Christianity has been under attack from the very first days of its existence. Those attacks have been relentless – even vicious – and yet it survives.
Modern critics such as Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens – commonly known as ‘The New Atheists’ – continue the tradition.
It seems to me that most of their attacks have been directed at the wrong target. You’d think they’d learn after all this time.
But they continue to attack on the same fronts that have proved impregnable for centuries: the existence of God; the reliability of the Bible; creation vs ‘Big Bang,’ the hypocrisy of Christians, and more.
And every attack fails. But there is a weak spot that they should attack, there is one vulnerability. If you can tear down this, then the whole of Christianity will collapse like a house of cards in a violent storm.
And to help their cause, the Bible even tells them where to attack.
Reports just in from the Celebrity pages of ‘Jerusalem Post’ indicate that disgraced former Pharisee Paul continues his successful – if controversial – tour around the Mediterranean.
In every city he visits, he seems to stir up trouble. His message causes riots in some cities, and stirs up violence against himself in many.
And still he continues his tour, determined to share a message that discerning hearers have labelled bizarre and grossly unappealing. Others call it blasphemous in the extreme. Hence the riots and the attacks.
And yet, it seems to be captivating many who hear him. Reports are that the educated and religious are discerning enough to ignore or reject his message.
Initially it seems to be the poor, the working class, slaves, and the disenfranchised who welcome his message, and embrace the man himself. That should tell the discerning reader something.
Strangely though, many amongst the middle-class – and even some wealthy business owners seem to be won over by his message. Rumour has it that there are some within Caesar’s own household who have accepted Paul’s teaching.
Paul apparently has the same things to say in every town and every city; his message never seems to change. One might imagine that, to be successful, you’d need to have a few different stories to tell from time to time.
But not Paul. He seems to delight in telling the same story over and over again. He is quoted as saying that this is because “I am not ashamed of the gospel.”
And he also says that he refuses to change his message because “this gospel is of first importance.”
“What on earth could be so important that you never change your message, Paul?” Well might you ask.
How many crazy End Times theories have been concocted over the generations out of the book of Revelation, I wonder? Probably nearly as many as the stars in the heavens.
And how many of those have proven to be right so far? I’m guessing about as many as the stars in the oceans. But still, we can’t help ourselves. Every major earthquake, every war, or plague we try to tie to some verse or chapter in Revelation. Thereby hoping to work out a timeline of the Last Days.
It certainly would be convenient to be able to link these events to specific passages in Revelation. Then we could look at this Coronavirus and know how close we are to the end of all days.
But that’s not why Revelation was given to us. And many people have stubbed their toes on this book by trying to use it for the wrong reasons.
For I’m convinced Revelation was given to us for an entirely different purpose.