Looney Tune

jesus

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)

I want to go on record as saying, point blank, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

Let’s review: There’s this infinite, all-powerful non-material entity who, with a word or two, causes the entire cosmos to pop into being. This entity then scoops up some dirt and blows on it. Voilà! The first human being! Later, the supreme being fashions a second human from a surgically extracted bone of the first and puts these new creatures in a nice garden planted especially for them.

Now get this: A talking serpent entices the fresh new humans to eat some fruit from a tree placed right in front of them, fruit they’re forbidden to eat by the infinite non-material entity who put it there in the first place. Bite! Bang! Bedlam! All hell breaks loose and soon the shell-shocked sinners find themselves booted from the garden wearing dead animals. Things do downhill from there.

Fast-forward a few thousand years. A baby is born in a shed. This isn’t just any kid; this kid just happens to be the son of that very same infinite, non-material entity who got miffed at humans #1 & #2 long before. The kid grows up, walks on water, and gets himself killed—a short and bumpy half-life so common in the Late Hellenistic period of the Levant. But this particular guy doesn’t stay dead. He comes back from the grave (or wherever it was he went) and then floats into the sky where he and the aforementioned infinite, non-material entity has his pad. More than that, we are told that the formerly dead guy is eventually coming back (with trumpet accompaniment) to phase-shift everybody from dirt to divinity.

Now here’s the funky part: supposedly, if we believe this story, we will live forever. It’s not enough that the tale itself is taller than the Sears Tower, but it guarantees everlasting life to anybody crazy enough to actually buy it. Whoee.

If you’re paying attention here and are a reasonably intelligent person, there’s only one thing to say about this proposition: You’ve got to be kidding. If this were a plot devised by, say, Dan Brown, we’d laugh him off the New York Times bestseller lists. Broadway musicals are shut down on opening night with better plots that this. Even as religious literature the Gospel comes up short. The Ancient Greeks and Hindus have hipper material; give me a Zeus or an elephant god for a laugh any day. Let’s face it, the Gospel is a howler, a wholly implausible yarn that defies credibility and insults intelligence. That we’re asked to believe it only adds insult to injury.

What’s worse, though, are the lame attempts to cast this ridiculous story as something respectable. Some of the biggest names in the common era are guilty of trying to spin the Gospel as something that makes sense, something rational and explainable. Though some of these efforts may be honest explorations of what the Gospel means, many of them are nervous attempts to make the outrageous Christian tale less embarrassing. We want our salvation story to be sensible, even logical. If we’re going to believe something, we want it to be believable for God’s sake.

But the Gospel is decidedly not believable. Anybody who thinks otherwise has either not really examined its claims or suffers from delusional disorder on a grand scale. No forgiveness without shedding blood? A man who is the God? Eternal life? This is sheer lunacy. C. S. Lewis himself insisted that Jesus was talking crazy. I’ll go further: the whole Christian enterprise from Genesis to Revelation is patently absurd. Sceptics rightly reject all attempts to characterize the Gospel as a rational explanation of anything, except maybe Veggie Tales.

You may think I’m joking here. I assure you I am not. I say it again: the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most preposterous tale ever told. And I’m a fool to believe it.

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