Editors, the Gauntlet,
Re: "Christ makes sense from a marketing standpoint" Oct. 14, 1999
Tyler Shandro makes several assertions that relate to Christians rather than to Christ. These may be true. I will be the first to admit that people can use the Bible and Christianity to suit their own agendas. However, these are the faults of Christians. We are only human, we make mistakes and while I certainly don't condone these, please don't fault God for our mistakes.
The author says he grants Christ "a high degree of morality." It is false, however, to say that Christ was simply a moral person. He himself declared that He was god. If He were simply a moral person this would be a lie. Christ is who He said He was, or He was a liar, which would not make him a person of high moral character.
The next section deals with the supposed hypocrisy of Christ's belief in Hell. It is not hypocritical to think of Jesus as the most forgiving person ever because He is also just. He grants us forgiveness if we ask for it, however God gave us a free will to decide for ourselves whether or not to follow him and to love him, and he would not administer punishment without first providing a way to reestablish relationship with us. This was Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross. If we choose not to accept this gift of grace, our choice determines our fate.
In response to the paragraph that deals with the things Jesus said "that caused unspeakable amounts of misery," I can only say that the instance the author is speaking of is the "blasphemy of the holy Spirit." This is a very serious thing, not simply "speaking against him." The verse from Mark, taken in context (Mark 3:20-30) is speaking of attributing the work of God to Satan. The words were spoken to a crowd who had just attributed some of Jesus' miracles to the power of Satan.
Finally, Christians do believe that Christ was the most moral, wise and virtuous being ever, as well as being divine. This being said, Christianity is not about how good or moral Jesus is (although these are integral parts of His character), it is about God's immense love for us and His perfect way for us to regain relationship with Him.