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Ye Olde Anvil

At this rate, I think the skeptics of Christianity are doing more good than harm.

jesus-icon.jpgJames Cameron’s recent documentary, The Lost Tomb of Jesus, inadvertently provides further proof of the validity of Christianity. Of course, the critics would disagree — but the critics are usually the ones fueling, funding and then hailing these perennial religious rebuffs. It’s one in a growing line of “shocking” exposés intended to help us rethink Christianity. Yawn.

Does anyone else see the significance in this anti-christian rat-tat-tat? First it was The DaVinci Code and it’s hacking of history. Then it was National Geographic’s, The Lost Gospel of Judas, which claimed to offer “new insights” into the reviled traitor (really? new?). Now it’s Cameron’s “astonishing” reassembling of a 27 year old discovery that “debunks” our misguided, mythical notions about Jesus. Is it a coincidence that all of these “unveilings” undermine the Christian faith? Hmm. Methinks I smell a rat.

Listen, if these discoveries had any real weight, we wouldn’t need one every flippin’ year! The fact that “new insights” and “hidden gospels” are recycled ad naseum by the secular / liberal old-bible-cover.jpgbraintrust says as much about the motivation to disprove Christianity as it does the absolute irrelevance of the (supposed) evidence. If there really was enough proof to contradict the historical roots of Christianity, it would have been done so a long time ago. But the fact that the attacks continue, on cue, and that the secular press hails each parade like a carnival barker does a bearded lady, says more about the accusers than the accused.

Nineteenth century writer H.L. Hastings once illustrated the unique way in which the Bible has withstood the attacks of skepticism:

Infidels of eighteen hundred years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before. Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt.

When the French monarch proposed the persecution of Christians in his dominion, an old statesman and warrior said to him, ‘Sire, the church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.’ So the hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives.

Don’t tell James Cameron or National Geographic that in 100 years their “breathtaking findings” won’t bearded_lady.jpgmean squat. What I want to know is why the Bible and historic Christianity are always the target? Why not question the historical underpinnings of Hinduism? Or the early practices of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology? Or how about debunking Muhammad’s angelic visitations? Nope. It’s Jesus, Mary, Moses, Judas, yada, yada, yada. Talk about a broken record.

Oh well, in a year or two, there will be another “secret book,” “lost tomb,” or “shocking discovery.” To which I say, Come hither to ye olde Anvil.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • GerM March 9, 2007, 12:30 PM

    I don’t get it. how does attacks against Christianity validate it? A lot of religions get critisized but it doesn’t make them right.

  • Mike Duran March 9, 2007, 1:32 PM

    Hey Germ, I’d challenge you to tell me which religion gets attacked, even a fraction of the amount, that Christianity does? The fact is that no other religious leader — Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, Gandhi — is second-guessed, copied, re-invented, researched and reconstructed as much as Jesus Christ. Why? Perhaps it’s because His claims are the most audacious, and potentially, the most inferable. Think about it — the unbeliever has far more to lose if Jesus’ claims are true than if Buddha’s or Joseph Smith’s are true. He claimed to be the only way to God (Jn. 14:6) and that, if we do not believe in Him, we will die in our sins (Jn. 8:24). No wonder Christianity is under attack.

    By disproving Christ — or at least humanizing Him — people hope to let themselves off the hook. My suggestion is that the frequency of the attacks are indicative of (a) Their weakness and (b) The integrity and relevance of Christianity’s place.

    Unlike other religions, Christianity is verified by a plethora of historic facts. The only miracle claimed by Islam is the Koran (being that Mohammad was illiterate, it is believed miraculous that he could produce such a work). So how does one validate that religion? We know a man named Mohammad existed, but whether or not he saw an angel and that that angel was really Gabriel, is debatable. Christianity, however, is rooted in numerous specific historic events. The greatest of which — the Resurrection — did not occur in some backwater town, but in Jerusalem, the hub of Israel. The claims were made among people who could quickly refute them if they were not true. Just produce the body of Jesus and it’s over. Well, you say, the apostles lied. But this requires us to believe that all the apostles, save one (John), were martyred FOR WHAT THEY KNEW WAS A BLATANT LIE. It’s hard enough to get people to stand up for the truth, much less a lie. And remember, they did not practice humane executions back then. Is it a coincidence that shortly after His (supposed) Resurrection, the ragtag group of followers — consisting mainly of uneducated peasants and social outcasts — exploded into one of the world’s greatest religions?

    To me, these repeated attacks expose, not just bias, but hatred for Christianity. As Shakespeare wrote, “Methinks ye doth protest too much.” It’s in the vast, repeated protestation that I find comfort. For not only can it potentially instigate objective research, but I believe objective research will inevitably establish the weight of evidence in favor of Christianity. For a more critical examination of the fallacious claims by Cameron’s documentary, look here and here. But, go ahead Germ, hammer away.

  • dayle March 9, 2007, 3:17 PM

    Amen, Mike. Finally something we agree completely on. Well said.

    You’ve hit on it in your comment above. Christianity is the one religion ( I use that word only for the sake of argument. Christianity is not a religion.) that challenges the unbeliever. There is a consequence if you shun it and it is then proven true in the afterlife. Jesus has laid a foundation of morality and personal responsibility that cuts into the religion of the non-christians in this country. The do whatever feels good crowd.

    I view the protests as almost a couter-attack of sorts. Jesus has challenged them to turn from their humanistic side and to stand taller on his shoulders. All while offering them grace, love, and forgiveness. Instead of accepting this offer for what it is–an act of pure love. They choose the polar opposite. Attack Him and His offer so they don’t have to look at their own soul in the mirror.

    And yet, Jesus still loves them. He truly is Wonderful.

    -dayle

  • Heather Goodman March 9, 2007, 3:35 PM

    “Humanizing” Christ? Um, I thought He is fully human.
    I know what you mean in your point, though. And I agree in what you are saying, but two points to keep in mind: (1) Christ told us to except this (somewhere around John 15-17, it’s too early to remember exactly), and (2) I think it’s important for us to be willing to examine everything out there. As a source of knowledge, I don’t believe science trumps the Word and the Holy Spirit. Science changes daily. As C.S. Lewis said, there’s enough science in the world to prove or disprove anything. That being said, I want to be someone willing to search out Truth and to always scrutinize, not just laugh and jab at “them” while they laugh and jab at “us.”

  • Mike Duran March 9, 2007, 4:34 PM

    Heather, I use “humanize” in the sense that the secular world seeks to de-deify Christ and make Him JUST a man. While I don’t believe “science trumps the Word”, there must be some logical, objective means to ascertain anything’s reliability. If the Bible is true, then science should be able to confirm some of it’s claims. Either there is a Red Sea and a Mount Sinai and a hill named Golgotha and a Man who was crucified there, or there ain’t. And if there ain’t, it calls into question the Bible’s other claims. A religion that is built upon fallacious, unprovable claims has no foundation. Without objective facts, we must rely on subjective opinions and impressions. But if subjectivity is the primary lens for determining truth, Christianity is just a whim.

  • Ame March 10, 2007, 3:04 AM

    🙂

    love the way you articulated this

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