Mind, faith, power and Easter

I like thinking things through – I’m a mind guy.  But I have learned that there are limits to human reason.

Even the brightest minds have been unable to develop the perfect society.  The problem is human beings are filled with emotions like jealousy, egotism, greed, and lust.  We fight among ourselves and hurt others.

We need outside help and here is where God stepped in.  At Easter, we remember the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, taking all our sinful actions and thoughts on himself so that we might be forgiven and have an eternal relationship with him.

But God asks us to accept this through faith. That seems to be too large a leap for many people.  It doesn’t fit their personal philosophy – their rational view of the world.

Most people in the Western world no longer follow Christ.  Many cannot even accept the supernatural.  This rationalism has even infiltrated the church in North America.

It is, of course, important that our faith be reasonable.  But does that mean the supernatural should be ruled out?  Is it not possible that God knows more than we do?  Is it not possible that God can do things we cannot do in our own strength?

The story of Christ in the New Testament is a story of God’s love demonstrated by miraculous healings along with words of hope culminating in his great sacrifice on the cross.

This has been a cornerstone of evangelical Christian theology.  But there is statistical evidence that evangelicals are leaving the church, many probably influenced by the philosophy of our society.

John Dickerson, an evangelical pastor, wrote in a New York Times article that while the population of the U.S. is increasing by about two million a year, total attendance in evangelical churches is gradually declining.

Are we looking at the gradual disappearance of Christianity?  I don’t think so.

Christianity is exploding in areas of the world where people believe in Christ as described in the New Testament – the supernatural included.

According to one report I read, Christianity in Africa accounted for nine per cent of the people while Islam amounted to more than 33 per cent in 1900.  A century later, 45 per cent of the African population was Christian and just over 40 per cent Muslim.

There is similar astonishing growth in South America and Asia.

Miracles are happening regularly in the developing world.  Many people are being healed and having dramatic answers to prayer. They believe in a God who is greater than they are and can do more than we can ask or imagine.

Jesus said in Mark 10:15: “I tell you the truth, any one who doesn’t receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

The simple faith and trust of a child is vital to our relationship with Jesus.

When we take that step of faith, the story of Easter makes sense – we see it through God’s eyes.

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