Google, like the capitalists that they are play the ads of those who pay. You may have see this ad/image in my 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?
What is for sale is a DVD that questions the very existence of Christ. And it builds on this notion with “expert” testimony and pseudo 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.
While I have my doubts regarding most of their claims, I readily believe that “Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion.” I also readily believe that most non-Christians are “largely ignorant of the origins of their religion.” The fact that Christian people haven’t studied and are not confident in the origins of Christianity is all that it takes for schemes like Jesus Didn’t Exist? and the recent DaVinci code to make money.
People who don’t know are willing to both listen and pay money to those who claim they do know. God gave us a built in desire to seek him; Satan knows it and he uses this desire to lure us away from Christ and make profit for those who do Satan’s work.
So what are you going to do?
I think there are a couple of ways to combat this temptation. The best way to combat Satan’s temptation is to introduce yourself to 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.
A second, albeit much less desirable way to combat this temptation is to ignore faith and look strictly at historical fact. The Bible is full of historical fact, but if you are one of those who believe that the Bible is fantasy, corrupt, delusion, patently false or whatever, then you might look at some other non religious works.
Flavius Josephus comes to mind, but there are several others. Josephus was Jewish (not a Christian Jew) who recorded the history of the Jewish people for a Roman scholar. He was born only a few years after the Crucifiction so it is likely that he direct 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 Christian, 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 give the non-Christian Josephus a little credit. Oh, and I just love that last sentence.
And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.