Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question:
“Dear Dave and T.A., I live in Los Angeles, and I want to tell you something that I bet will shock even you two, who have probably observed about everything that goes on today in the name of Christianity. We have a radio station here that’s one of the largest in the country. It runs a religious program on Sunday mornings called (are you ready for this?) ‘The Jesus Christ Show.’ The host calls himself Jesus Christ and answers religious questions from those who call in. It’s not meant to be a parody or comedy; the host is serious about giving the best answer from the Bible or from common sense that he can give. Thought you’d be interested if you haven’t already heard about it.”
Tom: Well, Dave, we have heard about it. As a matter of fact, somebody sent us a cut from the program, the introduction and so on, and Gary will run a few seconds of that just so our audience knows that we’re not making this up, or this guy isn’t hallucinating. This is, in fact, a program in which the host pretends to be - because he has a real name; he produces the program - but he pretends to be Jesus Christ and answers the questions as Jesus Christ would. Dave, there’s only one word for this, and that’s blasphemy!
Announcer: Ten thousand years ago, He walked this earth, teaching, guiding, loving, and preparing to make the ultimate sacrifice. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” What if today you could talk to Him, laugh with Him, cry with Him, not just through prayer, but through the radio? You are listening to the Jesus Christ Show. To be a part of the show, call 800-520-1KFI. And now, here is our host, Jesus Christ.
Host: Good morning, everyone. Thank you for tuning into the Jesus Chris Show. I am your holy host, happy to be with you this Sunday as I am every single Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM, three hours live right here on KFI. Don’t forget your questions - very important this morning. I encourage you as always to go to the phones with your theology questions or life situations, 800-520-1KFI.
Listening to these children play the other day, as they start to go back and forth about whatever they were dealing with, one looks to the other and says, “Well, do you swear, do you swear, do you swear?” to which, of course, the other four responded, “I swear, I totally swear.” And it brought up something that takes place, not just by children, but by adults alike, and you probably do this as well. You have to ask yourself as if something you’ve done - have you separated yourself from truth so many times, have you participated or made so many poor judgments that your words no longer have value? Don’t find a need to make an oath, don’t find a need to make a big deal about your words, say them and mean them. It’s been said that the worse men are, the less they are bound by oaths. The better they are the less there is need for them. That’s why God says, “Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no.” Because if you’re not a trustworthy person, an oath isn’t going to make you a trustworthy person. And if you are a trustworthy person, then there’s no need to make an oath or to give your words any sort of added value.
Announcer:The Jesus Christ Show will return in a moment. To be a part of the show, call 800-520-1KFI.
Dave: Well, there’s a very small sample of what happens every Sunday morning from 6 to 9, and I don’t know how many thousands or hundreds of thousands of people are listening. Now, he begins by saying, “How would you like to listen to Jesus Christ? You’re going to get to listen to Jesus Christ, have a conversation with Him, laugh with Him, and so forth.” Well, that’s simply a fraud. So he’s pretending to be Jesus Christ? Is this tongue-in-cheek?
Tom: I don’t think so.
Dave: He doesn’t give you that impression. Let’s take the Jesus Movie or the Jesus Film, or let’s take The Passion of the Christ. There we have somebody - not just audibly, but on the screen - pretending to be Jesus Christ.
Tom: Even though the words that this character onscreen who’s playing Jesus is using are the words right from the King James version of the Bible.
Dave: Yeah, that’s a whole other problem there, Tom, but I think it’s an abomination for any human being to pretend to be Jesus Christ - which they really are on the screen: they are trying to portray Christ. Remember, Christ said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”
Jesus said, “I and my Father are One.”
Paul said, “Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness and God manifest in the flesh.” So for some human being to pretend to be God manifest in the flesh, pretend that when you see him you see the Father…well, you say, “But no, he wouldn’t really think that that’s what he’s doing.” But, Tom, he thinks he’s helping someone. No, you’re not helping someone, you are taking them away from the words of Scripture, and Jesus is called the Word of God.
Now, we have something else - I think you’ve got a book right there by Ravi Zacharias. I think he’s done a series of these, hasn’t he? We don’t want to criticize him, but explain what he is doing.
Tom: He needs to be challenged on this, okay?
Dave: Right, explain what he’s doing there.
Tom: Well, I have two books here. These are from Multnomah Press, and one is called The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks With Buddha. The other one is Sense and Sensuality: Jesus Talks with Oscar Wilde on the Pursuit of Pleasure. So now you have a conversation, supposedly, between Jesus and these historical figures.
Dave: Now, this is not coming out of the Bible…
Dave: …because Jesus certainly did not address either of these characters in the Bible.
Tom: So Ravi in effect here is putting words in Jesus’ mouth. This is what Ravi thinks Jesus might say to Buddha or to Oscar Wilde.
Dave: Tom, it’s an abomination. How is this helpful? Now, if you want to say, “Here’s what the Bible would say to these people,” that’s fine, but now to pretend that Jesus is being interviewed or in a discussion with these people - again, you are taking liberties that the Bible does not allow you to take. I wouldn’t be able to read a book like that. This is Jesus Christ talking? This is what Jesus would say? Now, wait a minute! The Bible says every word of God is pure; you are not to add to the Word of God, you are not to detract from it, then are these the words of Jesus?
“No, these are not the words of Jesus, we’re just pretending; this is make-believe.” Then please, don’t pretend and don’t make believe with something as solemn as this. Stick to the Bible, stick to the truth. Maybe well-meaning on the part of Ravi - I presume it is - and on this host of the Jesus radio show, but it really is blasphemy.
Tom: Dave, it has in this interview, supposedly between Jesus and Oscar Wilde, Jesus is telling Oscar Wilde what a great story he wrote. I’m quoting from Sense and Sensuality: Jesus Talks with Oscar Wilde on the Pursuit of Pleasure. Well, Oscar Wilde wrote a book called The Picture of Dorian Grey, and this is what Jesus says: “It was a powerful story, relived every day in someone’s mind - true to life. Why did you write it?” Come on!
Dave: I cannot imagine Jesus saying that. You know more about Oscar Wilde than I do, but not an appropriate man to say that to.
Tom: Not at all, and it was just perversion to the max! How Ravi could justify, or Multnomah could justify, doing books in which somebody is writing the words of Jesus in conversation with somebody else, it’s just staggering. And there are other books like this. I have another book, Dave, which has Jesus coming to dinner, and interacting with these dinner guests. This is worse than fiction. Again, it’s blasphemy.
Dave: They may be sincere in thinking this is helpful. It is not helpful at all; it leads people astray.