Newsweek's cover asks, "Who Was Jesus?". It raises more questions that erode faith. Given that people are looking for understanding and hope you have to ask, "where can you find faith?".
[Darris McNeely] I think this year more than any I've been struck by just how much of a culture of disbelief we are involved with. This season of Christmas festivities, people trying to focus their mind upon religion, but of course, every year and this is no exception, commercialism comes in. I was looking at the cover story of Newsweek magazine, which is going out of the print business. And on its last print cover, they ask the question, "Who was Jesus?" Now, the article is written by a professor of religion at a major United States college - university, but the man's an agnostic. He doesn't believe even that Jesus was even a historical figure. But he teaches religion at the college level. And throughout the article, he repeats many of the myths and ideas that discount and discredit God, His word, especially Jesus Christ. And I was struck by that in looking at the - many of the Scriptures again, coming as it does when people are trying to focus upon a festival, a holiday that supposedly celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Here's a major influence in the culture trying to discount even any belief in Jesus.
[Steve Myers] It seems our whole culture surrounds itself with disbelief because oftentimes we just cannot come to ourselves of the fact of where we find truth. You know, where is truth, and what is truth? And so oftentimes many of the things we do wrap itself in this cloak of not knowing what to do, and so as a result it ends up to be something that is just not truly believable.
[Darris McNeely] And this is not a modern phenomenon. In the Bible, we find that the Apostle Peter writing near the end of his ministry and 2 Peter 1:16 addresses this very issue of disbelief. He says, "We did not follow the cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." People in the first century, even within years after the actual life of Christ had come to where they did not believe who He was, that He was the Son of God or even that He was resurrected. We have the same battles being fought today. And it's ironic, if it's not sad, because you know Steve, we have just gone through another tragic incident with the shootings of these people at the elementary school up in Connecticut last week. And that too in itself is an event that creates disbelief. We hear people even taking down their Christmas lights because of, "How could God let this happen?", "Is there a God?" and the entire disbelief cycle continues to be fed by these events.
[Steve Myers] You begin to understand that we don't know the purpose for life, and so oftentimes like this article pointed out, can we really believe that there was a Jesus Christ? And our faith is undermined and we don't know where truth is. And so when we step back and really look at why do we do the things that we do? And what is the purpose of life? Now, if you begin to ask yourself those questions, then you've got to say, "Where do I look to find the truth?" And I better look to the Bible, the word of God, the Creator of all things, so that we're not following some devised fable - whether it comes to heaven or hell, whether it comes to celebrating Christmas, whether it comes to the purpose of life. We better be following what the Creator says is the truth.
[Darris McNeely] The Christmas traditions, indeed they are fables. The story of Jesus Christ and His coming, His first coming as a human being and His second coming as King of kings, they are not fables. But it's right to question the traditions, the fables that surround the Christmas traditions because they don't give an answer and they don't provide a hope and we see that every year being questioned, but again it just doesn't really resonate with people. But when you look into the word of God, the Bible, the hope and the promises of Christ's coming - not only His first coming, but also His second coming, the power of the glory of the universe. Those are the real promises that give us hope to deal with the issues, the challenges, and yes, even the tragedies that continue to pile on top of our lives today.
[Steve Myers] Well, that's BT Daily. We'll see you next time.