Yes, Resurrection: A 21st Century Case for the Miracle of Easter

Throughout history, Christians have taught that the man Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, buried in a tomb, and rose from the dead — not only spiritually, but in a glorified body that people could see and touch, yet which could defy the laws of physics by appearing and disappearing from this world.

In modern times, this story became embarrassing for many Christians. The advancements of science during the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution gave rise to the concept of the “clockwork universe,” with God as a remote “watchmaker” who set the gears of reality in motion, thereafter letting deterministic physical laws take over in all situations. According to this worldview, the Easter miracle would be impossible.

As a result, many people today shy away from the traditional Christian proclamation of the resurrection of the dead. Instead, growing numbers of Christians interpret the Biblical testimony of the empty tomb and the resurrected Christ as only a metaphor, a beautiful myth intended to teach us that good triumphs over evil and our spirits live on, in some mysterious way, after physical death.

I believe the story of Easter is indeed a powerful metaphor, but I also believe the seemingly supernatural events of Jesus’s resurrection as reported in the Bible could be literally true — and the latest advancements in science and technology make it possible for an intellectually sophisticated person in the 21st century to affirm this.

Why Christianity Should Not Be Politicized

Would you feel comfortable going to church with somebody from a different political party? In America today, many people wouldn’t — because they feel self-righteous disgust, even hatred toward people on the other side of the political divide.

Polling data reveals a nation of people filled with partisan anger and convinced they are morally superior to those who disagree with them about politics. For example, over 40% of both Democrats and Republicans believe members of the opposing party are “downright evil.” About 20% of people in both parties believe that people in the other party are “like animals” and “lack the traits to be considered fully human.” And perhaps most disturbingly, 20% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans believe “we’d be better off as a country” if most people from the other side “just died.”

These polls were taken before the incredibly divisive year 2021, which has polarized Americans even further. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that seemingly the only thing many people can agree on is that if the wrong party controls the government, it might be appropriate to resort to violence. In early 2022, according to a Washington Post poll, more than one-third of Americans said they believe anti-government violence is sometimes justified — including 40% of Republicans, 41% of independents, and 23% of Democrats.

A second civil war or a Rwanda-style genocide might be in America’s future, if we continue down the path of mutual hatred, dehumanization, and escalation of tensions between opposing political factions. Is there anything Christianity can do to help reverse this terrifying trend?

New Beginnings: The Future of Christianity and Our Church

A year ago, I started the Universal Church of the Restoration. With the help of my friend and fellow liberal Christian, Colin Mills, we began weekly video services and online small group meetings last January. We continued this for six months, then cut back to once per month. In total, during the year 2021, we produced 28 video services with sermons and stories of spiritual heroes, and we held a similar number of online meetings for prayer, fellowship, and discussion.

Starting a nondenominational church is not easy, even when the leaders do a good job of creating inspiring and meaningful content. Colin and I believe we have done that to the best of our ability. Despite our best efforts, however, the UCR has not attracted an audience as large as we hoped it would during the first year of its existence, and there are few signs of growth or increasing engagement with our church and its message.

After much thought and prayer, we have decided to stop producing videos, which we have learned is an inefficient way to spread our ideas. We have also discontinued the small group meetings for now. We will be continuing the ministry as a blog about religious teachings and issues from the perspective of Restorationist Christian Universalism.

Overcoming Evil: How to Heal and Break Free

From our service on December 5, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Evil is one of the most important topics addressed by religion. Although it’s not pleasant to talk about, it’s very important that we do, because evil is a pervasive part of our world. So if we aspire to live a good life, we need to learn how to recognize evil and resist it.

In our previous two sermons, we talked about the reality of evil and the mechanism of evil — what evil is, and how it works. To summarize the main points, evil is the rebellion against God’s plan of harmony among all beings, by seeking excessive individual advantage and subjugating or destroying others. Evil gains power over our minds, our lives and society by deceiving us about the meaning of life, distracting us from our true spiritual purpose, getting us addicted to fruitless drama and conflict, and corrupting our good intentions with the idea that the ends justify the means, even if that means doing evil in the hope that it will ultimately lead to a more virtuous or ideal outcome.

In this, the third and final part of our series on evil, we’ll talk about how to overcome it. What does overcoming evil really mean? In a world filled with evil, how can we heal from its damaging influence and break free of the misguided attitudes and addictive behaviors that give evil its seemingly relentless power?

Emil Kapaun

From our service on December 5, 2021, a story of the inspiring life of Emil Kapaun, as recounted by Colin Mills.

December 5, 2021 Service: “Overcoming Evil: How to Heal and Break Free”

Today, we conclude a three-part series on evil. How can we heal and break free from its harmful and addictive deception? By accepting the value of human freedom, and by looking to the example of Christ on the cross, we can choose what is good and inspire others. In this service, we also tell the inspiring story of Emil Kapaun, an army chaplain who was captured in the Korean War and ministered to fellow POWs as well as his captors.

The Mechanism of Evil: Strategies and Methods of the Dark Side

From our service on November 7, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Last month, we began a three-part series on evil. In the first sermon of the series, I began by discussing the reality of evil: what it is and why it matters. Evil is a very real and significant part of our world. Evil pulls people away from unity and harmony with God and each other, into a mindset of separation, discord, exploitation and destruction. Throughout history, people have been falling into this mindset and living according to the impulses of the flesh, which naturally lead us into evil through the competitive instinct of survival of the fittest.

Today, we continue the series by talking about the mechanism of evil: how evil actually works, to influence our behavior and our world. To a large degree, evil is the natural human condition, because of the wiring of our brains. Evil exploits this, and most humans are easy prey. The exploiters who target us may be negative spiritual beings from beyond this world, or human beings here on earth with a negative agenda.

Chiune Sugihara

From our service on November 7, 2021, a story of the inspiring life of Chiune Sugihara, as recounted by Colin Mills.

November 7, 2021 Service: “The Mechanism of Evil: Strategies and Methods of the Dark Side”

Last month, we began a three-part series on evil: what it is, how it works, and how to overcome it. Today, we focus on the mechanism of evil. How does evil take over people’s hearts, minds, and lives? What are the ways that evil corrupts our souls and our world, through specific strategies and methods? Evil is constantly at work all around us — and it’s important to understand it, so that we can effectively resist it. In today’s service, we also tell the story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who boldly resisted evil and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II.

The Reality of Evil: What It Is and Why It Matters

From our service on October 3, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


In today’s sermon we begin a three-part series about evil. Evil is an important topic for any sincere spiritual seeker, or indeed any thoughtful human being to consider. Today we’ll discuss the question of what is evil? — and perhaps more importantly, why it matters that we discuss it. In fact, why is it so important that I’ve decided to do three sermons on evil instead of just one?

Evil is real, and it’s a major aspect of the human condition. It’s popular nowadays, especially among liberal-thinking people in relatively free, stable, and prosperous countries, to discount the power and pervasiveness of evil and the human tendency to fall prey to it. Many optimistic, I would say naïve people believe that evil is merely the absence of good, and that the average person is essentially good and does not naturally feel any evil impulses that exert a powerful pull on the psyche. I profoundly disagree.