• Sarah Raad


Surely nothing human-made could not only endure, but flourish, for so long, and surely nobody other than God could have changed the world as Christ has done…

Crucifixion (Rusetska Natalya)

On 17th June 1972 members of the Nixon administration (with the approval of the then U.S. President, Richard Nixon), broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Office Building in Washington D.C to steal documents.

Between 1972 and 1974, the Nixon administration attempt to cover-up their involvement in this crime and their involvement in other similar political espionage activities. By 9th August 1974, Richard Nixon – after being indicted and under threat of impeachment – resigned from office. Nixon is the only U.S. President to have resigned from office.

This attempted cover-up and the resulting criminal investigation, charges, convictions and disgrace is now referred to as the Watergate Scandal.

Charles (Chuck) Colson was an American attorney and political advisor who was the Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1970. Colson gained notoriety at the height of the Watergate scandal, as he was named as one of the “Watergate Seven”. Colson pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for attempting to defame Pentagon Papers’ defendant Daniel Ellsberg.

Later, Colson said, “I know the Resurrection (of Christ) is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world – and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”

And I have been reflecting on this statement over the last few days because I agree with it!

You see, I have heard – countless times – from people that Christ was a political prisoner, and He was punished for disrupting the status quo within His Jewish community. I have been told – countless times – that Christ’s disciples who were only the naive, the uneducated, the isolated and the poor, followed and believed in Him because of their lack of education, intelligence and discernment. And I have been told – countless times – that the Church is merely a man-made construct designed for the convenience of the men who lead it.

And yet – though in many ways Christ disrupted the status quo of his community – and could possibly be considered a political activist, He must surely be something more than that… After all, how could a mere political activist – who wrote no words onto paper with His own hands – be remembered so EXTENSIVELY some twenty centuries after His very short three-decade-long life? Can you think of another person who has even had a tenth of Christ’s influence on the entire world?

Also – though in many ways Christ’s followers were naive, uneducated, isolated and poor – their simple preaching, only days after His death, resulted in THOUSANDS of conversions each day… “But many of those who had listened to their message became believers, the total number of whom had now risen to something like five thousand.” (Acts 4:4). And these conversions occurred when people listened to the words of these naïve, uneducated, isolated and poor men – even despite the ongoing terrible persecution of the Christians.

And then – though in some ways the Church could be considered a man-made construct designed for the convenience of the men who lead it – can it really be considered in this way? After all, all the early Church Fathers were “beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison” (Charles Colson). And – even if we ignore the obvious punishment that early Church leaders experienced – it is impossible to ignore the endurance of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church – a two-thousand-year-old institution that has not only survived, but expanded, despite scandal, corruption, abuse, schisms and neglect over the years…

And this is why I think that Charles Colson makes perfect sense… Because surely nothing human-made could not only endure, but flourish, for so long. And surely nobody other than God could have changed the world as Christ has done…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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