Editors, the Gauntlet,
Re: "Christ makes sense from a marketing standpoint" Oct. 14, 1999
Regarding Mr. Shandro's column, a rebuttal from the pr team seems in order. The notion that Christianity is popular is an inaccurate statement. The basic premise of Christianity is: first and foremost, we are all sinners doomed by our failure to follow God's laws and our inability to even attempt to attain the perfection that God desires; and as a consequence of this, we are absolutely reliant on Christ to clothe us before the Father, so that our nakedness and filth may be blotted out. Most people would not claim this belief to be popular or often times even a safe view to attempt to propagate.
Shandro also delivers a very clear definition of a cult when he talks about the malleability of Christian doctrine. Proper hermeneutics of the scriptures does not allow for verses to be taught to the exclusion of others. To say that "Gays can forget Leviticus 20:13 and stress the forgiveness in Christianity. Rednecks can do just the opposite," is nothing short of horribly wrong. The bedrock of biblical Christianity is firmly laid down and unalterable; derivatives of Christianity that use portions of the bible as springboards for their causes to the exclusion of the basic charges of Christianity cannot be likened with true Christians. A clear example of this is the well-unloved Reverend Phelps who uses the bible as a tool of a personal crusade against homosexuality. Christ calls us to love one another (John 15:12) not to hate others, regardless of their sins.
Passivity is not necessarily a hallmark of morality either. It is true that Jesus condemned the Pharisee's attitudes (who placed a higher value on their own religious laws then the healing of a lame man, Mt. 12:10).
As well, the money changers who sold sacrificial doves to the populace (sacrifice of which was required by Mosaic Law) at inflated prices. The criminality of this may not be evident until you realize that the people who came to sacrifice often had to travel for many days or weeks to sacrifice at the temple and no where else. Interestingly enough, Jesus stopped the stoning of a prostitute by these same people with the exhortation to "Go and sin no more."
Christ did not say those who speak against him would not be forgiven. This is clear error on Shandro's part. The proper quotation is found in Mt. 12:31-32. It does say that those who speak against the Holy spirit will not be forgiven, not out of a lack of forgiveness on God's part, but a hardness of heart and unwillingness to repent on man's part. Incidentally, if you believe that Christ was just another man, and you hold to him as a good moral teacher, give your head a shake. Anybody who claims to be equal to God is either a nut, a liar or the real deal. Check out Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ, the evidence hasn't changed in 2000 years.