Bible, Main, Teaching, z138
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For An Opportunist, There is No Truth

Galileo Galilei facing the Catholic Inquisition by Cristiano Banti (1824-1904) Credit: Wikipedia

You might know the story of Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer, sometimes called the father of modern astronomy. He discovered ‘Heliocentrism’ which means the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not the other way around. For this, he was tried and condemned by the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church, forced to repent of his sin, and placed under house arrest for life.

It turns out he was correct, but his research interfered with the powers of his time and place. Truth was less important than the opportunity to gain and hold power. This happened at the time of the Protestant Reformation, and it’s one of the reasons why we have Protestants today. Clever people moved north to Protestant regions, and initially research and industry were mostly in the northern parts of Europe, in countries like Germany and Sweden; the wealthy countries, today.

That was a big mistake for the Catholic Church, and they are still embarrassed. The story of Galileo is also a warning to us today, especially religious believers who don’t follow the path of politically correct belief.

For example, we have a huge issue in modern society; global warming. I don’t want to choose sides, but we should know that there is a debate among scientists about climate change; what causes it and how dangerous it is. The United Nations, many politicians, and now the Pope, are on one side of the debate.

Notice that people who disagree are given a negative, pejorative name ‘deniers.’ If you disagree with the mainstream political correctness, you are one of ‘them’ and they are attached to a bad name. Also notice, that the stakes are very high in this argument. Governments are imposing taxes, and some of our largest industries are threatened. The numbers are in the trillions of dollars.

It’s an opportunity for someone.

On the other side are the ‘deniers’, scientists with different ideas.

‘Proof’ on one side is political power, wealth, celebrity endorsements, and nasty negative labels for the competition. That does not make the climate change ideas wrong, but the methods on that side are the same ones applied to Galileo. The ‘experts’ go for the opportunity and maybe find some supporting evidence, and stifle the voice of the opposition.

This is a symptom of our time; there is no truth, there are only opportunities.

Human nature has not changed in four centuries, since Galileo, and we will repeat history. We will see a repeat of opportunity thinking. When Jesus was arrested and nailed to a cross, his enemies took an opportunity. They saw a chance to get rid of an embarrassing problem, and they faked any evidence that helped them.

The opportunists were interrupted by the Roman judge, who knew exactly what was happening “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”” (John 18:38)

And then he sent Jesus to be nailed to a cross, because that was his opportunity.

Jesus told us “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” (John 15:20)

A Christian pastor, from Nazi Germany, described this:

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.” — Martin Niemöller

Human nature never changes, and history repeats. The good news is that Jesus predicted all this, and showed us our opportunity:

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:16 to 20)

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