Each Christmas and Easter, Christians can depend on organizations like the freedom from religion foundation (FFRF) to carry out their anti-Christian activist campaigns such as putting up large billboards that mock Christianity, or pretending they care about the laws of the land so they can sue anyone who dares to put up a nativity scene on public property, etc.
The thing is, I’ve talked to quite a few atheists who are embarrassed by antics such as those carried out by the FFRF. These atheists are fine to live and let live and feel (as I do) that such campaigns only showcase the insecurity, intolerance, and ugliness that folks like the FFRF feel toward Christians. I’ve continued to say that those involves in such things are really ‘hatetheists’ and not atheists, or perhaps more appropriately, they should be labeled for what they really are – anti-Christian activists.
Such things are nothing new at all. Christianity has traditionally been opposed and mocked by those who are threatened by its Lord and who have had their pride stung by its message. For example, in one of Rome’s museums, there is an archaeological find that is dated to be somewhere around the beginning of the 3rd century. The piece shows a drawing evidently made by an early anti-Christian Roman who was mocking a person named Alexamenos that was likely imprisoned for his faith in Jesus. The drawing depicts a man worshipping a figure nailed to a cross that has a donkey’s head (a reference to stupidity). The hastily written Greek on the work reads: “Alexamenos worships god”.
The 2nd century Christian critic Celsus framed his thinking of early Christians this way: “Now if the Christians worshipped only one God they might have reason on their side. . . . But as a matter of fact they worship a man who appeared only recently. And their worship of this Jesus is the more outrageous because they refuse to listen to any talk about God, the father of all, unless it includes some reference to Jesus. . . . And when they call him Son of God, they are not really paying homage to God, rather, they are attempting to exalt Jesus to the heights.”
At least Celsus had more sense on his side than the FFRF crowd. He knew Jesus was a historical figure and not a mere myth. But, every year the anti-Christian activists demonstrate their intellectual bankruptcy by either explicitly stating or deceptively implying that Jesus of Nazareth never actually lived. They say he was a measly invention of the time, much like one of the Greek or Roman gods.
When will this ridiculous claim ever die?
If it’s not famous skeptics Bertrand Russell saying, “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if he did we know nothing about him”, it’s internet movies like Zeitgeist a few years back who tragically parade their willing ignorance of history and facts for all to see.
I was asked years ago by gotquestions.org to write a brief refutation to the Zeitgeist movie, which I did. Others have since written much more in-depth critiques of that work. But it was my first introduction to the depths at which some anti-Christian activists will go to try and deceive people.
As we approach Christmas this year, I’d like to echo what Dr. Bruce Metzger simply said many years ago: “Today no competent scholar denies the historicity of Jesus”.
If the anti-Christian activists want to deny Jesus Christ vs. Jesus of Nazareth, that’s certainly their prerogative. But, when they resort to desperate attempts to strip Jesus’ life from history, well, they violate their own banner ad of “Let Reason Prevail”.
Below is one of my most viewed presentations from a series I developed a few years ago on the various counterfeit Christs that have been put forward by various groups. It provides more details as to the origins and progression of the “Jesus is a myth” fabrication: