Zeitgeist, Mindless Culture and the Truth
Have you heard of the conspiracy theory movement following the Zeitgeist? It is very catchy in pop cultural circles where things like logic, history and critical thinking are scarce. The leader of this movement is a new age secular filmmaker and musician named Peter Joseph, who made a movie entitled Zeitgeist that has a cultic following. It is a rehash of DaVinci Code style rhetoric and other conspiracy theorists of the past, who are busy looking for ways to disprove Jesus, find big-foot and locate aliens that the government is hiding. The film originally started as a musical play with film screens that Joseph performed to his music as a means to advance his postmodernism, communism, socialism, Marxism and of course his ideas against Christian history. Like a good conspiracy theorist, Joseph sits over culture in an elite position of judgment, seeing himself as a pseudo martyr who is giving himself to the world to free everyone from the matrix he believes exists. Joseph’s movement is led and fueled by some serious fringe social radicals and is being popularized largely by unaware folks who mindlessly forward around youtube clips of the movie to justify their rejection of the historical Jesus of Nazareth.
Online you can find some great critical reviews of the Zeitgeist, debunking its bogus claims. It’s not hard to debunk it, after all the film is the product of a wanna-be rockstar college drop-out making wild claims about history, science and theology. When questioned about not having credentials or education in the fields he speaks on, Joseph whines about his critics for their “credentialism” and “academics” and resorts to vulgarity (to see for yourself who he is… watch this video http://www.whoispeterjoseph.com/). He lacks knowledge, but has an intellectual act down pretty good that convinces many to think he is intelligent and a prophet for the future age of the earth. His professional background is in advertising and it shows – he has marketed the film well and hence it has the cultic following it does today, including merchandise that is sold, and volunteers that serve his cause, evangelizing his ideas. Joseph is a passionate man, who is against ownership, religion and having children. His utopian vision is a world with a new religion that unites people into what he calls a “true-spiritual awakening” that involves a resource-based economy that will have no Christians and a computerized automated system referred to as the Cybernation. It’s weird and creepy stuff!
As Christians, how do we deal with vulgar, pseudo-intellectual, non-rational youtube evangelism techniques advancing the religious movement of Zeitgeist? Well, we shouldn’t be surprised by this thing, because it is just a cut and paste of older religious ideas that have attacked Jesus. In addition to not being surprised, we should not be silent. Something should be said to expose these lies. The trouble is that those who listen to this stuff are not interested in rationality and evidence. Nevertheless, the gospel of Jesus is powerful, indeed it is the power of salvation, so we should not shy away from sharing the history of the Christ who came and died for sinners. As we do, it is a worthy task to tear down the nonsense of Joseph and his cult. Since many who find his claims convincing are not interested in reading, I put together some videos below to help equip the church for responding to this stuff. On youtube there is an excellent review of Zeitgeist that I pasted below for your viewing. And below the video, I have links to articles you can read and share. Most likely, Zeitgeist followers will not read, but these videos may catch their attention. Keep in mind that proving something wrong and leading someone to Christ are not always hand-in-hand. Hence, make sure you share the gospel as you go and display the anti-intellectual lies of the Zeitgeist movie.
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (1 of 8)
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (2 of 8)
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (3 of 8)
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (4 of 8)
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (5 of 8)
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (6 of 8)
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (7 of 8)
Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film (8 of 8)
ARTICLES FOR STUDY:
Zeitgeist the Movie and the Earliest Christians, by Mary Jo Sharp
Preventing Truth Decay: http://www.preventingtruthdecay.org/zeitgeistpartone.shtml
Analysis and Response to Zeitgeist
The Zeitgeist Movie & Other Myth Claims about Jesus, by Gregory Koukl
Debunking the Jesus-Mithra Myth
The Zeitgeist of the 'Zeitgeist Movie', by Ben Witherington
Is Jesus Simply a Retelling of the Mithras Mythology? (PleaseConvinceMe.com)
Come Let Us Reason - Book with a chapter addressing Zeitgeist.
"Was the New Testament Influenced by Pagan Religions" by Ronald Nash
"A Refutation of Acharya S's book, The Christ Conspiracy" by Mike Licona
[The Christ Conspiracy is the main source of information in Zeitgeist].
"Christianity, the Resurrection of Christ and the Mystery Religions" by Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon
"Was Christianity Borrowed from Mithraism?" by Dr. Norman Geisler
"Paul and the Mystery Religions" by Don Closson
"A Summary Critique: The Mythological Jesus Mysteries" by H. Wayne House
"Ancient Non-Christian Sources for the Life of Christ" by Gary Habermas