What Would Your Answer Be?

Dangerous Ideas

Reblogged from Sacred Cynicism

Sometimes truth jumps out at us from unexpected places. When we are not expecting the truth, the power of its sudden appearance can be quite evident. A few years ago, there was a panel discussion in Great Britain on a number of topics. The focus of this discussion was political and the four- person panel represented a cross section of views. The debate was spirited and intense and at the end of the evening the moderator of the discussion asked one, final question. The intent of the question was to end the evening on a more serious and reflective tone. The final question came from a person in the audience, “what dangerous idea would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better?”

Two of the people on the panel said they needed more time to ponder the question and did not respond. One of the panelists eagerly answered first. He stated that we needed more population control because there are too many (darn) people in the world. At this response many in the audience openly applauded and howled their approval at his witty and seemingly intelligent response. Although it should be noted that it is the height of arrogance and selfishness for one of the privileged to look at the world and proclaim there are too many other people. His answer and the vocal response of many in the audience is as pure of an example of evil as you will find anywhere.

The last person on the panel was a man named Peter Hitchens. You may have heard about his brother, Christopher Hitchens, a well-known atheist and critic of God and religion. Peter Hitchens spent much of his life as an avowed Communist and revolutionary. By his own words Peter was not a casual, college advocate of communism, but one who sought for the overthrow of governments so communism could rule the world. He used to think that way until something changed his life. His answer to the question was a window into that change. The moderator asked Mr. Hitchens the question that 2 of the previous 3 people declined to answer.

He responded, “the most dangerous idea in the world continues to be the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He rose from the dead.” The crowd and panel sat in stunned silence. The moderator looked at Hitchens and asked, “Why is that idea dangerous?”

Hitchens added this to his reply, “That idea turns the universe from meaningless chaos into a place of order where justice is a virtue. We then have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work toward that hope. However, if we reject it, that alters us as well. That is why this idea is so dangerous.” The silence in the room was obvious. So was the truth of that surprising statement.

We live in a divided time. Most people think the divide is political, but I do not think that it is. The political divide is the symptom, not the cause. The divide is over this simple idea – who has ultimate control – God or me? The people who sit in power always think the answer is them. Is the source of truth self-created, or is there an external source and standard? I think we know the answer to that question, but many have lost that idea. Losing that idea will have grave consequences. Acknowledging that Jesus is God remains a dangerous idea, especially for those who think they should rule. Sometimes, the truth surprises us. The question will always be, what do we do with it when we hear it?

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