Jesus being regarded as a lunatic…remember his trip home where that’s pretty much how the people felt about Him, His teachings, and His actions.

    You’re right, of course about His own people rejecting Him. They did not at all recognize Him to be their long-awaited Messiah.

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  6. nearlynormalized

    Jesus–Hippies–freaks who don’t harm, what is the difference, similarities…ah, those in power can’t handle it. Sounds familiar…Jesus was a freak, but what a lovely freak

    Hi, Normal

    Because of my love for Him and my respect, it sounds a bit wrong to call Jesus a freak, but in one sense of the word, I can see your point, since the word freak refers to “a person who is obsessed with or unusually enthusiastic about a specified interest.” Certainly Jesus was obsessed with redeeming us and that is why He came to earth. And certainly, He is lovely as you point out.

    I’m not sure what you mean about “those in power can’t handle it.” But I’m not in power over anything, so I suppose it doesn’t matter to me.

    Hope you return often.

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  7. originalamela

    p.s:why do you feel pity for the man who says jesus was a lunatic?surely..that is a judgement,as opposed to entitling him to his own views.

    That’s a good question, I suppose, and I’m eager to answer it.

    Truth is important to me, and to lots of people, so for someone to be so lacking in truth is a pity. As I pointed out when I responded to him, whether one believes that Jesus was divine or not, history records Him as being a good person. He healed the sick, raised the dead, taught good principles. I just think it is a shame to see someone like that as a lunatic.

    Does he have a right to his opinion? Of course he does. We all have the right to judge whether or not Jesus was a lunatic, a liar or LORD. You have the right, the first responder has a right, and I have a right.

    Notice that I did leave his comment up. I didn’t have to do that.

    I hope you’ll consider Jesus more. Study the bible with an open mind and heart. You’ll find peace there.

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  8. originalamela

    my problem,to begin with,is that i belive,to place a man in the light of a G-d,is to put him above other human beings,surely,no one person is better than the other?just a thought.

    Hi, Amy. Appreciate your being here.

    The point you’re bringing goes to the core of the whole issue, for you’re right, if Jesus had only been a man, He would have been like anyone else. But He was not just a man; He was God. God robed in flesh who came to earth and offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of all humanity.

    You and I are different in that way. No matter how much we love someone, it wouldn’t do them any good for us to sacrifice our lives. Wouldn’t save them, etc.

    Hope you visit my site often.

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  9. Thank you shirley for sharing this!
    I had read this survey on my radio show the other morning and my listeners, who are not necessarily Christians were none the less shocked.
    I recommend to all who see this to read Randy Alcorn’s books “Heaven”, “Money, Possesions and Eternity” and others. He is a wise man in this most unwise age.
    There is a Heaven to look forward to and a Hell to shun! Jesus IS THE only way. Anyone willing to chance it? Not wise.

    I have read some of Randy Alcorn, but not Money, Possessions and Eternity. He is a great writer.

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  10. Helen, I think that is true. However, I think we will be more surprise by who we don’t see in heaven.

    Wonder if we’ll even have the capacity to be surprised. Memory? Can’t imagine looking around for someone and seeing they’re not present.

    Of one thing I am sure: I want to be there.

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  11. Oh I’m sorry, that question was more rhetorical than a question. A biblical review of why we should live our faith in public is always good.

    Wasted all that typing. 🙂

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  12. “Mere Christianity” is a masterpiece. But we ought not forget, it is an account of the path of a man who set out to prove that God did not exist. Many a person who speaks differently (from what believers say about Jesus) may well be on that same path and not yet know it. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life,” but not everyone is at the same place on that road. I think we’ll be surprised at who we see in heaven.

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  13. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…
    Hide it under a bushel – NO – Let it shine, Let it shine, ‘Til Jesus comes”.
    “Let God be true, but every man a liar”. Romans 3:4 KJV

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  15. I heard about this poll the other night on the news. What I wonder is how many people did they poll? Jesus said that broad is the way to destruction, and many there be that enter in, but strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it. Pretty strong words. I choose Jesus and His Word. On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

    Hi, Karen. Thanks for commenting.

    It was a very large study–more than 35,000 people.

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  16. Jay, ABB and Mervi, thanks for your affirmation of speaking out for Jesus Christ.

    Jay, not sure if you were addressing ABB or me as you raised the issue of whether our testimony of faith should be private or public. I will respond here, and of course I hope ABB does also.

    There are many scriptures that speak to the subject–too many to study here, but I’m bringing four to you–to all of us.

    Jesus spoke a direct mandate to His disciples, and such words surely are directed also to us, His disciples of this day.

    Matthew 28:19
    “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

    It would be impossible to do what Jesus commands here if we keep our faith private.

    Acts 8:30, 31

    “And Phillip…said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?…”

    This Ethiopian man of great authority was studying scripture when in a miraculous way, God sent Phillip to his carriage. It took a man–a man with an understanding of God’s Word and with courage–to lead him to salvation.

    4th chapter of Acts

    Peter and John were imprisoned for preaching the gospel. At their trial the next day, they were quizzed, “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?”

    Peter launched into his testimony, “Be it known unto you…that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom ye crucified (notice Peter’s refusal to be intimidated by his captors) whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole…

    Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

    Verse 18

    “And they …commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

    No, Jay, we must not be intimated nor silenced by those who would urge us to keep silent concerning our faith in Jesus Christ. As the world shifts and totters, we must ever more loudly, earnestly, and lovingly proclaim our Saviour.

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  17. Sis Buxton:

    As one who has just completed a Masters Degree Program, I found myself under both direct and ambushed attack many, many times. I can’t count the times I have used the old saying, “Stand for something or you will fall for anything!”

    As one whom not only loves to read but I enjoy reading so much. This ability to read has given me the capability to step outside of the Holy Writ and show our Lord as a real positive figure of importance in and from history. I have a copy; it is over two inch thick of the, “Passover Plot.”This book was originally written in Greek. This book list all the stories used to dissuade from the resurrection of Jesus. The look on some of the instructors face when they start on one of these tired stories. For me to step in and complete it for them is more the funny. OH how I enjoyed doing this. Why do I enjoy this, many times other young people of varied Christian faiths will offer a small applause? Someone stood up for our God. I have a very deep feeling that we, Pentecostals, do not prepare our children for the negative onslaught of higher education!

    My desire or goal was in no way to humility or show disregard for the instructors!! Yet, I will not allow anyone to speak down or evil of the One who saved my soul many years ago.

    I have written many papers defending the Pentecostal faith. My main goal and objective was to have references sighted outside of Holy Write. Yes, I have used C.S. Lewis many times. My favorite C. S. Lewis is, “The Screw Tape Letters.”

    Thank you for allowing me to use your space:

    Mervi

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  18. In all due respect, passivity of ones vocal opinion, ie(the sinking of America’s sociatal values) outside of the word of God is to not be ignored. We are after all the light of the world. The WORD OF GOD states that judgment must begin at the house of GOD first, and then it is the churches mandate to respectfully STAND and proclaim the truth regardless of response.

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  19. Jay, thank you for the pertinent challenge to Scaryreasoner, a challenge that I encourage him to sincerely consider.

    Yes, Jay, sometimes silence is “golden.” Often, though, silence is deadly and murderous–even obscene, perhaps cowardly. These astounding results of the Pew research should jolt us into a careful review of our own principles and beliefs.

    “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith…” forcefully advised Paul in a letter to the Corinthians.

    Good advise for us today, this 25th of June.

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  20. Scaryreasoner,

    I have often wondered how we would react to Christs presence today if He were to show up in bodily form. He was pretty radical no doubt about it. Claimed to be God. Asked his followers to sell everything to follow Him.

    Historians have agreed that He existed, was crucified, and can not disprove the resurection. I’m aware you are in disbelief. I only ask you, what if it is true? What then?

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  21. Shirley,

    As you may have gathered from me by this point. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Though I accept it can be a great virtue, I have yet to make much progress in its realization.
    I have come to believe that in today’s “acceptance” and “tolarence” soceity we have come to readily believe that there are other ways to God aside from Christ himself. Many a church even accept this world view. Scary!

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  22. I feel pity for you. While there are multiplied millions of people who do not accept Jesus as Lord, there are very few who describe Him as you do. Even those who are not Christians say He was a good man.

    Perhaps some day you will come to know Jesus as the wonderful, dear, loving Saviour He is.

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  23. scaryreasoner

    I vote lunatic. Jesus as described by the Bible seems pretty much like David Koresh as far as I can see. Nuts. Reread it and see for yourself.

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