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Discussion 26 to Meditation 38
Proof for an existence of God and proof for an existence of Jesus Christ.

by Preston Lange

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With God, the answer is as simple as reading the writing of St. Thomas Aquinas on the "first cause" of creation. Yes, I admit that he has a biased (catholic) opinion but that does not mean that it is incorrect. The belief that all of creation, including the planetary systems, the stars, and the human eye - all of it - is the result of some great cosmic chance or accident is far more fanciful (at least to me) than a belief in a divine creator that is still creating to this day. Proofs for my statement lie in the complexities of creation itself, for evolution to work without some sort of all-powerful guidance leaves entirely too much to chance. Scientists today are beginning to admit that there is certainly something to the “first cause” argument because of such facts as – if the earth were just 50 miles closer to or further away from the sun we would burn up or freeze respectively. The human eye has almost an innumerable number of systems that must be in place for it function properly and those that do not believe in God must then say that each and everyone of the these is the result of an evolutionary process that knew each and everyone was necessary for the ultimate end result (that’s one intelligent ameba). My argument does not rule out evolution, evolution can and in some cases does occur however, without some form of providential guidance there should be a great many more problems than there are. It’s entirely possible that all of creation, from carbon to outer-space is designed specifically for the purpose of sustaining life here on earth, since each planet helps to keep the others in place with gravitational pull and so on. How this could be the result of the same thing that let’s me win the lottery or not (chance) is a much bigger leap of faith than believing that God did it. So in truth it would seem that the people who have the deepest amount of faith are in fact the atheists of the world.

Now, on to the more difficult question, is there proof for the existence of Jesus Christ and furthermore is there proof that He was in fact the Son of God as prophesized in the Old Testament and accounted by the New Testament?

The challenge laid out is to come up with contemporary writings during the time of Jesus’ life that corroborate the New Testament account that are not found in the Bible. Unfortunately I do not have any writings that meet that exact criteria to offer as proof however, I would still like to offer some different items for reflection. First and foremost we must turn to the Bible itself beginning with the genealogy of Jesus as reported in the book of Matthew. According to tradition Matthew was a tax collector before becoming a disciple of Christ and thus it makes sense that his book would be read like a tax form beginning with Abraham and making it’s way all the way down to Joseph. But, if that’s true it only allows for us to see that Joseph was of the house of David but since Jesus was not Joseph’s son that does not help too much. Next, there are the countless prophesies in the Old Testament that one day a redeemer would come – born in Bethlehem of a virgin, from the house of David (a Jew), That would be killed and then would rise again defeating death and thus reuniting man with God. According to the New Testament these things were carried out exactly by Jesus. However, this all requires that the reader believe what is written in the Bible without any corroboration and I can understand how that is difficult for anyone to do. So instead let’s look instead at some of the philosophical proofs that exist for these beliefs. I would have to begin with the fact that all of Jesus’ original disciples save one (John) were indeed martyred for their belief in Jesus as the prophesized Christ. This is hardly a light statement. For a person to die for their beliefs, the beliefs must be strong enough to sustain that person thru the trials that they face. Each of the disciples left their homes, families, wages and fortunes to follow Jesus, none of them knowing what fate had in store. None of them, not one, gained anything financially, there was no fortune, no fame, and no accolades just persecution was given to them and yet the faith spread like wildfire. As early as 115 A.D. the Roman historian Tacitus wrote about the spreading faith “They got their name from Christ, who was executed by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. That checked the pernicious superstition for a short time, but it broke out afresh-not only in Judea, where the plague first arose, but in Rome itself, where all the horrible and shameful things in the world collect and find a home." From his Annals. So how does having a faith that in the time was a death sentence continue to grow and spread? Divine Providence? Maybe. Martyrs create more of a following (any following)? Possibly. It would seem though that at some point the “rebellious” who converted would eventually be either silenced or killed and the faith would’ve died long ago. But instead it reshaped the world. Consider also the timing of Jesus’ arrival in the world. As Pope John Paul II has said, isn’t it justified that when the world presented itself to Caesar to be counted God presented Himself that He should be counted as well (paraphrased). Jesus came into the world at a moment when the known world was being connected by roads and not a moment before. When information began to travel just a little bit faster and the world began to be interconnected to itself, Jesus arrived to have His “good news” be shared amongst men. The account of Jesus’ public life covers three years from His baptism in the Jordan to His Ascension into heaven, just three years. So in a time when news traveled faster but only as fast as the caravans WALKED it’s seems logical that only limited information about his deeds was being reported, take into account the human “grapevine” characteristics and is it any wonder that people could just ignore the amazing claims attributed to Jesus. Another thing to consider is that while yes there were people who wrote in that time it’s not like copy after copy after copy could be produced so finding documents that speak about a nobody carpenter from the middle of nowhere special who (and think about the time here) performed magic tricks for the teeming masses must be akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Literacy was reserved for the very wealthy and the priests of the time not everyone could just go pick up a local newspaper and see what was going on around the world. No, the most compelling evidence for the proof that Jesus was indeed the Son of God as proclaimed in the Bible came after His earthly life was over. Some examples would be the thriving Christian faith that went from being a back-door religion to the official religion of the Great Roman Empire. As new countries form and old ones die off the Church remained. The miracles of His life were only the beginning, since His ascension several miracles have occurred and been witnessed and testified to by more than believers alone. One of the most glaring miracle accounts being what occurred in Fatima (See the Book – The Sun Danced at Fatima) in which thousands of people witnessed the same thing at the same time while being separated by hundreds of miles. The lives of the Saints also continue to illustrate the true power of the One True God. In the end it’s faith that proves faith. Jesus existed because the memory of Him exists. It’s sad that in a world where a corroborating witness is enough to condemn a man to death or take away his freedom, the same does not apply to religion and faith. For every witness that faith has there is a person who states that they have no proof, well, sworn testimony is good enough for government and it’s good enough for me.