Like white on rice or dots on a dice, religion and foolishness seems to have become intuitive throughout modern western thought. “Religion is like a buffet anyways, there are thousands of choices and picking the right “meal” seems all but impossible anyways, why even bother?” As I commonly acquire an acute onset of stage fright amidst a buffet of freshly prepared entrees, it seems all too common that the food seems to be the one consuming me. Captivating and strangling in unison each of my 5 senses, staring in awe over the options tends to be a welcome alternative to that daunting “d-word.” Requiring commitment and proactivity, decisions always spoil the meal as they commonly leave us with a bad taste in our mouths. I wonder sometimes if our western culture has ever woken from its “deer in the headlights” approach to the cafeteria of religions long enough to see which “food” is fresh? Have we checked into some of the fundamental beliefs of each of these positions to see if any have “expired”?
Along my journey in the pursuit of answers to the “big questions” in which I was always amused by, one thing which seemed to elude me w
as this concept of what truth is. Fueling our cars or paying the phone bill are examples of truth in action as we believe with a high degree of certainty that failing to do either with leave us not only stranded on the side of the road, but with no way of calling for help. We can define truth quite simply as calling it as it is. Intuitive to even a kindergartner, truth seems to be everywhere we turn yet oddly enough when religion is thrown on the plate we seem to suddenly become “full” and uninterested. I would like to ask you to consider whether this is an intellectually legitimate approach to such issues? Can any religion really be “right”, or all they all just seeing the same thing from a different perspective?
Just as political dinner conversations with your in-laws start great at first but end in heaps, different religious leaders make claims that in some areas overlap and work in harmony yet in others are flat out contradictory. “Loving one another” seems to be a tenant in nearly every religion, so that pretty much makes them exactly the same right? Not exactly. To illustrate, think back to some modern thinkers who believed the earth was flat. Though they believed it at the bottom of their hearts, the truth is that planet earth was always round regardless of how much they believed that it was flat. We now conclude that the earth is round, and if someone were to say otherwise it would logically imply that they are in fact flawed in their belief. The important key to note in this example is that the truth (the earth is round) never changed, only our beliefs about that truth changed. This is an important skill to use when looking into different religions, as different ones make different claims about the same event. Imagine one man robbing a bank, we would assume police would investigate and question witnesses on the scene to obtain evidence as to who committed the crime. If 3 on lookers say “tiny tim” robbed the bank and 3 witnesses say “billy bob” robbed the bank, its obvious that one of them has to be wrong. We similar parallels to this example with the claims made by different religions with the resurrection of Jesus. Christians say that Jesus died and rose again, Muslims say that Jesus didn’t die which will logically lead us to the conclusion that both of these religions can’t be right. This may seem to leave you with your forehead steaming, fist clenched, and “intolerance” on the tip of your tongue. However, it seems illogical and unreasonable that two positions who claim contradictory beliefs on something cannot both be right. That seems not not be an “intolerant” position, but just a purely simple and air tight truth regardless on which side upon it you stand.
Where does this leave us and why should I care? Truth is important because ideas are important. Because we cannot exhaustively prove with 100% certainty which worldview (which includes atheism) is correct, we are left to decide which “entree’s” at the dinner table are more consistent with reality as we understand it. I would encourage anyone reading this post to take a second to ponder on what they believe about the truth.
We have to remember that truth is not changing, only our beliefs about that truth, and some beliefs are MUCH more reasonable than others. I personally believe that it takes more faith to not be a Christian than to be a Christian. Yes, that may currently sound absurd to you, but I believe the “proof is in the pudding”.
We’re all in this journey of life somewhere, and neutrality is not an option. What if our conclusions to these questions do matter? Ideas have consequences. Good ideas have good consequences, bad ideas have bad consequences.
Jesus is all about breaking chains and setting people free as He steps into our mess and gives us life. Could the truth be something that mends broken hearts, illuminates darkness, and opens our eyes? I believe that without question it can, and He’s willing. While still chained to this world which offers nothing, Jesus called me not to wave a flag, but to fall in love. Check out the evidence. Maybe this love Jesus claims is a peculiar and scandalous thing, maybe its something to fall in love with. If your like me, you might be surprised how liberating it is to hear those chains smash against the ground for the very first time. You don’t realize how tight those chains are until you get them off.
Thanks for reading,