We have regularly stressed the fundamental truth that Christianity without the resurrection is not Christianity – our faith hinges on the historicity of Christ been raised from the dead, never to die and this makes Him utterly unique among anyone in history. This fundamental truth is under constant attack.
In the week leading up to Easter, the BBC displayed the headline news that according to a quarter of Christians, the ‘resurrection did not happen’.
What was not clear was that this survey distinguished between ‘active’ and ‘non-active’ Christians and the 25% figure comes from combining the groups – ie. it included ‘non-active’ Christians. We are also not told how an ‘active’ Christian was defined. A more relevant stat is that the survey also reveals that 93% of ‘active’ Christians did believe in the resurrection which sounds more promising, but this wasn’t deemed worth the headline. The BBC appears to be motivated by a desire to portray an apparent departure in the belief of the resurrection within the church – the ‘spin’ when using the figures further demonstrate this. The figure of 25% may make for a more sensational headline but we cannot see the point of this headline or this story.
It seems to us that there is an undercurrent of contempt for those who believe in the resurrection and that media outlets rarely miss an opportunity to take a cheap swipe at the Christian faith. There is virtually no chance the BBC would release a story questioning some aspect of Mohammed’s life in the days leading up to Ramadan. They wouldn’t have the courage or appetite and this would probably be deemed a ‘hate crime’ in our current climate anyway. Therefore anything that could be perceived an ‘insult’ to Islam (or any other religion for that matter) is strictly off-limits whilst the Christian faith simply has to endure the subtle undermining of anyone who wishes. This is an example of opportunistic journalism by those who want to take a cheap shot at a group of people who will always turn the other cheek. Would they have the courage to do the same with a group who would react very differently when offended?!
This point was further reinforced by the Christian institute this week in light of the murder of many Christians in Egypt on Palm Sunday by Islamic extremists. When reporting these bombings, the BBC reported that ‘many people believe’ Christian persecution is continuing in Egypt – this is a deliberate and gross understatement. It’s patently obvious that Christian persecution is endemic in Eygoy and across many Islamic countries – why dilute this and be so fluffy? How many Christians need to be murdered before this is treated for what it is – Islam’s war on Christians.
Christian persecution is getting worse fast. Whether it takes the form of the murderous regimes across the world and accompanying media silence, or the subtle but deliberate attempts to undermine the factual tenets of the Christian faith, Christians are increasingly being singled out for special treatment – the BBC are leading the way in this in the U.K.
Despite what some Christian leaders say, a firm belief in the resurrection is based on excellent evidence and there is no room for compromise or a new interpretation on this. Any attempt to do this creates a new gospel that cannot save.
Let’s take the opportunity this Easter to celebrate the historical fact that our Saviour Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead to defeat death. He did unlock and open the door for anyone who will repent and walk through to enjoy everlasting life with our Kings of Kings. Let’s also remember and pray for those Christians who are living in terror at this time and being forgotten by the West.
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:12-22)