I was just reading a post called, Another Inconsistent Atheist, and after that I read through the comments because I’m waiting for my dirty laundry to finish washing.
Real dirty laundry, people. Not the secret kind. Get your head out of the gutter.
Anyways, James (the author) points out that something did separate Jesus from all the other Gods. But is that true? Should we believe Jesus’ claim that he was the son of God because he made unique claims?
He starts off with a C.S Lewis quote:
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God…”
C.S Lewis may have been brilliant, but James just got me to link to TWO of his posts in one of mine. That might make James even more brilliant than Lewis in my books.
Anyways, I think most of us agree (even Christians) that the vast majority of people who claim they’re divine are either suffering with a mental health issue or are monsters – or maybe even both.
See exhibit A:
Do you believe him?
Anyone can claim to be a God, but that doesn’t mean they actually are one.
I’m also not sure how C.S Lewis could expect us to spit on or kill Jesus. I mean…he’s dead right? And even if you believe he rose again, he’s not exactly material, and I doubt he’s going to take on an earthly form so that you or I could kick him in the shin.
Invisible for the win, byatches!
James then quotes John Zande who argued in one of his blog posts (Okay, John may be smarter than James and Lewis because he’s the third blog linked, and isn’t the number 3 magical or something? Whatever…) that basically, Jesus didn’t say or do much that someone of that period couldn’t be expected to know or be able to do:
In the roughly 12,000 days this self-named Middle Eastern God walked the earth he didn’t once mention bacteria, pasteurization, or the importance of dental hygiene.
James’ response to this was bible quotes that supposedly prove Jesus was very, very different than other Gods.
Let’s look at these a little closer, shall we?
1. He is the only, unique Son of God (Psalm 2:7, 11-12; John 1:14; Luke 1:35).
History is littered with claims of Gods that were sons of other Gods. Horus is sometimes said to be one with the Father. Heracles was supposedly the son of Zeus and so on. You can easily find religious claims such as the one Jesus supposedly made in the bible about being the son of God.
I’ll give you that these Gods weren’t necessarily ‘unique sons’ because they may have had more than one son, but I hardly see how that would in any way shape or form prove the claim that Jesus was the correct son of God.
2) He is eternal. He existed from eternity past, He exists in the present, and He will exist for all eternity in the future (John 1:1-3, 14; John 8:58).
Eternal Gods definitely is not a new claim. It’s common in mythology and religious mythology. Tithonus was one God that was supposed to have been granted eternal life. Or Atum, the Egyptian God of creation who supposedly created all the other gods, as well as the planets and human beings. Or maybe you want to go with Viśwákarma who is described as being omnipotent and the creator of the universe.
I mean, the whole point of being a God is to be powerful, right? It makes sense that most Gods would have the attributes of ‘eternal’ and other magical powers that don’t fit with the reality we observe. If they were average, they’d hardly deserve the title of God, right?
I can’t do them all because of the length, but you only have to do a little digging to see that Christianity borrows from – or at the very least resembles – previous religions. Other religions feature virgin births, holy books, miraculous conceptions, special powers, healing, prophesies, rising from the dead, supernatural realms that resemble hell and heaven etc.
It’s really quite remarkable when you start digging into religious myths, to see the similarities between modern-ish Gods and older Gods. If nothing else, some of the stories surrounding these mythical gods are quite entertaining.
The other thing you might notice about God myths is how they constantly move to areas we can’t get too. At one point Gods were supposed to be living on Mount Olympus. It was high and no one could falsify the claim. Until 1913 that is, when climber Christos Kakkalos reached the summit and found that no Gods resided there.
Religion is a little smarter now. They put God in an immaterial plane, made him invisible and gave him unlimited super powers. That will keep any attempt to falsify their claims well out of reach.
Notice how God is always inconveniently out of reach?