DOES PERCEPTION REALLY PRECEDE REALITY?
“If you were blind,” Jesus replied, “you would not be guilty of sin. But since you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
Astronaut Chris Hadfield’ Personal Commentary on Science And A Changing World*
When the very first balloon was launched that could carry people, it was in Paris in the late 1700’s, and it was Montgolfier the brothers, they had hydrogen balloons and hot air balloons and it was the cutting edge of science; it was the cutting edge of technology.
We had just learned how to capture a gas like hydrogen that would be lighter than air as you could make a balloon, and the first balloon rose, and Ben Franklin was there, and it was huge and magnificent.
It rose but it got out of control and it went and landed out in the countryside 15 miles away from Paris and the peasants there attacked it with pitchforks because they thought it was an alien coming from space.
The schism between learned understanding and the common perception of what was normal was that close…..
Just 15 miles away.
It was an enormous gap between what we knew and what we were doing and what a lot of folks knew yet, or what had become part of common knowledge.
So there’s nothing new about the speed with which we’re understanding things and the ability for other people to understand what is going on.
There’s a recent populous sort of wave of anti-science, as if that’s something new. It’s mostly because social media has given everybody what appears to be an equal voice.
On the corner of Hyde Park in London, there’s a Speaker’s Corner and that used to be the internet where you could go and yell any stupid thing that you wanted to, and if people wanted to gather around and listen – that was their choice – but if you weren’t interested in whatever that person was spouting then you didn’t need to listen.
But now, the internet has sort of turned everything into the Speaker’s Corner so you really have to just decide what are you going to listen to and what you’re going to disregard.
The true prevailing worldview among most religious and non-religious adherents alike today seems to be a sort of a modern agnosticism.
‘Gnostic,’ coming from the Greek root word: gnosis, from where we get the word “knowledge”, along with the preposition “a” meaning ‘not,’ or ‘ without,’ is in essence saying, God is ‘not-knowable,’ ‘not-known’ or that we are ‘without knowledge’ so that what agnosticism asserts is that He ‘cannot be known.’
But less than 15 miles away from everyone reading this message today is a local Bible believing church where Christians for two millenia have preached – even unto death – a very objective message about the very certain life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ!
He is the Messiah foretold of in the historical writings of the Torah and Prophets that pre-date His life on earth, and He is also the one now proclaimed and preached as the Messiah who we not only anticipated, but who indeed came as witnessed by those who walked with Him and gave testimony to this fact because they saw Him after His resurrection.
Even though Christmas may be rightly contested by some concerning whether or not it represents the exact date of his birth – an argument that also automatically presumes the reality of his life on earth – one thing is absolutely certain, that he ‘did’ indeed live two thousand years ago.
All of history has been fashioned so intricately around this truth that to deny it would be as poking pitchforks at a balloon and feeling affirmed in our own delusions for calling it alien, meanwhile those more adequately informed possess the knowledge to fly hydrogen air balloons in a field just 15 miles away.
This holiday season, I pray that you’ll venture into a local church and come see for yourself.
I mean, why should anyone spend another year denying such a well substantiated truth when the certainty of our eternal hope is less than 15 miles away?
Start this new year ‘with’ knowledge of the Savior who loves you and died for you,