He said He is the Son of God. He said He is the great I AM. He said He is the Son of Man. As a man He made Himself out to be God. Jesus is the problem.
Why can’t I just forget about these claims He made? It disturbs me when I am accused of being an arrogant fundamentalist because I believe what He said about Himself. I’ve checked out other belief systems but have not come across any that answer the questions I have concerning why I am here and who created me. What’s it all about?
Most of my ancestors came to America from Great Britain and settled with the first colonies. Knowing this I must conclude that if I had been around in Jesus’ time, I would not have known anything about Him. My ancestry is Gentile and thus, I would have been described as a pagan. I am thankful I was born in the 20th century, after Christianity had swept most of the world. I grew up being taught about Jesus from the time I can remember.
Later, as I was confronted with my beliefs from others who did not share them, I did question if what I had been taught was Truth. I began to read and compare other religions to see if there was something I was missing. I did not find any answers that were sufficient, and I kept coming back to Jesus claiming to be God.
Many Christians are told that they do not need to read the Old Testament because it’s past and we are part of the New Covenant. I don’t understand this logic since the books of the Old Testament are the books Jesus read. He believed them, and claimed He came to fulfill all that was written in them. So to understand Jesus best, I feel it is necessary to have both collections of books (OT and NT) learned.
I also came from a tradition that tends to quote John Wesley (and other theologians) more than the scriptures. Well, that’s not really fair. They quoted lots of scriptures but the interpretation had to fall under the construct of Armenianism. After sharing some of the truths I had learned from studying inductively, I was told by many of the church leaders that I really didn’t fit the tradition. I knew this and as soon as my husband was ready, we took off trying to find a church home (that’s another story). I wanted to find a place where the Bible was taught and was used as the basis for living – nothing added, just the fundamentals.
So, why am I now considered arrogant? I believe what Jesus believed. He was the most humble man to walk the earth. Believing in His teaching makes me arrogant? He taught us to love. If I take that to the extreme and become a “radical Christian”, then all I have become is more loving and hopefully a bit humble.
Do I think what I believe is Truth? Well, sure I do or else I wouldn’t believe it. But, you see, that’s where Jesus being the problem comes in. I do believe His claim that He and the Father are One. It’s not arrogant to tell the Truth. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and because He claimed to be God, I can’t ignore Him.