Re: virus: The Kingdom...

Eric Boyd (6ceb3@qlink.queensu.ca)
Tue, 18 May 1999 11:51:57 -0400

Hi,

Snow Leopard <juliet784@hotmail.com> writes: <<
Well, Iíve been told to make my response a little more positive, so, in response to your comment, Hermit, referring to the honesty of Christians, I guess, to a degree I have to agree with you. There are a lot of liars who call themselves Christians. Thereís nothing that angers me more than watching a ďChristianĒ tell a lie. But I canít be responsible for what some people who claim to share my beliefs do, and Iím sure there are more liars who arenít Christians than lairs that are. Now, ďhistoricalĒ evidence contradicts itself. What you may think looks wrong may be right. I respect your insistence to find the truth, and Iím learning to respect that youíre not looking for The Truth. Please bear with me.
>>

Actually, the quote you responded to was written by me (ERiC). TheHermit replied to me even denying the event (crusi-fiction) mentioned above -- I am not nearly that radical, although I've certainly read lots of different theories which maintain that position.

Re lying: To be honest, I couldn't care less about the general state of lying amoungst Christians -- but *you* should know that many of your largest and most important historical figures were out and out lyers -- Matthew, Luther, literally dozens of early church fathers (Hermas and Eusebius come immediatly to mind) even Augustine himself was in favour of "lies of omission". Some people speculate that Paul was too. Church fathers (and local ministers) today are in a similar spot -- many do not believe, and so are "lying" all the time, but cannot give up their livelihood. It is an unenviable position. In Canada, we just had a large controversy when one of the leaders of the United Church revealed that he didn't believe... Myself, I'm all for shaking up the plebs.

In short, one can sum up the attitude of early Christians by quoting John 20:30-31 which reveals the true intents of the writers: not to "reveal the truth" but to "induce belief". Even today, this remains a common Christian attitude.

But all that aside, my main point was that the historical evidence -- which depends heavily on the gospels -- is of very limited value, and this is reflected in the general skepticism of most Biblical scholars regarding the existence and activities of one "Jesus", brother of James. It is properly viewed as a myth (a story to lead ones life by), not as "history". In a sense, I think the early Christians knew this -- and that explains their unconcern for the truth.

Regarding evolution -- go read some books. I cannot do justice to evolution in less than a few hours[1] -- and, to be honest, evolution remains true regardless of your belief or disbelief. It is your loss: evolution is a powerful and pervasive idea, and without it, you'll be missing half of fun of living in the twentieth (and twenty-first) century.

ERiC

[1] Let's let Dawkins try: "evolution is ... the non-random selection of randomly varying replicators."