Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. It looks like I could be out of town again shortly. I have done the major work I need to do for my project, but again, I want it to be that I have uninterrupted focus. I shall let you readers know for sure, but I am not putting something off for the sake of putting it off.
Tonight, I’d like to comment on something I heard today with an atheist on a program talking about the exclusivity of Christianity and how they don’t like that idea and it keeps them away from the Christian faith. Now we could do a blog sometime on how Christianity is exclusive and why this is the way it is and answer objections to it, but I’d like to deal with another point.
There is an underlying issue many of us have it seems that we think an argument or position cannot be true because we do not like something about it. There are some things we don’t want to think and so we automatically say they’re untrue. In some cases, this is denial. Not all doubt is like this, but some of it is.
What we as Christians must learn to do however and encourage others to do is to seek truth for the sake of truth. We must realize that even if we do not like a particular belief, that will not change the truth of that belief. If we are to be people who say we believe in truth, then we have to accept the painful truths. In fact, for all of us, there are painful truths.
Consider the doctrine of Hell. I believe in Hell. I do not believe in a literal flaming furnace, but I believe there is a place of the greatest misery and suffering possible. Do I like this belief? No. I agree with C.S. Lewis that it would be wonderful if universalism could be true and somehow all could be saved, but reality doesn’t work that way.
I would encourage any atheist who sincerely is wanting an answer in these areas, and I believe the one I heard today was open, that we have to all put aside what we like and don’t like. If I could have it proven to me that Christianity is false, I would not want to believe in it just because I like it. On the other hand, if Jesus is who he said he was, and there is a God who will judge the world, and there’s a heaven to gain and a hell to lose, then none of that will change just because that belief is not liked.
Consider if you are a non-believer this point. What if Christianity is true? If it is, the denial of hell will not change the existence of hell. The denial of Jesus being the only way will not change Him being the only way. What you must first ask yourself is not “Is this doctrine something I like?” You must ask yourself “Is it true?” If it is true, you have to accept it whether you like it or not. The universe does not change to fit us.
Let’s not think I’m just being hard on atheists here. Many Christians fall into the same boat. Because you don’t like Calvinism, that does not mean Calvinism is false. Because you don’t like Arminianism, that does not mean Arminianism is false. To reverse things also, because a belief is comforting, that does not mean that that belief is true. It would be very comforting for me to wake up tomorrow and know I have a lot of money in my bank account, especially in my financial situation as it is now. However, I cannot just say “I’m going to wake up tomorrow and believe that!” Reality will have me in a bind very quickly if I go to a bookstore believing that.
Now once again, in any case, this does not mean that you like the belief that you accept. It simply means that you accept it. We are to be seek to understand the world around us as it is and not as we wish to see it. Part of being an honest thinker is realizing that, going where the evidence leads, and believing it and letting things work out as they will.