The truth of the matter

Much to my wife's chagrin, I frequent a Wake Forest message board to update myself on what's happening in the world of Wake Forest sports and occasionally to just see what peoples' opinions are of the world and other issues (but honey, I have cut way back just like you asked me to!). Recently, someone posted a question about beliefs and God and the afterlife and, as usual, some of the responses were way out in left field.

I read through most of the responses posted and saw much that really didn't surprise me: A lack of faith, a questioning of absolute truth, and criticism for those who believed in truth. Here is what I think about the matter:
  1. Why is it that Christians are the only ones who are considered close-minded when it comes to issues of religion and faith? I ask that because everyone owes it to themselves to be open about all beliefs before making some blanket statement about what they believe. I've studied most of the other religions (and taught on them) pretty extensively and have openly considered their claims, yet I am still follower of Jesus.
  2. If you want to understand Christianity then read the Bible first, not some book by a scholar whether he/she be liberal or conservative. Do yourself a favor and be intellectually honest on this one. Outlandish claims against another's faith by someone who has not taken the time or effort to actually know and understand the faith that they are criticizing are insulting. Once you have read the New Testament - or if you don't have time just read the Gospel of John - then look at other sources. Why spend so much time on books about the Bible instead of first reading the Bible?
  3. Everyone believes that what they believe is right or they wouldn't believe it in the first place. "Relativism" is just a nice catch-phrase for those who want to appear open-minded and free, yet if you claim all things are relative (i.e., any way is right if it works for you) then you have actually made a statement based upon an absolute belief. In other words, if I believe that all ways to God are valid, then I have made an absolute statement that is not relative.
  4. There has to be one truth out there or, by definition, truth does not exist. Two opposites can't be equally true. So yes, if all the religions give different avenues to get to God, or if they have a completely different definition on who God is or isn't, then they can't all be true.
What saddens me is that so many people, and not just those on an anonymous message board, judge Jesus based upon the lives of those who claim to follow Him. I find that sad because I, for one, mess up so often that I don't consider myself all that worthy of carrying His name. If the world would just open up the New Testament and honest read about the life and teachings of Jesus, I sincerely believe that skeptics would be convinced, the hard-hearted would melt, and the critics would no longer bash a book that they now would covet above all other books.

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