Gordon Wilson

It hardly needs to be said that Christianity is a supernatural religion. By this I mean that the Christian accepts by faith many things that cannot be explained by any natural law known to science or used by us. We are convinced that the Lord does indeed move in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. We believe that God by His own power created this vast universe, and no doubt other universes as well, out of nothing. We believe that He furnished our planet with every form of life and an atmosphere where it could survive, in six days; and on the sixth day created man. This whole process was that by which the unform operation of nature came to be, so was above natural law.

   We hold that from the very beginning of creation God has communicated with man in supernatural ways. He has revealed Himself and His will by chosen spokesmen. He has demonstrated that messages delivered by those spokesmen came from Him by special miraculous works. There have been periods in history when those miraculous signs proliferated. All divine revelation must be seen as supernatural, for by revelation we mean God making known to man facts and duties which man could never have discovered for himself.  We are convinced that the men who wrote the Bible did so under special guidance by the Holy Spirit, so that what is written is inspired of God.

   Christians do not doubt that everything about the appearance  of Jesus Christ on earth was supernatural. The eternal Son of God took on human flesh and nature by being born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life, although no other person in all history has done so. He arose from the dead, and ascended from the Mount of Olives right up through the clouds. While He was still here, He performed astonishing miracles such as stilling a raging storm with a mere word, raising the dead, and feeding a huge crowd of people by multiplying a few morsels of food. All of these things are supernatural. They can only be explained as acts of God.

   The origin and spread of the Christian gospel and the church was supernatural. Gamaliel was right when he advised the Sanhedrin Council not to persecute the apostles. “I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them –in that case, you may even be found fighting against God” (Acts 5:38, 39). The church started with a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit, visible to all. It continued supernaturally, with the early preachers being released from prison in some unexplained way. The appearance of Jesus to Saul of Tarsus, instantly changing the fiercest foe of Christianity to its chief defender, cannot be attributed to any natural action. Onward to the ends of the earth Christianity progressed, and is even today the central influence in the lives of millions.,

   The greatest battle Christianity has had to fight since The Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, right up till the present Postmodernism, has been against what we may call anti-

supernaturalism. All of the miraculous things that we hold to be true have been denied by the advancement of various philosophies. It has been necessary to defend supernatural religion, Christianity in particular, against unbelievers who would destroy our faith. The arguments that we use for this purpose are referred to as Apologetics, or more simply, Christian Evidences.

   Apologetics undertakes to present evidence first in the field of Theism: The existence of God, His work of creation, and His Providence, in opposition to Atheism, Deism, Agnosticism, Pantheism, and Evolutionism. Christian Evidences seeks to  defend the Bible as a divine revelation, in opposition to those who reject its plenary inspiration, those who advance the untenable tenets of Higher Criticism, and those who deny its inerrancy and infallibility. Christian Evidences helps to provide rational grounds for believing in the deity of Jesus Christ: His miraculous conception and virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious atonement, bodily resurrection, ascension and glorification. Christian Evidences also provides arguments for the divine origin of Christianity, the New Testament doctrines, system of worship and conversion. These are all supernatural facts.

   But the enemies of Christianity sometimes come in a guise other than anti-supernaturalism. At certain periods of history there have been strong resurgences of pseudo-supernaturalism. In such instances claims are made for the existence and activity of various superhuman powers in the universe, and the belief that such powers control human life. We in Western society are at the present time living in a period of widespread pseudo-supernaturalism.  This is seen in the remarkable interest being shown in occultism of every kind (the worship of hidden and esoteric powers).

   An example of this is the adoption of New Age theories by hundreds of thousands of Americans. Spiritualism (attempts at communication with the dead) is popular, as can be seen in the growth of Theosophical Societies. Astrology (the belief that stars and other heavenly bodies influence our lives by the way they are positioned, and taking directions from those who claim they can discern those influences) is widely held. Maybe not everyone who reads the  horoscopes in the daily newspapers actually takes them seriously, but many people do, as witnessed by the incredibly large sales of magazines and books with similar content. Witchcraft (involving the casting of spells for good or ill) is now an organized religion. Wicca is even recognized as a legitimate religion by our military services. It advertises itself as “paganism;” which as we know, was the ancient enemy of the church. There is even a Church of Satan, founded originally by the late Anton LeVey, which has a worldwide membership. One can consult its several websites to learn why it is attractive to so many people who are fascinated by this modern form of Gnosticism.

   Each of these is specifically condemned in Scripture and is an abomination to God. Each is anti-Christian in its basic makeup. Besides being forms of idolatry, they are often pointedly dedicated to the destruction of Christian faith. Just as the anti-supernatural brand of infidelity is opposed to all religious faith, the pseudo-supernatural brand is opposed to true religion and seeks to turn minds away from it. One need not attend black mass and bow before Satan in order to believe that, just as the Bible says, he exists,  and is using both anti- and pseudo-supernaturalism to deceive the world.

   Human beings are incurably religious. There has never been found a nation or tribe in any land or clime that did not have some concept of a higher power and some practice of worship. There are, of course, individuals everywhere who deliberately reject with their minds and wills all religious practice and belief, but mankind as a whole remains religious. It makes sense to recognize that if people do not know, have reason to believe, and accept true religion, they will inevitably turn to some form of false religion. This should tell us as Christians something about what our duty is to those around us.