Understanding the excuses

Proof #50 shows that Jesus is imaginary. Yet, despite the evidence that we all can see, believers make excuses to try to rationalize their belief. On this page we look at these excuses one by one.

Imagine that you are talking to a devout Christian. You ask her, "Is Jesus real?" Her response might go something like this:

    Is Jesus real??? What a silly question! Of course he is! Jesus is the living son of God! I have a personal, loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray to him every day, and he answers my prayers. He helps me make important decisions and guides me in everything I do. I walk with Jesus every step I take. Jesus loves me and has a plan for my life. Jesus is my savior, the rock of my salvation. His blood washes all of us and forgives us our sins."
Now ask her:
    Has Jesus ever appeared to you in the flesh? Can the resurrected Jesus appear to us right now?
The answers will of course be "No" and No". Now ask this simple question:
    Why Not? Jesus has to appear to people to prove that he is resurrected. According to the Bible, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people. In the Bible Jesus promises to answer our prayers. So why wouldn't Jesus appear to us to prove that he is God? Why can't we pray for him to appear right now, and have him appear?"
As soon as you ask this question, the excuses will start to flow. Here is an explanation of each one:

Excuse #1 - Jesus never promises to answer prayers

Normally this excuse will be phrased with something like, "God is not a big vending machine," or "God is not your personal Genie!" And yet, there is no denying that we can find verses in the Bible where Jesus specifically promises to answer your prayers.

For example, in Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:

    Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
So if we ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, he should appear? Right?

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:

    For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
If nothing is impossible for you, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

In Matthew 21:21:

    I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
If you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

The message is reiterated Mark 11:24:

    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
If whatever you ask for in prayer will be yours, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus tells all of us just how easy prayer can be:

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
If Jesus will do whatever you ask for in prayer, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says it again:

    Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
If anything you ask will be done for you, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

In Mark 9:23:

    All things are possible to him who believes.
If all things are possible, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

In Luke 1:37:

    For with God nothing will be impossible.
If nothing will be impossible, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

In other words, despite what Christians say to try to rationalize their unanswered prayers, Jesus does promise in the Bible, in many different places, that he will answer our prayers. There is no way to misinterpret what Jesus says, and these verses are not taken "out of context". Jesus clearly promises to answer prayers.

It would be trivial for the all-powerful, all-loving son of God to materialize in the Flesh. Supposedly he has done it for hundreds of people. Supposedly he is in our midst already. Yet when we pray and ask him to materialize, nothing happens. For any rational adult, this proves that Jesus is imaginary, especially when you combine it with so many other proofs.

Excuse #2 - It is not Jesus' will to appear

Often this excuse will be coupled with the following explanation, "Jesus is a conscious, sentient, all-knowing being. He has a will of his own, just like you do. He hears your prayer, but he has the option of answering, 'No.' We cannot know the reasons why, but Jesus has his divine reasons for never appearing on earth."

This explanation, of course, directly contradicts all of the Bible verses quoted above.

At another level, imagine for a moment that Jesus does exist. He is all-loving and all-powerful. He is "in our midst" already, according to Matthew 18:20. He has promised in many places to answer prayers. He supposedly hears your prayer. And then he just stands there laughing at you. "What, ME appear to YOU - you must be JOKING!!!" is what Jesus would be saying.

In reality, what we have done here is create an unambiguous situation, as described in Proof #9. There is only one way for Jesus to appear in this situation: he must exist. Coincidence cannot answer this prayer. Since he does not appear, we know he is imaginary.

Excuse #3 - Thou shalt not test the lord

This is a really common one: "It says right in the Bible that thou shalt not test the Lord. In step 3, your prayer tests him, so of course he doesn't appear."

Here's the most interesting thing about this rationalization. We are supposed to ignore all of verses in step 1 because "you can't take the Bible literally." But then we are supposed to take the verse that says, "Thou shalt not test the Lord" literally. This disconnection shows how strong the delusion of Christianity can be.

Here is another interesting point: EVERY prayer is a test. If God cannot be tested, then no one can pray.

It is also fascinating that millions of Christians keep prayer journals to track exactly what happens when they pray. See, for example, Prayer-journal.com, or this list of sites. Why don't these Christians pray for the resurrected Jesus to appear to them and track this prayer in their journals?

Excuse #4 - It would destroy our free will if Jesus appeared to us

This is the famous free will argument. Of course, if this argument were true, then God could not incarnate himself on earth. Jesus is supposed to be God. He supposedly came to earth and millions of people saw him. According to the Gospel of John:

    Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21:25)
That's an awful lot of miracles -- so many that the world would not have room for all the books describing them. Presumably at least one person witnessed each miracle. Think of how many names fill just one phone book. Now imagine a whole world full of phone books. That's millions of people who all had their free wills destroyed by Jesus' presence on earth.

Clearly the issue of "free will" is irrelevant. It is purely a rationalization.

Jesus could appear to all of us today just like he (supposedly) appeared to millions of people when he was on earth.

Excuse #5 - Jesus does appear to people - He appeared to a dozen people at the XYZ church last week

The obvious response is, "Really? Can you prove that? For example, do you have a video tape showing his appearance? Did you ask Jesus a question, like 'what will be the winning PowerBall numbers next week?' that would certify his omniscience? Did you ask him to move Mt. Everest to Nevada to prove his omnipotence?"

Excuse #6 - Jesus does appear to people - He appeared as an image on my breakfast toast this morning

This video is typical of the genre:

To rational people, these are called coincidences. If Jesus was going to appear to you as he did in the Bible, he would appear in the flesh as a living, breathing person.

Excuse #7 - Jesus does not appear to me, but he does speak to me every day and guide me in everything I do.

To rational people, these are called hallucinations.

Since Jesus is an all-knowing being, if he were actually talking to you, he would be able to tell you things that no one else knows. You, as a person channeling Jesus, would be the smartest person on earth. You would ace every test you took. You would never make mistakes. You would know what the winning PowerBall numbers would be next week. You would be able to solve world hunger. Etc. The fact that none of these things are happening shows us that you are hallucinating.

Drawing a conclusion

Here are the facts:

  1. Jesus has promised to answer our prayers (see excuse #1 above).
  2. It would be trivial for Jesus to appear since he is all-powerful and timeless.
  3. We know it is OK for Jesus to appear to people because, according to the Bible, Jesus has appeared to hundreds.
  4. There are no issues with free will (see excuse #4 above).
  5. The only way for Jesus to prove that he is resurrected is to appear to people. Therefore, each person needs an appearance by Jesus to know that he is real.
Therefore, since Jesus does not appear, we know that he is imaginary. The story of Jesus' resurrection is no different from the story of Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer or Jack's Beanstalk.

by Marshall Brain

Coverage in the New York Times

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