If you are engaged in sharing the gospel today, you know that apologetics is the new evangelism. It is not enough to know what you believe. You must know why and be able to articulate it in words meaningful to the educated skeptic next door. Much like the Pharisees, the atheist may be able to get off by saying, “I don’t know”, but a Christian needs a ready answer.
Below are three questions directed to believers. Before you consider them, let’s take a look at the belief that generates these questions.
Moral relativism is alive and well. And why not? It seems so…loving and righteous and well, moral. It is anything but.
The idea that morals are decided upon by the individual or the culture denies an ultimate authority or code of behavior. It claims to be liberating and fair. But excluding an authority beyond man’s, who then becomes the authority?
In theory, no one. No one is able to judge or condemn. Law is meaningless. But this does not stop moral relativists from judging, condemning or insisting their “morality” upon another.
Moral relativism by nature is discriminatory. For example pro-choice supporters hand rights to the mother not the child (or the father). Cultures who adhere to these values still subjugate groups within their society for the benefit or desire of the larger group. To argue the rights of the unborn child (and yes it is a child with valuable body parts it seems) or the equality of all men, it is necessary to point to an authority above all others– a necessity that is rejected.
It is hard for the relativist to shed his Judeo Christian roots, however. Romans 2:14-15 says the knowledge of right and wrong “is something deep within them echoing God’s yes and no, right and wrong.” (MSG) We either act on this knowledge or we don’t. But relativists appeal to this inner sense without understanding that they do. True relativity has no definition for good and evil because then it wouldn’t be, uhm, relative. Lovingly, keep this in mind as you begin a conversation with a moral relativist.
Now that we understand the assumptions behind the first two questions, let’s take a look at them.
Why do Christians insist their religion is the only way to God? (Spoken with attitude.) What they are really asking is how do we get off thinking we have the sole authority/truth?
First, all religions claim to be exclusive. For example, Islam declares Allah is the only God and Mohammed is his prophet. Mormons claim theirs is the only true church. The Watchtower of the Jehovah Witnesses states it is the only biblical truth given to man. Shinto teaches the Mikado is the only Son of Heaven. Buddhism and Hinduism have so many forms, but contrary to those above, claim either you are God or God is undefinable. (Simplified version.)
Jesus is the only one to say He is God, then back it up by rising from the dead, a feat that turned the first century world upside down. Eye witness accounts went uncontested among a population who could easily have revealed it as a lie if it had been one.
Aren’t all religions worshipping the same God anyway? What’s the big deal?
Meaning: “Seriously? There are no absolutes.” Each of the religions mentioned above have vastly different descriptions of God, His attributes, man, heaven, hell and sin. All these cannot be true. Like the old game show To Tell The Truth, more than one is lying. There is no way to reconcile all these gods.
Christianity stands apart in its claim of absolute Truth (John 14:1), its view of man’s sin and redemption. It is the only one to coherently address the questions of who we are, our meaning and purpose and evil in the world. The Bible is unique in its history of man’s need for salvation being fulfilled in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Doesn’t science/evolution eliminate/disprove the need for God? This question assumes many things: that science and God are in opposition, that science is infallible, that science can answer philosophical questions and prove the origin of love, hate etc.
It is interesting to note that where and when Christianity flourished, great advances in science were achieved. Some Eastern religions deny that the world is real. Truth (if it exists) is not knowable. Christianity has provided a foundation for science in that it claims the world is real and truths about it can be discovered. It also provides the basis of logic and order. Science needs the principles Christianity posits.
Evolution, here in the sense as creator, is a theory and is suffering from a lack of tangible evidence.
The real question may be is science and evolution held to as much scrutiny as God or is there blind faith in science? (Be careful how you word that.)
Unlike moral relativity, Truth is not exclusive to a group of people or scientific theory. It is exclusive by definition, however, and will stand the test of time whether we believe it or not.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles FreeDigital Photos.net
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