The word “fake” has gotten a lot of press in the last three years. Ironically, few words have ever been so misused as this one. It would be comical if it were not so tragic that we live in a society where lies are trumpeted as truth and truth is vilified as false. I would like to make the connection evangelicals traffic in falsehoods making them easy and gullible targets for championing fiction over fact.
Imagine for a moment Jesus did not rise from the dead. All of Christianity crumbles if this is true. Now imagine if he did rise from the dead. If true, the world would look a lot different than it does particularly because, one third of the population is living with God’s supernatural Holy Spirit residing within their bodies (“Temples”).
Either Christianity is completely true or completely false. There is no middle ground or grey area. We as a civilization are either bound by this divine proposition or we should abandon it altogether as ancient superstition. Pick a lane!
I as well as anyone know what it means to invest your entire life in a faith only to discover after a rigorous rational examination it is false. I entered the faith with my heart but left with my head.
I am not picking on evangelicals. I used to be one and I sacrificed everything I had and was from age seventeen to thirty. That’s a lot of years to remain sexually pure, eschew materialism, devote to theological training in Bible schools, college and seminary, minister to others, abstain from worldly pleasures and dedicate myself to righteous living. It was my supreme devotion to studying the Bible that inevitable led to the dismantling of my faith. I loved Jesus and was trying to deepen my commitment to him not abandon it.
I have spent thousands of hours researching, studying, analyzing and critiquing the Bible with unflinching honesty. I had nothing to gain by embarking on a critical evaluation of my evangelical/Christian faith. But I did have a lot to lose. I was committing spiritual suicide.
Simply put: Evangelical Christianity cannot stand up to honest and objective scrutiny. However, since evangelicals are unwilling to examine their faith, evangelicalism continues to enjoy an uncontested reign in believers’ lives and society. Personal religious liberty is enshrined in the Constitution giving it tacit protection from among other things rational attack which is seen as religious persecution.
The time to expose Jesus and the Bible for who and what they are is long overdue. We are so afraid of offending the religious sensibilities of the faith community, we continue to indulge a baseless and irrational belief system called evangelicalism. We allow a rich tradition of Christian heritage (The founding of a nation on Christian principles) to override sound reason and common sense. It is like a doctor being afraid to excise the cancer for fear of killing the patient.
Evangelicals scoff at the idea they are a sickness and not a cure for societies’ ills. They think they act as moral buffers preventing society from sliding into anarchy and chaos. “Without absolutes, society spirals into the abyss of immorality” they proclaim. Liberalism and secularism are tools of the devil to infect society with all manner of wickedness.
If the Bible is literally true in everything it teaches, Christians might be right and we should take every step to ensure Jesus, the gospel and the Bible are given prominence in our lives, education, law, politics and every other sphere of society. BUT, we better be absolutely certain they have earned and deserve this place of prominence.
I do not have the slightest doubt Jesus was merely a misguided and disillusioned Israelite who mistakenly thought himself a prophet and messiah for a kingdom that never came. I do not have the slightest doubt the Bible it the product of ancient mens’ religious imaginations and deep seated faith in God/Yahweh. I do not have the slightest doubt, Christianity is a religion based on fear and not fact. I do not have the slightest doubt Christians cling to the faith more for the hope of heaven than rational honesty.
I arrived at these conclusions through countless hours of research, study and reflection unhampered by faith. It takes a great deal of courage to be willing to surrender the prospect of a blissful afterlife in exchange for intellectual integrity. I realize the vast majority of evangelicals and Christians would rather live in blissful ignorance than face their worst fears. Since Christianity can never be satisfactorily disproven or proven, because nobody who dies can verify its claims one way or another, it will continue to exist. Only those brave enough to trust their own mental capabilities over the assertions of biblical writers can ever hope to find true personal freedom.
Religious faith is not an excuse for ignorance.