Just Another God!

 

On the sign above the cross are the words: You belong in the past. Have we really said this to Jesus or is it just my impression? It may not be altogether true that we think this, but as a nation we have acted as if it were true. Because if we believed our historic faith we would not have chosen to reduce Jesus Christ to just one of so many others. And it is the others which are such a problem. As a nation and as a continent we have done exactly what the Old Testament Israelite’s were condemned for doing: erecting images, temples, shrines to other religions and foreign gods. Thanks to multiculturalism these include Islam at one extreme with atheism at the other. You might argue atheism has no god, but it does and it is fiercely adhered to. The god is self, and self makes no unwanted demands and stands in permanent agreement with its worshipper. Our own opinion of ourselves and how we interact with the world is an entirely one-eyed version of reality. We are god and every opinion that deviates from ours has very limited value. If you are a lazy atheist you worship your own opinions without self criticism. You cannot do that as a Christian, life is far too hard and it can test your faith to screaming point. When that happens to me I tend to return to prayer and the kind of evidence shown in the video below. God has not left his children without good reasons to believe. A good father who has to go away from home for long periods will ensure his children have good memories and many reasons to remember who he is and how much they are loved. God our Father has done this through his son Jesus. However most of us prefer to look away and seek meaning for life elsewhere. If a once godly nation has become ungodly then we should ask and try to answer the question why?

Britain has had a long history of being open to peoples fleeing persecution. This open and generous spirit has latterly been compromised by the open borders policy regarding immigration. Especially so since the early 2000’s and the promotion of mass immigration by the Blair and subsequent governments.  This ill thought through plan brought with it the gods and cultures of many nations. Most have adapted quietly and integrated well into the country, but not all, and with these different nations and peoples came their cultures and foreign gods. This coincided with a shift away from the God whose faith had been foundational to our civilisation. We were seduced away from Christianity first by rampant consumerism, then profligacy and hedonism.  We were once not so long ago defined as a Christian country. But boredom, cynicism, a careless disregard about subjects like life and death and meaning led to a dramatic decline of belief in the God we once knew as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The God we had prayed to for salvation when our army was trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. A long forgotten gloriously answered prayer, prayed in faith by a believing, hoping nation facing seemingly inevitable defeat. Gratitude rarely lasts for long. We remember the events but forget the answered prayer.

Just for a few moments think about what we have done. Overthrown the only God who actually did things in history, and of a type unseen and unheard of at any time before or since. A God who spoke, who was experienced as real by both individuals and multitudes of people. This God of the Jews and Christians was dethroned in our country by a government which decided we must become multi-Faith and multi-cultural. A two thousand year old history brought to its knees by ideas formulated during the early years of the Blair New Labour government.

You can pray and worship an image of a god, prostrate yourself before the chosen idol and attribute all sorts of powers to it; but I am not talking about such a deity. In the Old Testament the prophets of God mock these imaginary powers and the self-made lifeless images made by human hands. The God of the Jews did things, great things. Events marked in history and witnessed by thousands, both friends and enemies. The Old Testament is not a normal book about faith, it is a work embedded in history, demonstrating its truths through evidence and acts of power which were seen by eye witnesses, recorded and written down so future generations should know. The Bible is filled with names of kings and rulers and nations and armies and cities. Histories affirmed by scholars and archaeologists. It is a book  filled with accurate prophecies about rulers and nations. Many of which have left the traces of miracles later affirmed by historians who set out as critics and cynics. And exactly the same is true of the New Testament. The following is quoted from the website Truth or Tradition.

“The account of Sir William Ramsay, an English historian, scholar, and author from the late 1800s is noteworthy. Ramsay was taught at school that the Bible was not reliable, and believed his professors. He wrote, “But about 1880 to 1890 the book of Acts was regarded as the weakest part of the New Testament. No one who had any regard for his reputation as a scholar cared to say a word in its defence.” Ramsay studied the Roman Empire while living in Turkey, and since the book of Acts records many events that happened there, he began to study it. Because his professors had filled his mind with doubt about the Bible, he stated, “I began then to study the Acts in search of geographical and antiquarian evidence, hardly expecting to find any….”

As Ramsay studied the book of Acts for himself, he gradually became convinced it was accurate. This process continued until eventually he wrote: “I adopted this argument (that the history in the New Testament was not factual) from others: but I made it my own by believing it and judging accordingly. We are all equally condemned for bad critical method and wrong judgement.” He then wrote of Acts, “The present writer takes the view that Luke’s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness.”  It is interesting that Ramsay, like so many others, only “heard” the Bible was historically inaccurate, and he believed it until he did his own research, something that, as a trained historian, fluent in both Greek and Latin, he was able to do. The historical research of Ramsay and many others has been examined and rechecked many times, and it can be said with confidence that the Bible is historically accurate.”

If you were convinced by the book of Acts then you have no excuse not to believe the entirety of the Christian faith, because it covers so much ground and affirms all of the gospel accounts.

No reputable scholar doubts Jesus was crucified and very few doubt the tomb in which he was buried was found empty. All the events of Jesus and his life and resurrection were retold by his followers in the city in which he had died; his resurrection being proclaimed within months of his death in Jerusalem and its surrounding area. Please get this if nothing else, the stories about Jesus and his miracles and his resurrection were being spoken to the very people who had seen him do them and witnessed his death by crucifixion. To men, women and children who had seen Jesus walking among them, who knew his family and his reputation. Many of whom would have watched the ravaged body of Jesus drained of blood on that awful cross. They were now hearing that he was risen from the dead. Some of these people would almost certainly have experienced being healed by this man. Now his disciples were standing before them saying the one they had all seen crucified, was not just alive, but had been seen walking, talking, eating, conversing. For forty days this had been happening until his departure from the earth, once more an event seen by eye witnesses, at his Ascension into heaven.

That is a God worth following and loving and wanting to know more about. And yet we are a nation that has decided to turn its back to him, and for what, a short life without meaning, or a substitute god who has never been seen to do anything?  I will leave that question hanging…but it would be a good idea to at least give it some serious thought.

I have suggested that there is forensic evidence for much of what has been said. If you like this kind of evidence then take a look at this. A cynical atheist, a very experienced cold case cop decided to look at the evidence for a very cold case, that of a two thousand year old crucified man.

 

 

 

 

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