Striking back at Christianity's critics
This is the first of a two-part series.
Rico Kaplan, Contributor
After reading all three articles under the banner 'Crucifying Christianity' in last Sunday's In Focus, I would like to offer another side to a few of the key issues raised by Orville Taylor, Hilaire Sobers and Gordon Robinson.
Mr Taylor raises some interesting aspects of death and torture. He is right that crucifixion was not the worst way to die. His negative reference to the powers of Jesus to alleviate His own sufferings is actually an example of the gargantuan extent to which the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died. If indeed the Lord Jesus is God in the flesh, and if indeed He could have got off the cross, how much greater the suffering!
What made the crucifixion of Christ the most tortuous death of all is the fact that the Lord Jesus took on Himself every scream, every pain, every misery, every tear, every disease, and every other miserable experience human beings suffered or will suffer.
Mr Taylor inaccurately affirms with authority that the Gospel records were not eyewitness accounts. He furthermore asserts with equal apparent authority that because there is no 'proof', Christians 'just' believe by faith.
The basic tenets of historical research are based on understanding that history can be recreated by stacking up the evidence for or against a particular statement of historic value. Once the evidence is weighed, decisions as to the veracity or falsehood of a given historical account are made. The only aspects of life that can contain proof are those that are reproducible. Since history cannot be reproduced, unless you have a time machine, historical facts and knowledge must be based on evidence.
Evidence of resurrection
The evidence does point towards the Lord Jesus dying and then coming back from the dead. There are many books available to the public that will offer hundreds of pages that show the evidence for the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ actually will demand faith, and not unbelief.
Mr Taylor raises one more interesting and salient point: slavery. He raises this point to help us understand the depths to which human beings can suffer. What would possess a man who, according to secular humanists, is born basically good, to decide to put human beings in a ship, stack them like sardines, and let them suffer and die like that?
The secular humanist really has no answer. The Lord Jesus has the answer. He tells us the heart of man is sick because of the stain of sin. Secular humanists love to extol the virtues and values of human beings forgetting, however, that human beings will invent new morals and ethics as time goes by. If you don't believe that, just look at man's history and see how morals and ethics have changed over the centuries, and usually to the detriment of our societies, which leads me to the comments made by Mr Sobers.
It is wrong to think that human beings, given free reign, given freedom from 'religion', and who are left to their own intelligence, will be able to come up with some sort of moral code by which everybody can live in peace and harmony with one another.
Mr Sobers is correct that the search for universal morals and ethics is one fraught with the desire to determine and discover what creates and maintains happiness. However, the major fly in this philosophical ointment is psychological relativism. The term is a fancy way of saying 'what's good for you is good for you and not necessarily good for me'. The 'do your own thing' mentality is the result of the infiltration of such pernicious philosophical memes. The result is a world filled with societies that are falling apart although once based on strong family-centred Christian ethics. Which brings me to another of Mr Sobers' insidious points: the implication that Christians are attacking gays.
Love your fellowmen
The Bible is clear about homosexuality: it is an abomination. BUT the Lord Jesus taught us to love our fellowman so no true Christian will treat gays with hatred, bigotry, or rejection. However, that does not mean I won't teach everybody that the traditional family and the only true sexual configuration ordained and accepted by God is formed by a man marrying a woman and procreating to make a family.
One last point for Mr Sobers. He calls Christianity a "philosophical parasite". A parasite lives off the life of another. Christianity has never asserted to find its source in modern philosophy. If anything, modern secular humanism has found its roots in Christianity. Without Christianity, the pure secular humanist wouldn't even have a foundation upon which to base his arguments.
As a parasite, secular humanists have stood on the traditional family and then have attempted to extend family-like connotations to morals clearly not accepted, not taught by God Himself. Secular humanists are some of the modern proponents of free sex, sexual choice, gay marriage, transgender surgeries, gender reidentification, moral relativism, and worse.
Once you remove any moral absolute from life - and secular humanism vehemently fights against absolute moral values which, by the way, are standard belief for true Christians - you no longer can tell a man it's wrong to commit murder because to the murderer, his choice of violence is justified by his moral construct. Moral relativism is a very shaky proposition.
Part Two will be published on Tuesday.