Not very long ago I was challenged on an issue that has come up a few times over the years. This time it was different because the same challenge came in from multiple sources at almost the same time.
In the past I’d dealt with it superficially and wasn’t that concerned about it. This time was different. The same argument, using the same wording, coming from a variety of sources, and they were all younger than my children’s age.
Note to self: When you get challenged by a variety of people on essentially the same topic within a short amount of time and you’re involved in apologetics you may want to get studied up on that topic.
I reached out to them to see where they’d received their information for the challenge that they’d sent. Here were the sources:
- “Zeitgeist” (A movie.)
- “Religulous” (A movie.)
- Meme’s (Seriously, that’s almost as bad as using Wikipedia as a source!)
So, what was the attack? Great question. I’ll combine the various questions into this one generic version.
“How can you trust the Bible? Almost everything written about Jesus is ripped off from Egyptian gods which predate Christianity by a long time!”
As a result I created a new talk called, “Is Jesus a Rip-off of Horus and Other Egyptian Gods?” to address this issue.
In full disclosure, I’ve never watched the full movie of Bill Maher’s, “Religulous”. I couldn’t stomach it. I read most of the transcript of the movie though.
I’ve also never watched all of “Zeitgeist”. I just found it to be poor quality and boring. I did glean through it and pull a lot of quotes for the new talk.
What’s bothersome is that this type of material is having an impact on so many. Those that are being impacted have not studied to see if what they’re being taught is correct or not. And this is especially true among the younger generation.
It seems that they think that it must be true if it’s in a movie or on the web. This type of thinking reminds me of the State Farm commercial where the beautiful lady is dating a “French model” that she met on the internet! (You can see it here, it’s funny.)
The bottom line is, I jumped in to find out what was true.
In the “Religulous” transcript I read Bill Maher attack on Scientology and Mormonism.
In full discolsure, I’m not very knowledgeable on Scientology. All I know is what I’ve seen on Leah Remini’s show, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy.
Mormonism on the other hand is something that I’ve studied quite a bit. While Maher’s comments on Mormon theology is accurate, I don’t care for his tone or the profanity.
But, his attempt to portray Christianity as just another dishonest, crazy belief system is way off and his misrepresentations of Christianity is appalling. The same is true of “Zeitgeist”.
Here’s a clip from Maher interviewing the actor who portrays Jesus at the Holy Land Experience:
“Does it ever bother you that the story of a man who was born of a virgin was resurrected? Your bio was something that was going around the Mediterranean for at least 1,000 years. We’ve got Krishna who was in India 1,000 years before Christ. Krishna was a carpenter, born of a virgin, baptized in a river. . . . Absolutely, there’s the Persian god Mithra, 600 years before Christ. Born December 25th, performed miracles, resurrected on the third day, known as the Lamb, the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Savior, Messiah.”
Uh oh! Let’s be honest, if all of these gods, which predate Jesus by up to 1,000 years, have exactly the same teaching . . . Christianity’s toast! It’s time to pack up our bags and jump out of the pew and onto the Maher crazy train!
Before you jump on the train, please allow me to share just a few things that I discovered.
When legitimate historians tackle questions like the one posed to me they’ll start their search by looking for the earliest records available. These are called “primary sources”. It’s a pretty simple concept, the closer to the original occurrence a source is, the more accurate it should be.
So what do the primary sources say about the claims that Christianity ripped-off Horus, Mithras, Dionysus, etc.? You may be shocked by this, but here goes.
The primary sources show beyond a shadow of a doubt that:
- All of these “gods” do predate Jesus Christ.
- All of the “similarities” between them and Jesus don’t exist.
- That the pagan religions actually ripped-off Christianity!
That’s right, instead of Christianity “borrowing” from the pagan religions, it’s actually the other way around.
Let’s allow a secular historian to tell us what he found.
“There is, as far as I am aware, no prima facie evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is a mythological construct, drawing on the myths and rites of the dying and rising gods of the surrounding world.…”
“The death and resurrection of Jesus retains its unique character in the history of religions.”
“The consensus among modern scholars — nearly universal — is that there were no dying and rising gods that preceded Christianity. They all post-dated the first century.”
Professor T.N.D. Mettinger, Lund University
Dr. T.N.D. Mettinger did one of the most exhaustive studies on this issue and if he couldn’t find evidence for it, it’s not there!
Please allow me to share one last quote with you. It’s from the man who made the “Zeitgesit” movie in the first place. His name is Peter Joseph and in an interview he said this:
“As the filmmaker, I will state that even I am not sure about some of the claims as far as what the absolute truth is. But again, that isn’t the purpose of this work.”
Quite frankly the only purpose for his work was to dupe those who won’t dig deeper into supporting his conspiracy theory and turning folks away from Christianity. And because of our lack of digging in and challenging what we’re being taught, he’s successful far too many times.
If you’d like for Juan or I to come to your homeschool group, church, school etc. let us know. We can and will address issues that are being used to dupe this generation. Please pray for and support us as we travel and minister. We appreciate it very much. Blessings and . . .
P.S. – Parents, if you noticed the sources were “Movies”. Are you teaching your child to critically evaluate what they’re watching and playing? I hope so. Our books, “Remote Control” and “It’s NOT Just a Game” along with the DVD’s with the same name will help equip you to teach your child to open their eye’s to the deception that’s taking place in the media.
Carl Kerby is an inspiring, motivating and highly respected Christian speaker. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation in his presentations, outreach events, books and other resources as the President and founding board member of Reasons for Hope, Inc.