Saturday, March 5, 2011

You can't say that!

Anyone wanting to invent a religion would surely never say anything that might cause problems for your future devotes.  Would you want to have any embarrassing sayings?  Would you want to mention that the leader of your religion is ignorant in a certain area?  Would you want to have confusing statements that are not crystal clear to the masses?  The answer to all of these questions is, surely not!  If one is to invent a religion, it should be expected that the religion answers all questions, without embarrassment, and the leader(s) would be be completely above reproach and knowledgeable of all facts.

The above mentioned problems are exactly what we see in the New Testament.  Consider the problem of embarrassment.  In the 1st century, a woman's testimony was considered invalid, but yet we see that the discovers of the empty tomb of Jesus are all women (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20).  Why would the writers of the gospels include this embarrassing situation?

What about ignorance?  Ignorance simply means to lack knowledge.  Most would agree that Jesus was not ignorant, but there is recorded an incident where Jesus lacked knowledge of an event.  When Jesus was speaking about the end times he said concerning this event, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36)."  Why would you want to include this fact of ignorance about the leader of your religion?

What about difficult statements?  One of the most bizarre statements of the New Testament occurs in Matthew 27:52-43.  In this passage Matthew notes that the tombs of Jerusalem were breaking open and holy saints of the past were entering the holy city.  This is the only mention in the entire New Testament of this event.  Why include this difficult statement if all you are trying to do is invent a religion?

What about Peter, one of the closest disciples of Jesus?  Peter is mentioned in the New Testament (Mark 14, John 18) as denying that he even knew Jesus.  Why would one want to include this character flaw of an early leader of the church?  How about the brother of Jesus, James?  James did not even believe in Jesus at one time (Mark 6:3), so why would anyone want to include this damaging statement?  Even Paul, the great apostle responsible for much of the New Testament and spread of Christianity said this, "For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing (Romans 7:19)."  Again, Paul says, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy 1:15)."  Why would anyone who is inventing a religion want to portray severe character flaws with the individual leaders of the movement?

The New Testament presents itself in an honest and open way.  If one is to make the charge that the New Testament is a later invention, then why do we have embarrassment, difficult passages, and ignorance from the founder of Christianity?  The New Testament documents can be trusted because of these difficulties that are included.  In other words, in trying to invent a religion, one would never have the damaging statements that are presented in the New Testament.  Instead, if a religion is invented, the leaders of the religion would be fluffed up without the appearance of any flaws.  The embarrassing and difficult passages of the New Testament only validates the fact that the writings cannot be an invented religion.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Well put brother. With all the apocraphyl writings around that those who want to deny Jesus' divinity as did Marcion and the gnostics of the 1st century going around the cannononical scriptures are a breath of fresh air. There is such a down to earth honesty in the NT writings. My favorites are Paul rebuking Peter openly which afterward he said one should first rebuke another privately and there is Paul and Barnabus splitting up because the couldn't agree about Mark. These were real people with real victories, defeats and weaknesses like ourselves. They did not make things up because they loved the truth and most died for telling.