The Jesus puzzle

Many years ago an evangelical asked me — on the spot — to persuade him Jesus was not the eternal son of God. I remember being overcome with anxiety as my mind raced to find the right words to convince him. Where to begin and what to say? The pressure was enormous.

I mention this to make an important point which needs to be stressed. There is a reason two thirds of the world profess to be Christians. It is much easier to remain a believer than to unlearn your faith. Most are born into Christianity either through baptism or a childhood conversion experience. Even if they don’t learn much about Christianity or practice it as adults, most will maintain allegiance to the faith even if in word only in order to be assured of eternal salvation. Admittedly, this group poses little threat to others unlike American evangelical Christians who have weaponized the Bible to advance their pernicious ideology. It is this group of whom we must be wary.

Most of the world’s Christians are woefully ignorant of the Bible, and they know it. American evangelicals, on the other hand, are dangerous because they think they know the Bible and therefore justify its use against others such as the LGBTQ community, women’s advocacy groups, environmentalists, social justice proponents, immigrants, Hollywood, liberal elites, secularists, scientists and other religious groups. Evangelicals are unwitting victims of ancient Christian propaganda based on the superstitious belief in Jesus’ physical resurrection.

It is a truism to state you can’t argue someone out of their beliefs. This is especially true of evangelicals whose faith is primarily emotional and irrational, hence, “The Jesus puzzle.”

It has taken me a lifetime of total commitment to researching and painstakingly analyzing and thinking through the biblical text to arrive at the conclusions I have. To say it has been an obsession would be an understatement. It has consumed my life, day and night for four decades. During this time, I have tested dozen of hypotheses against the biblical text and Christian theological tradition starting with the Church Fathers. I have examined the Hebrew texts upon which Christianity is built and rigorously studied the New Testament texts to uncover the truth about the man turned prophet, turned messiah, Jesus. I have taken an honest yet critical look at the beginnings of Gentile Christianity and Paul’s role in reinventing the gospel to suit his theological purposes. I have traced the origins of American evangelicalism and compared it to traditional Christianity. On top of all this I have been closely monitoring evangelicalism and its growing influence globally over this time.

How does one condense a lifetime of research into a brief conversation? You cannot. It is like trying to describe a picture puzzle by explaining each piece in detail and how it fits into those surrounding it, but first one has to “disassemble” one’s previous concept of who Jesus was.

Only those Christians who are searching for a means to extricate themselves from the faith will have the motivation and commitment to dismantle their faith. For the evangelical skeptic who is predisposed to think nonbelievers have a conspiratorial motive, due to their fallen nature, to debunk Jesus and the Bible, the task is enormous.

I have stated in repeated posts, my mission to expose the many misconceptions about Jesus and the Bible, is twofold. First, to make those unsympathetic to evangelicals’ moral and political agenda aware of the inherent dangers in allowing this to go unchecked and unchallenged. Second, to address the need to prevent the continued indoctrinating of the children of evangelicals which can have an intellectually crippling effect on their ability to rationally discern fact from fantasy.

Without the next generation of evangelical children to replace their parents, American evangelicalism would soon wither and die. This fact bares striking testimony to the anemic nature and many inherent weaknesses of evangelicalism. Were it not for faith inbreeding and preying on the desperate, depressed and vulnerable, evangelicalism would not survive. Rational, healthy, educated adults do not independently convert to evangelicalism because of its many intellectual flaws and scientific incompatibilities.

Who Jesus was is not puzzling when examined without a preconceived faith bias. The New Testament writings are religious propaganda embedded in an ancient superstition. It would be unfair to judge those who subscribed to them in a pre-scientific world where beliefs in the paranormal world were popular and “reasonable.” Mankind had few other options than to subvert their minds to the possibility of the unseen world of spirits, angels, demons and other gods.

It is reprehensible and an affront to rationalism to continue indulging such fantastical thinking based on allegiance to a collection of ancient religious texts. To ascribe divine authority to the New Testament gospel records which are replete with contradictions, inconsistencies, incongruences and implausibilities is irrationalism at its finest. Defaulting to the presuppositional position of belief in the supernatural without basis and then altering facts to support it is preposterous and reckless. Furthermore, to subject children to this ideological impregnation is socially unjust and irresponsible.

Evangelical Christianity is a hope based and fear fueled faith that holds out the threat of eternal condemnation and the promise of heavenly bliss to attract and imprison converts. Many are then forced to adopt and promote the teachings upon which these are based regardless of how antiquated, unscientific and socially offensive they are.

Published by ronarends

I was born in London, Ontario, Canada. I attended Capernwray Bible School (England and Austria), Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, Il.), the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario), London Baptist Seminary (London, Ontario) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas, Tx.). I have had several temporary jobs over the years but my focus has alway been on an investigative study of the Bible, Jesus and Christianity particularly evangelicalism. Currently editing a massive literary undertaking deconstructing Christianity and Jesus.

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