Article XI: The Lie of God

Written by:
Jacob King

Since I could reasonably believe that John himself made all the wild “historical” claims in The Gospel According to John, the next step was to figure out if this John, and the rest of the supposed eye-witness crew, were lying about this Voice miraculously rising from the dead. If John and the others were two-faced about the whole claim, something was very clear to me: they had to be not only liars but deeply evil liars. How else could they go to the grave holding on to such impossibilities?

I was on edge. Was this all a con for people like myself, tricking us into wasting hours upon hours talking to an imaginary God-friend for some personal gain on their end? And, if indeed they were lying, their claim of the miraculous has done far more damage beyond wasting people’s time. It has also cost millions of people their lives. And here’s the kicker… they knew it would

The vicious and violent persecution of the resurrection believers got so bad during the first century that the Roman authorities were literally feeding thousands of men, women and children to wild animals and gladiators in the coliseums – specifically so they could purge their society of anyone associated with this belief. (The Romans believed these resurrection believers were angering their gods, who in turn were sending misfortune upon the empire because of this lie). There is no way these eye-witness disciples wouldn’t have been aware of this persecution, especially John. John lived through the whole thing, including the Roman Emperor Nero’s off-the-charts-horrifying persecution...

If John and the rest clinched tight to this lie, even in the face of this brutality and carnage that ensued because of it, they really were evil.

Every lie, even the most evil of them, is always motivated by something. If the claim of the resurrection was a kool-aid cup full of deception, I had to find out what the possible motivation could have been for such an evil deceit. Could it have been possible that, if John and the others were lying, the lie would have come from the very top? 

I mean, how do you get a bunch of liars – willing to go to such depths to spread and even horrendously die for a lie – all organized and under the same “roof”? The closest parallel, to me, was a crazed cult like the Manson family. I was no cult expert but I knew (maybe thanks to Netflix) that you have to first start with a charismatic leader…

Was this supposed Voice of God really the Lie of God? Was Jesus the type that hears voices… the kind of voices that ask him to do really bad things? Was Jesus the charismatic ringleader of this possible brainwashed posse that were willing to have millions of men, women and children sacrifice their lives to spread lies about their cult leader?

To examine such a heavy accusation I could simply flip the Voice’s famous teaching on how to identify a good or bad person back on himself: “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit… The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Well… even taking just a small glance at this Voice’s recorded words and deeds, it doesn’t take me long for to realize that if this guy was a lying cult leader… holy shiitake mushrooms, I’m really scared for my own (and, frankly speaking, everyone I know) “heart” health.

This Voice’s heart was unlike any other I have ever read or heard about. If love was a sport, he would have undoubtedly been Kobe, LeBron, and Jordan all wrapped into the indisputable and untouchable GOAT. 

Even the Rationalists, the ones who disputed almost everything about the Gospel According to John (especially the claim of the miraculous) couldn’t contest the goodness of Jesus’s heart. In fact, they did the very opposite: “All the centuries proclaim that among the children of men there is none greater than Jesus…” wrote the French rationalist Ernest Renan. William Lecky, another rationalist, said: “It may be truly said that the simple record of his three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and to soften [the heart of] mankind than all the [talk] of philosophers, and all the exhortations of moralists.”  

I also found out that even the hard-hitting atheist and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins deeply reveres the heart of Jesus: “The point was that Jesus was a great moral teacher,” Dawkins said in an interview. He surprisingly has more than mere reverence stating, “I have described myself as a cultural Christian.”

All the historical evidence no doubt points to the fact that this Voice was gifted with the superpower of speech. He pressed a world of meaning into a short sentence. Even his sworn enemies said: “No man ever spoke like this man!” But what did he do with this never-before-seen power of persuasion? Most people with this level of talent almost always follow the path of cashing it in for a membership into the superyacht club.

Yet this figure, despite his alien-like level talent, instead chose a life, as the secular historian and non-believer Adolf von Harnack once said, “dedicated to “speak[ing] to men as a mother speaks to her child… He preferred to be a teacher of truth, to wander about poor and homeless.” 

As I read more and more about this Voice I discovered his time on earth was a nonstop outpouring of love. He embraced the most “disgusting” and outcasted of culture. He impressed upon John and the others the need for humility and integrity. He taught them that they were not to lord over their followers like most secular politicians the world has come to know and expect, but the disciples were to be the servants to those they were supposed to serve. He set the ultimate example by washing their feet as one of his last teachings before his death. And when he was on the sign, this figure even asked the Father to pardon the very men who had nailed Him to that instrument of torture, giving John and the others a last word on what true love really looks like. And he absolutely demanded of them to speak the complete and absolute truth, even if it cost them their lives… like it did his.

I was certain that if the resurrection was a lie, it definitely didn’t start with the Voice. If the resurrection tale was a forgery, it would have had to have started with John and the rest of his supposed eye-witness gang members, after the death of their leader. But that raised some serious issues: like, how could they have spent so much time with this GOAT of love (the figure that makes even infamous atheists of our modern culture blush) and all have committed one of the worst deceptions the world has ever seen? And what could there have been to motivate a group of individuals to go to such lengths to commit this horrendous lie?

The only motivators I knew of that lead someone to commit such an evil were money, sex, power and fame – or an irresistible Big Gulp of all four. Could things like orgies, benjamins, and having his name written in the sky impelled John and the others to make such a colossal and terrible lie? I had to find out.

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