Jesus was NOT a great teacher! He was a false prophet and fake messiah unless you believe he was literally resurrected from the dead. And if you truly do believe it, your life will reflect it. You cannot claim Jesus literally rose from the dead then live as if he did not. Proof of the resurrection begins with a radically changed life of holiness. The greatest evidence Jesus was not resurrected is those who claim he did but live sinful lives.
Jesus, “the great teacher” taught of an imminently arriving kingdom when God would pour out his wrath on all Gentile nations and unrighteous Israelites. Only God’s chosen, Jewish people, would be saved. He would not associate with non Israelites and all his teaching is couched in the context of Judaism where conformity to the law was assumed. In short, he was kinda racist. Still think he was a great teacher?
Jesus was most certainly not “God” nor was he divine. If we are being brutally honest and not blinded by Christian faith, he was a colossal failure. He preached a gospel of fear mongering in order to illicit faith in Yahweh and avoid his judgment which never came. His prophetic vision was to say the least obscured. In the final week of his life, he accepted the nomination, “King of Israel” but never flexed a single muscle of messianic might. He was a sovereign without a throne.
Christians today have no excuse for theological ignorance. It betrays their lack of seriousness in a faith most adhere to only for the promise of eternal life. They are not interested in the here and now only the hereafter. Aspiring to holiness and all it entails is foreign to the thinking of most evangelical Christians.
Here’s the bottom line. If you don’t think Jesus was God, you are not a Christian. Being a Christian means fundamentally believing in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If you believe this, you must also believe he was divine at the very least and God according to the Nicene Creed which is provided a standard for orthodoxy. Once you break from this, you are no longer a Christian but a heretic. Therefore, this 52% could be many things but Christian ain’t one of them!
Also, the 65% of evangelicals who think Jesus was the first and greatest created being are living in the pre Nicene world when this belief was prevalent, but again they fail to meet the prescribed standard of orthodoxy as dictated by the various ecumenical councils.
The assertion if Jesus claims to be God is false, he is either delusional or deceptive rests on the presumption Jesus ever thought himself more than human — he did not. The resurrection story was born out of the mystical encounters of his followers. The heavenly Christ narrative found in the gospels is an interpolation intended to give credence to Christian belief. Words are placed on the lips of the earthly Jesus in an attempt to validate the claims of this new sect of Judaism.
A careful and critical examination of the gospel record reveals glaring inconsistencies, implausibilities, and most crucially, contradictions. The biblical fact not a single follower awaited his resurrection and doubted when told of it by the women is incontestable evidence they were either the biggest morons ever to walk to earth or they had never heard of it.
Later Christian writers have packed the gospel narratives with teachings, visual reminders and parables about Jesus return as the heavenly son of man. He hung on the cross for six hours during which time his imminent glorious resurrection would have been reiterated. A detail of Roman guards stood watch outside his tomb to prevent tampering and claims of a resurrection. Jesus mother who knew most of Jesus messiahship would have assured his followers his death would be temporal. Yet despite all this, his tomb was deserted and the women came only to embalm him. Even an open tomb and missing body was insufficient to jog their memory. Why? Because they had never been told by Jesus he would rise from the dead.
There are two Jesus, the historical one who walked the earth and the mystical one envisioned by his followers. One is real, the other a figment of the religiously addled minds of his simple followers. Jesus was not God. He was a Galilean who thought he might be the messiah but in the end died on the cross disillusioned and distraught. His God had forsaken him.