Friday, May 9, 2014

Nothing else

Anything that can ever be said, written or thought about Jesus Christ by anyone except those who personally knew Him and walked with Him when He was alive as an earthman is going to be contradictable.

Let anyone contradict Thomas, ‘No, you didn't really see Him. You just imagined it,’ and likely as not (if I were him, anyway) Thomas would've let him have it. (Nicholas of Myra is said to have let Arius have it—he punched him—at Nicaea, for which he was expelled from the council—temporarily.)

But anyone can challenge me and my faith in and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and I can do nothing of the sort, only quietly insist that I know what I know, and that’s that.

Even I cannot base my beliefs about Jesus on any of His teachings or miracles, not even on His exact words quoted in the gospels, all of which could be forgeries and in fact are claimed to be by His enemies almost from day one.

In my case, what I base everything on is my intellectual and moral surrender to the fact of His literal resurrection and everything that follows from that, such as His ascension (where else could the body have gone?), and the unearthly behavior of the first generation of His disciples, by which they were able to convince the world of something the world would rather not know. Even reading Paul and the other apostles, though, does not convince me. Only Christ Himself convinces me, and only by His resurrection.

Yes, and all that follows from it, the ascension, and then pentecost, and then Christian history, all of which are either done or still happening, and then, only one more thing, His return to end the world as we know it.

That resurrection also rolls back to legitimatize all that flows out of it in reverse order, such as His birth of a virgin, and His conception through the Holy Spirit. Once these things are settled, the stage has been set, intellectually and morally, in me to accept everything else that is written about Him in the New Testament and prophesied of Him in the Old. But never, never could I have started out from there. Only the resurrection of Christ could convince me, because if it happened, it is the source of all meaning in the human, or any, universe.

What else makes my belief and knowledge of Christ (this knowledge is first, knowing Him, and second, knowing about Him, inseparable but distinct) invincible for me, that is, incontrovertible, is the proof that is to be had by putting the resurrection into practice.

Having accepted the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, totally on faith since I didn’t experience the fact of the resurrection, only the act, a new frame of reference is created inside me intellectually and morally, through whose prism I experience the world around me, and inside me, all that happens there, all I do there. This, however, is really no different than it is for any other believer in any other religion or god. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, even animists, all live within world views—frames of reference—that filter reality to fit their paths. So I cannot claim for my doing this any added authority. It works for me, so what?

So, in the end, all mental acrobatics and pugilism aside, the unprovable for me can be nothing other than the improbable for those who do not accept the resurrection of Christ, and even for those who say they do accept it, myself included, unless it is put into practice. Even for the believer it is no real proof, only, as their critics allege, a kind of crutch for the weak.

Yes, weak we are too, just as they say of us, when we do not practice the resurrection, living in it, putting it before us, behind us, beside us, above us and below us, walking with Christ, as Christ’s earthmen, surrounded by that same nimbus by which He in His resurrection is surrounded in the holy ikons.

He has gone, and is still going ahead of us, now no longer just the earthman people thought He was when He was with us in that body of death. He now goes ahead of us, behind us, to our right and left, above and below us, the God-Man that we know Him to be.

And it seems to me, you cannot know Him unless you walk with Him.

And you cannot walk with Him unless you believe, even know, that He is here, with us.

Apart from that, nothing else matters.

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