“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Saturday, September 17, 2022

MARK DAVIS PICKUP AVAILABLE TO SPEAK ABOUT CHRIST IN OUR SUFFERING

·  .

CHRIST IN OUR SUFFERING:

        By Mark Davis Pickup

Addresses and interactive workshops are available via Zoom, Skype, etc.

A new way to have guest speakers



What are Christians to make of suffering? After sin has been confessed, and suffering continues, what then?  C.S. Lewis said: 

 

“Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God, or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren’t.”[2]

 

Mark Davis Pickup has suffered from aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) for close to 40 years. The disease took him from being a healthy and able-bodied man to chronically ill and disabled. Weeks, months, and even years of convalescence gave him time to prayerfully reflect and seek to understand God’s purposes in his anguish. He knows Christ’s love and knows God is good. There must have been meaning or purpose to Mark’s protracted suffering. There is, and he reveals it in his new live online presentation available through video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. Mark has stopped travelling.

 

For more than 25 years Mark spoke extensively across the United States and Canada promoting the sanctity, dignity and equality of all human life, and against assisted suicide & euthanasia. He has spoken widely about the natural human dignity that is ours in Christ. Mark is available to address your group, your conferences, churches or community outreach about finding Christ in our Suffering via conferencing platforms. 


He addressed politicians and legislative committees (both Canadian and American), university forums, hospital medical staffs, religious and denominational leaders, community groups and organizations about the importance of Life and disability issues, and a Christian perspective on suffering. In the wake of Canada and 10 U.S. states and the District of Columbia legalizing assisted suicide, Mark continues to speak out about the sanctity of human life and building a culture of Life—and life-affirming responses—in our culture of death and despair. He is available to address your next conference or event.[3] Mark gave the keynote addresses to the U.S. National Right to Life Prayer Breakfasts in 2001, 2005, and jointly with his wife LaRee in 2010.

 

In 2018, God did a wonderful thing for Mark and answered Yes to his prayer: After more than 15 years of paralysis (triplegia) and dependent on an electric wheelchair, he regained the use of his atrophied legs, compromised right arm and useless hand. He’s walking! His right arm and hand are fully restored! In the aftermath of decades of horrible, slow creeping paralysis, Mark has a fresh perspective of those stormy years and calamitous times. Like the crisp clean smell in the air after a violent thunderstorm, it has become evident that Christ was always there even in the darkest times when the tempest’s black clouds darkened the world, and terrifying thunderclaps muffled that still small voice. CHRIST IN OUR SUFFERING speaks to the grief of adult-acquired disability and disease, both for the individual and those who love them. CHRIST IN OUR SUFFERING speaks to finding meaning in anguish. 

 

CONTACT:  HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca


Why consider conferencing live speeches, sermons, workshops, or other presentations with Mark Davis Pickup?


- Precisely because they are live and in real-time.

- Conferencing allows Mark to speak anywhere in the world.

- Expense: Hosting organizations or churches are not faced with flight costs and travel-associated costs. 

- They are interactive, allowing for Q&As and discussions. 


Mark Davis Pickup has lectured so widely here in the U.S. that a lot of people know him and have tremendous respect for him.”— Dr. Dianne Irving, former career-appointed bench research biochemist/biologist (NIH, NCI, Bethesda, MD), an M.A. and Ph.D. philosopher (Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.), and professor of the History of Philosophy and of Medical Ethics

 

“I met Mark Pickup in the early 1990s, and we became good friends. When I met him, he could barely walk using two canes because of his progressive MS. Over time, I observed his physical condition worsen, to the point he became triplegic, that is, was only able to use his left arm. He had no use of his legs whatsoever. I am convinced that Mark’s dramatic improvement is a miracle. What else could explain a man in the later stages of MS being able to walk again and ride a bicycle? Mark is a very prayerful Christian, and I believe his faith was answered as a sign for the world.

Wesley J Smith

Host, Humanize Podcast https://humanize.today

Chair, Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism

Washington, D.C.

 

HLM


[1] Photos: Top left Mark Davis Pickup speaking at a fund-raising banquet for a Christian hospice, Lansing, Michigan. Photo right: Mark being interviewed by Canadian national Christian TV program about a miracle God gave him to walk again after 16 years in an electric wheelchair and paralysed. 

[2] C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, (New York, Bantam Books, 1980), p. 50.

[3] Venues should have a large screen. Workshops should be interactive for Q&A

Saturday, September 10, 2022

UNPROVEN SOCIETAL EXPERIMENTS

 

When Queen Elizabeth was a young girl, she witnessed the great sacrifices entire nations made to protect western Christian civilization—its institutions, customs and laws and mores during World War II. Later, as the Queen, she watched the horrendous systematic dismantling of western Christian civilization after the war.  even to the point where progressives now deny there ever was a Christian civilization. (Tell that to the families of the 861,000 British, Canadian, American and Australian soldiers who died to protect Christian western civilization from the jackboot of Axis tyranny.)  Progressives, the left, and secular √©lite who populate centers of learning and influence have made an art form out of revising or rewriting history.


CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION: 

 

But there are some things they can’t write out of history, such as the famous speech Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave to the British people on the eve of the Battle of Britain in 1941. The great man rose in Parliament and said:

 

“I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and that long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared about will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, more sinister, perhaps more protracted by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for 1000 years, men say ‘This was their finest hour.’” [My emphasis added]

 

There is no record of parliamentarians or the public shouting down the Prime Minister protesting that there was no Christian civilization. There was a general societal consensus that western civilization was Christian, and people were willing to give up their lives to protect it. No longer. 

 

Post-war progressive ‘boomers are in charge now. They want to progress Christian civilization out of existence, without a shot being fired—well, not many—and replace it with an abominable Brave New World rooted in egocentric narcissism, and nihilism fueled by raw power of an elite political, government, economic and social structure of the left intent on imposing a given ideology, by force if necessary, on the masses. Hedonistic progressives will restore state-sanctioned abortion and expand to state-sanctioned assisted suicide and euthanasia. Canada has already done this, giving unrestricted abortion under the euphemism "reproductive choice" and euthanasia by lethal injection under the euphemism Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). Canada is so supportive of killing the most vulnerable at both ends of the life spectrum, we pay for every abortion of unwanted children and very lethal injection of the disabled, the mentally and terminally ill (Canadians being euthanized has skyrocketed since euthanasia was legalized in 2016.

 

Eu’phem/ism n. substitution of mild or vague or roundabout expression for a harsh or direct one.    — THE CONCISE OXFORD DICTIONARY

 

“The word “euphemism” comes from the Greek eu, “good,” and pheme “speech” or “saying,” and thus means literally “to speak with good words or in a pleasant manner.” Euphemizing is generally defined as substituting an inoffensive or pleasant term for a more explicit, offensive one, thereby veneering the truth using kind words.” [My emphasis added.]  — The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism 

 

 Progressives of the boomer generation are skilled wordsmiths at veneering the truths they don't like or do not fit into narratives supporting their sociological agendas or ideology. They gave their offspring the same skill. Their grandchildren are not so skilled. They simply shout down all opposition, set cities on fire and demand the police be defunded so their anarchy can continue unabated. Mob rule.  


'G'


As I mentioned above a newer catchphrase is “Love is Love.” It was used by the homosexual lobby for gay marriage. Great slogan but is it true? What are its parameters, or are there any? I know from personal experience it’s not always true. I knew a high school schoolteacher I’ll call G. He was an excellent teacher and was even voted teacher of the year. G had an affair with a fourteen-year-old student. (Think of Mary Kay Letourneau with the genders reversed.) He left his wife and four children to be with her. His family was heartbroken and have scars they will carry to their graves, but he got what he wanted. As he said, “love is love.” 

 

There was no doubt He loved the young girl. He boldly and unashamedly proclaimed his love for her. (Mind you, I remember him making the same proclamation twenty-five years earlier about his wife.)  G’s love for the girl was so strong he stood stiff-necked against the law social censure and professional punishment. He stood defiantly before the judge and was sent to prison, which was the correct response. He betrayed the trust of parents and his profession and cultural standards. G was a pedophile, and pedophilia is still anathema. Will it always remain so? I wonder.


TWISTED MORALITY 

 

In a time such as this with ever-shifting morality or abandonment of long-established morality, will pedophiles eventually be seen as a persecuted group deserving government protection? Someone may say that will never happen because pedophilia hurts children. So does divorce and that has become commonplace. So does abortion and that has become commonplace. Our perverse culture has twisted it into a right. Children always seem to pay the highest price for unproven social experiments by their elders, designed for the benefit of their elders. 

 

I remember fashionable slogans of the 1960s that were largely unchallenged by any progressive and open-minded person: “If it feels good, do it” was used to justify sex outside marriage or opposed to it. “Don’t knock ‘till you’ve tried it” was meant to justify drug use or sexual experimentation Progressives of the day bought into it all with enthusiasm. They thought themselves so enlightened, throwing off the shackles of restraint. “Free love” was a phrase used to promote promiscuity without responsibility. It was neither free nor was it love. It carried a very high cost in sorrow and broken hearts, disease and death, and it certainly was not love, it was lust. The 1960s were an unmitigated social disaster. But so typical of progressives, they won’t admit mistakes that were regressive.

 

The disastrous 1960s were just the preamble to the disasters of the 1970s. I know that looking back as an old man. A traveller may take a wrong road but when he discovers it, he does not keep going. He turns around and goes back. Our culture has taken a wrong road that intentionally deviated from the Judeo-Christian moral consensus that made the western world great. It’s time we retrace our steps and return to the right road. 

The ancients were right: Marriage is between a man and a woman, where the marriage bed is not defiled. Children need their mother and their father. They need to be raised in an environment of Biblical love, nurture and protection of a family in a home where the Holy Spirit abides. That is God’s formula for people to truly thrive.


MDP


 

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

CHRISTIAN CHILDREN IN AN ANTI-CHRISTIAN WORLD


 


I have heard it said that if a sense of order and discipline is not established in a child's life before the age of seven, he is lost. I do not know where that pearl of parenting wisdom came from and I'm not even sure I believe the age part - but I think I understand the point that was being made.

 

Children need the security of consistent boundaries for behaviour to be established early in their lives in order for them to thrive. I'm not sure how the seven-year age limit came into the equation; perhaps it was simply an exaggeration to illustrate the fact that every child needs a sense of order. Fair enough. On that point, I hope most reasonable and reasoned people agree.

 

Parents must establish and maintain boundaries for proper moral behaviour - boundaries within which they themselves abide. Those boundaries must be consistent with Christian morality because that is the best way to live.

 

I refuse to accept that a child is ever beyond the pale of redemption because of bad circumstances, poor upbringing or even cruelty. If I did accept such an idea, the redemptive message of Christianity would ring hollow.

 

The Bible tells us that children are a gift and a heritage from God (Psalm 127.3). Parents do not own their children - they are entrusted with their children's physical, emotional and spiritual care. God calls parents to bring their children up in the way of the Lord.

 

Do not think that small children are incapable of understanding spiritual things. They may not have the vocabulary or ability to express it, but they can have deeply profound spiritual experiences. We know this from our own memories. 

 

C.S. Lewis put it this way.

 

“From our own childhood we remember that before our elders thought us capable of “understanding” anything, we already had spiritual experience as pure and as momentous as any we have undergone since, though not, of course, as rich in factual context. From Christianity itself we learn that there is a level—in the long run the only level of importance—on which the learned and the adult have no advantage at all over the simple and the child”

 

Marriage and family life under the lordship of God are the ideal setting for children. I know this because that is where God put his own Son. The Holy Family was the ideal place to nurture the Christ child.

 

Godly parents are one of the greatest assets any child can have. A child reared under the love and nurture of godly parents is likely to thrive.

 

It is not a guarantee that children will grow up to love and serve God—the world can tempt them away—but the chances are best that such children will emerge into adulthood as followers of Christ if their parents were. They are more likely to have a desire to serve rather than be served; they are more likely to view their lives in terms of seeking a higher calling.

 

I know forces contrary and hostile to Christian faith are everywhere. They may seem overwhelming, but parents must not lose heart. (That is exactly what the evil one wants.) Christian parents must continue teaching and showing the way of Christ to their children. 

 

The love and hope of vibrant and living Christianity can stand in stark contrast to the chaos found in a godless worldview where materialism, consumption and temporary self-gratification often triumph over human dignity and individual worth.

 

In the midst of worldly consumption, Christ calls people to something different, something greater, something other-centred rather than self-centred. Young people who have been taught to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit can discover the reason they were born. When this happens, they will discover meaning and purpose to their lives that far outstrips anything the world can offer.

 

We desperately need a generation of young visionaries who are unafraid of being radicals for the kingdom of God and are prepared to dedicate their lives to furthering that kingdom on earth. Young people who are on fire for God can change the world and even the course of history for the better.

 

Parents can not wish for any greater legacy. — MDP 

 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

POPE FRANCIS ARRIVES IN CANADA TO APOLOGIZE

Pope Francis has arrived in Alberta (Canada) near where I live. He has come to apologize for a sorry legacy of past abuses of indigenous children in residential schools run by the Catholic Church. I cannot believe that people who had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ could have done the terrible things that are alleged. There is a lesson to be learned: The most effective attacks against Christ's Church (be it Catholic, Orthodox, or evangelical) do not come from outside the Church but from scandal within. I came across a Twitter message from Pope Francis. I commented and forwarded it to people of the greater Christian community. 



Friday, July 15, 2022

BULLIED PC CONFORMITY



 




I want to share an article published on 14 July 2022 in The American Mind titled FLOYD VOID: The Current Thing is an Opportunity for Courage. This excellent, penetrating and timely article was written by Helen Roy.  Well done Ms. Roy! I recommend HumanLifeMatters readership read this short article. Click on the title below.

FLOYD VOID  

MDP


Thursday, June 30, 2022

BUILDING A POST-ROE AMERICA

 



I never thought I would live to see the day Roe v Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It seemed that the terrible and aberrant decision of 1973 was so entrenched that It could not be rooted out like an ugly noxious weed. Roe paved the way for a deadly 50-year holocaust of killing the youngest members of the human family—in unfathomable numbers. Who can get their head around 63,000,000 children slaughtered in utero? On 24 June 2022 it happened! Roe v Wade was aborted by the Supreme Court and I’m still here! What a remarkable life-affirming day it was for America! 

 

The 5 courageous Justices who turned the course of American history were Justices Samuel A Alito Jr., Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas. They righted a terrible judicial wrong that deeply compromised the character of the greatest nation on earth for close to 50 years. They knew they would set off a firestorm of outraged shrill howlings by abortion supporters, a biased media in their favour and liberal politicians. The three remaining justices on the Supreme Court cried that the sky is falling! They warned that now Roe v Wade is overturned, terrible things will follow: What will the magnificent five overthrow next? They don’t succumb to the usual protests, threats or intimidation tactics of the left!

 

Actually, now that Roe is in the trash bin of history, a new and brighter tomorrow awaits. My pro-life American neighbours can take new opportunities to cultivate a culture of love and inclusion for all human life, from womb to tomb, and in every stage and state between those two points.

 

Embrace fully the concept of universal human rights, not selective rights that exclude the smallest and most vulnerable members of the human family: Unborn children, even those who are unwanted. Reach out to your adversaries who think abortion is a human right. Reach across the divide with a spirit of reconciliation to rebuild American unity that tolerates opposing views. Build bridges around the walls. 

 

Work to unite fellow Americans as fellow Americans first—people who can disagree but not be disagreeable. Strive toward a national ethos that sees the natural dignity in each other. Reach across bitter divisions with a hand of friendship meant to bring people together for the sake of America. Promote a unity of people who are more devoted to the American flag and what it stands for than personal agendas. 

 

Understand that abortion advocates are white-hot with anger and your overtures may be rebuffed or met with bitter vitriol. Do not respond in kind. Invite civil dialogue and peaceful conversations that do not end in shouting or threats. Be patient with them to understand that every life matters, that human rights begin when human life begins, and that we have a moral responsibility to each other. To paraphrase 17th-century poet and divine John Donne, no one is an island entire unto themselves, every person is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. 

 

Help those who espouse abortion as a way to solve problems to change their minds and embrace the beautiful ideal that America is a place where people are interdependent more than independent. Help them understand that inclusive words like we, us, and together are better than me, my, mine; perhaps they will come to see that community and family are more important than self and self-interest. Words matter. An authentic community is diametrically opposed to autonomy. I have been repeating this across North America, like a broken record, for more than 20 years. 

 

I believe with all my heart that it is within the greater connection of community that people can rise to their fullest potential. I believe that human purpose loses its meaning outside the context of a commitment to those around us and the common good. 

 

In recent days, since Roe v Wade’s collapse, I have been attacked online for celebrating its demise. Someone on Twitter sent me a tweet saying: 

 

“…When babies you forced to come into this world are actually living humans, you will turn your back on them and call them socialist freeloaders. Your (sic) a twisted sick religious creep. You would have made a great abortion!” 

 

Yes, I’m sure others think I would have made a great abortion. In 1952 when my mother was carrying me, if there would have been a way to identify that her son would develop aggressive multiple sclerosis, that he would be forced onto disability pension at the age of 38 and be a burden on the state (what the Nazis called a useless eater) I suspect some doctor would have suggested my mother abort me.  

 

Babies are not forced to be born, Mr. Tweet. it’s the most natural thing in the world. They don’t become living humans, they already are humans, beginning 9 months before their birth.  Have you ever noticed, Mr. T, that pregnant women who want their babies know the child is a living human? It’s only when the child is unwanted that they cease to be a living human. Then they become “potential life” or a “clump of cells” or a “fetus”—anything to strip them of their humanity. It makes them easier to kill. That’s why the Nazis dehumanized Jews. Depending on the seriousness of pending food shortages we are being warned about, due in part to the Russia/Ukraine war, will the existence of people like me be considered burdensome to the state (what the Nazis called ballastexistenzen?)  


Now, as far as turning my back on children once they are born, that plays into the abortion advocacy myth that pro-lifers only care about a child before it’s born but don’t care once it is born. That’s not true. There are crisis pregnancy centers dotted across North America that prove it’s not true. They offer women life-affirming choices for themselves and their babies.  Crisis pregnancy centers that I’ve known (including the one I helped start) do not give out misinformation as the abortion lobby asserts. They provide real alternatives for women (and their partners) to choose from, other than abortion. If abortion is about choices, then there must be choices.

 

Someone else told me that abortion helps decrease crime. She sent me a tweet saying, “You going to come up with great crime reform then? Over 50% in the decline of crime is now attributed to legalized abortion.” It is a strange crime reform strategy that kills potential criminals before they commit crimes because they will be born into poverty. Public policy must never presumptively kill possible criminals—it changes their environment. That’s Crime Reform 101. 

 

Killing children prior to their births is no way of solving potential crime rates at some point in the future. The answer comes through supportively encouraging women in crisis pregnancies to complete their education or further their education, or gain work experience. It helps provide childcare, job counselling and life skills—the very things many crisis pregnancy centers (being torched) already do!

 

If even a fraction of government funding presently going to support abortion was sent to CPCs to provide life-affirming options to women in crisis pregnancies … now that would be progressive crime reform policy. That levels the ground to make real positive choices!

 

Someone else sent me an article written by a doctor involved in the IVF/ART industry claiming life does not begin at fertilization. I asked Dr. Dianne Irving[1] to respond. Here is part of her reply:

 

“Well, he's 100% wrong -- but given that he works in the infertility business (IVF/ART), no surprise that he tries.  If he admitted the accurate scientific facts then he would no longer be able to justify all the abortions and destructive experimental research that he engages in.  Please note too that he is an MD, not a Ph.D. scientist (different course work, different degrees).  M.D.s are NOT SCIENTISTS.”

 

“The accurate objective scientific facts as to when human beings begin to exist is fully documented by the Carnegie Stages of Human Embryonic Development, known and acknowledged internationally since 1941 by an international committee of Ph.D. human embryologist scientists from around the world (FIAMC), and verified every year since up to the present. …”  

 

The most outrageous claims are being made to try to support abortion. My body, my choice is only describing a deadbeat mom. Besides, there are two bodies involved: the mother’s body and her developing child’s body. It will be her child’s body that will be torn apart by abortion. 

 

Let the slogans, and angry pro-abortion rhetoric, demonstrations and chants in the streets pass. Speak with love. We need not put things in blunt terms when trying to win abortion-minded people. 

 

Granted, there are those pro-abortion ideologues who will never change, but we must leave a door of friendship and welcome open to them. I’m not saying you have to become pals, just allow them an opportunity to save face now that Roe is dead. Remember, many bought into a lie long ago and it may be deeply embedded into their thinking. Still, those of us who have worked against abortion for decades should reach out in a spirit of friendship and cordiality, for the sake of a better tomorrow in the wake of Roe v Wade. 

 

 MDP


[1] Dr. Irving's professional activities include teaching positions at Georgetown University, Catholic University of America, and The Dominican House of Studies. She represented the Catholic Medical Association of the United States, and the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, at the Scientific Conference in Mexico City, Mexico, October 28, 1999 and presented a paper on "The Dignity and Status of the Human Embryo". Dr. Irving is a former career-appointed bench research biochemist/biologist (NIH, NCI, Bethesda, MD), an M.A. and Ph.D. philosopher (Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.), and Professor of the History of Philosophy, and of Medical Ethics.

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

THE WORD,TRUTH AND FREEDOM

 


Oprah Winfrey once said “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.” I’m not sure in what context she said speaking, but she alluded to words that Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32, NKJV) As a Black child born in the 1950s into poverty in Mississippi, I can understand how she may have felt powerless, but her quote above taps into Christ’s words and is out of context of what He meant. 

 

Christ said the words about truth setting us free to the Pharisees who held the religious temporal power. He did not. His power was of a different kind. He held the keys over life and death, and we can read the proof of that two chapters later in the 11thchapter of John when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.[1] Imagine that! Lazarus’ body had already been in the grave 4 days. The stench of putrification had begun. When Jesus called “Lazarus! Come forth!”, Lazarus’ heart began pumping again, congealed blood was restored, and his decaying body was restored and came to life. 

 

Ask yourself if that really happened? Did Jesus physically raise a dead man back to life? If you believe it didn’t happen, then Jesus Christ was not the Christ, the Son of God. If it did not actually happen, then He had no power over death and He did not rise from the dead either and nor will you or I. If it did not happen then I am amongst 100s of million of pitiable Christians throughout the centuries who believed a lie.[2] We have staked our lives on a myth in the Bible. If, however, Jesus raised and restored Lazarus from a dead rotting carcass—which I believe with all my heartwe are confronted with the essential question: Who is this Jesus? He certainly can’t be dismissed as a good moral teacher. C.S. Lewis said this about that:


“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”[3]

 

The truth Christ was talking about was/is Himself when He said the truth will set you free. Elsewhere, Jesus said, “I am the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me.”[4] The word He meant was/is Himself. We read in the 1stChapter of John that in the beginning, Christ was the word that was with God and was God.[5]

 

The word?

 

From a layman’s perspective, it seems to me “the word” is something like a divine thought that animates everything seen and unseen, known and unknown; the word is alive and active in people’s lives, a divine idea that penetrates to the essence of every person, dividing soul and spirit with the sharpness of a two-edged sword. The Word judges every person’s thoughts and actions.[6] Perhaps it has something to do with human conscience; [7] but that is only a reflection of the word, the divine idea. An eternal thought.[8]

 

This eternal Thought is love[9] and a desire for relationships between the most special creatures of creation (man), and the eternal thought which is God.[10] Humanity is special and set apart in creation because God, that divine thought, that unfathomable Being, Perfect love, imbued humanity with the image and likeness of the divine thought which is God who animates the cosmos.[11]

 

From the perspective of my puny unlettered mind, which is governed by space and time, it is impossible to imagine something that exists outside those realms because space and time are all I know. The only thing I know that seems not to exist within space and time is thought, but that is not quite true. It takes a tittle of time, a millisecond, for thought to be generated, and yet I can imagine a thought existing after death when time and space are removed. 

 

The Incarnation was a reversal. That which was timeless and immaterial entered time and space. The spiritual became physical. The Creator entered creation for His love of the apex of His creation: humanity.[12] The Creator loves and desires to be loved by His image-bearers. Isn’t that the nature of true love? To love and be loved. The Word desires to be known, the divine Thought desires to be thought of constantly and loved in an intimate communion of love.[13] The problem is that the creature is unable to love the Word and divine Thought because the creature became corrupted, distorted, and separated from the Creator.[14]

 

God is perfect. Originally, paradisal man in Eden was perfect but became imperfect through disobedience and sin, thus introducing Original sin into the world—what the John the Baptist called “the sin of the world.” 

 

Jesus (the Word) said, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”[15] But how can a grossly imperfect man like me be perfect like his Creator? I’m so distorted and corrupted by sin, I cannot find my own way to God. We are all corrupted by sin. Man had a wounded spirit that is inclined toward evil and unholiness.[16] We are in a hopeless situation because we are incapable of perfection (holiness) by our own means. Consequently, since sin was first introduced into the world, a relationship between God and man became impossible without blood sacrifice. Something, or as it turns out, someone must restore the possibility of relationships between Creator and creature: God and man. That someone was Jesus Christ:[17] Truly God, truly man. The Incarnation. I am unable to love God the Father, but I can love God the Son[18] through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.[19]

 

Unfortunately, it seems that suffering plays a significant role in bringing Christians closer to it.[20] The most imperfect, of whom I am the worst, must pass through a refining fire to burn away the dross. But even that proves insufficient. Christ is our perfection through faith.[21] For much of my adult life I have suffered from paralysis, and yet I have been freed even when a threatening storm of quadriplegia rumbled on the horizon, but my spirit soared I met the truth—who is Christ—and I had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I still do. — MDP 



Notes

[1] John 11:1-44.

[2] 1Corinthians 15:12-16

[3] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

[4] John 14.6.

[5] John 1:1-2.

[6] Hebrews 4:12.

[7] Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 10:16, John 1:9.

[8] John 1:1-5, Hebrews 1:2-3.

[9] 1 John 4:7-8.

[10] Genesis 1:26-27 & 5.2, John 1:3, 11,14,16,29,3:14-17, 1John 4:7-16.

[11] CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC), 355

[12] CCC, 343, 355.

[13] Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12, 30:6, Matthew 22:36-37.

[14] Genesis 3., Romans 5:12-13,

[15] Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 19:7, Matthew 5:48, 

[16] Jeremiah 17:9, Ecclesiastes 9:3, Mathew 15:19.

[17] John 3:16-17, Romans 5:8.

[18] Romans 1:16-18, 

[19] John 14:17, 2Peter 1:4.

[20] Deuteronomy 8:2-3, Psalm 40:1-2, Matthew 5:10-12, Romans 5:3, 2Corinthians 12.9, 1Peter 1:6-11, 2: 19-13, 4:12-14 & 16-19, 5:10-11, 12:1-2, Philippians 1:29, 2:5-8, 3:8-15, Hebrews 2:9-11, 11:35, 12:1, Revelation 2:10.

[21] 2 Corinthians 5:21.