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August 29, 2014

The Truth About Christianity

I was listening to a preaching of Christine Caine and she mentioned a one liner that struck me. She said, “We have confused tolerance with endorsement.” In an age where you have to be politically correct and sound like being tolerant to all views – we have created an environment in which it is considered unenlightened, insensitive and hate filled to make the claim that we know “the truth”.

We have been exposed to some thinking that all major religions are equally valid and they all teach the same thing. Some even say that if you think that your religion is more superior than others – then you are a right wing extremist or moralist and a hater of men. The problem with that thinking is that it assumes that religion that continues to sacrifice animals and babies are equal to all religions in the world. I think majority would not agree to that.

If we insist that the God of all religions is the same when they are in reality not because the doctrines of all religion pertaining to God have major differences – then we are positioning our view as more superior and more enlightened than the beliefs of most major religions. So in reality, you are doing the very thing that you are forbidding others to do.

Christianity makes an exclusive claim. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus never backed down from an exclusive claim of salvation and truth. And it is not an arrogant stance for Jesus to make that claim.

Many say that Christians are arrogant, ethnocentric and proud because they believe in an absolute God and claim exclusivity that Jesus is the only way. Isn’t the statement Christians are arrogant – also arrogant and ethnocentric?

The idea that it is wrong to say such things is deeply rooted in Western traditions of self-criticism and individualism. To say somebody is ethnocentric is really a way of saying, ” Our culture’s approach to other cultures is superior to yours.”

So the fatal flaw in this approach to religion and Christianity is that skeptics believe that any exclusive claims to a superior knowledge of the spiritual reality cannot be true. But this objection is itself a religious belief. It assumes God is unknowable or a force or loving and not wrathful rather than a person who speaks in Scripture. All of these are unprovable faith assumptions.

Lastly, this kind of thinking believe they have a superior view of things. They believe the world would be a better place if everyone dropped the traditional religious views of God and truth and adopted theirs. Therefore, their view is also an exclusive claim about the nature of spiritual reality.

Tim Keller, Reason for God, page 12-13