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When Will We Ever Learn?

Counter-CutSnapshot England

There has been a small tempest brewing in the British tea-cup.  It started when a Christian organization, Healing on the Streets (HOTS), decided to run some ads on the sides of buses stating that God can heal.  The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decided that the statement constitutes false advertising and forced the advertising to stop because there is no “scientific” proof that God can heal.[1]

Then last week Fabrice Muamba, a famous British soccer player, had an on-field heart arrest and died.  The death caused national consternation, mourning, and prayer.  Farbice was without a heartbeat for 78 minutes while doctors continued to shock his heart with CPR.  Ultimately his heart re-started and he is doing quite well, though he is still in ICU.  Many – including his doctors – call his recovery “miraculous.”

Was his miraculous recovery the result of an act of God or an act of man?  I believe it was an act of God.  Many humanists believe it was an act of man.  The truth could very well be that it was a combination of both:  God responded to people’s prayers and efforts and re-started Fabrice’s heart using the doctors as His tools.  No one this side of Heaven can know for sure about this specific event.

Subsequently three Members of Parliament (MPs) decided that the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had overstepped its bounds by banning the ads that God can heal.  So they wrote a letter to the ASA requesting that they reverse their ruling.  The core argument of the letter is that the ASA cannot eliminate the possibility that Fabrice Muamba’s healing was an act of God; therefore the ads should be allowed to continue:

“It is interesting to note that since the traumatic collapse of the footballer Fabrice Muamba, the whole nation appears to be praying for a physical healing for him. Are they wrong also and will you seek to intervene?

“We invite your detailed response to this letter and unless you can persuade us that you have reached your ruling on the basis of indisputable scientific evidence, we intend to raise this matter in Parliament.”[2]

In addition, one of the MPs testified to a personal experience of immediate and permanent healing for a years-long chronic pain in his hand.  This healing was the result of prayer.  The MP apparently believes his healing was truly an act of God:

“After prayer at that meeting, my hand was immediately free from pain and has been ever since. What does the ASA say about that? I would be the first to accept that prayed for people do not always get healed, but sometimes they do. That is all this sincere group of Christians in Bath are claiming.”[3]

The letter immediately caused a small political tempest.  The humanist howls and responses were instantaneous, voluminous, and disparaging.  However, no substantiation was provided to support the humanist position.  As the pressure continued to mount, one of the key signatories of the letter quickly crumbled and apologized.  The Christian position quickly collapsed; God’s was forgotten and ridiculed.

Snapshot America

Let’s jump across the pond and look at the tempest in the coffee cup.  Bill Ayers, a one-time member of the Weather Underground and self-proclaimed revolutionary, has been linked to President Obama.  The specific nature of the link is not the issue of concern at this time.  The issue is a confession that Bill Ayers made on March 30, 2012, to Occupy Wall Street protesters:

“I get up every morning thinking, today I’m gonna make a difference. Today I’m gonna end capitalism. Today I’m gonna make a revolution. I go to bed every night disappointed, but I’m back again tomorrow. That’s the only way you can do it.”

What is striking about that confession is the passion it expresses for destroying traditional America.  The unswerving focus on that goal.  The sense of mission.  The total dedication and tenacity to that mission, in spite of the cost.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not condoning those views.  But I do respect the passion.

The Question

Now let’s compare the British Christian example with the American atheist example:  The British Christian caved at the slightest resistance in spite of his personal experience to the truth.  The American atheist stood strong and proud in simple faith in a false belief.  What happened?  It should be the other way around!

It is sad indeed when an atheist has more faith and passion than a Christian.  Christians are supposed to stand strong, even to the death, against lions, crucifixions, burnings, and other tortures.  We are commanded to do exactly what Bill Ayers does:

We are to get up every morning thinking, today I’m gonna make a difference for Christ. Today I’m gonna bring someone to Jesus. Today I’m gonna make a revolution. We may go to bed every night disappointed, but we should be back again tomorrow. That’s the only way we can do it.

Why don’t Christians do it?  Why do they crumble so easily?  Christians have the truth of God on their side; they have the Holy Spirit in their hearts; they have the personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe to guide them.  Why then do Christians cave at the slightest resistance?  What happened to the Christian faith?

To paraphrase Pete Seeger’s song[4] from long ago:

Where have all the strong men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the strong men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the strong men gone?
Left Jesus – each and every one.
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

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