Today I thought we'd look at another attack from the same Google+ poster who was so convinced that the Bible was just too complex to be written by the Almighty (surely God would author something along the lines of "see spot run", no?). Before we had a book that was too difficult to be written by an all-powerful mind, now we have an anti-Semitic slur,
The roots of (Christianity) comes from a old patriarchal system that was highly superstitious as well as being ignorant of the world. It can be said that out of all the people god (sic) could have chosen to show itself (sic) to god (sic) chose wondering (sic) goat herders instead of say...the ancient Chinese.Yes, that's right, dear readers, the argument here is that God surely wouldn't have chosen those "ignorant," "highly-superstitious," wandering, goat-herding Jews when He could have pick a good group of people like the ancient Chinese! Now I have nothing against the ancient (or modern) Chinese - one look at their great civilization is enough to convince me of their worth to bear God's revelation had the task fallen to them, but to have such a negative attitude toward our Jewish brothers is quite scandalous.
|Too primitive to be God's people?|
Last week, we listened to the great GK Chesterton as he waded through the contradictions the atheists of his day would blithely stumble into for a chance to take a pot-shot at Christianity. One example I left off was exactly this one.
In the same conversation a free-thinker, a friend of mine, blamed Christianity for despising jews, and then despised it himself for being Jewish. (Orthodoxy, chapter 6)
|Chesterton is not impressed!|
The same old arguments are still trotted out against Christianity a hundred years after they'e been refuted (and done so by people who legitimately think they've thought of something new!)
Does this argument hold any water?
Logically the argument amounts to, "the Christian God doesn't exist because He revealed Himself to the world through the Jews." Such an argument is called an enthymeme (as well as racist), it has a hidden second premise that needs to be smoked out and evaluated to see if it is true. That hidden premise, if the argument is to succeed logically, is that God would, of necessity, only reveal Himself through the most advanced civilization of the day. If this were proven true, and only if this were proven true, the argument could be made that because the Jewish people were not as advanced as the Chinese, then God couldn't have possibly revealed Himself through them. Of course this missing premise is absurd. There is absolutely no reason at all to suppose God would be required to use the Chinese instead of the Jews. In fact, we see just the opposite is true. That God can, and has, worked most of His wonders exactly through those the world would consider "weak."
Why can God work through "wandering goat-herders"? Because it is through His power (not through the power of a human civilization) that His will is accomplished. God didn't need the most highly advanced culture of the day to save mankind, He needed a people with faith. Actually, scratch that. God didn't even need that, He needed one man with faith - Abraham. It was in finding, in the ancient equivalent of Los Vegas - Ur, one solitary man who kept faith in the one true God that the Lord would save us all. He didn't need the wisdom of Confucius, He is wisdom without limit. He didn't need the power of the Chinese army, He is power without limit. He didn't need anything, but a man who was willing to offer Him everything - one man of faith.
God would continue to display His propensity to work through the weak when the greatest act in all of history, the Incarnation, took place. Did God become Caesar (the most powerful man in the Mediterranean world)? No. He became the son of a poor Jewish (yes, Jewish - oh the scandal!) carpenter. Did God become enfleshed in Rome, queen of the world? No. He took on flesh in a small backwater town in a distant province of the empire. Did God spring from the ground as a powerful, hulking, adult man? No. He became a baby so weak He couldn't lift His own head. And when our salvation was achieved, was it accomplished through main force? Did legions of angels storm the Earth obliterating all Jesus' enemies? No. We were saved by God's descent into the depths of human depravity and, yes, weakness. God Almighty nailed to a Cross, incapable of moving, eventually incapable of breathing, and finally lying dead in a tomb.
But isn't this all crazy? Why would a powerful being like God do all this? Shouldn't He thunder from on high like Zeus? Shouldn't He call for armies to be led out in His name as Mohammed did? Shouldn't He have chosen the strong? Yes, it does seem a bit crazy, doesn't it? But such is love. God reveals Himself not in the earthquake or whirlwind, but in the small, soft voice of a lover. Why? Because He comes not to twist our arms into being with Him, but to offer us a relationship. He proposes marriage as a suitor, He doesn't force us as a rapist.
God would continue to choose the weak throughout the ages. It was a bunch of poor, discriminated against, and persecuted Christians who overturned the mightiest empire man has ever seen (Rome). It was a bunch of priests who transformed the barbarian herds that ripped down the last vestiges of Old Rome. And it is Catholics today, banished from polite conversation and deprived of positions of power, who will transform the world of the future and return our crumbling civilization back to God.
But all of that is to perhaps give too dignified an answer to what is clearly nothing but anti-semitism. Perhaps it would suffice to say that God, unlike some atheists, is not an anti-Semite.
Maybe it would be best to give the last word not to an atheist, but to the Pope,
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