Monday, April 25, 2011

EASTER: FAITH AND SCIENCE, RELICS AND HISTORY

I approach this topic, this writing, with trepidation.  I am not a scholar, especially of divinity, but I feel like I know enough of what I believe to share it with you.  This is just a small testimony, that is all.  I have thought about this writing for a few days before attempting to write it down.  I could be wrong on many of my thoughts that I have and if I am , I am sure that some of you who are better versed in such things will let me know.  I welcome any constructive criticisms  that may be coming my way.  I am always on a search to learn things of any topic.  What I am about to write here is simply what I have learned so far in my life.  It isn't a lot.

Easter is the cornerstone of my religious and spiritual beliefs.  The virgin birth that we celebrate at Christmas is very important and a cornerstone as well, but it means absolutely nothing without the resurrection  of Christ in human and bodily form and function followed by the ascension into Heaven.

"Blessed are those who believe without seeing".  I don't have a Bible with me but if I remember correctly that is what Jesus said after Thomas touched the wounds and came to believe that Christ was risen.  Thomas was a scientist, more or less.  Scientist ask questions and they doubt everything until they have proof.  Often even having the proof at their fingertips there is still room for doubt in a scientist thinking.  To me faith is being able to overcome the natural need to question things without needing the any physical proof.  This is a lot easier said then done.  I know that I have lapses in my faith a lot.  I can not imagine a human being that would be able to hold onto to the faith it takes to believe in a supernatural event such as the Resurrection and Ascension without having a small lapse once in a while.  Just a small question that might pop into your head.  During times of hardship and frustration it is especially easy to let your faith slip.

Add to that all of the shows that cable and satellite television broadcast that attempt to prove what our faith is based on.  The tests that they have done on the Shroud of Turin to try to prove that it was part of the Resurrection have come of course to questionable conclusions.  This has a tendency of placing doubt in the minds of those searching or even those who have already expressed their belief in the Scripture.  Faith is believing without doubt and without proof the tenets of  the Christian belief.  While I do admit that my faith slips every now and again, I can honestly say that these shows and their attempt to prove or cast doubt do not effect my beliefs.  It is during times of stress and mental confusion, frustration and pain that tends to make my faith slip.  I have enough faith to re gather it together and continue on though.

Historians spend lifetimes looking for relics that either prove or disprove what I believe.  I have seen shows where they have searched for the bones of Christ.  They have searched for remnants of the cross.  They have been searching for Noah's ark and the Ark of the Covenant for years but have come up empty.  There are churches in Europe that claim to have pieces of the cross.  Jerusalem and Israel  is filled with places that are marked as holy sites.  The place where Jesus was born.  The place where the tomb was.  None of these places have any proof to justify what they claim.  The problem with historians claiming that a little bit of wood is part of the cross is that the relic becomes the object of worship rather than God.

We should be careful about relics as they can sway us from the path and cause a break in your faith without us realizing that the faith has been broken.  Our faith becomes faith in the piece of wood rather than where our faith would be placed.

Is it faith if we have to have something to look at or to touch to believe?  No, that is not faith at all.  Faith is believing with out doubt and with out the need for  some sort of proof in what we are professing to believe in.

Here is what I think may be going on.  The story of Christ and the whole Christian religion flies in the face of all logic according to the rules of physics that we have all grown up with.  Scientists try to prove something that does not follow the rules of logic by trying to place the rules of logic to event.  I have come to a belief of sorts that possibly God does not want these mysteries solved.  He said that man would never enter the Garden of Eden again, yet scientist and historians continue to search for it.  I think that possibly God has decided to remove anything that could lead to proof so that we are forced to rely on our faith.

They think they have found the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah but even that they can not be sure of.  Even if those two cities have been found there is no way of proving what happened to them.  I have seen three shows finding three different Mount Sinai's.  I have seen shows where they fly over mountains and see the outline of a large boat on the side of a mountain..  They have found indicators in rock strata that indicate a possible flood here and there.  Nothing says the different floods that happened around the world happened at the same time.

Do we really think that we can outsmart God?  I believe a lot of people think that yes, they can.  I don't think we can.  I believe that anything God wanted to reveal has already been revealed.  I believe that He has given us plenty of information to build a strong faith without proof from man to bolster our individual faith.

I watch these shows with interest.  I must admit that from a scientific and historical point of view the shows are fascinating.  But I do not rest my Faith on the history channel.  When I slip in my faith, it is because of myself, not because of a television show.  My faith is not perfect and far from strong enough.  Far from where it should be after spending my whole life in the church and being raised with in it's walls.  I know what I am supposed to believe.  I got the whole story line down to every detail all most.  Then again I have almost every detail in Steinbeck's novels down to almost every detail.  The Steinbeck novels are logical and follow the rules of logic yet I know that they never happened.  They are characters that resided in Steinbeck's mind until he placed them on paper.

I do wish I were stronger in my faith and I realize that I should be stronger.  It is something I struggle with a lot though.  I can't say why I struggle so badly but I do.  I probably will until I finally die.  But even when I do die, that faith will still be inside of me, deep inside my mind and my beliefs.

So let the scientists and the historians continue on their searches.  It makes for interesting entertainment.  The important thing to remember is that they are wasting their time.  You cannot prove something that happened without following the rules of logic or physics with the rules of  logic and physics..

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