Kiril at Sneakeasy's Joint has an irreverent collection of Easter blog-postings. I've never read the site before, so I don't know if he was trying to be mean or funny. It doesn't matter to me; I'm not very easily offended.
What prompted me to write this post is what he wrote in the comments section of his own post. I'll intersperse my response with his, in the traditional blogger fashion (but with, obviously, a superlative quantity of style).
While I do NOT believe in the LITERAL TRUTH of the Christian Bible, in any of its versions, I most definitely do NOT scoff at the many valuable lessons it teaches, and the many good, and wonderful blessings, believers in it have brought to Western Civilization.The "LITERAL TRUTH" of the Bible that's important to believe is pretty simple: Jesus died to pay for our sins and then rose from the dead. Everything else is just context, and it's worthless without this central truth. None of the lessons Jesus taught are valuable apart from his Godhood, and none of the blessings Christianity has brought to Western Civilization are worth a hill of beans in the scope of eternity.
Jesus claimed to be God -- the Jews of his time knew his claim, and they threatened to stone him for it on more than one occasion. Eventually he was crucified for blasphemy. If Jesus wasn't God, then he certainly wasn't a wise and good teacher, because no one wise and good would falsely claim to be God. If Jesus wasn't God, he was either a liar or a lunatic.
There are many Religions in the world, with far more followers than Christianity, and who are we, whether believers in the literalness of the story, or just folks who try to live a Christian life according to our personal understandings of what that is, to tell these people that THEIR belief is wrong, and if they don't believe otherwise they will go to hell?Truth is true no matter who believes it. When everyone thought the earth was flat that didn't make it so. The number of people who believe something is entirely incidental to whether that something is true or false.
It doesn't matter if truth offends your sensibilities or condemns your most treasured opinions. It doesn't matter if you like the truth or not. All that matters is what is true, and what is not.
That way has led to all manner of wars, and injustices, whether instigated by Christians, Muslims, or who ever else, because they couldn't get along with a culture, or individual of a different faith, or no faith at all.Jesus himself addressed this issue:
Matthew 10:34-39Truth and falsehood will always be in conflict. It isn't always violent -- and generally it shouldn't be -- but if there were no conflict at all then truth would be inconsequential.
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
Tyranny and liberty are in conflict as well, but few condemn those who fight for freedom solely on the basis of the violence they engender. Some things are worth fighting for, and some things are worth dying for.