Insist on the Truth
by Donna Wasson 1/07/2012 / Christian Apologetics
When Jesus said He would build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it, apparently Satan took that as a direct challenge. For centuries he has desperately tried to destroy the Church with lies and corruption and one of his favorite tactics is to mix a little truth with a clever lie and sell it. This is what he did in the garden with Eve and he hasn't changed his modus operandi in all this time!
Mankind is born with an innate knowledge of God's existence. Some readily embrace this fact but some refuse to recognize the sovereignty of God by blindly believing various falsehoods or denying His existence altogether. Like it or not, we are all accountable to our Creator and will one day stand before Him to answer for how we lived our lives.
Because of our sinful, rebellious nature it is much more comfortable to buy into even the most fantastic lies rather than face the truth. One of the whoppers I hear people blather about is that Jesus never claimed to be God. Instead, the Council of Nicea, held in 325 AD, manufactured all sorts of fiction about Jesus in order to exert control and power over the uneducated masses.
Some of these stories have circulated for centuries and are still being swallowed by unbelievers who will grasp onto any story to avoid facing the reality that they are accountable to an Almighty God. Dan Brown's fairytale, The DaVinci Code, is a major source of lies propagated today. In the opening pages of this book, he arrogantly spouts that the information contained therein is "FACT" that was well researched and reliable.
Unbeknownst to most people, Dan Brown was sued twice for plagiarizing the story line of this drivel and he did not lift one finger to 'research' anything. His wife is the one who admittedly did the research, which was comprised of internet misinformation strung together that she never bothered to verify.
Both of them were exposed for the fools they are when numerous experts, both secular and religious, publically refuted the book's ridiculous claims. In this article, I will address some of the untruths he perpetrated on the general public under the guise of scholarship.
Among Mr. Brown's many fabrications are the supposed edicts passed at the Council of Nicea, held in 325 AD. This was comprised of 300 Bishops from all over the Roman Empire and was held at the request of the Emperor Constantine. For instance, Brown states the Council voted the following to be Church doctrine: That Jesus was divine, even though He never claimed to be God; the concept of the Trinity, and that the Council and/or the Vatican decided what books would comprise the finished New Testament and what writings would be excluded.
Every single one of these claims is completely false and anyone remotely interested in the truth could easily take the time to verify the veracity of them. I take my facts not only from various books and sites on the internet, but also Dr. Mac Brunson, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL who happens to be a rabid expert on Church history.
Let's address the first claim that the Council voted in the idea of Christ's divinity. This supposedly was done to make the Church more politically powerful and mystical in the minds of the populace. The idea that Jesus never claimed to be God is so completely absurd as to be comical. Do these people even have a Bible??
Jesus Himself stated the following:
That God was His Father~ Matthew 7:21-23, John 5:22
If you saw Him you'd seen God the Father~ John 14:9
To Know Him is to know God the Father~ John 8:19
To hate Him was to hate God~ John 15:23
He and God the Father were one~ John 10:30
He is in the Father and the Father is in Him~ John 14:14
He had the authority and power to forgive sin~ Mark 2:5, 10
That He is eternal and was always with God before the creation of the Earth~ John 8:56-58, John 17:5
Shall I continue? 'Nuff said.
The Council did NOT vote on the divinity of Christ! Here is what the issue really wasapproximately 318 AD, a man named Arius began teaching that Jesus was created by God, in opposition to long accepted church doctrine. He reasoned that since scripture says Jesus was "begotten" He must have had a beginning. He obviously ignored the plethora of scripture that taught Christ was preexistent with God before creation.
By a vote of 298 to 2, Arius and his teaching were ruled heretical and he was banished from the church for several years because he refused to stop teaching this lie. Simple as that.
The second claim was that the Council of Nicea invented the doctrine of the Trinity. This is patently false. The Trinity, or Trinitas, was a commonly held early Church belief that was used to describe the three persons that simultaneously exist as one God, also called "Oneness."
The earliest proof is evidenced by the writings of Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch in 160 AD on the subject, so we can assume the doctrine was widely accepted before that. He spoke of the Trinity 165 years BEFORE the Council of Nicea!
The last lie is the Council and/or the Vatican decided which books would make up the New Testament and what writings were to be discarded. The horrific persecution of the early Church and its rapid spread across the Roman Empire spurred the Church to completely nail down New Testament canon around the year 150 AD. They wanted to ensure that the Gospel being taught was uniform and cohesive.
There were three requirements that had to be met for the books to be included. They had to be written by an original apostle of Jesus or a close associate of an apostle. They had to conform to the "rule of faith" and be consistent with the Old Testament teachings and laws. Finally, they had to be widely accepted by the 1st century Christian Church members. The books we hear of, like the Book of Judas or the Book of Lilith, as well as others, did not meet these requirements and were discarded as heretical teachings.
Again, the 27 books of the New Testament were finalized and widely accepted by 150 AD, a full 175 years BEFORE the Council of Nicea. And there was no such thing as the Vatican in 325 AD! Duh.
As I stated in the beginning of this paper, Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. Satan has tried every trick in the book to persecute, wipe out, discredit, mock, erase and kill it since its inception and much to his chagrin, I am sure, he has failed miserably. The Bible calls the Church the "Bride of Christ" and it is eternal.
As a Christian, I am quite sensitive to the falsehoods I hear from unbelievers regarding Christ and the veracity of the Bible. In these last days of civilization as we've always known it, I feel a great need to defend and correct the misconceptions about Jesus that are pervasive in our society.
I want to do what I can to counter these so others will have the truth when they make their personal decision whether to accept the free pardon Christ died to provide to them or go their own way.
Every single one of us makes that decision one way or another. If you never think about getting right with God, or you aren't even convinced He exists, you are still deciding. Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, "He that is not with me is against me." There is no gray area with this. It's either black or white. You accept that Jesus died for your sins, rose again to be your Savior so you can enjoy eternal life in heaven with Him, or you don't.
Believe it or not, time is running out. Does truth matter? Do facts matter? Or are you OK with taking your chances, believing whatever you hear from your friends or what you read on the web? Search out truth. This is the single most important decision you will ever make!
Donna Wasson is all of the following: Married. Mom. Hospice RN. Avid reader. Animal lover. Needing to spread the Gospel while there is still time.