And may the Blood of Jesus shield you from all the tinfoil hat comments that tend to come when folk start breaking out in hives over anything religious or beyond their experience.
Let us pray that what remains finds its demise with the Trade Towers..
A personal journey recently done down this same path, by a skeptic who became a convert.
Peter was crusified upside down, Paul was crusified, Stephen was bitten half to death then stoned, while the unbelieving Paul held the coats of the men that killed Stephen. James was sawed in half. I would never go through that for a lie, no one would, what would be the point? If these men really believed they were supporting a lie, then they would be well aware that this life is all they get of life and would cling to it. The very manner of their deaths are a testimony to their unshakeable belief in the ressurection of Jesus.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. - John 6:44
Christianity is not an intellectual pursuit (though it is not to be considered intellectual suicide!), rather it is the drawing by Christ to Himself of His elect, foreordained according to the Father's purpose. Praise God, "Salvation is of the LORD".
Someone said: "Christ was a man whose words and deeds, however great or noteworthy, were exaggerated by his followers who wrote the Gospels. ... The bottom line is, your bible was not written by God or Christ. It was written by men. Flesh and blood human beings with their own agendas, their own mistakes, and their own exaggerations.
My response was as follows:
Ok, lets examine your statement from a logical and historical perspective. Who were the apostles? Who were the guys who wrote the gospels anyway? They were fishermen, tax collectors etc nobody all that important.
Question, according to the historical facts, what was their response when Jesus Christ was crucified? Answer: Every last one of them chickened out, ran away and hid themselves in locked rooms. Peter was so brave that he denied that he even knew Jesus when he was confronted by a little servant girl who was approximately 12 years old. They were all cowards, afraid of being killed as Jesus had been because they had been his followers.
Some have said: the disciples merely stole the body of Christ and said he rose again from the dead. Problem, there is no way in the world, these 11 men (Judas killed himself) could have taken on the Praetorian guard of between 12 to 16 men who had been assigned to guard the tomb of Jesus. They were the elite SS troops of their day. They guarded the tomb in 3 concentric teams so that anyone wishing to steal the body would have had to conquer one ring of troops, the next and the next before they reached their goal. Every last one of the apostles would have died in the attempt. Ah but some have said they stole the body while the guards were asleep. Sorry, doesnt wash the guards on the outer most ring had to be wide awake, they could not leave their post nor could they fall asleep. The men within the second ring could relax but they could not leave their post, neither could they go to sleep. Only the men within the third perimeter, the one closest to the tomb were allowed to sleep. Every four hours they rotated. Those on guard in the outer perimeter went to the next ring where they were allowed to relax. Those who had been asleep closest to the tomb were awakened and took up their posts in the outer guard perimeter. If ANY of the men on the outer two perimeters fell asleep. He was awakened by being lit on fire and then THE WHOLE GUARD; everyone of them was put to death for dereliction of duty.
The disciples didnt steal the body; if they had they would have all died in the attempt. You claim they had an agenda, they didnt have an agenda, they were scared out of their minds and afraid to death.
Question #2 Would you die for a lie? I wouldnt and I dare say no one else if they knew the resurrection of Christ was a lie, would either.
Every one of the apostles claimed to have seen Jesus Christ alive from the dead and it totally changed their perspective and their willingness to stand up and boldly tell the world that Jesus Christ was the messiah, was God come in the flesh and that He had risen from the dead. Shortly after the resurrection Peter, the very guy who was afraid to mention he even knew Jesus to a 12 year old girl, boldly proclaimed Jesus Christ and His resurrection before a crowd of over 3000 people. Every one of the apostles lives was transformed after the resurrection. All of them were eventually martyred for their faith. Some were even boiled in oil. Peter, remember him? He was crucified upside down for proclaiming Christ and His resurrection. If he knew that it was not true that it was, as you put it:
Just.. words and deeds, however great or noteworthy exaggerated by his followers who wrote the Gospels. . . . Just a fictitious story written by human beings with their own agendas, their own mistakes, and their own exaggerations.
Then all Peter or any of them would have had to do was say, it was a LIE, Jesus isnt the Christ, He isnt God in the flesh, and He didnt rise from the dead. They had no agendas, nor were they exaggerating. Take a look at the apostle Paul. His agenda was to destroy the church and to kill as many Christians as he could in the process. However, after meeting the resurrected Christ Paul became one of the greatest followers and proclaimers of the very Christ he had hated. He tells us in his own words what he endured:
23Are they servants of Christ?I speak as if insaneI more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. (2Corinthains 11:23-28)
Would you undergo all of this for lies and exaggerations? Neither would I.
You boldly claim, the bible was not written by God or Christ
I end with this, how do you know, where is your proof? Have you read it, studied it, and examined it for yourself? Or are you merely parroting the excuses and derisions of others.