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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII -

Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion...

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Resurrection confirmed by history and common-sense.

Even critics admit that something happened.

by StFerdIII

 Christianity is composed of two distinct but linked parts. The first is its practicality in the real word. The seven virtues taught by the Catholic church which are necessary for personal development; including temperance, justice, honesty, courage and hope. The seven mercies reduce one's ego and induce humility; including feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead. These 2 'creeds' find no equal in any other theology or organization of faith. The second part of Christianity which informs the first, are the miracles performed by Christ during his 3 year ministry, ending with the greatest of them all – the resurrection. If there is no risen, Christianity does not exist.

The central question of Christianity is then – 'did the resurrection happen?' More than faith supports that it did. Rational enquiry and evidence leads one to the conclusion that a resurrected Christ did indeed present himself to almost a 1000 people, including his apostles, family, the anti-Christian persecutor Saul who became Paul in an instantaneous conversion and others who did not waver in their faith, or in the case of family member James, were openly critical and hostile.

A central fact is this. The small band of remaining Christians, who would have been killed by the Romans or Jews just after the brutal crucifixion of Christ, and who went into hiding and denial, reappeared within a few days of his death proclaiming the resurrection. Within weeks of Christ's destruction, the confused and cowering apostles were openly converting literally thousands of Jews in Jerusalem based on the resurrection. Neither the Romans nor the Jews could produce a body and there is no evidence that the body was hidden or that it was an elaborate fraud.

In the book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary R. Habermas, Michael R. Licona, the authors review the literature, most of it negative, which investigated the resurrection and concluded:

After several years, we arrived at a strong conclusion: The evidence suggests that God exists and has actually revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. The evidence attests that Christians have the most accurate view of reality.”

Critics and Christian-haters have been unable to find any evidence except contrary conclusions to their own beliefs:

The late New Testament critic at the University of Chicago, Norman Perrin, who rejected Jesus' resurrection wrote, "The more we study the tradition with regard to the appearances, the firmer the rock begins to appear upon which they are based."

Dozens of sources, both Christian and non-Christian attest to the risen. Something indeed must have happened to transform frightened men, hiding in the house of Mark's mother, into bold preachers who were going to die for their faith. After converting thousands of Jews in Jerusalem the apostles were arrested, beaten, and tortured many times. Peter would eventually be crucified upside down by Nero in 64 AD. James, who was Christ's half-brother [and who was a sceptic, immediately and suddenly converted when he saw the resurrected Christ] would also meet a gruesome demise, as would thousands of others over the centuries.

Ignatius said that, having seen the risen Jesus, the disciples were so encouraged that "they also despised death" as had their Master.'" The Greek word for "despised" is better translated "cared nothing for" or "disregarded.""' Not only did they act in a manner that they thought little of dying, but Ignatius adds that "beyond death they were found," most likely referring to their attitude toward death being proved or demonstrated by their own boldness when the moment of execution actually came.

If the resurrection was made up, would you really suffer horrible torture and a wicked, bloody, and painful death ? Would you have an immediate conversion? Would you, like James or Paul go from being a sceptic or someone who was killing Christians to a suddenly convinced apostle for the faith? If it was a fraud, and the body was simply hidden somewhere, would all involved remain quiet after torture and brutal punishment ? How then to explain the conversion of literally hundreds of people who claim to have seen the risen Christ but who were not in on the fraud ?

It is more an act of faith to disbelieve that something truly happened, then to accept it.

Anti-Christian intellectuals who studied the episode admit that something did indeed occur:

Even the highly critical New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann agreed that historical criticism can establish "the fact that the first disciples came to believe in the resurrection" and that they thought they had seen the risen Jesus. Atheistic New Testament scholar Gerd Ludemann concludes, "It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus' death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ." Paula Fredriksen of Boston University comments, "I know in their own terms what they saw was the raised Jesus. That's what they say and then all the historic evidence we have afterwards attest to their conviction that that's what they saw. I'm not saying that they really did see the raised Jesus. I wasn't there. I don't know what they saw. But I do know that as a historian that they must have seen something."

Given that the early church until the time of Constantine was heavily circumscribed, persecuted, outlawed and attacked, it only seems rational and reasonable, that early Christians believed wholly and completely in a risen Christ. This certainty was so strong and compulsive that they dedicated their lives to its theme. No other faith or system of worship in world history, has had so powerful and lasting a monument to its practices. Christ raised Lazarus in front of 25 Jews, most of them who were not followers. The divine essence and power raised up Christ and presented him to about 1000 people to fulfil the prophecies and Christ's own claim, that through him and the good works centred around love, the human will overcome suffering, pain and death, to achieve salvation. 

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