Jesus - Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

Jesus, Liar, Lunatic, Lord, Or Legend?

Jesus Fu*king Christ- Lord, Liar, Lunatic or Legend?

There are a lot of atheists who say Jesus may have been a great moral teacher, but they don't accept his divinity.

Well, writer and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis -- you remember him from the Narnia books -- he said that you weren't allowed to say that.

If Jesus really said the things he said, that he could rise from the dead, that he could forgive people's sins, that there were really only three options: he was a lunatic, he was a liar, or he really was the Lord. Or, in other words, he was mad, bad, or God. 

This "trilemma", as he put it, has been called by some Christian apologists as the strongest argument they have in their arsenal. The only problem is it's not a very good argument at all. 

Those are not the only three options and the words that they use are never really well defined anyway. Lunatic, liar, Lord... What about the legend? 

What if after Jesus died, people began saying things about him to kind of build up his legacy? 

It's a possibility. What if Jesus was just honestly mistaken? What if he really believed all those things Christians now attribute to him, but it just wasn't true? 

It's kind of like some of those faith-healing pastors. They genuinely believe that they can touch you and heal you of whatever problems you have, even though we all know they don't have those powers. Are those people liars? 

Well, no. They're not purposely lying. They really believe they have this gift. They just don't. They're honestly mistaken about it. 

They're taken in by confirmation bias, you know. They think they're healing you and the people who get healed think they've been healed and it just kind of feeds the cycle.

If Jesus were in that position, he might have been lying, but it's not like he was doing it on purpose. That's a possibility. What if some of the claims Jesus made weren't lies, but they bent the truth a little bit? We don't know everything he said. 

Only the things that were written down after the fact, but haven't you ever said something that wasn't exactly true, but you said it because there was a good reason to do it? 

It's kind of like parents who tell their children about Santa Claus. You know, "be good and you'll get these gifts." Are they liars? 

Well, kind of. Yeah, but it's for a good cause. I mean, the kids are gonna be good kids. That's not a bad thing. 

What if Jesus said some things that weren't completely true, but he did it because he knew he was serving a higher purpose? You know, what if he said that he was the son of God because only then would people start to take him seriously? 

In that case, too, he might be a liar but not necessarily in a bad way. That's a possibility. Could he have been a lunatic? 

Well, you know, there are people we call lunatics now who still have a mass following. Sometimes we call them cult leaders, but other times we call them visionaries. 

And I'm not saying Jesus was necessarily one or the other, but keep in mind that even when he was alive, not everyone believed all the things that he said. 

I mean, they thought he was deluded. Christianity didn't even become popular until well after his death. 

And it's not like he has to be clinically insane in order to be called a lunatic. Even a lot of progressive Christians today say Jesus was a radical. 

And radicals are sometimes called lunatics before their wisdom is understood. That's a possibility as well. 

Obviously, not all of these situations are plausible and some atheists will argue that Jesus didn't even exist. But my point is this: saying that lunatic, liar, or Lord, are the only three possibilities for what Jesus was, that's a dumb argument for Christianity. 

By the way, you could make that same argument for any religious figure you want, you know. Was Muhammad a lunatic, a liar, or a Lord? 

Because you have to choose one of the three. And I suspect if you ask a Christian to answer that question about Muhammad, they're at least going to hesitate before saying it wasn't any of those.

Originally published by Hemant Mehta on the Atheist Voice. Published on Fadewblogs by Dave Martin.

Disclaimer: This article is published on Fadewblogs with the permission of the author.

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