In my last article I introduced the subject of whether or not Christians should witness. It seems as if in our modern society everyone is afforded the right to their beliefs but Christians.
This is a sad state of affairs since the premise of true tolerance has historically worked only where Christian principles rule. Look around the globe. In no other culture do you find the freedom that exists in traditionally Christian cultures.
Patrick Henry stated, "It cannot be emphasized too often or too strongly that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians . . . not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom to worship here," (Federer, William J., "America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations," AmeriSearch, Inc. St. Louis, MO 1999 p.289).
Today, we have forgotten this truth as expressed by Henry. One thing we will discover - the further away from our Christian heritage we trudge, the less tolerant those who are calling for tolerance will become. True freedom of religion cannot be found except in a Christian-based environment. If you don't believe that, you haven't been following the numerous court suits that are screaming for a country devoid of Christian beliefs.
Atheists have been "witnessing" with a plethora of popular books which are filled with emotion, but devoid of fact or content. Yet, talk to the average person and you find them devouring and believing arguments, which any thinking person can immediately see as false. But that has not stopped us. In our desire for self-determination we have jettisoned logic and reason in favor of a faith that is no faith.
The common argument against the right for Christians to share their faith is the absurd claim that there is no truth. Absurd because such a belief in itself is logically inconsistent. If there is no truth, then the claim that there is no truth is in itself a falsehood. One who holds to a position of "there is no truth," finds him or her self in the untenable position of defending an indefensible philosophy. If there is no truth, that statement itself cannot be true. If you hold that the "there is no truth" position is the only true position, then your belief is self-contradictory.
Sadly those who argue the loudest against Christianity generally want to do so from the moral platform of Christianity. More frightening is the fact that those who listen and accept these lame arguments do so without ever understanding that the very thing they are trying to destroy forms the platform from which they argue. When the platform is destroyed, their arguments become meaningless.
The Christian message is simple. We are not self-determining entities that have the right to determine for ourselves what we feel is right or wrong. If we determine that what is legal is what is moral, then we are guilty of hypocrisy. Should we condemn Hitler, Stalin and others of their ilk, who acted within the laws of their own jurisdictions? If each person has the right to determine what is truth, then we can condemn no one for no action no matter how vile it may be. Opposed to that view is the Christian view that we are not evolutionary anomalies, but created beings that have a responsibility to the creator. Our desire to get out of that responsibility is what the Bible calls sin.
Sin destroys everything it touches. The British Columnist GK Chesterton once observed, "Original sin is the only truth empirically proven by 3,500 years of recorded human history," (Charles Colson, "Wide Angle: Framing Your World View," video lectures).
Truth be told, the vast majority of suffering in our world is due to the sinful acts of men. The Bible puts it this way, "People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?" (Proverbs 19:3, The Message). Good question.
No other religion or philosophy outside of Christianity has an adequate answer for this problem of sin and suffering. No other religion outside of Christianity affords man the forgiveness and strength necessary to overcome the malady which affects each one of us. As a Christian I declare that there is moral right and wrong; there are absolute truths that we violate only to our own destruction.
Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church. Write him in care of the church at 11677 Brown Bridge Road Covington, GA 30016. Or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit the Gateway website at www.gatewaycommunity.org