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  • Rev. Dale Cohen

Unbelievable!




“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails

and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (Thomas, in John 20:25)


I think more Americans are believers than ever before. I know the Gallup, Barna, and Pew Research polls tell us that there are fewer Christians now (75% in 2015 compared to 85% in 1990) and every indication is the number of Christians will continue to trend lower. That is true. I’m not saying the number of Christians is increasing—I’m saying the number of “believers” is rising. Allow me to explain.


More Americans are believers in that they believe in whatever conforms to their worldview, regardless of the facts. Two percent of adult Americans are firmly convinced the Earth is flat. There are no facts to support that claim; however, there is a vast amount of data (both visual and measurable) that clearly demonstrates the earth is a sphere, and still, 2% of the American adult population maintains the world is flat. They are believers. Did you know that 7% of the American people believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows? Or that in 2008, 85 percent of Americans felt certain vaccines were safe, but in 2018 that number dropped to 77 percent.


Some say the problem is that the American educational system is failing. That may be true, but not because of the teachers! I think the problem is a combination of the challenges facing educators today (of which I don’t have space to write) and a lack of trust in authority that results in people believing what they want and then, through confirmation bias, manufacturing the proof they need to keep on believing what they want to think.


So, what does this have to do with Thomas and his doubt? Thomas was told by the other disciples that Jesus had appeared to them and he expressed his doubt. He needed more evidence than just their testimony. Thomas needed to experience what the other disciples experienced a week before when Jesus appeared to them in order to believe. When he experienced being in the presence of the resurrected Jesus, he believed.

As a Christian, I believe the truth will set me free. I don’t fear the truth, even when the facts challenge what I believe. So, how does this impact my belief about the resurrection? Although we have no physical evidence that Jesus was raised from the dead, we also have no evidence that he was not! Just because we’ve never seen it happen, doesn’t mean it can’t. ~Dale Cohen


“Have you believed because you have seen me?

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (Jesus, in John 20:29)

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At Florence First United Methodist, our personal and congregational commitment is to be a thriving congregation that honors God through meaningful worship, that develops people of all ages as fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, and that graciously impacts the community and the world through extravagant generosity and humble service, resulting in better lives for all.

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