Where Christ is Lord and everyone is welcome.

Pastor’s Article

Dear Pilgrim Congregational Church members and friends,

How wonderful to see the turn of the seasons.  When snow arrived last November I had a great picture time hunting in the mountain.  In December I worried that there might not be enough snow to cross-country ski in mountains around Red Lodge.  Now it is time for the snow slowly to melt to soak the ground for growing grain and grass for the animals.

Pilgrim Congregational Church is part of the most wonderful faith community.  The Christian faith has come to us from outside ourselves, from outside the material world and universe.  We have been given a God that is bigger that human thinking, tradition, and experience.  The omniscience, omnipotent, omnipresent God has revealed Himself to us as holy, just, loving, etc.  In the winter season we worship God for his incarnation God the Son, born in the manger.  In the spring season we worship the voluntary sacrifice of God the Son for the atonement of His finite, fragile, frail creation.  The crowning revelation in this season is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our salvation.

This revelation is so fantastic we need the gift of God to believe.  This is a simple outline of the

Resurrection Hoax theories and rebuttal

  1. Thief theory: The disciples stole the body of Jesus.
    Rebuttal:  The disciples would have to slip past the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb on penalty of death, remove the stone and get away undetected. The Hebrew Chief Priest instructed the soldiers guarding the tomb to spread this false rumor,
    Matthew 28:13.
  2. Swoon theory: Jesus fainted and revived in the tomb, escaped the soldiers and ran away.
    Rebuttal: Jesus would have to survive scourging, nailed to a cross, spear thrust through the heart, no food or water for three days and then escape from 100 lbs. of burial cast, remove a large stone, escape Roman soldiers, and stay hidden for the rest of His life.
  3. Mistake theory: The disciples went to the wrong tomb.
    Rebuttal: The Chief Priest would simply ask Pilate to ask his soldiers on penalty of death to produce Jesus’ body.
  4. Justification theory: The Apostles and the Apostle Paul made up the story of Jesus as reverse revelation to support the theology of justification by faith.
    Rebuttal: Review rebuttal #3, simply produce the body.  The Apostles and the Apostle Paul preached their witness of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ to their martyrdom.
  5. Islam theory: Jesus switched places with Judas and ran away.
    Rebuttal: 1Corinthians 15:6 says 500 people saw the resurrected Jesus.  See rebuttal #4.

What if it is true?  Jesus is God born into human flesh.  As such He died a human death, able to rise from the dead because He is the living God.  The truth of the birth of God in flesh and the bodily resurrection gives us faith and hope to believe in the forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life in peace with our creation.  Thank you for the support to lead you in worship and evangelize.

Grace2peace, Pastor Steve

Pilgrim Congregational Church

Billings, Montana