On the Fear of Truth
9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
The above is one of the most important passages in the Bible. Why? Because it sets up the events that lead to Saul of Tarsus becoming the Apostle Paul, the man who is the main voice of early Christianity, whose letters predate all the gospel accounts by many years, the man who shaped the way Christ was presented to the world.
It is also a lie.
Paul could not have asked the High Priest of Jerusalem for letters of authority to take to the Synagogues in Damascus, as the High Priest had no authority over the day to day running of even local Synagogues. If that isn’t damning enough, Damascus wasn’t even under the rule of Rome, belonging, as it did, to the Arab nation of Nabataea, and ruled over by King Aretas IV (9BC-AD 40).
The implications of this are profound, if the founder of Christianity lied about his conversion, then what else was he ‘creative’ about? It throws the whole truth of Christianity into doubt, and it was this very issue that started me on the road to atheism 20 years ago.
So why am I mentioning this today? A couple of nights ago I called Calvinist apologist Matt Slick on his radio show and asked him what his opinion of this was. His response was to say that he didn’t know (honest of him) and that he’d need to look into it, and could I send him the details. I replied that I though he should do his own research and that it wasn’t my job to do the homework that I’d given him. This interaction was continued in some emails throughout the week and one thing has become very very clear –
Matt has no intention of researching this, even though it would only take a moment.
Think about that. Faced with a significant problem with the religion he has bought into, that he depends upon for his living, Slick would prefer to ignore it than actually seek the truth. This blinkered denial of reality in favour of continuing to believe fantasy is, sadly, far too common – I’ve encountered it many many times over the years. People like Matt Slick, Joe Cienkowski, Bob Sorensen, Eric Hovind, Dustin Segers et al would rather continue in blind delusion than face the fact that their faith is built on nothing by wishful thinking. They claim to be seeking ‘truth’ whilst simultaneously making sure that they will never find it.
Is it the fear of death that drives these men (and it’s almost always men) to live on in ignorance and preach fiction? Or is it their need to continue making a living (for those who are professional preachers) that causes them to avoid truth as if it were some infection disease? I suspect it is a mixture of the two.
Either way, these people are living a lie, and knowingly remaining in ignorance.