Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why Jesus and Not Other Teachers?

In the Christian church, we believe in Jesus and in the Bible. We hold to what it says and understand that it is true. But why do we? Why should we listen to Jesus more than Buddha, Muhammad, the local spirit channeler or Joe who smokes mushrooms down the street? There is so much information about the spirit world and about what is true and not true. Why should we listen to one source, as opposed to many? Below is how I understand what is true. Other Christians have other ways of understanding the truth of Jesus, and other religions will tell you just how wrong I am. But this is what is believe has the greatest probability of being true:

1. If we deal with only what we physically know to be true, there is no meaning to life.
If we stick with what we can see, hear and feel—whether with our bare senses or with scientific instruments—then there is no real point to our lives. We are sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes we accomplish little goals and sometimes we don’t—but it is all pointless. No matter what we do on this earth, if this life is the only game in town, then it is pointless. And if we make up our own meaning in life, then that is pointless as well. If we are going to devote ourselves to something, then it had better have a reasonable chance of being true. Otherwise, we might as well quit.

2. Theology is metaphysical truths concerning the reality of a spirit world.
Theology is not strictly dealing with this world. If it deals exclusively with this world, it can be called philosophy or science, but not theology. Theology assumes that since our limited lives on this planet have little or no meaning, that there must be something else. And the far majority of people agree that there is something else—something that gives our lives meaning. There is another world—what some call the spirit world—which is different than our own, that operates on different rules and that is in some way connected with ours. Theology deals with information about that other world and how it connects with our own.

3. Positive theology speaks of the reality of an alternative world that in some way communicates to us.
Negative theology speaks of the limitations or negation of the spirit world—which would be atheism or agnosticism. It is difficult to prove, because it is hard to prove that something does not exist. Most theology is positive theology—from major religions to personal dreams. Every kind of theology is trying to talk about how the alternative world is connected with our own and that they are trying to communicate something to us that is important. Most theologies also believe that the spirit world somehow rules over this world, but some differ.

4. Communication from the spirit world, as a whole, is confusing and paradoxical.
There are millions of different kinds of communication from the spirit world. Visions, dreams, revelations, sermons, teachings, incarnations, divine or spirit beings, metaphors—many, many people are trying to tell us that they have heard something special from the spirit world and they want to tell it to us. But what one person says is totally denied by another, and the next person’s dream denies both of the earlier ones. Some say that ideas go together that seem to be contradictory, but others say they have nothing to do with each other. We want to hear communication from the spirit world, but whom should we listen to? And what is really true? One thing is certain: Those who listen to the spirit world from only one source are not balanced in their perspective of the spirit world. Truth is best determined by multiple witnesses that agree on certain truths.

5. The best way to understand the spirit world is through authoritative statements from those in the spirit world who are benevolent toward humans.
First of all, to understand the spirit world—go to the source. Namely, those in the spirit world. The beings that live in that alternative world. People’s personal ideas are nice, but they don’t really hold any weight. But we shouldn’t listen to just anyone in the spirit world. If your information about our world only came from a drunk, you might get a skewed perspective. So you need to listen to someone who has some authority and can prove that they have authority. Third, we don’t want to listen to someone who hates or despises humans. Communication from the spirit world that is in opposition to humanity is also more likely to lie to humanity. Lack of respect for one allows one to lie in order to manipulate that one for the self’s purposes. So if we are going to get info about the spirit world, we need to focus on three things—a being that lives there, and they need to prove their authority and they need to be beneficial to humans.

6. The most authoritative communication from the spirit world is that through Jesus, commonly known as the Christ.
a. The communication is clearly in the interest of humanity
Jesus did not communicate from his own self interest, as his goal was death for himself. Nor was Jesus interested in destroying others, as it was well known that he did deeds out of benefit for others, preventing them from being harmed.

b. The communication is also clear
Jesus used many methods of teaching in order to present the same topic—he spoke plainly, in proverbs, in allegoric stories, in illustrative stories, and by his own example—both in symbolic acts as well as in his everyday life. Every form of his teaching pointed to the same points, offering great clarity. Most confusion about what Jesus taught is its application to other teachings, such as Paul or to a modern worldview. Within its own context, Jesus teaching is remarkably clear.

c. It is confirmed by the ancient Hebrew Scriptures
The ancient Scriptures of the Hebrews—from Genesis to Chronicles—confirms all that Jesus said and did in relation to the authorities in the spirit world and who can gain benefit from it.

d. It is confirmed by miracles and authority over other spiritual powers.
Jesus demonstrated his authority over the spirit world in many different ways—including over spirits attacking humans, as well as spirits controlling winds and waves.

e. It is confirmed by prophecies that have come true
Jesus made prophecies that seemed unlikely in his day, but they came true. He prophesied that his teaching would be taught throughout the world. He prophesied that the Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed within a generation. While it is true that his prophecy of his return has not occurred, he also did not place a time limit on it, so it might still be fulfilled.

f. It is most definitely confirmed by the unique resurrection of Jesus
Jesus is alone in his resurrection. No other teacher or guide to the spirit world has had such a powerful vindication of his teaching or actions. Jesus resurrection is also confirmed my multitudes of witnesses, many of whom died for proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection and authority over all.

While there are other spirit-communications that are clearly benevolent and clear, this one communication is confirmed assuredly by the greatest authority in the spirit world displayed on earth. No other prophet, seer, vision, or spirit-communication is on the same level as Jesus’ communication. It stands alone above all else.

In Jesus, we understand the spirit world.
In Jesus, we can have meaning to our lives.

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