Google, like the capitalists that they are play the ads of those who pay. You may have see this ad/image in my right sidebar from time to time. No doubt some crafty computer robot found the word Jesus or Christian on my site and thought that visitors here might buy what they are selling. What are they selling with this very provocative question? I can’t click on it without violating my agreement with Google, so I had to go find the site through a different route and see what they are selling.
What is for sale is a DVD that questions the very existence of Christ. And it builds on this notion with “expert” testimony and psuedo fact bullets all aimed at enticing you to buy. They make some hefty claims regarding their documentary:
- They claim it is a critically acclaimed documentary
- They claim that “the early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus”
- They claim that “Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion”
- And they claim that “…God simply isn’t there”
- And they have a lot more claims.
I have my doubts on most of their claims, but I readily believe that “Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion” as are most contemporary non-Christians. The fact that people haven’t studied and are not confident in the origins of Christianity is what allows marketing schemes such as this and the recent DaVinci code to make money. People who don’t know are willing to listen and pay money to those who claim to know. God put the desire in us so that we would seek Him. Satan knows this and uses this desire to tempt us away from Christ and make profit for those who do Satans work. And I know that that last statement really aggressive and dogmatic, but I believe it to be the truth.
So what do you do? I think there are a couple of ways to combat this temptation. The first and most fulfilling way to combat Satan’s temptation is to meet Christ, the ultimate resister of temptation.
And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
(Mark 1:13 KJV)
How do you meet him? Look around you at all the people on this earth doing his work. Look at the world itself and be astonished at his work. Read God’s Word in the Bible. Open your heart, let down your guard, allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask God if his son Jesus exists. Then listen for His answer.
The second, albeit much less fulfilling way to combat this temptation is to look strictly at historical fact. Much of this is contained in the Bible, but if you are one of those who believe that the Bible is fantasy or corrupt delusions or whatever, you might look at some other works. Flavius Josephus comes to mind, but there are several others. Josephus was a Jew (not a Christian Jew) who recorded the history of the Jews for a Roman scholar. He was born only a few years after the Crucifiction so I believe he had access to some of Christ’s contemporaries in the same way that I could speak to my father and his father about WWII, even though I was born 2 decades after Pearl Harbor. Josephus writes of Christ near the end of his work, The Antiquities of the Jews.
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
So even according to Josephus, a non-believer, we know that Jesus lived, he performed miracles, died on a cross, rose again 3 days later and by his existence fulfilled 10,000 prophecies. So toss the Bible if you must, but believe Josephus. Oh, and I just love that last sentence.
And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
And to the chagrin of many, we are still not extinct even at this day almost 2000 years later.