In response to my last post questions were asked that I've addressed in an earier post. Soooo - This is yet another re post of an earlier blog about Richard Dawkins and his views of Jesus.
When I first saw a picture of Dawkins at the beach wearing a T-shirt saying "Atheists for Jesus" I thought, why would someone who declares atheists to be people of intellectual and moral integrity, admire a deceptive, deceitful liar? I mean, if Jesus wasn’t who He said He was (and I’m sure Richard doesn’t believe that Jesus is God incarnate), a liar is the least of names that we could call Him.
On the other hand, if Jesus is not exactly who He said He is, there should be a crime against His words and actions for they are vile in the extreme. And that’s why I wonder, since he believes that Jesus is an imposter and a fraud (and if true He’s also a monster), what is it about Richard Dawkins that he is drawn to such a pathological personality?
. Jesus conned people into dying for Him. Yet Richard Dawkins admires Him.
. Jesus told people to worship Him. Dawkins seems to like that idea.
. Jesus told others to be honest, while He lived a lie. Dawkins seems to relate.
. Jesus told others to trust Him to save their souls. Not unlike Dawkins and his sycophants.
. If Jesus was not who He said He was then He was a blasphemer of the highest order. 'Nuff said.
. If Jesus was not who He said He was then He was a megalomaniac. Hmm. Interesting.
Jesus said that He was / is the God of the Old Testament. “Before Abraham was, I Am” is just one among many, many other comments along those lines. The Spiritual leaders of the time understood perfectly that Jesus was saying that He was what Dawkins describes as the “Nasty God of the Old Testament.
When it comes to the Lord, Liar or Lunatic explanation, Richard Dawkins in all his brilliance adds what he thinks is the undoing of that proposition. “Perhaps Jesus was mistaken.” Ya, right. The soundest, purest and most intelligent mind to ever walk the earth was mistaken about being God. ‘Oh. I thought I was God, certain about it really, but I guess I was wrong. Sorry.’ There goes Dawkins’ comedic tendencies again.
So, I wonder why an intelligent man like Richard Dawkins can’t figure out what kind of an individual Jesus must have been if He isn’t God Incarnate? Or is it that Dawkins chooses to ignore that fact for his own political and financial reasons? Perhaps that is why Richard Dawkins is drawn to admire the manipulator / deceiver / con artist he imagines Jesus be?
Regardless, why in the world would anyone who doesn’t believe in God think anything good of Jesus? Why in the world would anyone who believes that Jesus was just a man, think Jesus was someone to admire? He may have been a teacher, but if Jesus was just a man, there was nothing good and nothing moral about Him.
The only conclusion, and yes, I believe it’s a logical conclusion, is that Jesus was far more than a human; He was and is something totally other. Liars, and the severely mentally ill or the deeply personality disordered (for that is what He would have had to be suffering from) simply cannot think and act with the purity, and incisive thoughts that Jesus presented. Liars and those suffering from the above disorders are simply not capable of consistently living nor dying with the other-love that Jesus brought to the world. He is either God Incarnate or a liar or He was mentally ill. He was not a liar and He did not need a mental health professional.
The dilemma of Jesus and its reasoned solution, highlights once again the fact that, It’s not that atheists don’t believe in God. It’s that they don’t want to believe in God. For to accept Jesus as God is to admit our need for forgiveness.
Atheists are unwilling to see their character in the light of that reality. Atheists are literally unable to discern the depths of their depravity. They cannot see their need for salvation. They cannot comprehend why Jesus, through His actions on earth, is even attempting to lead them to salvation. Perhaps that’s why the T-shirt seems like such a humorous statement to Dawkins. He’s never been very good at thinking all the way to step two.
The fact is, Jesus didn’t just speak words that lead to life and life abundantly. He lived His words unlike any human being before or after. Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette states, “Jesus regarded himself and his message as inseparable.”
Historian William Lecky, himself an opponent of Christianity writes, “It was reserved for Christianity to present to the world [a person who] . . . in three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists.”
In describing Jesus, Historian Philip Schaff says, “A character so original, so complete, so uniformly consistent, so perfect, so human and yet so high above all human greatness, can be neither a fraud nor a fiction. The [author], as has been well said, would in this case be greater than the hero. It would take more than a Jesus to invent a Jesus. How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an impostor - that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man - have invented, and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality? Someone who lived as Jesus lived, taught as Jesus taught, and died as Jesus died could not have been a liar. What other alternatives are there?”
I can’t presume to know the motives for Richard Dawkins’ seeming inability or unwillingness to discern the fact that it’s only one way or the other. Either Jesus was and is God, or He wasn’t. This sidestepping of the evidence seems to become more and more typical of Richard Dawkins as his early writing transits from clear thinking, entertaining biological science, to his latest works that seem to be clouded by raging anti-Christian polemics.
If Jesus was / is God then we’d better order our lives around that fact. That just makes sense, doesn't it? If Jesus is God, then worship Him as such, or rail in opposition against Him. Both are valid options that God has left open to us.
If He wasn’t God, then Jesus needs to be dealt with in our minds the way we deal with any repugnant personality. But please, if Jesus wasn't God, don't pretend that He was some wonderful person when He clearly wasn't.
Richard Dawkins can’t figure it out, but maybe you can. For the sake of your life on earth and for eternity, I pray that you find Jesus as Lord and Saviour and find Him soon. It’s a wonderful, healthy, rarified, bracing, exhilarating, blessed and freeing experience.