Christian minister: if Jesus is not God, we are idolaters
I’ve read this sort of statement in many Christian books and articles over and over, both old and new – if Jesus is not exactly who Christianity teaches that he was or is, if he is not actually “god in the flesh”, then they [the Christians] are committing idolatry of the worst sort. These grave, somber words are coming not from Jews or other critics of Christianity, but from devout Christians themselves who understand the full implications of their religion which holds that Jesus is god and that to worship him as such is the core of their faith. Although their faith in Jesus makes them feel assured that they cannot possibly be wrong about this, many Christians will readily admit it themselves that if they are wrong, their sin against the G-d of the Bible is indeed of immense proportions as will their ultimate punishment be.
The following is from c. 1848 sermon by B.W. Noel, a well known English evangelical clergyman:
If Jesus was not God, then there never has been a delusion so complete as that which they [DM: the Christians] were the instruments of promulgating among mankind, with a success not only unparalleled, but even inconceivable.
And if they had been thus mistaken, and Jesus was not God, then what is the condition of Christians now? Let us remember that there is no interval – there is nothing between a just worship of Jesus, as Divine, and the most deep-rooted, the most obstinate, the most obnoxious idolatry that this earth has ever witnessed. It is vain to declare that we are innocent; God’s Word declares that the idolater shall be accursed. And if Jesus is not God, we are idolaters….
If Jesus is not the Son of God, Divine, “the Mighty God,” then we are trusters in man, and our doom is pronounced in those emphatic words of the prophet Jeremiah: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord ;” because trust in man diverts the heart from the Lord. The man who trusts in man to save him is by God’s sure Word accursed. Whether that man be himself or another, it makes no difference; the man who rests his hope of everlasting happiness on anything short of God Himself, must (and justly) be accursed. (from The Messiah, by B.W. Noel)