Was Christ Born of a Virgin?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008– Dr. Al Mohler’s column today is about the question, “Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth?” As usual, reading Dr. Mohler is a great way to start the day because he gets right to the point and then sticks the bayonet in and twists. He goes through several of the heretics of the last hundred years or so and shows how they denied the Virgin Birth. From theologians of the early twentieth century like Harry Emerson Fosdick, Albert Schweitzer and Rudolf Bultman to modern day heretics like John Crossan, John Shelby Spong and Bishop Joseph Sprague, Mohler shows where they deny the miracle of the virgin birth openly.
Our culture is so in love with Christmas because it generates a lot of $$$ and warm cozy thoughts, pretty lights and wonderful music. But our culture is not in love with the Christ of Christmas. Oh, as long as we can leave him as a cute little baby in a manger we like Jesus. But the unique Son of God/Son of Man who was conceived by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous and mysterious manner, the Christ who came to reveal the FAther and to die on an ugly Roman cross in order to atone for our sins, the Jesus who was buried yet rose again on the 3rd day, who ascended and who is coming again in Judgment…that Jesus is not loved by our culture.
Nor apparently in many pulpits and seminaries where these liberal luminaries leave out the miraculous and laud their own pet theories.
Does a person have to believe in the Virgin Birth to become a Christian. I don’t think so, in the sense that the thief on the cross probably did not know anything about the birth of Christ, he just knew that the man dying next to him was the Christ and that he had the power to take him to Paradise and forgive him his sins. But if a person lives a while longer than that fellow after professing Christ, they should know of the Virgin Birth soon.
Dr. Mohler’s question, however, was “Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth?” His answer is a NO, and I absolutely agree with him. There are a lot of very nice religious people in pulpits and teaching in seminaries who are not genuine Christians, but are wolves in sheep’s clothing. When someone reaches the point where they start denying core truths of the Faith, they cross the line into heresy, unbelief and a different Gospel and prove themselves to be lost.
In order to to deny the Virgin Birth one must first deny the authority and inspiration of the Bible which is really where almost all heresy begins. Normally speaking, all cults and heresies begin with violating 4 essential doctrines: 1) The authority of the Bible; 2) The Trinity; 3) Who Jesus is; 4) How we are saved.
Dr Mohler touched on the first and third in his column, and faintly on the 4th, but did not address the second directly. How do guys like Spong, Crossan and Sprague define the Trinity? If they believe Jesus was just a man, born in the natural way, yet became the Christ by God’s grace, did he become Divine and join the Duality to make it a Trinity? I cannot think but that to deny Jesus’ supernatural birth must lead to a denial of the Trinity. I do not know what these liberal scholars think, so I do not want to put words into their mouths, but surely you cannot have any kind of an orthodox view of the Trinity while denying the divinity of Jesus.
So if a “Christian” pastor/teacher in a Protestant denomination like the United Methodists, does not believe in the authority of the Bible, does not believe in the Virgin Birth and the divinity of Jesus, does not believe in a literal, bodily resurrection, likely does not believe in the Trinity, why is he allowed to still be in the Methodist Church? Or any Christian church?
Back to our culture, if all we celebrate at Christmas is a baby that never grows up, then maybe we Should be saying Happy Holidays and have a wonderful winter solstice.