What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? The Dark Side of Christian History

There have been and are many who wish Jesus had never been born. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche, the famous 19th Century philosopher had this to say: “(Jesus) died too early; he himself would have revoked his doctrine had he reached greater maturity. . . . (The Christian church) is, to me, the greatest of all imaginable corruptions. . . .” Nietzsche had explored the history of philosophy and found the philosophy of Jesus to have fallen short as a path to a better life in this world.

Charles Markmann, an author and New York Times journalist in the mid-20th Century wrote: “If the otherwise admirably civilized pagans of Greece and their Roman successors had had the wit to laugh Judaism into desuetude, the world would have been spared the 2000-year sickness of Christendom.” Markmann clearly thought that Judaism itself was not worthy of consideration and that Jesus had not only added nothing useful to it, but, if anything, had developed a religion that, in his mind, was even worse.

Not to be outdone, Christopher Hitchens, recently deceased author of 30 plus books and a well-known atheistic orator and debater, wrote a book entitled “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” One does not need to go far into the book to understand that when he speaks of religion he means the religion of Jesus and Christianity. Writers like the above have had a considerable impact in prejudicing a whole generation of Western youth against the religion of Jesus.

We live at a time today when the world’s primary influencers are generally hostile to the religion of Christianity. The news media, the film industry, and academia have leveled repeated barrages of criticism at Christian faith and its most unpopular positions in today’s world. Whether you are watching the news, or the way Christian faith is often portrayed in Hollywood, or at seeking a college or university education, you cannot avoid learning about the following blemishes on Christian history (see next blog). No portrayal of the positives of Jesus’ legacy would have any historical credibility without an honest assessment of the “dark side” of Christian history. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has never been shy about admitting the flaws of Christendom in the past, and it won’t do to ignore them in this series either. So we won’t.

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