Thomas Paine- Deist and Deceivergreenspun.com : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread
Just a start!
Little Bit Farm
-- Little Bit Farm (email@example.com), May 10, 2002
A quote from Thomas Paine:
"CHAPTER III - CONCERNING THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST, AND HIS HISTORY. NOTHING that is here said can apply, even with the most distant disrespect, to the real character of Jesus Christ. He was a virtuous and an amiable man. The morality that he preached and practiced was of the most benevolent kind; and though similar systems of morality had been preached by Confucius, and by some of the Greek philosophers, many years before, by the Quakers since, and by many good men in all ages, it has not been exceeded by any.
Jesus Christ wrote no account of himself, of his birth, parentage, or anything else. Not a line of what is called the New Testament is of his writing. The history of him is altogether the work of other people; and as to the account given of his resurrection and ascension, it was the necessary counterpart to the story of his birth. His historians, having brought him into the world in a supernatural manner, were obliged to take him out again in the same manner, or the first part of the story must have fallen to the ground."
Let us follow Thomas Paine's reasoning here, but first I want to say a few things regarding the man I am speaking of. Although Thomas Paine was a Deist who would of probably been an athiest in our time because of the theory of evolution, he was also instrumental in the formation of our Country. I am grateful for his part in giving us the opportunity to live in a free Nation. However, Thomas Paine with regard to religious things was deceived and also a deceiver. Which just goes to show that no matter how great a man becomes on earth, he does so in vain if he cannot settle his eternity.
So here at the beginning of his work, "The Age of Reason", Thomas begins with possibly the most famous argument put forth by those who would deny the Son of God. I speak of the "He was a good man" theory. This theory starts with the idea that "Jesus was a good moral man", but that he couldn't be God incarnate. This theory actually makes me laugh out loud.
If Jesus was not the Son of God then he was a liar and a charlatin. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God repeatedly just as he did here in these verse from Matthew: 13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Now some would say, oh but we are all sons of God, right? Obviously Jesus meant something different than that here, because not only did he claim it but then he claimed that God himself had revealed it to Simon Barjona. So if everyone were the sons of God why bring the voice of God into it at all? Either he was totally without morals or he was telling the truth. Which is it Thomas? Jesus then goes onto say...18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Again we see him either lying and deliberately deceiving or telling the truth. If Thomas Paine could possibly believe Christ to be be "a moral man", then he would also necessarily have to believe he was the Son of God just as he said, otherwise Christ could NOT be moral.You can't have it both ways Thomas!
Thomas Paine"s Second point is just as laughable! Once again he is picking and choosing just what he wants to believe. First he says that C hrist never wrote about himself. Yet how many people in history existed, we recognize them to exist, and yet never wrote a line about themselves? Even so Mr. Paine still chooses to trust these outside observers who wrote down the teachings of Christ enough to call him "a moral man". So we can believe Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John with regard to Christ's morality, but we can't trust them to write down the teachings of Christ accurately? We can trust them to accurately expound on his existence, but we can't believe them about his resurrection? Once again you can't have it both ways Mr. Paine!
Little bit farm
-- Little Bit Farm (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 2002.
I appreciate your article however I think you've missed the point. Consider the following...what percentage of the New Testament did Jesus himself write? What's that? 0%?
Now you might be able to see why skeptics like Paine questioned the divinity of Jesus...Paine doesn't trust the WRITERS who wrote about Jesus. It's all heresay. Truly, someone can choose to have faith that the writers were correct, but some people don't choose this option.
-- Ron (email@example.com), March 16, 2004.