The Big Lie

300 225 Bridge Church NYC

In 1925, a book was published to expose what it claimed was a propaganda technique used to blame a whole ethnicity and nation for inciting the deaths of millions of people. The technique was called “the big lie” and it’s strategy was allegedly:

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

The book accused the Jewish people for spreading the notion that Germany was responsible for the first World War. The tragic irony was that in this book, Mein Kampf, the author, Adolf Hitler, was himself telling a “Big Lie” by concocting this fictitious Jewish conspiracy theory! He did this to gain support for the Germans attempted extermination of the Jews and it almost worked. Hitler’s big lie was that there was a secret big lie that he falsely “revealed”.

Recently, there have been more “Big Lies” leveled against the Christian faith. These lies claim Christianity:

  • Promotes an angry and immoral God.
  • Is a religion created by white men to oppress the world.
  • Uses a corrupted Bible that has been changed.

Based on these accusations, Christianity sounds like the worst thing that ever happened to human civilization, to which a chorus of biased scholars, activists, conspiracy theorists, and others would heartily reply “Amen!” But are these accusations true?

A cursory exploration of these claims reveals immediate problems. Let’s briefly break it down:

“The Old Testament God is, angry and immoral.”

The lie that the Old Testament God is angry and immoral is one that’s been around for awhile. How does God talk about himself in the Old Testament, though?

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, Exodus 34:6

The God of the Bible consistently describes Himself as merciful, gracious and loving. So there’s definitely a difference of opinion between how he sees himself, and how He’s described. The next big lie has also become pervasive, especially in the United States.

“Christianity is a religion created by white men to oppress the world”

Fewer lies have been believed so broadly with so little basis in reality. A basic understanding of geography and history locates the nation of Israel in the Middle East at the intersection of Africa and Asia. The Bible itself records that the gospel message was believed by Africans (Acts 8) before it ever came to Europe (Acts 16:12). Numerous early church leaders were African including two disciples named Niger and Lucius. In fact on African scholar, John Mbiti wrote that Christianity in Africa is so old that it can rightly be described as an indigenous, traditional and African religion. Long before the start of Islam in the seventh century, Christianity was well established all over north Africa, Egypt, parts of Sudan and Ethiopia.”[1.
J. S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy, Heineman, 1969, p.1.] Ironically, the Egyptian and Ethiopian Coptic Churches are two of the oldest churches in the world and so this concept would not even make sense there … in Africa!

“The Bible we have isn’t the real Bible, it’s been changed.”

According to another “big lie”, the best selling book of all time should be classified as fiction instead of non-fiction because it’s been changed. The reality is that the archaeological and manuscript evidence demonstrates that the Bible we have today is an accurate copy of what the first churches have. How do we know this? The New Testament has more manuscript evidence than any other work in antiquity including Plato’s Republic and Homer’s Iliad. No one questions their authenticity yet they earliest copies we have date to 1000 years after they were written. The earliest part of the New Testament we have is the John Ryland Papyri found in Egypt which is dated around 125 AD.[2. http://www.challies.com/articles/the-history-of-christianity-in-25-objects-rylands-library-papyrus-p52]

So the idea that Christianity is centered on an angry hateful god, is a white man’s religion, and based on a corrupted Bible is itself the same type of “big lie” that Hitler told. Unfortunately, the blueprint he exploited 90 years ago, is still in use today:

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

The Bridge Church is exploring and responding to these claims about Christianity thoughtfully, and methodically in a series called “True Story” and exposing that, similar to Hitler’s fraudulent conspiracy theory, the truth is not consistent with the accusations of the big lie.

For more resource on the ancient African church, church fathers and scholars visit the Center for Early African Christianity.[3. http://earlyafricanchristianity.com/]

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