Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Christianity is competing with the great non-Christian religions of humanity--Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, paganism. Which system of belief can capture the good will and devotion of the human race?
Christianity has the disadvantage of a serious scandal: it is fractured into innumerable sects, philosophies, and denominations. Hence the constant effort to reunite them all into "one church." The Roman Church professes to be the best equipped to accomplish this objective; during the Middle Ages it "was given" the supreme power of the state to enforce conformity to its version of "one body, … one faith, one baptism" (see Eph. 4:4, 5), even to the point of imprisonment and sentence to martyred death of those who conscientiously dissented.
There are basically two versions of Christianity that center in two views of Christ, the Founder of Christianity. The two contrasting views clash as far back as the time of ancient Iraq's Babylon. There was the then-popular idea of divinity "whose dwelling is not with flesh" (Dan. 2:11). This concept of "God" was confronted with the opposing view supported in principle by the prophet Daniel that "the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them" (see Rev. 21:3). Daniel believed the biblical concept of divinity, who enters the stream of humanity in the form of an incarnated Savior whose "name [is] Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us'" (Matt. 1:23).
So the world has to decide: who is the true Christ? The One who has taken upon His sinless nature our sinful nature, who became truly human, one with us, "in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15), living a righteous life in sinful flesh, saving humanity from sin instead of in it, condemning sin in our sinful flesh (see Rom. 8:3, 4), dying humanity's "second death" and justifying the fallen human race in Himself?
Or is the true christ "the christ" of the great Immaculate Conception dogma that cancels his descent from the fallen Adam, that provides him an "exemption" from the DNA inheritance of "all men," that excuses him from our temptations in the flesh, that separates him from us?
On this clear-cut distinction hinges the great final issue that will confront humanity.
—Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 22, 2004.
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