The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

The Resurrection of Christ: Why It Really Isn’t Critical for Christians

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The fact that someone is quoted by other people doesn’t mean their statement is true or profound.  As a Chinese proverb says: “Paper lets anything be written on it”—meaning that you can write something stupid or something wise and your paper will just sit there and take it.  So will the internet.  But what about your soul?  Is your soul just going to sit there bobbing its head and automatically amening every statement that it comes across about the Christian faith?  You are not a brainless idiot, so don’t act like one.  Instead, make use of the fact that the God of all Wisdom is generously making Himself available to you and ask Him what He thinks of authoritative statements others make about Him.

In our material, we pepper you with authoritative statements, but since you’re not an undiscerning piece of paper, you should not be accepting anything we say as true until you ask God what He thinks about the things we say.  After all, we could be putting out a bunch of useless malarkey.  Sure, we claim that God is the Source of our teaching, but what is that even worth?  A ton of people claim to be passing on pearls from God while they totally contradict each other.  Titles, degrees, and claims of authenticity are utterly worthless.  God is the only Teacher you can trust, so you need to be asking Him directly for wisdom in life. 

So now that you’ve got your guard up and you’re asking God to show you if there is anything of value in this post, it’s time to practice some discernment.  Since spiritual discernment is about being able to tell truth from lies, and since God is the One who defines what truth is, you can’t get anywhere with discernment until you first turn your focus onto God and invite Him to guide your thinking process.  Does God really need an invitation from you to do something?  No, but by inviting God to guide you, you’re deciding to be receptive to what He has to say.  The invitation is for your benefit, not His.

Now the discernment exercise we’re going to challenge you with in this post has to do with the resurrection of Christ.  How important is that event to Christianity?  Or, more importantly, how critical is the resurrection of Christ to your personal faith?  Let’s now check out some quotes that we found posted on the internet.

“The entire Christian faith hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.  If Jesus didn’t resurrect, the whole thing collapses.”

“If one does away with the fact of the Resurrection, one also does away with the Cross, for both stand and fall together, and one would then have to find a new center for the whole message of the gospel.”

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ was necessary to establish the truth of His mission and put the stamp of all-conquering power on His gospel.”

These are some pretty extreme statements, aren’t they?  According to these quotes, if Jesus didn’t resurrect, Christianity couldn’t exist.  If we can’t prove His resurrection to be a historical fact, then the whole “Gospel” message would be lost and the truth of Christ’s “mission” would be lost.  In other words, Christ is no one special unless He resurrected.  Does that sound right to you?

Now maybe you’re thinking, “What does it matter?  The fact is that we can prove that Christ resurrected.”  And yet that really doesn’t resolve the problem.  You see, you have worked out your own logical argument for why you believe that Jesus is God and that Christianity is the only right religion.  You might not be aware of what your personal logic flow is, but it still exists, and your entire faith is standing on it.  For some people, their logic is as simple as: “I’m a Christian because that’s what my parents taught me to be.”  It really doesn’t go beyond that—that’s all they’ve got, and they’ve gone on to spend years building their faith on that one, very rickety foundation.  Now what will happen if these people should be given reason to seriously doubt their parents’ wisdom on spiritual matters?  Because their entire faith in God is built on the credibility of their parents, once that credibility is called into question, their faith will collapse.

Now the Church has some very strong opinions about what your faith should be built on, and she pushes hard for you to conform.  One logic flow that the Church teaches you to use is this: “My faith is built on the Bible, because everything in the Bible is true.”  There’s a song that Christians like to teach to little kids in Sunday School, and one of the lines goes like this: “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so.”  In other words, we’re teaching our children to believe in Jesus and in the fact that He loves them solely because of what some book says—a book which we teach them to never question.

So is Bible based faith a wise idea?  What happens if we blindly trust in a book because we think that book is perfect, but then we begin to discover that it’s not?  You can find many articles on our site which prove just how theologically flawed the Bible actually is.  Sure, it has some good stuff in it. But it contains a whole lot of garbage, too.  If your entire faith is built on the assumption that the Bible is infallible, and you come to discover that this just isn’t true, what will happen to your faith?  It will collapse.

Because so many Christians are basing their faith solely on what the Bible says, many Christians feel extremely upset by us pointing out theological errors in the book.  And they have good reason to be upset, because their entire faith is in danger of collapsing.  So why don’t we just back off and leave these stressing souls in peace?  Because the purpose of our material is to help souls build solid relationships with their Creators.  A building is only as strong as the foundation it’s built on, and the Bible is a very rickety foundation.  So yes, we most certainly are going to give your Bible base a mega earthquake until it fractures and crumbles on you, because only then will you see that basing your faith on a book just isn’t good enough. With the eternal future of your soul at stake, it is vital that you build on something solid.  You can’t afford to just coast along with human trends, you need to be darn sure that the God you’re praying to is the same Being who is holding you accountable for how you spend the life He’s given you.  Can you get to that kind of security by building your faith on the beliefs of other humans?  No, you can’t.

What exactly is the Bible? It is a collection of documents in which many different Jewish men describe their personal experiences and beliefs.  Well, one time a guy named Mohammad claimed to have a series of visions, and today we’ve got a ton of Muslims putting their faith in a god named Allah just because of what Mohammad said.  Why are we plucking one human out of the crowd and setting his personal views up to be the definition of truth?  Why pick the apostle Peter or John or Paul?  At the end of the day, who really cares what God Moses was conversing with or who Isaiah was speaking for?  For all you know, those men were all delusional.  For all you know, the God they spoke of was just a figment of their imaginations.

Today humans crank out movies which they claim are based on true facts.  When you watch the movie, you have no idea how much truth is really in it, and how much fiction has been thrown in to increase the entertainment value.  After you watch the movie, you become very biased in your view about whoever the movie was about.  You tend to treat that movie’s portrayal of people as fact even though it might all have been fiction.  Just by starting their film with one simple claim, the movie makers can get you to put a lot of stock in what they’re saying.  Today the Church does the same thing with the Bible.  By calling it “God breathed” and “holy,” she gets you to blindly accept what’s in it without ever questioning.  And yet is this really wise?

In the Bible we find humans claiming that God said this or that.  You can’t possibly know if those humans were lying or not until you talk to God for yourself.  In the Bible we find humans interpreting the things they claim that God said, and telling everyone else how they ought to apply His words.  But how do you know that any of that teaching is correct until you ask God Himself what He meant and how He wants you to apply His words?  You see, building your faith on anything other than God alone is a disaster waiting to happen, and God is not a Bible or a pastor or some ratty pile of historical documents.  God is not a set of historical events, either.  The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ were two historical events.  But Christ Himself is God Almighty.  How do you know who Christ is?  Because of what Christ did?  No, that’s just not good enough.

Crucifixion was a very popular execution method for the Romans.  So Jesus was crucified—so what?  So were thousands of other people, yet we’re not calling all of those other people gods.  Why not?  If we’re going to say that our faith in Jesus as a God is built on the fact that He was crucified, then we ought to be treating all crucifixion victims as Gods as well.  We can then make new gods for ourselves today by crucifying modern day people. If the method of execution is all it takes to make a man into a God, then why stop with Jesus?  Are you seeing the problem with this logic?

Or let’s take the resurrection of Christ.  Jesus died, and plenty of people witnessed it.  He was stuck in a tomb—plenty of people witnessed that as well.  Then He came out and walked around and socialized with people—there were many witnesses to that.  Great.  So why don’t you start worshiping Lazarus as a fourth God, because he can make all the same claims.  In fact, Lazarus can one up Jesus because he was dead for 4 days in his tomb, whereas Jesus was only dead for three.  See the problem?  Historical facts aren’t good enough.  Resurrection is nothing new.  Jesus resurrected many people in His earthly ministry.  We find Old Testament prophets resurrecting people as well. So what if Jesus predicted His resurrection in advance?  That can be simply explained by Jesus being given future knowledge from God—something God has been doing with humans since the beginning. Noah knew about the flood.  Jeremiah and Ezekiel predicted the fall of Jerusalem in graphic detail.  Having one’s future prophecies comes true proves nothing.  And as for Jesus’ claim to raise Himself—that’s something you cannot possibly prove.  Jesus’ disciples certainly didn’t believe that.  They all said that it had been Yahweh who raised Jesus.  In fact, the Jews credited all human resurrections to Yahweh, and they saw Jesus as working by the power of Yahweh during His earthly ministry.  So what we find in the Bible are the firsthand witnesses of Jesus’ death and resurrection saying that those events do not prove that Jesus is Divine, but only that He was a Man who Yahweh set apart for a special mission.  Still want to root your faith in the Bible?  Because if you do, then you have no grounds for saying Jesus is a God, because that’s not what the New Testament writers say.  They say that Yahweh is the only God, that Yahweh was the Source of Jesus’ prophecies, and that Yahweh raised Jesus from the dead.  Thus we find Peter saying to his fellow Jews:

“The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed Him by hanging Him on a cross.” (Acts 5:3)

Peter certainly doesn’t view Jesus as “the God of our ancestors.”  Yahweh was the God of the Jews, and Yahweh was the only God Peter recognized.  So if you’re going to say the entire Bible is Divinely inspired, how do you come up with the ludicrous theory that Jesus is God?  Because He was executed with an extremely common method in His time?  Because He came back to life, as many other humans had done before Him?  Is this really all you’ve got?

Let’s return to that first quote from resurrection enthusiasts.

“The entire Christian faith hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.  If Jesus didn’t resurrect, the whole thing collapses.”

All this man is really telling you is what his logic flow is.  He’s saying that his personal house of faith is built on the foundation of one historical event: Jesus’ resurrection.  Well, that just doesn’t work.  Plenty of people have resurrected, yet Christians claim that Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only real Gods—a claim which is easily dismantled once we claim that all a fellow has to do to become Divine is resurrect from a grave.

What exactly is Christianity? You need to have some definition for this term before you can go on to decide what it hinges on.  A true Christian is one who has reverentially submitted to Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the only real Gods.  Christianity is a multi-God or polytheistic religion, unlike monotheistic Judaism, which says that Yahweh is the only real God.  Should a fourth God be revealed tomorrow, we’d come up with a new name for that religion.  Labels are handy in helping us communicate with each other.  To say “I’m a Christian” means “I believe in three specific Gods, one of which is Jesus.”  To say “I’m an adherent of Judaism” means “I believe that Yahweh is the only real God.”  So what religion is right? It depends on your place in history.  If you lived in the days of Moses, Judaism was right.  If you live today, Christianity is right.  If a fourth God should be revealed, then Christianity would become wrong, because Christianity does not allow for a fourth God.  See how it works?  As our Gods reveal more information to us, we need to keep up by adjusting our theology to include the new insights They give us.

Before the revelation of Christ, it was very correct to say that there was no other God but Yahweh.  After the revelation of Christ, certain statements that used to be right suddenly became very wrong and people needed to change their theology to stay on the right side of God’s grace.  Can we say with certainty that our Gods will never shock us again like Jesus shocked the Jews?  No, we can’t.  And since we’re dealing with such wild cards, it is vital that we build our faith on the right foundation—a firm foundation which will stand firm even in the face of epic theological changes.

If Peter had built his faith solely on what Yahweh said to him in the privacy of his own soul, then one day Peter would have heard Yahweh say something like this: “Hey, Pete, I was fibbing when I said I was the only God in existence.  There are really two more Gods who are just like Me: this Jesus Guy is one of them, and then there is the Holy Spirit.  I want you to start worshiping these two new Gods as well as Me.”  At this point, if Peter was serious about his submission to Yahweh, he’d make the changes Yahweh wanted.  He’d certainly be shocked and he’d need time to adjust, but he’d know what to do because he was basing his faith on Yahweh’s convictions to him.

But what happens if Peter was basing his faith on the Old Testament and on the teachings of the preachers of his day?  According to the Old Testament, there could not be any other God but Yahweh.  This is what the Jewish preachers in Israel said as well.  If Peter was building his faith on these things instead of on what Yahweh said to his own soul, then when Yahweh tried to tell Peter about the big changes Yahweh was making, Peter would immediately reject such conviction as nonsense because it conflicted with what his Scriptures and preachers were saying.  It then wouldn’t matter what Jesus said or did—Peter would refuse to view Jesus as Yahweh’s Divine Equal because that would cause the very foundation of his faith to crumble.  See how it works?

When our faith is built on the right foundation, then there is all kinds of room for God to be His wild, unpredictable Self without us getting pitched into an epic theological crisis.  Does your world fall apart if your best friend spends twenty years hating tuna fish only to then announce she loves it?  No, because your bond with your friend isn’t dependent on her staying consistent with her food preferences. She can change her mind about things without you doubting her entire existence or doubting her love for you.  In the same way, when your relationship with God is built on the right foundation, then He can change things up, He can surprise you, He can upset you, and He can even lie to you without you questioning His existence or His love for you.

When faith is built on the right foundation, it can grow very strong indeed.  But in real life, we often start off building on weak and flimsy foundations—such as religious books which we’re pretending are perfect, or historical events which we’re attaching far too much significance to.  Because we sense how weak our foundations are, we then have to work hard to defend them from getting exposed to excessive stress.  This results in us feeling intimidated by reading material that contradicts what our own beliefs are.  We feel upset and threatened when others disagree with us.  We intentionally surround ourselves with people who think like we do so that we’ll be able to hide out in that safe cocoon of affirmation and protect our weak foundations from getting rattled with doubts.

Ever hear Christians talk about how much they need to go to church because without that consistent dose of fellowship with other believers who will affirm their beliefs, they’re afraid they’ll go astray?  Such comments reveal how aware those Christians are that their foundations of faith are dangerously fragile.  Without other humans getting in their faces, urging them to keep believing in a particular God, they admit that their relationship with Him would start to seem unreal and unimportant.  Well, if God only seems real to you when you’re around other people who are fans of His, then you don’t really have a personal relationship with Him at all.  What you’re calling “faith” is just a mindset you embrace in response to peer pressure.  When the peers aren’t there to pressure you, you lose interest in the game, because all Christianity has ever been about for you is gaining the approval of other humans.  It’s never had anything to do with the real Gods.

There are three real Gods: Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  But as an individual soul, you will never have any valid reason to believe in any of these Gods until They initiate a relationship with you.  You need Them to reveal Themselves to you—to communicate directly to your soul and make you aware of Their reality, Their supremacy, and how They want you to relate to Them.  Until there is some private, personal connection established between you and your Creators, you have nothing solid to build your faith on.  This is why we’re always telling you to talk to God directly.  This is why we’re always telling you not to put your trust in the things other people say about God until you check with Him.

If Jesus is really who He claims to be, then He is both willing and able to reveal Himself to you in a way that would give you confidence about who He is.  Until He does this, why on earth would you worship Him, submit to Him, or go around calling Him your Savior?  As we’ve said, countless humans have been crucified, and far too many humans have been resurrected for resurrection alone to mean anything.  The fact that Jesus’ resurrection can be proven to be a true historical event means nothing if Jesus is not really God.  If He isn’t God—if He’s just another guy like Lazarus—then why should you get excited over the fact that He came back to life 2,000 years ago?  What bearing does another man’s resurrection have on your own life or the future of your own soul?  You see, the Divinity of Jesus must be established first and it must be established apart from any historical facts before you can respond well to the fact of His resurrection.  It’s only after you have personally encountered Jesus on a soul level that you can then go on to ask Him how He wants you to respond to His resurrection.  Certainly there are many fabulous insights about Jesus that you can learn from the things He did in Israel 2,000 years ago.  But before you elevate Jesus as Someone worthy of your attention, admiration, and focus, you need to be convinced of His identity as one of your Creators.  Only Jesus can convince you of that.   Only the real Gods can provide you with the materials you need to lay a firm foundation for faith.  You can’t get those materials by listening to humans argue about doctrine or by collecting sacred relics or by studying historical accounts.  True Christianity isn’t about you deciding to put your faith in the spiritual theories of others, and that’s all you can ever do until you encounter God for yourself.  And once you do encounter God, none of the rest of it will matter.

Once you have established a personal relationship with Jesus, you will realize that His resurrection is irrelevant.  Jesus is, was, and always will be God Almighty.  He’s not God because He died on a cross and rose again three days later.  He’s not God because the Church says He is, or because you personally want Him to be.  Jesus is God—period.  We humans didn’t make Him a God, we can’t stop Him from being God, nor can we change the fact that we are going to be judged by Him.  We can’t escape Jesus, we can’t avoid Him, and we can’t revise Him to suit our preferences.  The real Jesus has many qualities which upset and disturb us, He has many qualities which astound and comfort us, and we literally depend on Him for every breath.  Jesus the God is of utmost importance, and the fact that He is one of the Beings who created us is certainly central to Christianity.  But His resurrection is not central, for if Jesus had never resurrected from the grave, we would still be accountable to Him, and we would still have to deal with Him.

Jesus could have introduced Himself to humans in a million different ways.  What exact way He chose is not the critical issue.  The fact that He is God is what matters, and that is what you need to keep a grip on.  Then when you hear someone say, “The entire Christian faith hinges on the resurrection of Jesus,” you can realize what a foolish statement that is.  The Christian faith focuses on the fact that Jesus is God Almighty—a Peer Equal to Yahweh and the Holy Spirit.  It is Jesus’ Divinity and ultimate supremacy, not His activities in Israel, that are essential.  And as for our second quote:

“If one does away with the fact of the Resurrection, one also does away with the Cross, for both stand and fall together, and one would then have to find a new center for the whole message of the gospel.”

This is also absurd.  Jesus’ crucifixion would not become less real or less meaningful if He hadn’t resurrected.  It is the fact that Jesus is God which gives meaning to all of His earthly activities—it is not the activities which make Him a God.  True Christianity really doesn’t center on two events in Jesus’ earthly ministry.  True Christianity revolves around the fact that there are three real Gods—not just one, as was previously thought by those who were first introduced to Jesus.  True Christianity is about submitting to the real Gods and seeking to please Them, it is not about trying to convince other humans to think the way you do.

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ was necessary to establish the truth of His mission and put the stamp of all-conquering power on His gospel.”

Here is our third quote, and it is also silly nonsense.  The resurrection of Christ does not establish anything, least of all that He is God.  You can only get that kind of confirmation from Jesus directly, and that requires you and He having a conversation.  If Jesus had never shown up in human form—if He’d never died on a cross or resurrected—would He be less than God?   Would His identity be less “true”?  Would His Authority be limited?  Would His convictions be rendered ineffective?  Of course not.   As God Almighty, Jesus certainly doesn’t have to don a body and rise from the grave before He can communicate truth or wield power.  So you see, as smart as theological quotes can sound at first, a closer look and some critical thinking will reveal that many of the firm declarations Christians make about their Gods are absurd nonsense.

A good principle to bear in mind when you’re practicing discernment is to ask, “For this to be true, what else must be true?”  If it’s true that Jesus can only become someone of significance if He first dies on a cross and resurrects, then you’re not using the same definition of a “God” that the real Gods do, and that’s a major problem.  Gods are not defined by what They do.  Just as you don’t have to do a specific action before you will become a legitimate human, Jesus doesn’t have to go through certain earthly motions before He can become a legitimate God.  Jesus simply is God, and nothing He does or doesn’t do will change that.  But you certainly shouldn’t just take our word for that.  Instead, you need to give serious thought as to what kind of foundation your faith is rooted on.  If you need every word in the Bible to be true or if you need Jesus to have gone through certain earthly motions before you can be confident about who God is, then you’re in trouble.  Your foundation is weak, and it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing crumbles.  Since the eternal future of your soul is at stake, now is the time to make sure your relationship with God is more than just a farce.  There’s only one way to be sure: ask the real Gods to show you who They are and what They want from you.  Then wait for Them to answer you. When They do, you will finally know the truth, and you simply won’t need anyone else to agree with you.

FURTHER READING:
Understanding Your Complete Loss of Faith: Great News for Devastated Christians
Biblical Backup: Why does it matter?
Practicing Discernment: The Structure of Beliefs
Recognizing Your Spiritual Dependency On Humans
Understanding Salvation: How We Find the Real Gods & The Irrelevance of Titles
Witnessing Realities: Why Your Testimony Is Irrelevant
Salvation Q&A
Prayer Frustrations: Why won’t God talk when I’m ready to listen?
Judaism, Christianity & Biblical Commands: Sorting Out the Confusion
Problematic Worship Songs: THIS I BELIEVE (The Creed) by Hillsong
The Resurrection Myth: Why the Dead in Christ Won’t Really Rise
It’s Biblical: God Talks to People Without Using the Bible

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