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Critical Podium Dewanand


Christianity is a Big Lie

Sacrificer           unknown
Sacrifice code       wfor0410
Sacrifice date       25 march 2009

Christianity is a Big Lie

  • http://hamsa.org/jesus-faith5.htm

  • Michael Arnheim is more forthright in presenting the plight to which Christianity has been reduced. I will quote him at some length. He writes:

    "By the early twentieth century the so-called 'quest for the historical Jesus' was bogged down in negativism. The Gospels, according to an influential schools of Protestant theologians, were to be taken as theological rather than as historical documents, and they could yield no authentic information about the life and deeds, or even the sayings and teachings, of Jesus.

    "Such a conclusion might have been expected to have a cataclysmic effect upon Christianity. For, after all, there could surely be no Christianity without Christ, and there could be no Christ without Jesus? But if Jesus were so shadowy a figure as to belong more to the realm of myth and legend than to that of history and fact, the whole edifice of Christianity must surely crumble?

    "Not so, said the radical theologians. The truth of Christianity was independent of historical proof, and historical evidence was therefore quite irrelevant to the validity of Christianity.

    "How then is one to decide on the truth or falsehood of Christianity? For Rudolf Bultmann, one of the most influential Christian theologians of the twentieth century, the key element in the religion was what he called an 'existential encounter with Christ', which did not depend upon any intellectual critical process, but rather on a leap into the dark - or, to put it more crudely, upon an acceptance of faith on trust.

    "Knox and Nineham, two leading British theologians, similarly reject the possibility of basing Christian faith upon historical evidence but resort instead to the Church as the basis of faith, thus becoming caught in a circular argument. As Donald Guthrie remarks: '...Neither Nineham nor Knox has recognised the inconsistency of appealing to the testimony of the Church when they have already denied the historical accounts, which they regard as the products of the Church.'

    "With this we are back to square one: by what criterion may the truth or falsehood of Christianity be judged? To base one's acceptance of a religion upon blind faith or unsupported trust gives one no right to claim the superiority of that religion over any other religion, nor does it entitle one to assert the truth of that religion.

    "And yet there is no religion in the world which is more insistent than Christianity upon its claim to truth or more confident of its superiority to all the other faiths."28

    The only other criterion on which Christianity can and does base its claim to superiority is the fact that it has been a great success story, having imposed itself over large populations in every part of the globe. I shall quote Michael Arnheim on this point as well. He says:

    "A creed religion like Christianity... is constantly competing against all other religions - and, what is more, doing so on their own home grounds. Its success is measured in terms of the number of converts it makes.

    "There can be no doubt of the success of Christianity by this criterion, but it is strange to find the same criterion used not as a measure of success but also a proof of Christianity's truth.

    "The basis for this may be the assumption that 'you can't fool all the people all the time' and therefore that the wider the acceptance that an idea or belief enjoys the truer it must be! But perhaps Adolf Hitler's remark about the effectiveness of the 'big lie', a subject on which he must be acknowledged an expert, is nearer the mark.

    "Yet the equation between popularity and truth persists in the common mind... If Christianity were not true, runs the common line of argument, then why should it have prospered as it so obviously has?

    "The argument of course rests four-square upon the assumption that the success of a religion in attracting adherents and amassing wealth is a mark of divine favour and an endorsement of its truth.

    "But Christianity took a long time to become successful, and the argument of 'truth from success' would therefore simply not have served the interests of the early church fathers. Despite the occasional bouts of persecution by means of which the Roman imperial government (inadvertently) boosted the number of converts to Christianity, after three hundred years the number of Christians in the Roman Empire, according to modern estimates, amounted to no more than 10 per cent of the total population. It was only in the fourth century after the conversion of Emperor Constantine that Christianity became a major religion in numerical terms. It is now quite clear that it was not the success of Christianity which attracted Constantine to it but Constantine's conversion which led to the religion's success. The emperor's conversion naturally gave Christianity an aura of respectability which it had previously lacked, but, perhaps even more important, the statute book was soon bristling with laws discriminating again non-Christians."29

    Arnheim does not deal with the subsequent stages of Christianity's success story. He assumes that the readers for whom he is writing are conversant with the criminal history of Christianity in Europe and all other countries. That history has been documented by Western scholars, and is available to all those who care to know what Christianity has meant to peoples whom it chose to evangelize.

    Finally, Arnheim comes to theologians like Bultrann who stick to the superior claims of Christianity in spite of it having been found out as a fraud based on a total falsehood. He concludes:

    "These are people who cannot accept the Gospel claims as literally true but also cannot bring themselves to admit that a rejection of those claims is a rejection of Christianity. They want to regard themselves as Christians without accepting the basis of the Christian faith. Hence the resort to high-flown jargon and the many attempts to explain the Gospel accounts away as mythical or figurative representations of a transcendent and not easily intelligible set of truths.

    " 'Truth in matter of religion,' said Oscar Wilde, 'is simply the opinion that has survived.' It is in this sense, and in this sense alone, that Christianity can be said to be true. The only problem is that this definition of truth brings it dangerously close to what can only be called - the big lie."30

    The merchants of the Big Lie that is Christianity were able to sell their goods over a large part of the globe and for a long time, not because they possessed any superior skill, but simply because they concentrated on assembling big arsenals, floating big fleets, and marshalling big battalions for terrorising the sceptical or the unwilling buyers. "Go out into the highways and among the hedges, and compel people to come in" (Lk. 14.24) was, for a long time, the only method they knew of increasing the number of their clients. They would not have renounced this method willingly or voluntarily, had they not been found out for what they were, and exposed in their own homelands - Europe and North America.


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