Our reading for Tuesday, June 25, 2019 is Acts 4:1–12.
The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by whom we must be saved.” NIV
The central point of our passage for me is the final verse, verse 12: “Salvation is found in no one else but Jesus; there is no other person under heaven through which we might find salvation than Jesus.” Too often though, I think that the majority of people who profess they are Christians speak and act hesitantly as though they are unsure of this. Our secular culture proposes the way of human salvation is through human reasoning with science and technology leading the way. The only problem is that human progress has raised as many moral problems as solutions it has given. Human reasoning, education, and psychology have failed to resolve our human dilemma of our self-destructive tendencies.
Now truly transparent so called progressives rarely admit their prejudice again religion, Christian or otherwise, which they credit for the failure of human reasoning for saving our world. Until religion is eradicated except that of human secularism (faith and worship of humanity) technological progress toward a utopian world cannot be possible. Religion is the albatross around humanities neck. Only the bold philosophers of our modern age have dared to propose openly the genocide of religion though the idea seems to grow in popularity.
The mainstream religious culture promotes there are or may be many ways to salvation. It too promotes human reason for the solution to humanities ills. The Bible is selectively used to support the values and goals of secular humanism while the Bible’s authority is eroded to dismiss the content of the Bible that is deemed inconvenient to the more sophisticated and reasonable interpretation of the scriptures. In the light of rising rate of mental dysfunction, relational collapse, and persisting violence (as well as other numerous and obvious social symptoms of societal dysfunction) it is truly against good human reasoning to blame humanity’s ills on religion.
The problem is within humanity itself. Our capacity for healthy reasoning is corrupted as is our emotions. As I helped feed my own grandchildren this morning I observed my innocents occasional crys. When reasoned with they responded simply “because I want to.” So we physically and more capable adult children cry out to God with little emotional self-control also, saying, “Because I want too.” By nature we are self-centered and downright selfish. I know we want to hear something uplifting and positive but that only comes when we hear the gospel (good news) of Jesus.
The Bible exposes humanity’s self-destructive addiction and corrupted capacity for reason. Knowledge is not reason and wisdom is the capacity to use knowledge to bless the world (Albert Einstein). Jesus remains THE WAY to true understanding of self and the world, and the only person who can lead us from self-destruction to salvation. Other persons may suggest thoughts that complement the principles of Christ, but only Jesus presents the whole package along with the power to transform the human heart and mind that is required to “save” us from ourselves.
The Liberal bias of religious thought attempts to free humanity from accountability to anything or anyone but our own corrupted capacity for reason. The so called Progressive path seeks to find its own human defined path without God which will lead to technological Armageddon for the greater the technological progress without the constraint of God’s absolutes to guide us the greater our capacity to destroy humanity and the world.
Like Peter and John we must take our stand as followers of Jesus Christ to profess his name and values as the only reasonable hope for the salvation of humanity. We will be called into question and ridiculed, and our culture will “progress” in its resentment and attempts to eliminate the threat of faith in Christ. We will ultimately prevail however, as before we self-destruct Christ shall return to restore and reign. While we may have limited impact on the direction of the world we can provide the way for each individual to be saved from personal destruction. Faith in Christ is the capstone, the crowning achievement to God’s plan for humanity and the sure foundation to a healthy and productive life as God intended for us.
Blessings as you stand firm in Jesus!
Dr. Brian Homan