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Does Christianity Prove The Existence Of Christ? - by John Prytz

Does Christianity prove the actualexistence of Christ as depicted in Christianity's holy texts? Does Christ provethe tenants of Christianity? My short answer is "no". Read on.

 

There are many, including no doubt 100% ofChristians, who note that the very establishment and rise of Christianity inand of itself requires, even must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that theBiblical, especially the New Testament texts must be true and foundational tothe rise and rise and rise of Christianity. However, because humans are, wellhuman and fallible, and because are first and foremost tellers of tall tales(i.e. - humans are hardwired innate storytellers), one of the easiest thingsfor a charismatic human (the usual case) or a group of humans to do isestablish the existence of an invisible magic man in the sky or any one ofhundreds of variations on the theme of deities and the supernatural. Miraclesabound in religions (plural) galore. In principle the establishment and therise of Christianity is no different than all of the other theologies on offer- past and present.

 

To repeat, one of the easiest things to doin your lifetime is to establish and start up a brand new religion. Even justin the United States, in the 1880’s you had charismatic individuals like JosephSmith (Mormonism). More recently L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology), Jim Jones (ThePeople's Temple), David Koresh (The Branch Davidians) and Marshall Applewhite(Heaven's Gate). The latter three all suicided along with their flockfollowers. Then too there was Sun Myung Moon (The Moonies) and (Li Hongzhi)Falun Gong. You had Anton LaVey (Satanism) and Gerald Gardner (Wicca) and LucJouret & Joseph di Mambro (the Order of the Solar Temple). And how can weforget the theology behind the Flying Spaghetti Monster! You’ll also get a lotof people claiming “Jedi” as their religion although how seriously they reallyare is open to question. I'm sure Christians tend to give the thumbs down tothese theologies and no doubt the feelings are mutual from the other sides.  

 

But just because a religion becomesestablished and rises and thrives doesn't mean the tenants behind the religionare true. Religions can have negative consequences for their True Believers asin the case of Heaven's Gate, the Branch Davidians and the People's Temple. Oneshould probably include Scientology in that negative category judging from allof the negative PR Scientology has received by ex-members.

 

As another example of a religion thatcould parallel Christianity, in say the establishment of miracles and salvationand a return to the Promised Land / Paradise all with the following of acharismatic leader, look no further than the establishment and rise of theGhost Dance theology among the Native American Indians. The Ghost Dance theologywas a concept that Native American Indians could rid their land of the whitesettlers if they just danced the Ghost Dance. It would be a return to their ownEden; the return of the buffalo; the return to the status quo before 1492.

 

The Ghost Dance theology was originallyestablished in the late 1860's and early 1870's with little impact but wasrevived in 1888-1889 by the charismatic Paiute Chief Wovoka who had a vision(s)that would restore the pre-white man status quo for the Native American Indians.Wovoka was a Christ-like figure, a shaman, a prophet, even a messiah who somethough was the actual second coming of Christ dressed in Native American Indiancostume. Wovoka was seen to be the savior that would address the plight of theNative American Indians, endorsed no less than by the legendary Sitting Bull.

 

Part of the Ghost Dance theology was thattheir special, sacred ghost shirts / garments would protect them from the WhiteMan's bullets. Of course the Ghost Dance craze didn't go over very well withthe white folks. Minority uprisings usually don't. The irresistible forceultimately had to meet the immovable object, and so the Ghost Dance theologyall came unstuck in a violent ending when in late December 1890 things came toa head at Wounded Knee Creek.  The NativeAmerican Indians faced off against the American Army in what's called theBattle of Wounded Knee. Alas, those sacred indestructible garments worn by theNative Americans didn't stop those Army bullets and when the shooting stoppedroughly 200 Native American Indians - men, women and children - were dead aswere roughly 60 Army soldiers / troopers. And that event for all practical purposes was the end to Native AmericanIndians as a viable entity and a force to be reconciled with in U.S.history. 

 

There are of course parallels between theGhost Dance theology and Christianity. The Ghost Dance participants wanted animmediate reversal of their world order. Think of the Ghost Dance movement asthe Native American Indian version of the Book of Revelation which was also avisionary experience. In Revelation it was out with the contemporary (Roman)landscape and in with the New (Jerusalem) order. The Ghost Dance was the NativeAmerican equivalent of liberating Israel and restoring her to former glory viathe establishment of God's Kingdom. But instead of the Roman Empire substitutethe White Man; instead of Israel substitute the Indian Territories. Further,the Ghost Dance itself (and associated chanting) is akin to all of the ritualsand prayers and musical hymns, etc. associated with Christianity, especiallyCatholicism. The sacred bullet-proof shirts are akin to the Crosses and Biblesand other religious artifacts and icons associated with Christianity andcarried around by the faithful.

 

So, in conclusion, there was indeed an establishment andrise of Christianity. But that doesn't mean any of the foundations are based onanything other than quicksand. Christianity is just composed of a long stringsof claims none of which have any supporting historical and independentlyverifiable evidence. Christ no more proves Christianity and Christianity nomore proves Christ than Allah proves Islam or that Islam proves Allah or that Brahmaproves Hinduism or that Hinduism proves the existence of Brahma. Wovoka failedto prove that the Ghost Dance theology did what he said it would do. UnlikeJesus, Allah and Brahma, we of course know that Wovoka was an actual historicalfigure who really existed, but the Ghost Dance debacle certainly didn't showWovoka to be any sort of prophet, far less even a messiah figure.



Science librarian; retired.

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