You're minding your own business on the internet, and all of a sudden a fire-breathing militant atheist starts bombing you with weird ideas on Twitter. Strange when these people usually claim 'facts and evidence' as their mantra, some of their beliefs have no basis in reality and have been debunked by experts. Yet, still they persist. Here is a collection of some of the daftest myths about Christianity. There were a lot to choose from.
- Hitler was a Christian
Right. Hitler made some garbled references to God in a few speeches, so he's labelled a Christian, though the words were obviously opportunistic, and the guy deranged. In fact, Goebbels wrote that Hitler "hates Christianity" and "rightly so". The Nazis said that their "Positive Christianity" notion wasn't "dependent upon the Apostle's Creed", nor in "faith in Christ as the son of God" but on the Nazi Party and Hitler himself. In other words, it wasn't Christianity. And finally:
- Jesus didn't exist
Sigh. There's more evidence for Jesus' existence than for most historical figures. Even Bart Ehrman, who's a sceptical academic Bible scholar and not a Christian, rubbishes claims that Jesus didn't exist, saying "no serious historian" doubts Jesus' existence. Google him and witness him trying to enlighten an entrenched atheist.
- Jesus was a rehashed 'myth' based on older myths about Mithras, Horus, Krishna, etc.
It's claimed Jesus' life was made up from older myths, as these ancient figures were allegedly resurrected, born of a virgin, etc. A friend of mine bothered to read the dusty, academic books about these legendary figures. It's nonsense – they have little or no resemblance to the life of Jesus. This meme sums it up beautifully.
- Christianity has historically suppressed science and the pursuit of knowledge. Total rubbish, as this atheist neatly argues. So many of our great thinkers of the past were devout Christians. Universities grew out of the Church. The best argument to support this myth is the case of Galileo, and even that story has to be twisted to do so.
- The Catholic Church/Pope supported Hitler.
Thanks to a popular book, 'Hitler's Pope', nearly everyone, including Christians, thinks that this is true. The evidence given is usually this book plus a few horrendous pictures of Catholic priests giving the Nazi salute. The reality? There were some shameful acts, but generally the Church was opposed to Nazism and actively opposed atrocities using non-violent means. Jewish Holocaust historian Sir Martin Gilbert points out that Pope Pius XII supported Jews in many different ways.
- The Bible was made up at the Council of Nicea by the Catholic Church.
Thanks to people whose sources for Christian history include the fictional Da Vinci Code and a variety of crackpot blogs, this myth has become generally believed. We have writings from well before the Council of Nicea that show that most of the New Testament was generally accepted as Scripture by the early Christians. As far as we know, the Council of Nicea didn't even discuss what books should be in the Bible!
- Jesus was an alien/a mushroom /a witch. These are so ridiculous that I can't bring myself to debunk them, but you will find plenty of Christians with more patience than I who have done so. Believe it or not, they are persistent myths.
- Jesus didn't say he was God
Oh yeah, right. That's why he was crucified! This is a point of contention with most other religions, including Islam, the Jehovah's Witnesses and those who say he was just a 'good teacher'. He made clear statements such as "I am", that he was the Messiah, and he allowed people to worship him. The religious folk of the time called it blasphemy, and many continue to do so. The earliest Christian writings show belief that Jesus was God, so any idea that it was a later 'invention' is nonsense.
Of course, you could say much more about each of these issues. If you'd like to see more silly myths debunked, try TektonTV.