And if He be Risen….

Jesus appeared first to Mary, to one who had been broken and battered by this world perhaps as much as anyone He had called and ministered to. Mary was first at the tomb precisely because of her love for her Lord, because of her appreciation of who and what she had been before Christ and of what He saw that she could be after Christ. So she braved the unknown early that first Easter morning. She went to the tomb despite the risks, despite the infuriated crowds of only the day before.

And her dedication was rewarded in that she was the first human witness to the single most seminal moment in all of recorded history! The risen Christ. And Christ knew her. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God….in Him was light, and the light was the life of men, and the light shown in darkness. But the darkness comprehendeth it not.

This self same Word, called this formerly broken, sinful woman…by her name. The God who hung the stars, knew her. As He knows you.

And in appearing to her he proved that he had conquered death. He conquered death because He had the authority to create life.  Some four thousand years prior He had spoken, “Let there be light…” and there was light and then life. So it was perfectly fitting for Him to say later, “Lazarus….COME FORTH.” and it was just as fitting that He himself could not be held by death.

  • Islam says he swooned or that there was an impostor on the cross.
  • The non-believer tries to explain away his miracles as some sort of magic trick or a science project that can be rationalized.
  • All other leaders and central figures of all other religions are all cold and dead in a grave somewhere. No other even dares make the claim to have conquered death so that Paul could write truthfully later, “Death where is thy sting…”

There were no tricks….there was no conspiracy by the disciples, (these claims defy logic)…CHRIST IS RISEN….HE LIVES!!

And if Christ be risen, if he has authority over even death, then all of his other claims come sharply into focus. All of his other miracles are validated and his work on the cross has been deemed acceptable by the Father.

If He be risen then He cannot be written off as the pantheist would attempt to do… as a presence or energy that is present in all things. He cannot be set aside as merely one of many “good moral teachers”. If He be risen, then He can only be EXACTLY who He claimed to be.  If He is risen, then the words he taught cannot just be true…He in fact MUST BE THE TRUTH.

If He be risen what more is left to any of us but to fall on our faces and cry out…”My Lord and my God!!”

This is not just a holiday. This cannot be usurped by some johnny come lately pantheistic impostor called earth day. Today we comemorate the single TITANIC moment in all of time in all of the Universe.

JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN!!

Have we evolved morality?

Today I decided to post something that I originally posted on Facebook as part of a discussion on the existence of God (among other topics). I decided that I took long enough writing it that I might as well post it here as well.

If you already read it on Facebook then skip to the last couple of paragraphs for something new for this blog.

I am going to weigh in one last time on this thread because I think we might go on forever. It has been an interesting discussion but I have to bow out sometime.

Josh celebrates that which is based on fact, but in his post on evolved morals he posits a hypothesis. Morals that stem from evolution certainly don’t rise to the definition of theory because there is no observable evidence to support such a claim. After all, Darwin himself in his later years was terrified of what mankind might be capable of if his own theories were carried out to their logical conclusions. This of course occurred in several cases, perhaps most notably with Frederich Nietzsche, a devout follower of Darwin, and his quest for Superman and corresponding declaration that “God is Dead”.  His writings in turn informed Adolph Hitler who shared them with Stalin resulting in the torture and death of tens of millions.

Darwin feared what he had wrought, namely that without some moral absolute, there is no basis for morals. There is certainly no need for morality in a Darwinist model. Morality does nothing to further survival of the fittest.

Someone in an earlier post referenced Jean Paul Sartre to further this idea of evolved morality. But it was Sartre himself that furthered the notion that a finite point is absurd if it has no infinite reference point. If there is no absolute moral standard (that which always applies, that which provides a final or ultimate standard) then one cannot say in any final sense that anything is right or wrong.

Ancient thinkers from the Greeks forward were rationalists too. That is they assumed that man, though finite and limited could gather enough particulars to make his own universals (see Plato). In that way they were similar to John, Josh and Devin here. Rationalism rejects any knowledge outside of man himself.

Though the scientific revolution rested on a Christian base, the gentlemen in this debate have elected to base their lives on the belief that they can answer life’s questions through rationalism. John, Josh and Devin believe in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. In other words, the universe is a machine which resulted from some variation of time plus matter plus chance. Man is only a part of the larger machine. Hawking and others who have been named leave no room for God in this system. He becomes unnecessary.

Yet the early modern scientist believed in the uniformity of natural causes in an open system. In their view man and God were outside the cause and affect machine of the cosmos and therefore they both could influence the machine. Newton, Galileo, and Pascal would have rejected the closed system thought process.

In the closed, cause and affect system, God would indeed be dead, as would man, as would love. There is no place for morals in a totally closed system. Man becomes a zero. People and all they do is only a part of the machinery. Life is pointless, devoid of meaning.

Aside from the mathematical/statistical objections to Darwin’s theory, (randomness could not have produced the biological complexity present in the Universe out of chaos in any amount of time). Evolutionary theory cannot answer the simple questions of a child. How did I get here? Why am I here?

Josh’s comparison of the morals of less developed cultures versus more developed cultures becomes irrelevant. As Dostoevsky said, “If God does not exist, then everything is permissible.”

What is the purpose of individual personality, creativity or compassion, in this type of closed, evolutionary system? There is none.

Only in a universe with a personal, eternal, self sufficient God, do any of these concepts have a reason for existence. Speaking of creativity, I close my input to the discussion with a quote from the brilliant Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “The task of the artist is to sense more keenly than others the harmony of the world, the beauty and the outrage of what man has done to it, and poignantly to let people know. Art warms even an icy and depressed heart opening it to lofty personal experience. By means of art we are sometimes sent dimly, briefly, revelations unattainable by reason. Like that little mirror in the fairy tales. Look into it and you will see not yourself, but that which passes understanding, a realm to which no man can ride or fly and for which the soul begins to ache.”

For this blog only I would like to add a quote from one of my favorite writers, Malcolm Muggeridge, “Built into life is a strong vain of irony for which we should be grateful to our creator. It helps us to find our way through the fantasy that encompasses us to the reality of our existence. God has mercifully made the fantasies (the pursuit of power, of sensual satisfaction, of money, of learning, of celebrity, of happiness) so preposterously unrewarding that we are forced to turn to Him for mercy.

We seek wealth and find that we have collected worthless pieces of paper. We seek security and find that we have only acquired the means to blow ourselves and our little earth to smithereens. We seek carnal indulgence only to find ourselves caught up in the prevailing erotomania. Looking for freedom we infallibly fall into the servitude of self gratification or collectively into a gulag.

We look back in history and what do we see? Empires rising and falling, revolutions and counter revolutions wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed. One nation dominant and then another.”

Can this really be what life was about? This interminable soap opera? I for one refuse to believe it. Instead I believe that God has reached down to make himself known to man. God’s special parable for a fallen man in a fallen world.