“Mary could have stopped the crucifixion. Very simply, she could have stopped the torture and the agony of her son’s death on the cross. How? [Jesus] was crucified for one reason: He claimed that God was His Father.
If that were a lie, if Mary had been unchaste, she would have had to admit that she was immoral, but she could have stepped forward at any time and said, “Stop this horror! I’m ashamed! I confess! I will tell you who His real Father is!” She could have destroyed [Jesus’] whole pretensions and saved Him from the cross.
No mother, to save her own reputation, would allow her son to be horribly mutilated and killed. Mary could have and would have stopped her son’s horrible death, as any mother would have, except that she knew who His Father was.
She knew Jesus’ Father was God.”
Source: D. James Kennedy, Why I Believe (Thomas Nelson; Revised Edition, 1979)
What happens when we deny that there are moral absolutes? What happens when we take God out of the picture and insist that morals and ethics are cultural and are, therefore, relative?
D. James Kennedy, author of Why I Believe, wrote of what happened at the Nuremberg War Trials after World War II:
During the Nuremberg War Trials after World War II, Nazi leaders were brought before that court and charged with all manner of crimes, including the slaughtering of millions of Jews and other people.
What was their defense? It was a clever one. The Supreme Court in Germany had declared that Jews were nonpersons. So these indicted Nazi leaders said, “We have done nothing wrong. We acted according to our own culture, according to our own mores, according to our own laws. We were told that they could be killed. Who are you to come from another culture, another society, and impose your morals on us?”
The Allied attorneys were thrown for a fifty-yard loss. They didn’t know what to say. If there are no absolutes, if everything is relativistic, if everything is culturally induced and we have no authority to impose our culture upon another, how dare we say that the Nazis were wrong for killing millions of people.
The lawyers were so taken aback, that after huddling for some time, they finally decided to retreat. Since they apparently were not willing to retreat to the moral law of God, they retreated to “natural law,” which has been held through many centuries. Although it is less precise, more vague, it nevertheless still has some moral content to it.
The lawyers appealed to natural laws, and it was on that basis that the Nazis were convicted.
“Julian the Apostate endeavored to destroy Christianity. He wrote a whole book against it, but in the book, instead of destroying Christianity, he affirms that Jesus was born in the reign of Augustus at the time of the taxing made in Judea by Cyrenius.
He also confirms the fact that the Christian religion began its rise in the times of the emperors Tiberius and Claudius. He affirms the authenticity of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the authentic sources of the Christian religion.
This same Julian went to Jerusalem to disprove the Bible, but he failed. When, unknowingly, he destroyed the wall of Babylon, he confirmed the Biblical prophecy.
When he finally came to his death, pointing his dagger up to the sky at Jesus, he gathered his blood after being wounded on the battlefield, threw it into the air, and said, “Thou hast conquered, O Galilean.”
Julian left behind no trace of the paganism he endeavored to rebuild. All of his efforts evaporated before the power of the Galilean.”
Source: D. James Kennedy, Why I Believe (Thomas Nelson; Revised edition, 1979) p106.
One of the things that stump first time Bible readers is the long list of names, genealogies, places and temple articles found in some parts of the Bible. Some people think they’re useless information. Who cares about names of people who are long dead? What difference does it make if we knew who begat whom?
D. James Kennedy, in his book “Why I Believe,” gave this insightful explanation:
[The] plethora of details were [like] watermarks in paper which bear indelible evidence of the time and plan of manufacture. As a detective can ascertain from a watermark many things about the paper- its source, for instance- the science of archaeology has uncovered from these details a vast wealth of information about the Scripture.
In a courtroom, lawyers frequently ask witnesses many detailed questions that do not seem to bear directly on the issue at hand. They are attempting to establish in all sorts of corroborative ways whether the witness is telling the truth or is lying.
According to one historian, it is impossible to establish a lie in the midst of a well-known history. As the details are brought out and confirmed or denied, so the truth of the story also is confirmed or denied. One scholar states: “To my mind, absolute truth and local details (a thing which cannot possibly be invented when it is spread over a history covering many centuries) give proof almost absolute as to the truth of the thing related. Such proof we have for every part of the Bible.”
Source: D. James Kennedy, Why I Believe (Thomas Nelson; Revised edition, 1979)
In modern America, Judeo-Christian beliefs are often held up to ridicule and disdain by the media. How ironic that the free speech forum that they utilize is ultimately a gift of Christianity- a fact that you could easily miss on Larry King, David Letterman or Oprah.
If you went to Saudi Arabia, you’d never hear a talk show discussing whether Muhammad was really the prophet of Allah. Muslim converts to Christianity are summarily executed in Muslim lands. At last check, Salman Rushdie (author of Satanic Verses) was still in hiding.
If you went to Israel, you wouldn’t hear a broadcast discussing whether Jesus was the Christ (Messiah). Messianic Jews (who believe Jesus is the Christ) have even been expelled or threatened to be expelled from Israel.
If you were in India, you wouldn’t hear an open discussion on whether sacred cows should be eaten. And if you were in China, with its atheistic base, you wouldn’t hear a discussion on whether citizens should be allowed to leave or return to China at will.
We enjoy free speech and other civil liberties precisely because of our Christian heritage.
Source: D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (Thomas Nelson, 2005)
Jesus Christ, the greatest man who ever lived, changed virtually every aspect of human life—and most people don’t know it. The greatest tragedy of the Christmas holiday each year is not so much its commercialization (gross as that is), but its trivialization. How tragic it is that people have forgotten Him to whom they owe so very much.
Jesus says in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Behold! [idou in Greek]: “Note well,” “look closely,” “examine carefully.”) Everything that Jesus Christ touched, He utterly transformed. He touched time when He was born into this world; He had a birthday and that birthday utterly altered the way we measure time.
Someone has said He turned aside the river of ages out of its course and lifted the centuries off their hinges. Now, the whole world counts time as B.C., Before Christ, and A.D. Untartunately, in most cases, our illiterate generation today doesn’t even know that A.D. means Anno Domini, “in the year of the Lord.”
It’s ironic that the most vitriolic atheist writing a propagandistic letter to a friend must acknowledge Christ when he dates that letter. The atheistic Soviet Union was forced in its constitution to acknowledge that it came into existence in 1917, in the “year of the Lord.” When you see row after row of books at the library, every one of them—even if it contains anti-Christian diatribes—has a reference to Jesus Christ because of the date.
Source: D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (Thomas Nelson, 2005), pp. 1- 2.