Invited to give a lecture at Harvard Business School, Chuck Colson was given the topic: “Why Good People Do Bad Things.” Never one to mince words, Chuck told the students that Harvard could never teach business ethics because it did not believe in absolute values. The best it could do would be to teach pragmatic business judgments.
“You can’t teach ethics here because you don’t believe there are moral laws,” he said. “But there are moral laws just as certain as there are physical laws. We are simply unwilling to admit it because it interferes with our desire to do whatever we please, and doing what we please has become the supreme virtue of our society. Places like Harvard, indeed Harvard of all institutions, propagate these kinds of values.”
Colson’s speech was met by passive silence, then polite applause. Anticipating a more hostile reaction, he later queried organizers of the event: “Why such a docile response?”
“The material you presented was totally new to them,” said one young man. “They didn’t have the tools to debate it.”
–Jack Eckerd and Charles Colson, Why America Doesn’t Work
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.
–Charles Colson Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon
For those who insist that God is created by man, perhaps the most telling argument is to consider the nature and character of the God revealed in the Bible. If we were making up our own god, would we create one with such absolute demands for justice, righteousness, service, and self-sacrifice as we find in the biblical texts? (As someone has said, Moses didn’t come down from the mountain with the Ten Suggestions!) Would Israel’s powerful elite have concocted such declarations as, “He defended the cause of the poor and needy…Is that not what it means to know me?” Would the pious New Testament religious establishment have created a God who condemned them for their own hypocrisy? Would even a zealous disciple have invented a Messiah who called His followers to sell all, give their possessions to the poor, and follow Him to their deaths? The skeptic who believes the Bible’s human authors manufactured their God out of psychological need has not read the Scriptures carefully.
Which, after all, is easier to believe – an infinite, soulless, universe-making machine, or a loving and powerful creator who has set in motion the awesome, just-right creation we are still only beginning to explore? Which answer you choose is, of course, ultimately a matter not of science, but of faith.