Is Jesus Dead?
Consider this. It has run thru my mind. Jesus died for us so that we could have everlasting life. So that we would not know death.
John 5:24..."He who hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned...he has crossed over from death to life."......(notice the present tense...(has)..)
Jesus came to save us from what?????? DEATH!!
Witnesses believe that we do indeed die.......and at a later date we come to life again. If that is so, than Jesus did not save us from death because we still die.
Jesus said..."I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me WILL LIVE, EVEN THOUGH HE DIES, and whoever lives and believes in me WILL NEVER DIE."
So we live even though our bodies die.
The reality is...there may have been a man named Jesus who was a good and rightous man who set and lived by principals that were good for man.
The real question is......did people after him begin to make up stories about a man who didn't fullfill the role of their awaited messiah who was killed and didn't change things for them as they hoped he would? There is an abundant amount of information on the web about how his life was identical to god ...BEFORE him.
Your reasoning is right on. He supposedly died for our sins for all those who would believe. I always wondered when I was a dub what the annointed died from? I was taught they were free of sin, had a token given to them already for everlasting life, their sins were not counted against them and so on.
My question was.....what did they die from if their sin.....which is supposed to be what the reason for dying is.....was washed clean? If they were now sin free......they should be as was Adam and Eve when they were perfect and should not continue to die.
It was about spirit - Jesus spoke about spirit - the bible speaks about spirit - the wt talks about people's bodies.
Spiritually dead is when the flesh kills off the spirit.
Lepers (hypocrites) are on the way to death - there's a whitish appearance and the living flesh appears - some never get it - some are cured - must be a miracle.
I haven't spoken to you in some time. I hope you are well. I liked your link. I never really thought of it that way....Michael was raised from the dead, of course that must be what they teach. I never heard that said though. I doubt any jw has heard those words either....
I always wondered IFJesus' body didn't rise and IF his spirit was only his breath, therefore his breath didn't rise......IFhis soul was the same thing and his body and his body didn't rise. It always begged the question for me.......well, what part of him was resurrected then? It only makes perfect sense that Michael was raised and not really Jesus.
Recently, I had the opportunity to ask my jw mom why she didn't believe that Jesus' body rose. Her answer shocked me! She said and I quote, "Well of course Jesus body rose, and he will return the same way. That's what the apostles were told when he was carried up into heaven." unquote. I think my mom is a bit confused about wt teachings. I tried to tell her about the teaching that Jehovah supposedly disposed of Jesus' body but she told me that I must have had strange teachers then because she never heard any such thing. Hmmm. When I tried to "reason" with her......she angrily informed me that I will never convert her. Yup, a very strange conversation. I was at a loss. I wonder what the wt makes of women like her.
I've also had a conversation about the mediatorship of Jesus. She declared that He is her mediator. I gave her some references in wt books to look up where it says the opposite. She looked them up and became confused enough to inquire. After a long lunch with the elders and 2 other family members, my mom informed me that they said that Jesus is her mediator, just not in the 'strictest sense'. I asked her what that meant and she blurted out that Jesus is HER mediator and that's that. I'm just wondering if I may have a future apostate on my hands? She is under extreme duress right now with my dad being so ill and her sister just died. She was just diagnosed with stress induced asthma, so I don't ever try to overload her. Pray for her, will you?
As always, thanks for your post. I always enjoy them. Love in Christ, dj
Really enjoyed that article! I'm going to print it out and put it in a reference file. Thanks so very much.
Gumby has good questions. It is SO EXTREMELY important to be sure that one is not believing in simply an exaggerated story (a legendary hero) when it comes to Jesus. It takes a lot of careful thinking and a bit of research to see why the testimony of the disciples about Jesus is valid.
Let me refer anyone who is struggling with this question to the book, "Who Moved the Stone?" by Frank Morison. This is a bit thick-reading, perhaps, for some readers. A more simple, straightforward book to read is "More Than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell (kind of funky writing, though--tone is for 1970 highschoolers, I think. Still, overall a decent book.). McDowell also wrote "Evidence That Demands a Verdict", which is more like a huge outline than a regular book. ...CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity" doesn't deal so much with the physical evidence as the logical/philosphical look, but is such a spectacular read. These authors are all converts from atheism--and there are a lot more out there, so you can find SOMEthing to read--even if you don't agree with it, at least to understand what the best Christian apologetics out there are, for the particular question you have...
BTW my husband is an example of an ultra-agnostic-turned Christian. 20 years back, it took him about 3 years of reading and research, and he had a full-blown crisis of concience in the end. He actually read these and many other books very, very carefully and skeptically. The end of the first year, he had to admit that the Bible was a reliable source (even if he didn't believe anything in it). By the end of the second year, he had to admit that the resurrection of Christ was a better conclusion than his own previous beliefs about Jesus. Finally, after the third year, he quit struggling, put up the white flag and submitted himself to God in Christ--which is what logically follows if Jesus is understood to truly be Lord.
Good information is one of the best things out there. The internet is a blessing--but make sure you don't end up believing tabloids. My motto is to not be afraid to "trade up" if I get watertight info.
I enjoyed reading all your posts. They were very insightful and encouraging. I would like to address a thought from Gumby:
'The real question is......did people after him begin to make up stories about a man who didn't fullfill the role of their awaited messiah who was killed and didn't change things for them as they hoped he would?'
The simple answer is this. If the early Christians began to make up stories about Jesus and promulgated false teachings to the world, why would they subject themselves to brutal torture and death for a lie. Anyone in their right mind, even a liar, wouldn't die for it. Surely, one of the 12 would have broken down amidst torture and told the truth. None did.
Thanks again for reading my article.
Hey DJ. We'll keep praying for your Mom. Seems like you're right. You have a pre-apostate on your hands!
Hi Tower man,
Why would people die for a psuedo faith you ask?
Have you re-searched how many christians were really persecuted? Have you read of the reason WHY they were ....of those that were.
Actually your picture is backwards. Take a look at what the christians did to an entire belief system that was around before they spread their venom.
Below is a way long list of attrocities performed by christians.....the poor people you say were victims of persecution for their strong faith....and yes I know....god didn't want them to do what they did. You will say the TRUE christians didn't act that way, and that may be true......at first.
As I suggested.....do a little re-search on the early christians. Below is a long boring list for those who want to note a few things.
Naked Cathars expelled from Carcaonne
(British Library, London)
Shrine of Pan – Banyas (northern Israel)
Reconstruction of 'Paneion' (sacred precinct) of Pan.
'Panias' was a cult centre established by Greeks in 3rd c BC at a source of River Jordan.
Destroyed by Christians in 4th century, the town itself was written into the godman story as Caesarea Philippi "where Jesus first revealed his true nature to his disciples."
Beardless Jesus gets his baptism – and pagan river god looks on!
5thc 'Arian' Christian baptistry ceiling, Ravenna.
'Fathers' of the Dark Age
Ambrose (340-397), city boss of Milan
– Church coercion over weak, superstitious emperors; – Inventor of "saints";
– Christ as warrior, "at head of the legions".
– Propogator of the "Trinity" (anti-Arian);
– Hierarchy, discipline & monastic regimentation;
– Subordination of women;
"What is virginal chastity but an integrity free of stain from outside?" – Bishop Ambrose
– 'Bishop Power':
"Nothing can be found in this world more exalted than priests or more sublime than bishops."
– Bishop Ambrose
End of international Latin culture, subjugation of women, harsher punishments
John Chrysostom (347-407), Holy Hierarch of Constantinople
– Demogogic oratory;
– Mobs of Gothic 'catachumen' & armed monks (used to destroy pagan shrines);
– Anti-intellectualism ("Empty your minds of secular knowledge.")
– 'Plain' (literal) interpretation of scripture
– Anti-sex, prudish, kill-joy morality:
"There ought to be a wall inside this church to keep you apart... The women have learned the manners of the brothel, and the men are no better than maddened stallions" –John Chrysostom
(quoted by R.F. Lane, Pagans & Christians, p374)
– Morbid solemnity in liturgy (Christian songs replace bawdy folk ballads)
'The pitiful and miserable Jews... Certainly it is the time for me to show that demons dwell in the synagogue, not only in the place itself but also in the souls of the Jews...And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter.
– John Chrysostom (Against theJews, Homily I)
Loss of reverence for nature. Holidays which had integrated the seasons into people's lives replaced with solemn commemorations of "biblical events."
Augustine (354-430) – Theorist of Hippo ('father of the Inquisition')
– 'Just War';
– Doctrine of "original sin" (obsession with sin of lust);
– Persecution of Pagans;
– Intolerance of heretics (proscribed Donatists, Pelagians);
"The Emperor has a duty to suppress schism & heresy" – Forced conversion ('stout blow'); uses Luke 14.23
"And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the roads and the fenced-in places, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."– Weakened Roman self-confidence with notion of 'Predestination'& superiority of 'City of God'.
"Since God knows everything, everything is predetermined by him forever."
"Freedom is freedom to err."
"It is a key assumption of the purgatorial view that suffering makes people whole... a stage along the path to perfection."
(Evangelical Alliance The Nature of Hell, p22)
– Crushing of intellectualism: all learning subordinate to scripture:
“Scripture gives no false information.”
"Since God has spoken to us it is no longer necessary for us to think."
– St Augustine
– Sprinkling of infants introduced:
Science replaced by crude superstition murder of scientists, destruction of libraries
Pope Gr : egory (540-604) – 'God's Consul' in Rome
Legacy:– Papal Supremacy & secular authority of the clergy (supplanting the imperial civil service);
– Wrote fantastic, miracle-filled 'Lives of Saints' (had no mind for theology);
– Clerical regalia & "privilegia";
– Vast Papal wealth & landed estates;
– Lay Investiture: wealthy noblemen chose Pope, usually from among themselves. Popes without training as priest!
– Illegitimate papal children appointed cardinals
– Veneration & sale of 'relics' to gullible pilgrims;
– Hostility to secular learning & culture; book burning;
– Purgatory embellished (foundation of sale of indulgences)
"Unbaptised babies go straight to Hell & suffer there for all eternity."
– Forced conversion of 'pagans' & sequestering of their shrines; Rome's "missionaries" take over from local clerics;
– 'Plain song' (chanting), even as a cure for plague;
–Unloving view of sex:"All sexual desire is sinful in itself and is justified only for the sake of children."
– Gregory I (unmarried bisexual)
End of Human Rights, slavery extended and made harsher, autocracy endorsed, new forms of tyranny
Three centuries of persecution of the pagans
314 Immediately after its full legalisation, the Christian Church attacks non-Christians. The Council of Ancyra denounces the worship of Goddess Artemis.
324 The emperor Constantine declares Christianity as the only official religion of the Roman empire. In Dydima, Minor Asia, he sacks the Oracle of the god Apollo and tortures the Pagan priests to death. He also evicts all non-Christian peoples from Mount Athos and destroys all the local Hellenic temples.
325 Nicene Council. The godman gets a promotion: 'Christ is Divine'
326 Constantine, following the instructions of his mother Helen, destroys the temple of the god Asclepius in Aigeai of Cilicia and many temples of the goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem, Aphaca, Mambre, Phoenicia, Baalbek, etc.
330 Constantine steals the treasures and statues of the pagan temples of Greece to decorate Constantinople, the new capital of his Empire.
335 Constantine sacks many pagan temples of Minor Asia and Palestine and orders the execution by crucifixion of “all magicians and soothsayers.” Martyrdom of the neoplatonist philosopher Sopatrus.
341 Flavius Julius Constantius persecutes “all the soothsayers and the Hellenists.” Many gentile Hellenes are either imprisoned or executed.
346 New large scale persecutions against non-Christian peoples in Constantinople. Banishment of the famous orator Libanius accused as a “magician”.
353 An edict of Constantius orders the death penalty for all kind of worship through sacrifices and “idols”.
354 A new edict orders the closing of all the pagan temples. Some of them are profaned and turned into brothels or gambling rooms. Executions of Pagan priests.
354 A new edict of Constantius orders the destruction of the pagan temples and the execution of all “idolaters”. First burning of libraries in various cities of the empire. The first lime factories are being organised next to the closed Pagan temples. A major part of the holy architecture of the pagans turned into lime.
357 Constantius outlaws all methods of divination (astrology not excluded).
359 In Skythopolis, Syria, the Christians organise the first death camps for the torture and executions of the arrested non-Christians from all around the empire.
361 to 363 Religious tolerance and restoration of the Pagan cults declared in Constantinople (11th December 361) by the Pagan emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus.
363 Assassination of Julianus (26th June).
364 Emperor Flavius Jovianus orders the burning of the Library of Antioch.
An Imperial edict (11th September) orders the death penalty for all those that worship their ancestral gods or practice divination (“sileat omnibus perpetuo divinandi curiositas”). Three different edicts (4th February, 9th September, 23rd December) order the confiscation of all properties of the pagan temples and the death penalty for participation in pagan rituals, even private ones.
365 An Imperial edict (17th November) forbids pagan officers of the army to command Christian soldiers.
370 Valens orders a tremendous persecution of non-Christian peoples in all the Eastern Empire. In Antioch, among many other non-Christians, the ex-governor Fidustius and the priests Hilarius and Patricius are executed. Tons of books are burnt in the squares of the cities of the Eastern Empire. All the friends of Julianus are persecuted (Orebasius, Sallustius, Pegasius etc.), the philosopher Simonides is burned alive and the philosopher Maximus is decapitated.
372 Valens orders the governor of Minor Asia to exterminate all the Hellenes and all documents of their wisdom.
373 New prohibition of all divination methods. The term “pagan” (pagani, villagers, equivalent to the modern insult, “peasants”) is introduced by the Christians to demean non-believers.
375 The temple of Asclepius in Epidaurus, Greece, is closed down by the Christians.
380 On 27th February, Christianism becomes the exclusive religion of the Roman empire by an edict of the emperor Flavius Theodosius, requiring that:
All the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation should continue in the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter.
The non-Christians are called “loathsome, heretics, stupid and blind”.
In another edict, Theodosius calls “insane” those that do not believe to the Christian God and outlaws all disagreements with the Church dogmas.
Ambrosius, bishop of Milan, starts destroying all the pagan temples of his area. The Christian priests lead the hungry mob against the temple of goddess Demeter in Eleusis and try to lynch the hierophants Nestorius and Priskus. The 95 years old hierophant Nestorius ends the Eleusinian Mysteries and announces the predominance of mental darkness over the human race.
381 Council of Constantinople – 'Holy Spirit' declared 'Divine' (part of a triune god). On 2nd May, Theodosius deprives of all their rights the Christians that return back to the pagan religion. In all the Eastern Empire the pagan temples and libraries are looted or burned down. On 21st December, Theodosius outlaws visits to the temples of the Hellenes. In Constantinople, the temple of Aphrodite is turned to a brothel and the temples of Sun and Artemis to stables.
382 “Hellelujah” (“Glory to Yahweh”) is imposed in the Christian mass.
384 Theodosius orders the Praetorian Prefect Maternus Cynegius, a dedicated Christian, to cooperate with the local bishops and destroy the temples of the pagans in Northern Greece and Minor Asia.
385 to 388 Maternus Cynegius, encouraged by his fanatic wife, and bishop “Saint” Marcellus with his gangs scour the countryside and sack and destroy hundreds of Hellenic temples, shrines and altars. Among others they destroy the temple of Edessa, the Cabeireion of Imbros, the temple of Zeus in Apamea, the temple of Apollo in Dydima and all the temples of Palmyra. Thousands of innocent pagans from all sides of the empire suffer martyrdom in the notorious death camps of Skythopolis.
386 Theodosius outlaws the care of the sacked pagan temples.
388 Public talks on religious subjects are outlawed by Theodosius. The old orator Libanius sends his famous epistle “Pro Templis” to Theodosius with the hope that the few remaining Hellenic temples will be respected and spared.
389 to 390 All non-Christian date-methods are outlawed. Hordes of fanatic hermits from the desert flood the cities of the Middle East and Egypt and destroy statues, altars, libraries and pagan temples, and lynch the pagans. Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, starts heavy persecutions against non-Christian peoples, turns the temple of Dionysos into a Christian church, burns down the Mithraeum of the city, destroys the temple of Zeus and burlesques the pagan priests before they are killed by stoning. The Christian mob profanes the cult images.
391 On 24th February, a new edict of Theodosius prohibits not only visits to Pagan temples but also looking at the vandalised statues. New heavy persecutions all around the empire. In Alexandria, Egypt, pagans, led by the philosopher Olympius, revolt and after some street fights they lock themselves inside the fortified temple of god Serapis (the Serapeion). After a violent siege, the Christians take over the building, demolish it, burn its famous library and profane the cult images.
392 On 8th November, Theodosius outlaws all the non-Christian rituals and names them “superstitions of the gentiles” (gentilicia superstitio). New full scale persecutions against pagans. The Mysteries of Samothrace are ended and the priests slaughtered. In Cyprus the local bishop “Saint” Epiphanius and “Saint” Tychon destroy almost all the temples of the island and exterminate thousands of non-Christians. The local Mysteries of goddess Aphrodite are ended. Theodosius’s edict declares: “the ones that won’t obey pater Epiphanius have no right to keep living in that island”. The pagans revolt against the emperor and the Church in Petra, Aeropolis, Rafia, Gaza, Baalbek and other cities of the Middle East.
393 The Pythian Games, the Aktia Games and the Olympic Games are outlawed as part of the Hellenic “idolatry”. The Christians sack the temples of Olympia.
395 Two new edicts (22nd July and 7th August) cause new persecutions against pagans. Rufinus, the eunuch Prime Minister of emperor Flavius Arcadius directs the hordes of the baptised Goths (led by Alaric) to the country of the Hellenes. Encouraged by Christian monks the barbarians sack and burn many cities (Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Pheneos, Argos, Nemea, Lycosoura, Sparta, Messene, Phigaleia, Olympia, etc.), slaughter or enslave innumerable gentile Hellenes and burn down all the temples. Among others, they burn down the Eleusinian Sanctuary and burn alive all its priests (including the hierophant of Mithras Hilarius).
396 On 7th December, a new edict by Arcadius orders that paganism be treated as high treason. Imprisonment of the few remaining Pagan priests and hierophants.
397 “Demolish them!”. Flavius Arcadius orders all the still standing pagan temples to be demolished.
398 The Fourth Church Council of Carthage prohibits to everybody, including to the Christian bishops, the study of the books of the pagans. Porphyrius, bishop of Gaza, demolishes almost all the Pagan temples of his city (except 9 of them that remain active).
399 With a new edict (13th July) Flavius Arcadius orders all the still standing pagan temples, mainly in the countryside, to be immediately demolished.
400 Bishop Nicetas destroys the Oracle of Dionysus in Vesai and baptises all the non-Christians of this area.
401 The Christian mob of Carthage lynches non-Christians and destroys temples and “idols”. In Gaza too, the local bishop “Saint” Porphyrius sends his followers to lynch pagans and to demolish the remaining 9 still active temples of the city. The 15th Council of Chalkedon orders all the Christians that still keep good relations with their non-Christian relatives to be excommunicated (even after their death).
405 John Chrysostom sends hordes of gray dressed monks armed with clubs and iron bars to destroy the “idols” in all the cities of Palestine.
406 John Chrysostom collects funds from rich Christian women to financially support the demolition of the Hellenic temples. In Ephessus he orders the destruction of the famous temple of Artemis. In Salamis, Cyprus, “Saints” Epiphanius and Eutychius continue the persecutions of the pagans and the total destruction of their temples and sanctuaries.
407 A new edict outlaws once more all the non-Christian acts of worship
408 The emperor of the Western Empire, Honorius, and the emperor of the Eastern Empire, Arcadius, order together all the sculptures of the pagan temples to be either destroyed or to be taken away. Private ownership of pagan sculpture is also outlawed. The local bishops lead new heavy persecutions against the pagans and new book burning. The judges that have pity for the pagans are also persecuted. “Saint” Augustine massacres hundreds of protesting pagans in Calama, Algeria.
409 Another edict orders all methods of divination including astrology to be punished by death.
415 In Alexandria, the Christian mob, urged by the bishop Cyrillus, attacks a few days before the Judaeo-Christian Pascha (Easter) and cuts to pieces the famous and beautiful philosopher Hypatia. The pieces of her body, carried around by the Christian mob through the streets of Alexandria, are finally burned together with her books in a place called Cynaron. On 30th August, new persecutions start against all the pagan priests of North Africa who end their lives either crucified or burned alive.
416 The inquisitor Hypatius, alias “The Sword of God”, exterminates the last pagans of Bithynia. In Constantinople (7th December) all non-Christian army officers, public employees and judges are dismissed.
423 Emperor Theodosius II declares (8th June) that the religion of the pagans is nothing more than “demon worship” and orders all those who persist in practicing it to be punished by imprisonment and torture.
429 The temple of goddess Athena (Parthenon) on the Acropolis of Athens is sacked. The Athenian pagans are persecuted.
431 Council of Ephesus ("Robber Synod"). Promotion for the godman – "Christ is complete God and complete man."
435 On 14th November, a new edict by Theodosius II orders the death penalty for all “heretics” and pagans of the empire. Only Judaism is considered a legal non-Christian religion.
438 Theodosius II issues an new edict (31st January) against the pagans, incriminating their “idolatry” as the reason of a recent plague!
440 to 450 The Christians demolish all the monuments, altars and temples of Athens, Olympia, and other Greek cities.
448 Theodosius II orders all non-Christian books to be burned.
450 All the temples of Aphrodisias (the City of the Goddess Aphrodite) are demolished and all its libraries burned down. The city is renamed Stavroupolis (City of the Cross).
451 Council of Chalcedon. New edict by Theodosius II (4th November) emphasises that “idolatry” is punished by death. Assertion of orthodox doctrine over the 'Monophysites' – 'JC has single, divine nature.'
457 to 491 Sporadic persecutions against the pagans of the Eastern Empire. Among others, the physician Jacobus and the philosopher Gessius are executed. Severianus, Herestios, Zosimus, Isidorus and others are tortured and imprisoned. The proselytiser Conon and his followers exterminate the last non-Christians of Imbros Island, Norheast Aegean Sea. The last worshippers of Lavranius Zeus are exterminated in Cyprus.
482 to 488 The majority of the pagans of Minor Asia are exterminated after a desperate revolt against the emperor and the Church.
486 More “underground” pagan priests are discovered, arrested, burlesqued, tortured and executed in Alexandria, Egypt.
515 Baptism becomes obligatory even for those that already say they are Christians. The emperor of Constantinople, Anastasius, orders the massacre of the pagans in the Arabian city Zoara and the demolition of the temple of local god Theandrites.
528 Emperor Jutprada (Justinianus) outlaws the “alternative” Olympian Games of Antioch. He also orders the execution—by fire, crucifixion, tearing to pieces by wild beasts or cutting to pieces by iron nails—of all who practice “sorcery, divination, magic or idolatry” and prohibits all teachings by the pagans (“the ones suffering from the blasphemous insanity of the Hellenes”).
529 Justinianus outlaws the Athenian Philosophical Academy and has its property confiscated.
532 The inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus, a fanatic monk, leads a crusade against the pagans of Minor Asia.
542 Justinianus allows the inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus to convert the pagans of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, Minor Asia. Within 35 years of this crusade, 99 churches and 12 monasteries are built on the sites of demolished pagan temples.
546 Hundreds of pagans are put to death in Constantinople by the inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus.
556 Justinianus orders the notorious inquisitor Amantius to go to Antioch, to find, arrest, torture and exterminate the last non-Christians of the city and burn all the private libraries down.
562 Mass arrests, burlesquing, tortures, imprisonments and executions of gentile Hellenes in Athens, Antioch, Palmyra and Constantinople.
578 to 582 The Christians torture and crucify gentile Hellenes all around the Eastern Empire, and exterminate the last non-Christians of Heliopolis (Baalbek).
580 The Christian inquisitors attack a secret temple of Zeus in Antioch. The priest commits suicide, but the rest of the pagans are arrested. All the prisoners, the Vice Governor Anatolius included, are tortured and sent to Constantinople to face trial. Sentenced to death they are thrown to the lions. The wild animals being unwilling to tear them to pieces, they end up crucified. Their dead bodies are dragged in the streets by the Christian mob and afterwards thrown unburied in the dump.
583 New persecutions against the gentile Hellenes by the Mauricius.
590 In all the Eastern Empire the Christian accusers “discover” pagan conspiracies. New storm of torture and executions.
Source: Vlasis Rassias, Demolish Them!… published in Greek, Athens 1994
He's not dead, just mostly dead. There's a big difference between dead and mostly dead.....This is about as funny as those who say a person isn't really dead when they are hit by a truck, they are just now invisible and mute and powerless to assist the living......ie. mostly dead.
My various observations about unchristian "Christian" historical events--events that continue in various places and aspects up to this day, BTW, and didn't just end around 600 or 1200 AD...
After Constantine "converted"(?), he forced the conversion of his empire at knifepoint. Where is that Biblical? The fact that Christians sin big is no news; if such acts were approved or commanded by Christ, then that is where we are at a loss. You'd really have us in a corner.
Syncretism vs. Christianity. Folks who "convert" (esp. at knifepoint) basically throw their new "god" Jesus onto their existing paganistic framework. A new religion is born out of the old and the new, but gets called Christianity. For example, years ago I saw a documentary about a mountain village in Bolivia, where the local gods got replaced by the Virgin and various patron saints, one per village in the area. The locals will get falling down drunk for days during a festival to celebrate their patron saint. They considered themselves devout Catholics, even as they engaged in other blatantly immoral behaviors during these festivals. The truth here is that they have just renamed their gods with Christian ones, and more or less continue in their old paths, with a few new rituals thrown in. But Christians and Syncretists often live side-by-side. Perhaps there really were Christians in there; I don't know each person there--only God does.
(The New Testament is packed with warnings by Jesus about false teachers and false Christians. He said you'd know who's who by their fruit. Jesus said the field that was sown with wheat also got sown with tares (weeds) by the enemy. They are in the same field, and they both are supposed to be wheat... but tares are certainly not edible. (Matt 13:24-30) )
God knows whether the individuals involved thru history are His or not. The mystery is why He allows such blasphemy. Then I reflect: I. myself. am a very bad Christian! I am still quite selfish, and daily struggle to let go of trying to do things my way. It is my hope not to be one who dishonors God's name, but I think it's already too late! And now, how in the world can I undo my past?? History is convicting, not so much for those other people mentioned, but for ME. There are several people that should have turned from Christ on my account. Miraculously, one is now a Christian, despite me.
God's grace to me is great: I am a Christian, though (honestly) a very poor one.
And God's grace is big enough to bridge the gap between my poor example and His own, and somehow bring other people to understand and know Him, despite the worst of Christians. Truly, I don't understand God here at all, but I do really love Him for the constant flow of mercy to me, and to others despite me.
Jesus is alive, even though I'm a bad Christian. Jesus' resurrection didn't logically depend on me. And Jesus is alive, though others have been poor/false Christians. His resurrection didn't logically depend on them.
So, in my opinion, a historical argument based on bad Christian behavior doesn't give the harsh blow that some think it does. It is a red herring--a distraction from the real argument.
If anyone really wants to disprove Christianity, s/he'll have to go for the jugular, and not the red herrings.: If Jesus is DEAD, then no matter what kind of good points there might be anywhere in Christendom, it's completely false. If Jesus is ALIVE (sorry, no inbetweenies like sleepytime-death/Michael-the-archangel-body exchanges/whatever), then all the atrocities committed by Christians--both real and imagined, by me or evil popes--won't prevent Jesus from coming again. (Remember, there was also a wicked slave mentioned right after that F&D slave...)
That is the trunk of the tree. Whoever wants to get to the end of this matter: chop it down at its naked trunk, instead of pruning some upper branches. Put your 'best ax' up against this most critical part of the tree. (I hear whetting stones!)