What’s the Solution?

So far, we’ve seen that relativism isn’t logical, but more than this, we’ve seen that it isn’t loving. Relativism doesn’t have a basis to exclude the cruelty of religion. But, what’s the solution? It’s not fair to beat up on an idea, unless you have a better solution to offer. Accepting (or rejecting) all spiritual truth is not the solution to the subject of religious diversity. Instead, we need to endorse a view that can adequately answer two questions:

1. Which spiritual view is actually true?

2. Which spiritual view is going to bring love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness to the hurting world around us?

As you consider that first question, ask yourself: Have you ever noticed that all of the great men and women of history believed in objective truth? All of the people who brought love and peace to the world believed in a real truth outside of themselves that could transform the world. No one changes the world with the belief that all beliefs are relative. Otherwise, why bother? Why get up and put your pants on in the morning, unless you believe that you’re fighting for the Truth? Rejecting truth doesn’t solve the problems of the world around us; instead, it just makes the problems more confusing.

We live in an era of globalization. Different views are competing in the global market. The thought that we can just coexist is a daydream. Worldviews are currently competing for domination in the global market. The question is, “Which worldview is going to be able to bring love and peace to the world?” Consider the words of this self-proclaimed atheist Matthew Parris:

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good… Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted. And I’m afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.[1]

Parris has no agenda for Christianity, and yet, he concludes that competing ideologies are moving into Africa. And, in his words, eliminating Christianity from Africa will leave it vulnerable to cruel worldviews that will eat people alive.

The Bible teaches that God gives some people the truth so we can bless others –not suppress them. Usually, religious people use spiritual truth to elevate themselves and demonize all others. But, in the Bible, God gives a small group the truth –not to elevate themselves –but to lift up those around them (Gen. 12:2-3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; Ex. 9:16; Josh. 4:24; 1 Kings 8:41-43; Ps. 72:17; Jer. 4:2; Zech. 8:13; Ezek. 36:22-23; Is. 19:24-25; 37:20; 45:22-23; 52:10; 66:18-19). While there are many other benefits to biblical truth,[2] this seems to be the biggest difference between biblical truth and religion.

Do you want to find a faith that brings humility and love into your life? Do you want to find a faith that will bring joy and patience into your life, even when dealing with religious people? Are you eager to find a spiritual view that is able to keep you from becoming religious? You should carefully consider the Christian faith.

[1] Matthew Parris “As an Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God.” December 27, 2008 The Sunday Times. Read the entire article online at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article5400568.ece.

[2] First, Christianity can resist evil truths. While relativists have to relativist to culture or power structures, Christianity has the ability to resist intense greed and power. In the biblical view, might does not make right (Lk. 2:1; Rev. 13:8; 17:2, 18; 18:3, 23).

Second, the truth of Christianity elevates culture. While religious truth generally stomps out culture, the biblical view elevates culture. For example, the men at Pentecost heard the gospel in their own language –not another language (Acts 2:6). People of all nations are encouraged to adopt this spiritual truth within their own culture (Ezek. 5:5; 38:12; Acts 1:8). The Bible doesn’t promote spreading culture; it promotes spreading truth (1 Cor. 9:20-23).

Third, the truth of Christianity is meant to transcend all places. While religions always place importance on holy land or holy places, the Bible repeatedly teaches that this is nonsense. Over and over, the Bible teaches that God’s presence is not located in a specific area (1 Kings 8:27; Jn. 4:21-24; Acts 1:8; Acts 7:2-53; 22:21; Rom. 15:19, 23-24; Jas. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1).

Fourth, the truth of Christianity brings true equality to all people. This became especially apparent in the first century. In biblical times, slaves and women were treated like dirt. Christianity seeks to incorporate all people (Jn. 12:32; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11; Amos 9:7; Lk. 3:8; Mt. 3:9). While Christianity may be exclusive in truth, it is inclusive in practice.

Fifth, the truth of Christianity chooses the marginalized and rejected. While religion usually places favoritism on the socially esteemed (Jas. 2:1-10), Christianity seems to favor the rejected (Deut. 7:7; 1 Sam. 2:3-8; 1 Sam. 16:6-13; Is. 57:15; 1 Cor. 1:26-29).

Sixth, and most importantly, the truth of Christianity humbles those who have it. While the religious mentality promotes the person with the truth, Christian truth humbles those who have it. The more I believe that, the more humbled I become. The grace of God is a failsafe built into the message itself, so that self-righteousness and arrogance would constantly be humbled. In other words, the more self-righteous and condescending that I become, the more I am disbelieving my own message.