Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why the "Easter Conspiracy" theory fails

Nothing to see here! Move along!
Charles Colson served Richard Nixon as "Special Counsel to the President" and was a key player in the Watergate conspiracy that finally led to Nixon's resignation. Colson was in fact one of the "Watergate Seven," the core conspirators (but not the only ones) and he was the first Watergate conspirator to be sent to federal prison.

During this time, Colson became a devout Christian; after release from prison he spent the rest of his life in evangelism, especially prison ministries.

Here is what he once said about the idea that Jesus was not really raised from the dead, that the whole resurrection story came from collusion by the disciples:
I know the resurrection 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.
As well, the question, "Cui bono?" (who benefits?) strikes to the point. Certainly the apostles never did, not in this life anyway.

So: The apostles made up a story about a resurrected savior who actually had stayed dead (assuming, of course, that Jesus ever actually lived in the first place). They never profited from the story, accruing neither riches nor regard while they lived. They endured incredible hardships to spread their lie but somehow kept it consistent across time and distance and then they all but one finally died painful, even gruesome deaths rather than simply recant their lie. And the one exception died in imprisoned exile. 

Yeah, right. 

It takes more faith to believe that than it does to believe Jesus rose from the dead.