IN SEARCH OF THE AGENDA BEHIND THE ABC NEWS SPECIAL ENTITLED:
"In Search of the Man Jesus" an ABC NEWS SPECIAL - Peter Jennings reporting
A review of the ABC NEWS SPECIAL by Ronald F. Avery for the SILVER EAGLE TAPHOUSE website at www.silvereagletaphouse.com and sent to ABC News on June 28, 2000. See web version of ABC NEWS SPECIAL.
This search must also start with a series of questions concerning the "ABC NEWS SPECIAL."
Review of the NEWS SPECIAL:
Now let us review some of the remarks made by non-Christian scholars that were interviewed by Peter Jennings on this NEWS SPECIAL. It was stated by one of them that the Star of Bethlehem was legendary only and did not occur. One of the "experts" said that there were no angels above the Shepherds tending their flocks, just excitement about the birth of a child in town. And it was stated that there were no three wise men either.
Others said that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem but in Nazareth because it was not required that Mary make the trip to Bethlehem to be taxed, only the Man. The only reason to lie about it would be to coincide with the Old Testament prophecy that said that Christ would be born in Bethlehem. It was said that all Biblical statements must be modified by plausibility and probability. Peter Jennings said that he found that the Christian religion does not depend upon the reliability of the stories given in the Bible. From here it was said that it was a big jump to Jesus as the divine God who died for our sins. So they set out to find the man and what really happened in Israel.
After stating that Jesus was a carpenter, the son of a carpenter, that Mary became pregnant after a visit from an angel saying the Holy Ghost would overpower her. Peter Jennings said, "We cannot tell you if Jesus was God but could tell us why it is written that the mother of Jesus was a virgin." And this he said was because this event would rival the advertised method of the birth of Caesar Augustus. Another scholar stated that Jesus was really illegitimate and it was then reported that he was born of God rather than born of a roman soldier.
It was stated that people in the times of Jesus thought that the Kingdom of God was on earth not some place you go when you die. Therefore Jesus was perceived as a threat to the established order of power, religious and civil.
One of the doubting scholars said that Jesus witnessed the failure of two attempts to overthrow the Romans and their system consisting of local governors. The scholar thought that Jesus saw himself as one who might be able to do something to correct injustices. It was suggested that his followers were like young hippies of the 1960's who lived in communes and resisted the Jewish system. They went on that Jesus was just one of the young followers of communes. These non-conformists would follow Jesus.
Peter Jennings said that Jesus saw the sky open at his Baptism from John and he began to teach a dangerous and radical message. Peter Jennings then asked when and how did Jesus begin to make his mark as a preacher. He was answered that the message of Jesus was dangerous with political overtones by rivaling the Kings and the Kingdom of God. Peter Jennings misquoted some scripture that was flashed misquoted upon the TV screen. These scriptures were from the beatitudes. One was "Blessed are the hungry for they shall be filled." Obviously righteousness was left out of the passage. Reverend N. T. Wright said that turning the other cheek was not a reference to resistance to vengeance but a challenge to those who would attempt to humiliate you. After being backhanded one could now challenge the upper class by turning the other cheek so that they could not backhand you.
Peter Jennings said that most scholars believe that the miracles that Jesus did were made up such as walking on water and making wine from water. The healings and exorcisms were perceived in a psychiatric dimension according to these expert scholars.
Father O'Connor says that Jesus touched the leper and this challenged the accepted norm never to touch the unclean. Jesus mixed with the people and was an outcast himself.
Then it was suggested that the people that were at the Passover at the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem were not excited about Jesus but were joyous over the occasion of tradition. It was Jesus who took advantage of the meeting by wading right into the crowd and preaching. This alarmed the civil and religious authorities of the day.
One of the scholars says that Judas did not kiss Jesus as reported by three gospel accounts but that this piece of cruel behavior was written into the Bible later during fierce tension between Christians and Jews. The author, Marcus Borg, said that Roman authorities did not kill Jesus on their own but that the Jews in the upper class did have something to do with the crucifixion.
Robert W. Funk, from Oregon State University, then adds that Jesus died for the "least of these." He went on to say thatmuch is lost when the church teaches that Jesus was the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Rather, we should see that Jesus really died to free the oppressed in social injustice and discrimination . He continued, that if Jesus were here today he would not be crucified but would be assassinated.
Finally another scholar, Marvin Meyer, wrapped up the special with the statement that the disciples borrowed from the mystery cults of the time and kept the "movie" going. They contended that the disciplestold an eastern mystery as the story of Jesus. The only thing that made it work was that they stuck to their story.
Peter Jennings and another scholar conclude that even Jesus was a hero because he asked nothing of anyone even his own followers. Jesus was selfless, wrote nothing, commanded no army, and spoke only to several thousand people but radically changed the world.
ABC NEWS has subtly told the world that they think that Jesus Christ is a fraud. They have said the following attacking the major tenants of Christianity:
The ABC NEWS AGENDA ON CHRIST JESUS:
A friend watching this special with me said that Christianity was not for idiots and I said it was for idiots that are mourning, meek, pure in heart, hungry for righteousness, and poor in spirit. But ABC is not that kind of folks. They have missed the door into the Kingdom and unless they repent they will remain in their state of death eternally.
Christian Response to Renewed Media Attack:
This News Special was discussed the following day at the bar. I was asked if I had seen the movie "The Life of Bryan." I said no. He continued that the movie was about a man that got caught up in the peoples' desire and quest for a messiah. In other words Christ Jesus is the product of the desire and want of the people. I replied that no amount of desire or want or prayer or waiting on behalf of the people can produce a messiah. Either the person is a messiah or he is not. A committee of men could not have gotten a man to say words and reveal concepts that were not heard by the ear of man since the dawn of creation. I said that no committee of social reformers could have had Jesus say, "Before Abraham was, I am." This does not make sense when one first hears it. But after reading about all the other things Jesus said and did, one begins to perceive a new reality. This non-sense becomes logical. Another person at the bar said, "You ought to hear yourself sometime - that was profound." He continued that many times most people merely think that it is the miracles of Christ that prove him but it is his words that were not heard by human ears prior to Jesus saying them.
Where Peter Jennings and others make a serious mistake is in thinking that Christianity is a faith like other "religions" rather than a process by which one becomes a new creature. St. Paul referred to Jesus as the author and finisher of faith in Hebrews 12:2. St. Peter confirms this statement in 1st Peter 1:9-10 in saying, "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls, Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you." Therefore Christians obtain a perfect state of grace in this life by being born again into the kingdom of God which is the observable cosmos in which we live. Faith is seeking but grace is possession of that which was sought in faith.
Jesus is the Son of God and he had power to fill the cosmos and to contain the cosmos and in his death, resurrection and ascension he operated on all therein reconciling us back to God. Jesus is the definition of what mankind can become. We have this same power through him who translated us into the Kingdom of God by this operation. After our transformation from a material creature to an eternal spatial creature we fear nothing and can lose nothing. Jesus said that not a hair of our head would be lost, something that we cannot perceive upon our first reading. The principles, upon which the power of Christ to save mankind are built, are just as intellectually derived and demonstrable as the formula for energy transformation. His operation upon the cosmos was physical and spatial and comprehensive. Nothing can escape the arm of the Lord.
Due to this operation of Christ upon the entire cosmos to the ends of the galaxies, Christians shall live through out the eternal heavens above us. We have no fear of tyrants and lost men groping for power and money and recognition, all cheap, unfulfilling substitutes for eternal life. Christians cannot believe the assertion made by socialists that they care for the hungry, oppressed, and discriminated against when they cannot know what a man is without knowing what and who Jesus is. Jesus is the definition of man. If one fails to perceive that all men can unite with God then that person is in danger of eternal damnation and cares not for the flock but has an agenda of slavery and death for his fellow man. America was built upon this recognition that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. One that would prevent another from knowing his potential for unity with God is a tyrant with designs to steal and kill.
The determination made by ABC and their owners and friends that Christianity has become a powerless minority in America may be accurate. This show could not have been aired 45 years ago in America. But ABC and their associates will soon learn that Christians have been a minority before and they are also willing and able to die for the defense of the Grace they possess so that others may find God and be at one with him. I therefore praise God that he has prepared me to live and die in this coming age of persecution of Christianity that I might glorify God and his Christ.
I do not have faith in Christ, I possess a state of perfection as a new creature transformed by the physical and spatial operation of Christ Jesus upon the cosmos. Christ performed miracles, spoke words and ideas unheard of by human ears. Jesus has indeed saved the world but those who reject this knowledge and perception will remain in death forever. I therefore pray for ABC NEWS and Peter Jennings that they repent and be transformed by the same cosmic operation to dwell in deep space forever. Amen.
Ronald F. Avery