Monday, September 1, 2008

An Antidote to Religion

“... if Christ has not been raised [from death], our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.” (I Corinthians 15:14-15).

Self-awareness and religious belief are commonly accepted as being the things that mark us human beings out as different from the rest of the creatures with whom we share this planet.

However, I feel Douglas Adams' invention of the Babel Fish is a sad reflection of the fact that men are willing to put their faith in all sorts of things, but not in God. However, I believe this is also evidence of a more general spiritual hunger in the heart of mankind referred to in Ecclesiastes 3:11 (see the Origin of Species page herein).

Whether or not you accept the above premise, all the world's religions are, in essence, different people's ideas about how best to please God, Allah, Brahmin, the Ultimate Reality (call him/her/it what you will...). However, if that is the case, then, whereas many sceptics would say that Christianity is just St Paul's ideas about how to "live a godly life" (i.e. try and make sure God is happy with you) - the truth of the matter is that, using the above definition, Christianity is not a religion, it is, in fact, God's antidote to religion...

The central message of the first disciples of Jesus (of whom St Paul later became the greatest exponent) was that all man's attempts to make himself acceptable to God were doomed to fail, but that the God of the Jews had intervened in human history, as promised, to solve the insolvable problem...

To those who had turned away from the Roman gods (many of which are the entirely bogus base of astrology and horoscopes today) and turned instead to Christ, the apostle Paul said “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

In Douglas Adams' "Hitch-Hiker's Guide" books, the answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?" was supposedly "42", but for Christians the answer is to be found in the life (and death) of Jesus who shared our humanity...

“ that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

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