4.24.2006

Reader Feedback: What Makes Christianity True?

Reader Feedback
All you've said is backed up [by] passages from the Christian Bible, right? That seems reasonable enough, it's important to have a basis for one's beliefs. I guess this fits into the first question, then - why should I trust in the Christian Bible, and not any other holy writing? All that you've said about death and judgement seems true from a Christian perspective, but there are other religions that say they're the path to eternal happiness....how do I know that Christianity is right and all the others are wrong? You make an excellent point about assuming things. That brings up another question in my mind: how do I know I should trust in something or someone for salvation? Different religions want to save me from different things, right? How do I know that the Christian salvation is the one I want? I'm sure you get questions like these all the time from stupid trolls and the like, but I am genuine in my curiosity. I really appreciate your previous reply, and I look forward to future discourse with you. Cordially, N. Nescio
In one of my earlier posts, I received a comment asking why Jesus is the only Way to God. I replied with a rather lengthy comment detailing the plan of salvation, and the original commenter replied back as quoted above. For ease of communication, I am continuing this "discourse" here.
All you've said is backed up [by] passages from the Christian Bible, right? That seems reasonable enough, it's important to have a basis for one's beleifs. I guess this fits into the first question, then - why should I trust in the Christian Bible, and not any other holy writing? All that you've said about death and judgement seems true from a Christian perspective, but there are other religions that say they're the path to eternal happiness....how do I know that Christianity is right and all the others are wrong?
You ask an excellent question, N. There are two ways that I can answer this. The first is an intellectual answer. I could reference the thousands of manuscripts supporting Scripture and proving that it is accurate to the original autographs. I could show you prophecies that foretold specific events in a specific culture hundreds of years before that culture even existed. I could quote numbers showing that the odds of just a fraction of such prophecies being fulfilled is millions of times greater than the mathematical "impossibility" ceiling by random chance standards. Christianity is not blind faith. However, just because I convince you with the intellect does not mean that you will really understand in your heart. I can intellectually believe that the speed limit is 70 mph on the interstate highway. But this doesn't always translate over to my driving habits. "All that you've said about death and judgement seems true from a Christian perspective. . . ." That is a fact. However, here is another fact: All that I've said also seems true from your perspective! Think about it. I would assume you have some kind of belief in God, so no doubt you realize that "God", whoever or whatever He/She/It might be, must be perfect. A deep-rooted preconception that all of us have of God is one of absolute perfection. As such, it makes perfect sense that He/She/It cannot tolerate sin. But what is sin? You don't even have to look at the Ten Commandments to have an understanding of sin. We all know that it is wrong to lie, to steal, to covet, and to lust. No one would contend that it is "OK" to hate other people or to blatantly dishonor our parents. Ask yourself this question: How could any perfect, holy God tolerate our sin? All the other "religions" out there evade the problem of sin in one way or another. But not one of them will hold up in a court of law! A Buddhist can't tell the judge: "I have been meditating for a long time since I shot that guy and robbed that bank, so I guess I'm OK. After all, I'm practically perfect NOW." A Hindu might be able to say that his evil acts don't really matter because life is an illusion anyway. The judge would probably look at him funny, then agree while condeming him to the electric chair. After all, the 2,000 volts of electricity are just a cosmic illusion anyway. The Bible says truthfully that God's Laws are written on every person's heart. Try as you may, you cannot ignore the problem of sin. You intrisically know that when you die, you will have to face judgement for your sin because you know that God is holy. And there is no way you can atone for your own sins without going to Hell. Christ's atonement is the only way you can be reconciled to God.
Different religions want to save me from different things, right? How do I know that the Christian salvation is the one I want?
Different religions may claim to save you from many different things. Some say that they will free you from guilt. Others simply want to make you a "better person" - which begs the question of why being a "better person" is a good thing. But all religions either ignore the problem of sin or try to combat it in some way. In the former case it is obvious that they are false. As I showed earlier, we all know that we are lying, theiving, blasphemous, murderous adulterers at heart. To ignore this vital problem is obvious folly. And no religious system has every devised a way of adequately dealing with sin. We know that God is a perfect Judge. The analogy of the courtroom holds true. No amount of good works, righteous deeds, or penance can erase the fact of our sin. Sin and judgement is a problem that we face regardless of what religion we believe in. Jesus affords the only way of escape.
I'm sure you get questions like these all the time from stupid trolls and the like, but I am genuine in my curiosity. I really appreciate your previous reply, and I look forward to future discourse with you. Cordially, N. Nescio
You aren't stupid. The Bible says that foolish people declare that God does not exist. But you are like a Berean, searching out the truth from a myriad of falsehoods. I commend you for your efforts and exhort you to examine yourself in the light of God's holiness. Just because the Bible says you have sinned doesn't mean that it's "just in the Bible". You know that you have fallen short of God's glory and are hopeless in your own efforts. Be brave! Acknowledge your intrinsic helplessness. You know that it is true regardless of what any holy book tells you. And if you can find some other way to evade the problem of sin, tell me about it! But I warn you that there is only one way to Heaven. You have to be rid of your inherent sin through Christ's blood. Think about the parachute example I gave in the last post. Face the facts! You're going to have to jump out of the plane regardless of what any holy book says. Get a parachute, man! In Him, David S. MacMillan III

3 comments:

Chet said...

Excellent post. That's a great way to sum things up.

I would like to add that I don't consider the "scientific" proof of the Bible through archeology, etc...to be worthless. Of course it won't change a heart, but I think a huge problem with the church at large is they do not know how to defend their faith. When someone asks them why they believe the Bible over another "holy" book, they're clueless. I've seen people who I thought were "strong" Christians severely start doubting their faith (or should I say "faith"?) because of a show they watched on the Discovery Channel. It's incredibly sad. I blame the Church for spending too much time telling people how much God loves them, and not enough time discipling and equiping people. What you have left are beautiful "towers", if you take the analogy, that have no firm foundation. They soar to great hights, but when the Discovery Channel comes and blows, they collapse because they have no answer .

We always need to have an answer to the hope we have, as Peter says, and I think you have given a very good one.

David S. MacMillan III said...

Speaking of which, check out my latest post!

In Him,

David S. MacMillan III

David S. MacMillan III said...

BTW, thank you for your sentiments. I appreciate it and will be checking out www.FreshTracks.us as soon as I get a chance.

-David