Don’t Call Jesus A Good Teacher, Call Him A Schizophrenic

I recently read a sad interview with a young man who had grown up in a Christian home but has since renounced his faith and become an atheist. When talking about Jesus, he said that he believed that Jesus was a good teacher and a good man. When I read that I thought, has this guy ever truly wrestled with the identity of Jesus? Does he really have the audacity to say that Jesus was a good teacher?

The reality is, Jesus was not a good teacher. No way. Just listen to the words that he said:

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)

“Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:54)

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

“You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” (John 8:23-24)

C.S. Lewis famously said that Jesus is either the Lord, a liar, or a lunatic. Honestly, I don’t even think we can say that Jesus was a liar. Liars want to deceive people and to con them into believing something that isn’t true. Liars generally don’t make outlandish, ridiculous, “I can’t believe he said that” kind of claims. Liars spin their tales for the purpose of manipulating people and getting things out of people. Liars don’t usually invite people to eat their flesh and drink their blood. Liars want power and money. The things that Jesus said had the opposite effect.

The things that Jesus said about himself are so crazy that there are only two possibilities. He might be a total lunatic, possibly a schizophrenic. He might be the kind of guy who hears voices in his head, and is only able to function when he has high doses of Seroquel coursing through his body. He might belong in a mental institute, wrapped tight in a straight jacket so that he doesn’t hurt himself.

Or maybe he is the son of God.

You choose.


Comments

  1. Carl says

    Love that you went to Lewis' trilemma. It really is a powerful assertion. My beef with the Jesus Seminar is founded in the same frustrations. Do good teachers normally upset the academic leadership in such a way that they ARE DRIVEN TO KILL HIM? Exactly.

  2. Josh says

    I love C.S. Lewis and I love his logical approach to this issue. However an issue with his idea that many cite as an unaccounted for possibility is that what the Bible said about Jesus was incorrect. That the later tales are embellished, I bet that the person who left Christ above would subscribe to that theory and not be boxed in by the CS Lewis theory. Of course, I don't agree that the Bible being incorrect is a possibility but I think that is the core to people's idea that Jesus was just a good teacher.

    • StephenAltrogge says

      Yeah I hear that argument regularly, but it really doesn\’t jive at all with the historical record. The gospels were written close enough to the death of Christ that to hold that argument isn\’t very intellectually honest.

  3. says

    The "Jesus was a probably a good teacher" comment, that I hear as well, I think is a non-believers way of politely say thanks but no-thanks. It's just part of the post-modern relativist-speak. You know.."Well that's cool and true for you, but not for me" sort of stuff.

    No expert, just seems like our cultural does very little deep thinking anymore to discern such questions as who Christ was and is. As much as we like to think we are rational thinkers, we have instead become more like mystics, mixing alittle bit of everything together to our own personal flavor is found and then calling it little t-truth. We are too busy to care in some cases I guess–sad.

    • Patrick Loveless says

      This is a mystic:

      “And it is the Lord, it is Jesus, Who is my judge. Therefore I will try always to think leniently of others, that He may judge me leniently, or rather not at all, since He says: "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.”
      ― Thérèse de Lisieux, Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

      We wish we were mystics. Philosophically, we're babbling, ignorant toddlers.

  4. John says

    Yeah, people have come up with a lot of silly ideas about Jesus, just like that Dan Brown and his stupid DaVinci Code nonsense.

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