Here’s an article writen by a purported ex-Christian now deist. It first talks about the existence of Jesus and then on the religion founded about him. I’d love to see responses.
A PROBABLE EXPLANATION OF JESUS CHRIST
by Jayson X
How can we get a fairly accurate understanding of whom Jesus Christ really was? We can rely heavily on the writing which is generally considered by modern scholars to be the oldest, still-existing biography of Jesus, that is the Gospel of Mark, and use a lot of skepticism. After all, Jesus is not the only human being in history to be mythologized into a superhuman miracle-worker. Saint Nicholas of Myra in Lycia (c. 270-343) was a real person who is now mythologized into Santa Claus, an obese old man who miraculously keeps track of the moral character of children, travels around the Earth on a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, visits millions of houses in one night without opening any door or window, and leaves presents for millions of children. A similar process happened to Jesus. He was a real person (Jesus of Nazareth) who was mythologized into a make-believe person (Jesus Christ), an even greater miracle worker than Santa Claus!
Another reason to use skepticism when theorizing about the life of the real Jesus is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. As far as I know, there is no compelling scientific evidence that the miracles ascribed to Jesus happened, or that any similar miracles ever happened in all of history. Such miracle stories are indeed extraordinary claims without extraordinary proof. Therefore, we should not believe them. All this having been said, something like the following is probably the truth about the man known as Jesus Christ. Jesus was born in Nazareth, Galilee, between 7 and 2 B.C.E. and lived there until he was a young man, working as a carpenter. His mother was Mary, and his father was Joseph or some other man. He had brothers and sisters. The word messiah means “the anointed one” because Jewish priests, prophets, and kings often began their respective offices after being anointed with oil that was supposedly holy. Many Jews during the time of Jesus believed that God would send a special messiah, the capital-m messiah, to liberate them and their land from foreign rule. The Messiah would also begin the Messianic Age, a time of peace and brotherhood on Earth, without crime, war, and poverty. Christ comes from the Greek word for Messiah, Christos. Thus, Christ is NOT Jesus’ last name; it is a title given to him by Christians, expressing their belief that Jesus is the Messiah. A man called John the Baptist taught that people should repent and be baptized so that their sins would be forgiven by God. He also preached that the Messiah would come and baptize with the Holy Spirit, which was a far greater baptism than John could do. Perhaps this literal and/or metaphorical baptism was supposed to convey what Galatians 5:22 calls “the fruit of the Spirit”: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”--qualities needed for and indicative of the Messianic Age.