“Is it possible that the portrait of the divine Son of God is an exaggeration, at best, or a complete fabrication, at worst, of the original Jesus?” ~ John Clayton
John Clayton was an atheist in his early life and set about attempting to prove that there was no such thing as God. He even wrote a book entitled All the Stupidity of the Bible. However, the more he researched to prove the Bible wrong and God nonexistent, the closer he came to his own encounter with God and became convinced about Christianity.
There have been people who have rejected God throughout the ages. There have also been people who have rejected Jesus and/or certain aspects about Jesus. Two of the earliest heresies about Jesus center around His humanity or divinity. Many could not believe that Jesus was both human and divine. Either He was God and just appearing as a man or He was an incredibly holy person but not God.
The Arian heresy rejected the divinity of Jesus. St. Athanasius, late 200’s to mid 300’s, was the bishop of Alexandria and fought against the Arian heresy. Because of it, he was exiled several times. Yet, he never gave up the fight. He preached and wrote constantly about the divinity of Jesus and made many converts. The manner in which he lived his life not only helped bring many heretics back into the fold of the Church, it also contributed to the founding of the monastic way of life. We celebrate the memorial of St. Athanasius today.
We often ask ourselves, “What can one person do?” We often use that as a mantra not to do something. Whether it be out of fear, doubt, or confusion, we excuse our lack of action by saying that what we did would not really matter anyway. That assumption, however, is wrong. One person, one witness, can make all the difference in the world.
Athanasius did not look for a lot of others to join him. He did what he needed to do as a bishop and as a committed Christian. He proclaimed the faith and defended the divinity of Jesus. In doing so, he made an incredible difference in the Church and in his world.
One person can make a difference. What difference will you make today?
FAITH ACTION: Spend a good deal of time in silent prayer today, asking Jesus to reveal Himself to you more deeply than He has done before.