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Jesus Skeptic - Jesus, You, and the Fight for Human Rights, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2022 6:00 am

Jesus Skeptic - Jesus, You, and the Fight for Human Rights, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 15, 2022 6:00 am

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.” In this program, guest teacher John Dickerson continues his series “Jesus Skeptic.” Join us as John looks at the ways that authentic followers of Jesus have opposed evil for centuries, and the inspiration it gives us to keep up that fight today.

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Martin Luther King Jr. once said, darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Stay with me as we look at the ways that authentic followers of Jesus have opposed people for centuries, and the inspiration and courage he gives us to keep up the bike today.

Don't go away. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with shipping Living on the Edges and international discipleship ministry start helping Christians really live like Christians, as many of you know chips are regular Bible daily program, but for this series is passed the mic to his friend John Dickerson John sleep master, a connection point Christian church is also an award-winning investigative journal when the Littlejohn series Jesus skeptic list any of his messages so far. Let me encourage you to catch or through the chipping remapped okay here is John with his talk Jesus you in the fight for human rights.

There are many lights in the world but when it comes to the sign there's only one light of the world. There is only one like that when you see it breaking over the horizon. People in Chicago are seeing people in Miami are seen. There's only one light that brings the life and the warmth that the entire planet depends incitement without that light not only would we be depressed but we would not have life. There's light and there's darkness in our existence physically and there is light and darkness in our existence, morally, for example, in the small group that I get to be part of a there's a guy in our group named Chris he's an x-ray radiologist and emergency room and it's really fun showing up in small group every week as we always get to hear another story from Chris of some person who came in like how in the world did that happen to that person. But tragically, one of the things that Chris is shared with us is that lately there is at least one shooting at the hospital where he worked for. He's answering someone with a bullet in their body, one every single night and the reality is that it is an expression of moral darkness. Darkness rather than light, there's physical darkness and light, there's moral darkness and light. There's spiritual darkness and light.

I wonder for you right now what evil in the world grieves you what evil is it that that is a moral darkness, perhaps, are a spiritual darkness that just degrees you it could be something like violent crime for an entire city. Or maybe it's bullying for your child or grandchild.

Your kids can be so cruel and I wonder today what if there were a lights just like the sun can brighten the earth that can brighten moral and spiritual darkness. What if there were a light that could brighten any evil. In fact, could extinguish evil would you want to experience. I mean, in the same way that when you wake up and it's 20 out and it's dark and you see the sun rising in and something inside is is I'm so glad the sun is finally awake.

What if there was something equivalent to that for the moral darkness in our lives for the spiritual darkness in our world would you want that for yourself, would you want that for the people around will.

Jesus complaint to be exactly that light, he claimed to be not a light in the world, but the light of the world and so far in this series, we've seen that Jesus of Nazareth is a historically documented person. He's not a mess is not a fable. He's more documented than Socrates or Plato or Aristotle or even Shakespeare who is far more recent. Not only do we know for sure, this guy existed, but we know that we have reliable documentation of what he said. We also know that 2000 years later, the people who follow him to become the largest movement in all of human history.

And that's according to non-Christian researchers at the pew research Center that one out of three people alive today says I'm a Christian. That is a follower of this peasant prophets who lived 2000 years ago and so that has led us to the conclusion we should look at what this guy said I mean is more influential than Steve Jobs or Elon Mosque or Thomas Edison.

He's more influential than Alexander the great, or Mohammed the prophet of Islam. We should look at what he said and what we found within his words is that he doesn't just claim to be a helpful teacher or an inspirational life coach. He claims to be Almighty God, and we have to do something with that because that's either true and if it is then everything he said we should take to heart or it's not true is that we been looking at the record of his impact on humanity.

Today we look at this quote were Jesus said in John chapter 8 I am the light of the world, not a light in the world.

The light of the world.

And then he says that whoever follows me will essentially be freed from spiritual and moral darkness from evil will be freed from addiction freed from lying freed from cheating and stealing. Freed from abusing others. Instead, they will have the light of life. Jesus claims to be the only light that can fully extinguish evil. I hope that gives you some hope today wherever there's evil. Maybe within yourself of some habit. You can't break or evil in your family system of brokenness or evil in the world. Jesus claims to be the only light that can fully extinguish now in our series, we been looking at the greatest breakthroughs in human existence. What I mean is, what are the things that took us from the dark ages when life expectancy was 45 years when there was no hospital to go to if you are sick. People didn't know how to read and write. Slavery was a global norm.

There's no antibiotic.

If your child got sick and so as a result, many children die before age 10. What took us as a society as a planet from that existence to an existence where everyone about how the hospital that we can drive to everyone of us is been taught by someone else how to read and go to school because we wanted to we live in a society that made us do it for our own good. How did the world change so dramatically when it was in that that those dark ages if you will for thousands of years. What changed and we saw that the top 10 hospitals in the United States, which are also the top hospitals in the world we live through the history of women. We saw that, not coincidentally, but one after another. They were founded by followers of Jesus who said were doing this to care for the poor and that seems like an unbelievable claim to you, I'd encourage you to watch part two of this series because it's documented were making these claims from things that people wrote down, not from opinions now in the book Jesus skeptic there's documentation of these other breakthroughs as well. Medicine universities, the scientific revolution and education for all. If any of this is interesting to get encourage you get a copy of the Jesus skeptic book now today to dig into the end of open and legalize slavery in behind me. Now you see some of the well-known champions of look through each one of these in our time today, but first before we do that it's important that we set the context for whom we talk about history. The last 200 years is a very small time and the reality that we go back thousands of years. A sad reality about humans is that slavery has been a norm in every major civilization up until the last 200 years.

In fact, when Jesus lit the world that he was born into was under the Roman empire. We know the Romans had slaves.

It's so well-documented that just this week, researchers over in Pompeii were a volcano kind of froze a whole civilization.

They found these tiny little slave quarters for the slaves in Pompeii. About 40% of the population in the world that Jesus was born into were slaves. This was not an anomaly. This would've also been the case in ancient China, India, Egypt, Greece, in fact, in a historical guide to world slavery. Researchers who spent their entire lives studying slavery throughout human history said this in the ancient near East as in Asia, Europe, Africa and the pre-conquest America. So before the Europeans showed up various forms of slavery and servitude almost certainly emerged long before they were systematized by laws or legal codes. So when we look at cave drawings and ancient pottery and ancient records for civilizations that have them.

Slavery shows up all over the world.

Here's how normal it was. Some of these quotes are going to make you cringe and that's good. Aristotle, who most of you would be familiar with. You learn about him in your philosophy class. Aristotle lived about 300 years before Jesus.

Here's how normal slavery was by the way a lot of people say call Aristotle very sophisticated wise person right. He once said or wrote. He who is by nature not his own. But another man's is by nature's life. Aristotle wasn't the only one Socrates and Plato also argued that slavery is the natural order of human existence and if you read their writings, you'll see that they base this argument off of their observation is that we traveled around and every great Society had slaves.

Therefore, slavery must just be part of the natural order. This is the world that Jesus came into and it's not just slavery, human rights, as we know them today were born into a society where we think this is normal, but so many of our human rights. The rights for kids to not have to work the rights for women were not the norm throughout history.

I here's another thing Aristotle said, and I hesitate to even read it out loud because I'm like someone's gonna pull a video video that off the Internet just clipped me quoting Aristotle on this is that a proper wife should be as obedient as a slave. The females, a female by virtue of certain lack of qualities in natural defectiveness bets are out right evil. It's outright evil, but this was the philosophy for slavery for gender equality back to the evil of slavery. Here's how one researcher Catherine Cameron who spent her life studying this. The Oxford research encyclopedia summarizes her work, and says this in her cross-cultural social get all the cultures around the world. Historical research all the data she could find on comparative captivity. How do different cultures do slavery.

There's lots of variation she found that bonds people that is slaves.

Those were physically and chained to be property of another person composed 10 to 70% of the population of most societies. So 1 to 7 out of every 10 people in the global average was born a slave and never had any hope or opportunity of that changing. This lends credence to another researcher, Seymour Drescher, who has asserted that freedom, not slavery, was the peculiar institution. What is that mean it's more rare to live in a society that doesn't have slaves than a society that does throughout human history.

And we know this because even in the last 100 years. Did you know that in the other country did not outlaw slavery until 1976.

Saudi Arabia did not outlaw slavery until the 1960s, slavery was outlawed in Peru in the 1930s China if you went to China in the 1930s and 40s, you would still see slaves. It was still a normal part of that society up until the end of World War II when the Western nations went in is when that changed for China worldwide.

This is been up flag on human existence is spiritual and moral darkness all through human history. I want to skip forward to Luke four, verse 16 because it was in such a world, a world where the majority of people couldn't read where women were often sold as property into marriage where slavery was the norm where there were not hospitals or antibiotics or immunology. It was ended that brutal world that Jesus said I'm the light of the world and those who follow Mears can be a beacon of light in the darkness.

He said this multiple times. Here's another example. Luke 416 Jesus went to Nazareth which is where he been brought up and on the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue as was his custom, he stood up to read and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him and unrolling it. He found the place so he searches through Isaiah for this passage that describes the Messiah God on earth to extinguish evil from humanity. And Jesus reads it and he says the spirit of the Lord is on because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for those on justly imprisoned and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed, that is, the captives, that is Jesus whole audience. New the slave class to set them free. Messiah will free those wrongly imprisoned Messiah will give physical sight to those who been blind Messiah will set the slaves free. What a expansive, impossible, outrageous prediction and then Jesus looks out at his friends people he grew up with and he makes this impossible claim verse 21 he says today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

In other words, I am the Messiah.

I am the one who will set the captives free. I'm the one who will break the bonds of the oppressed of your follower of Jesus, and you've been in church for a while.

Perhaps you've heard this passage taught in a spiritual metaphoric sense that were slaves to addictions and to dishonesty and to all sorts of dangerous lusts and passions and then when we believe in Jesus. He breaks those spiritual bonds and we can now say no to those things. And yes to good things and that's true. What I want to talk about today is the literal fulfillment of Jesus prediction about what his movement would do across the entire planet. You see, if you were to fast-forward 1830 years from the time Jesus said that if you were to be here in the United States, you'd be in a nation where half the country think slavery is evil and half still thinks it's okay and there's great unrest in a war is about to begin a civil war and within that time. It was a great battle of ideas, or ideologies, and we know the specific people who lead the charge through their writings and their posters and their books to convince the entire nation that slavery is an evil because we live under a God who is Jost who is made all people equal and that was the basis of their argument and we know this because of their documentation. For example, this publication called the Liberator any secular historian, you don't have to be a Christian to look at the facts would say that the Liberator was, if not the most, one of the most influential publications in turning people's opinions. There were people in the north who hadn't personally seen slavery in Uruguay don't have a slave I'm against it. But what is apt to do with me and they needed to be educated about what life was actually like in the South and for slaves in publications like the Liberator are what did that and in time turn the conscience of an entire nation now within the Liberator.

You can see in the middle. The Jesus is standing there.

There's a cross behind him and there's a slave, kneeling and praying for freedom and there's a Caucasian man sort of repenting on the other side and that there on equal footing before God know if you were to study the banners and the words here I've highlighted a couple of them see that the words around are on the top there above Jesus say I come to break the bonds of the oppressed verse we read in Luke four is Jesus saying me and my followers. We will set the captives free in the ribbon beneath you see some other words of Jesus. It's in the King James, an older translation there quoting Jesus who said in Matthew 22. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

And the reality is that this time in history people in the United States and Europe and western Europe were the first societies in all of history where most people could now read this and come about because the Protestant Christians wanted people to read the Bible and all that is documented and as a result, this King James Bible was an almost universal textbook.

So when the abolitionists those are the people who fought to abolish slavery when they tied their argument to the word of God you have for the first time in history.

An entire nation were most people have read the Bible for themselves. The unique window of time and they say it's according to the Bible that we have to overthrow this. Even if were not part of it, even if it's out of sight. We have to give our our lives to follow Jesus and if you imagine a barn full of kindling and a match.

The kindling was a nation that knew how to read the Bible for themselves. The match for the abolitionists, who, like a spark in the darkness that we will give our lives to end this evil and injustice of slavery.

It took them hundreds of years. In fact, it started in 1688 here's a document well known by historians from the Quaker Christians in Germantown so 1688. This is the United States does not exist yet. This is a colony. This is a new land. Its pioneers are cut down trees with axes there. Diane of cholera and Stefan.

These Quaker Christians who are reading the Bible for themselves, wrote the document behind me, which most historians say is the first ever Universal declaration of equal human rights that all people should be treated equally regardless of their gender or their race or what class they were born into or even their religion, that all people should be treated equally because of Jesus, and him saying over and over again if you can read this document for yourself and it quotes about eight times. Luke 631 Jesus saying as you would that men should do to you, do ye also to them. Likewise that was the Quaker's mantra we call it the Golden rule today and in modern English.

It sounds more like this.

Do onto others as you would have them do to you for an elementary level. Treat others the way you want to be treated with her whole thesis listening to the first part of Argus teacher John Dickerson's message Jesus you in the fight for human rights from a series Jesus skeptic Chip and John will join us here in studio with some additional thoughts of application in just a minute. If someone were to ask you how you know Jesus actually lived or can we really trust the Bible, what would you say in this new series pastor and journalist John Dickerson answers those questions using evidence from multiple reliable sources in the well documented impact of Jesus followers throughout history jungles are credible case for the Christian faith or hope is that this series will help you confidently say Jesus is real.

The Bible is true and I can prove it. For more information about Jesus skeptic go to or the chipping roadmap or call AAA 333-6003 trips with me in studio chip before we go on. You wanted to take just a minute share something with our listeners want to do that right now. Thanks so much Dave. Well, we finished our midyear match as of July 7.

Thank you to all of you who prayed and gave a lot of folks like me tend way to the very last couple days to send in their gifts and the team is working to get everything processed into the system as quickly as possible, but in want to wait to tell you how deeply I appreciate your partnership and what a difference every dollar given during this match will make in the ministry. Pastors trained young people reached the word of God taught helping Christians live like Christians here and all around the world. Thank you so very much well is chip said will have all the information about our midyear match on her website soon so keep an eye on for the details but we want you to know that we are celebrating every gift we received and are really excited to see how it will impact the work God has called us to.

So from all of us. Thanks again for your support over that.

Let's hear some final thoughts on this message from Chip and John.

Thanks Dave John it's good having you here again and I just can't tell you how much I appreciate you sharing with the living of edge family unit of the first half of your message focused on one of the biggest blights in world history, slavery, and honestly were still dealing with the fallout of that evil today. Yet in the face of this darkness you repeated Jesus challenge for us to be the light, could you take a few minutes and share some real practical ways that we can be the light for Jesus in these dark days ethics chip that is a hard question. In such an important question. How do we today be the light of Christ and you know one of the things that saddened me. One of the realities of this research about the history of slavery in the world is that there were some so-called Christians who were on the wrong side of slavery and some of you want to church on Sundays and carried Bibles, but they didn't actually read those Bibles and do what the Bible said it was the Christians, those Quakers that we learned about and many others who took the word of God literally and said if Jesus came to set the captives free. That's were going to do and so we have no hope of shining the light of Christ and less were actually obeying what he said to do and it's so important for everyone of us who would call ourselves a follower of Jesus, to make sure am I truly reading the words of Jesus in the Gospels and am I allowing the spirit of God to convict me to prompt me to really be doing what Jesus said and then the second thing I would say how do we be the light is that we as Jesus once said not hide it under a bushel, not hide it under a basket. Let our light so shine and what did Jesus say that men would see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven, so we need to be living among people who aren't yet believers in a way that they see notice our actions in a way that points them to God and the way we do that is by never forgetting that the solution to the world's problems is Jesus I we live in an age where things get labeled and get stereotyped and get pre-judged and sometimes as followers of Jesus were labeled and prejudged and we can easily fall into trying to defend ourselves with words and getting into debates and arguments about this label or that term or I'm for this group are against that group. Instead, we shine the light through our actions and by letting both our actions and words profess that Jesus is the light of the world that he is the solution to the world's problems.

Encouraging Word John, thanks.

Just before we close our mission at living LVH is to help Christians live like Christians were the best ways we can continue to do that is through programs like this one. So when you hear a message. That's especially helpful. We hope you'll pass it on to others. You can easily do that through the chipping roadmap or by forwarding them the free MP3s that you will find Don't forget to include a note about how it made a difference in your life will join us next time as Argus teacher John Dickerson continues his new series Jesus skeptic until then this is the same. Thanks for joining us for this edition of living all the

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