Famed Hollywood movie producer James Cameron and journalist Simmach Jacobovici claim that they have discovered not only the tomb of Jesus but also that of his “wife” Mary Magdalene and a son. But the controversy surrounding the Jesus family tomb “discovery” is much ado about nothing according to several biblical scholars and archaeologists familiar with the topic.
The special has provided fodder for the new atheist chic to clamor about the impossibility of the existence of God since physical remains of Jesus are lying in some tomb. My best friend and I were discussing this very issue as she talked about the lively discussions taking place on Discovery Channel message boards between skeptics and believers, theists and anti-theists. What I find interesting is that whenever the annual Jesus tabloid shocker emerges from schlock scholarship (normally the month before Easter, mind you), the proverbial discussion mysteriously shifts to arguments against the existence of God.
Could it be that there is something inside of us, that irascible Leviathan called the will, puts up its defenses against the knowledge and existence of the very God who gave it space in the first place? It is interesting that some castigate God for giving us the right to make decisions. We have the free will to believe or disbelieve the existence of God, receive or reject Discovery Channel pontifications on who Jesus was and what happened to him. We choose to bomb or build skyscrapers, curse or bless our neighbors, abuse or adore our children, or cheat on our taxes (and spouses).
The matter of the will is a very dangerous thing indeed, the Great Gamble that God took when he created us. To suggest that God is the reason for evil in the world only proves the reality of the Fall for we, like the First Man and Woman, are ever quick to point the finger elsewhere when the ish hits the fan. “It’s not my fault I’m a liar. That free will you gave me God…” and around we go, girls and boys. By assigning blame to the God they claim does not exist, atheists (and for that matter, all of us who refuse to take responsibility for our drama) mimic their foreparents (Adam and Eve) almost unconsciously—as if it were natural!
Some decry the thought that a loving God and evil could exist simultaneously. They have company. Some Christians cannot believe that Satan and the potential for goodness can exist in the same space either. But the will, that precious powder keg of a gift that God Almighty gave us also came great responsibility: the responsibility to choose God and not self. Why? Because God, as much as He loves human beings and wants to live in communion with us, will not force His company on us. He wants to freely receive love from us without calling it up at the touch of a button. We are not robots, folks. I do understand that some will say that God is self-center and needy for wanting such a relationship and response from us creatures. But the same folks will also crave the same kind of love from their spouses, children, and friends without blinking an eye. Is wanting to be loved because the other person chose to love you a sign of weakness in you?
The problem of evil does not lie in the fact that God gave us the power to choose; rather, it lies in the willful bad decision making of us human beings. Further, how our bad choices could ever be construed as proof that a Supreme Being could not exist makes even less sense to me.