Fact, Reason, and Human Decency

A professor of constitutional law in Minnesota has developed an Instagram following of 400,000 people dedicated to the idea of substantiated facts and the truth, even if it is not what her followers want to hear. In the era of outrageous lies and conspiracy theories, this one woman and her non-partisan crusade for facts and truth gives me hope.
Is there room for fact, reason, and human decency in the church I wonder?
The facts of Christian belief are scarce. We are fairly certain that a Nazarene named Jeshua, son of Joseph lived in Galilee born in the waning years of Herod the Great and lived during the reign of his son, who was also named Herod. We know that Roman-occupied Palestine practiced crucifixion of criminals, rebels, and especially Jewish rebels. Beyond that bare bones outline, we really don’t have many facts that can be backed up by contemporaneous sources. We do have historical writings by Josephus and Tacitus with very little mention of Jesus or his followers of “the Way.”
Does this mean the whole Christian story is made up of fairy tales and crazy lies like pedophile sex rings and lasers starting fires on earth from space? Hitler built an elaborate set of medical and social theories to “prove” the inferiority of Jews and the superiority of the Aryan “race.” It was bad science from the beginning, and it was debunked and not accepted by other scientists around the world except for a handful of bigoted quacks who used the Nazi “science” as a pretext for their own bigotry.
Eventually, after six million perished, the lies and the bad science were completely discredited as the Nazi conspiracists were convicted at Nuremburg. Facts and reason will ultimately prevail because they are the pillars of human decency.
There are two facts of Christian belief that are often overlooked. That is, after the resurrection, this Jeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth made an enormous impact on his small number of followers. First the twelve disciples and an even greater number of women who were close followers of Jesus, then quickly spreading into thousands and across continents. This can only happen when something big changes the hearts of so many people. The first conclusion we can draw from the immediate and rapid spread about the resurrected savior is that something big happened. Big enough to change the lives of thousands very quickly.
The second fact is that the followers of Jesus worked tirelessly to help and support other, non-believers. This multiplied the spread of the faith in the resurrected savior.
There are many today who use reason to discredit all of Christianity and all other religions as superstition. In my view, they have created their own new religion with themselves as god in the center of things. But I think these last two inferred conclusions about Christianity are compelling. Human decency, in the Christian view, comes from sharing from the heart, following the Ten Commandments, and serving others.
I cannot imagine how human decency could flourish when God becomes the self and service to others is supplanted by one’s own quasi-rational thought. When considered purely rationally, why would one person give up anything of value to help a stranger?
Too often, people get wrapped up with the words of the bible, the miracle stories, resurrection, ascension – if these wild things don’t agree with modern reason, then everything must be false and of no value. The logic of rejection here doesn’t even make sense. Would you reject your whole family because one relative told a lie?
This whole apologetic argument in favor of Christian belief boils down to one question. Are you going to follow your own devices and desires as god, or something bigger than yourself?

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