Monday, November 1, 2010

Truth of the Virgin Birth: Satanic Attack

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

The Bible clearly states that Jesus was born of a virgin. And I don't think it would be an overstatement to say that Satan hates the fact of the virgin birth. He hates it because it attests to the divinity of Jesus, and Satan is determined to do everything possible to convince the world that Jesus was just a man.

As an example, consider one of the featured songs contained in the popular Broadway musical and movie called, "Jesus Christ, Superstar." In one of the key scenes in the production, Mary Magdalene sings a song about Jesus while he is sleeping. The words go like this (emphasis added):9

I don't know how to love him.
What to do, how to move him.
I've been changed, yes really changed.
In these past few days, when I've seen myself,
I seem like someone else.

I don't know how to take this.
I don't see why he moves me.
He's a man. He's just a man.
And I've had so many men before,
In very many ways,
He's just one more.

Notice the words, "He's a man, he's just a man." Satan has orchestrated attacks like this on the fact of the virgin birth ever since it was proclaimed to the shepherds in Bethlehem.

Philosophers and scientists scoff at it as nothing but a "childish myth." Jewish leaders, from the earliest of times, have written it off as "a cruel hoax." Saddest of all, many modern day Christian theologians contend that it is "a non-essential legend."

Satan's attacks have been very successful.

Today, the virgin birth is flagrantly denied by professors at many Christian seminaries. In fact, I would venture to say that it is the most ridiculed doctrine in the Christian faith. It is usually dismissed as nothing but a "johnny-come-lately myth" conjured up by a bunch of ignorant shepherds in the First Century.

This observation is supported by polls. In 1998 the Harris group took a poll of over 7,000 clergy in the U.S. and found the following percentages of clergymen denying the virgin birth:10

19% of American Lutheran clergy
34% of American Baptist pastors
44% of Episcopalian priests
49% of Presbyterian ministers
60% of Methodist clergy
79% of Congregational pastors

This unbelief among clergy is taking its toll on the American general public. In 1998, the year the clergy poll was taken, 83% of Americans believed in the virgin birth. Ten years later, that percentage had dropped over 20 points to 61%.11

Still, these polls show that among the general public there is much more faith in God's Word than among the clergy!


Ambivalence in Jesus' Time

The interesting thing is that this ambivalence about the origin of Jesus is nothing new. Even in the time of Jesus, His origin was a matter of ambivalence and constant speculation.

In John 6 we are told that the Jewish leaders scoffed at His claim that He had come from Heaven. They said, "How can you claim that you came from Heaven when we know your mother and father?"

In John 7 we are told that some of the residents of Jerusalem rejected Jesus' claim to be the Messiah because they said, "We know where you came from, but whenever the Messiah comes, no one will know where he came from."

And in John 8 we are told that some of the people accused Jesus of being born of fornication while others claimed he was a half-breed Samaritan.

Another interesting thing is that Jesus Himself revealed the reason for all this ambivalence about His origin. Here's what He had to say about it in Matthew 16:13-17 —

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."

Note carefully that last verse. Jesus said His divinity had been revealed to Peter by God the Father. The point is that the only way that anyone will ever know the deity of Jesus is by a divine revelation from God. Man will never come to this knowledge through philosophy, theology, or science. It must be revealed.

Man through his own knowledge will always conclude that Jesus was a great scholar, inspired teacher, visionary prophet, moral leader — or whatever.

But Man, reasoning on his own, will always miss the central fact that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. And therefore, man operating in the flesh will always deny the virgin birth because the virgin birth and the deity of Jesus are inseparable.

If Jesus is God, then He must be born of God. He cannot be born of human parents. It is therefore my position that to deny the virgin birth is to deny the deity of Jesus.

For you see, without the virgin birth, Jesus is — in the words of the Broadway musical — "just another man," born with the flawed sin nature inherited by all of us from Adam. And if Jesus is just another man, then you and I have no hope whatsoever. That's why the virgin birth is not a peripheral issue. It is central to the Christian faith.

What are three reasons why the Virgin Birth is essential? Find out in our next installment of this "Truth of the Virgin Birth" series.


Notes

9) STL Lyrics, "I Don't Know How To Love Him,"
www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/jesuschristsuperstar/dontknowhowtolovehim.htm, page 1.

10) ReligiousTolerance.org, "Beliefs of Christian Clergy & Public,"
www.religioustolerance.org/virgin_b7.htm, page 1.

11) Wtop.com, "61 Percent Believe in Jesus' Virgin Birth,"
www.wtop.com/?nid=773&sid=1544302.

9 comments:

john mushenhouse said...

Come up with more modern polls to support your article please. A 12 year old poll is flawed.

Nathan Jones said...

Um, John, read the reference point #11 - 2008.

john mushenhouse said...

Um Nathan

He majored on the earlier poll with a passing reference to the latter to appear current. Why didn't he give the data like he gave in the earlier poll. If you are going to present truth, and especially truth to non-believers, you really need do your homework.

The day of information is here. No longer can you have your mind set on a subject and then grab any reference to back it up. Case in pointwas when he used a mormon earlier to back up his point. People expect more and better scholarship.


I do like the fact that you have gotten away from the sensationalism and are getting back to the word and the biblical truths.

We all know that the Lord Jesus will honor that.

May the Lord richly bless you.

Expected Imminently said...

If the poll was retaken after ten years, then the next one may be expected in 2018!

Whose the bloke that said "everyone's a critic"?

What a fuss over a blooming poll. Now if it was over Scripture twisting ...

Sal said...

Sombody is riding a high horse. Hard to breath all da way up there? Satanic attack is the topic.

Rodney said...

I agree with John. In this present age of easily accessible information, opinions change based upon observations and the collection of knowledge. Several biblical subjects once taught were a reflection of the limited amount of knowledge available at that time.

If we base theological conclusions on the knowledge of certain men who refuse to examine new evidences put forth, then we limit the scope of the Word of God. Of course any new interpretation must be measured in context and correspond with the biblical accounts along with historical knowledge related to that era.

Prophecy in particular has been trapped in a box by certain scholars that have set parameters and refuse to acknowledge that they could be wrong. That has always been the danger of appointing leaders within Christendom, they will only heap together those who agree with their interpretation.

Prophecy Conferences are filled with Senior Citizens as in most cases the speaker is also in this age bracket. These refuse to acknowledge that wisdom and understanding concerning the Word of God is not delegated by age or physical maturity but by spiritual maturity in our relationship with Christ and our yielding to the Holy Spirit.

Nathan Jones said...

Sigh, Rodney, as usual you attack the messenger. If you think the statistics are inaccurate, show other statistics you feel are more accurate.

Neither you or John have stuck to the subject and addressed the irrefutable decline in the belief among Christians in the Virgin Birth.

Rodney said...

Nathan, personally any Christian that denies the Virgin Birth and denies a clear tenet of our faith and the prophetic Truth of the Word of God. It is clear that they would also deny any additional miraculous events in the life of Christ. So the real problem is not with Christians denying the Virgin Birth, the real problem is dealing with Apostates that are like parasites invading the Church.

Rodney said...

These are not Christians at all.