I would like to thank you for your most enlightening visit to our nursing-home Bible discussion. I just wish that I’d found some way to politely address each of your objections to our faith–and, one would hope, to allow you to think about what you were hearing from us.
Alas, I failed. Instead, NAE, I allowed each of my attempted responses to be swallowed up by your own heartfelt and firmly delivered beliefs.
But perhaps you would allow me to address a few of your contentions here, on my own blog. I’m hoping that you’ll actually read the copy of Heaven Without Her that I gave you, that you’ll then visit me here to comment on it, and that you’ll see this post. It’s a long shot, I admit, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
You said that all things are true, and so all religions are correct.
But if that’s so, then nothing is true. According to the universally accepted law of non-contradiction, contradictory views cannot all be true. Not even two of them can be true. And all these worldviews contradict each other!
To apply this principle to the issues we touched on in our Bible discussion, consider this: Either Christianity is true, or it is not. For example:
- Either Jesus Christ is the one and only Creator God, as the Bible says and Christianity teaches, or He is not, as every other religion in the world claims.
- Either we reach eternal life in heaven by repenting and trusting in Jesus’s payment for all sin on the cross, as the Bible says and Christianity teaches, or we must hope that our own self-righteousness is adequate, as every other religion in the world claims.
- Either we can know that we are heaven-bound, as the Bible says and Christianity teaches, or your guess is as good as mine, as every other religion in the world claims.
You said that you don’t believe the Bible to be true.
Thanks to James Sire’s book The Universe Next Door, I realized early on in my own turn-of-the-millennium search for truth that this is the foundational issue: Is the Bible true or not?
And thanks to readily available evidence on everything from its scientific statements to its prophecies fulfilled, after just 16 months of intense research, I arrived at the rock-solid conclusion that the Bible is indeed true – divinely inspired and, in its original manuscripts, error-free. There’s no doubt about it.
You said that you need no evidence, that you know your beliefs are true because you feel it in your heart.
I’m sorry to say that you won’t find a much more unreliable truthometer than your own heart. As the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah pointed out, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).
I don’t know what gives people the idea that the big issues of life can be resolved through heart-felt thought. But we sure seem to believe that; I’ve been there, done that myself. In my pre-Christian decades, I routinely conducted extensive research before arriving at conclusions about economic, political, financial or cultural questions. But I always felt that thought and emotion were perfectly adequate to the task of discerning ultimate spiritual truth.
As I put it in my memoir:
In the past, my discussions had been with any number of like-minded girlfriends who would agree with me wholeheartedly when I’d say, in a confidential tone, “I don’t know what I believe.”
“Me neither,” the girlfriend would say, sometimes adding something along the lines of, “But Buddhism is really a beautiful philosophy, don’t you think?”
“Yes, I do,” I would respond, knowing absolutely nothing about it. “And I’ve always liked the Hindu people.”
We would talk as if our conclusions had been the product of intense thought, and as if thought alone should be the only mental activity needed to arrive at the ultimate truth – the Hercule Poirot “little gray cell” school of theology.
--Heaven Without Her, p. 77
Dare I suggest that it would be wise for you to leave such foolishness behind, NAE? You’re no spring chicken, and you’ll be face-to-face with eternity sooner than you think. It’s about time you sought the evidence you think you don’t need. Here’s a good place to begin.
You said you were saved the day you were born.
This idea is undoubtedly the product of New Age thought. But what if you’re wrong? What if there really is only one way to heaven, and this ain’t it? Are you willing to gamble your eternity on this empty claim? Really?
Please don’t. Forever is an awfully long time to be wrong.
Let’s cut to the chase.
I’m pretty sure you heard little of what I tried to say to you. But I know you heard two comments from my dear friend Marjie, and I hope you will give serious consideration to both:
- “Read that book!”
She was referring, of course, to Heaven Without Her. Good advice.
2. “Why are you here?”
You made it clear that you don’t believe the Bible. But we who gather weekly for this discussion do believe every last word of it, and we get together specifically to learn more about it. I don’t imagine that you intended to intrude upon our precious time together. I don’t imagine, either, that you intended to be rude to us.
But then I wonder what would have attracted you to a session billed, straightforwardly, as a “Bible discussion.” Could it be that you are in the early stages of seeking God? So early, in fact, that you don’t even realize it yet? We all hope and pray that this is the case.
This post is far from comprehensive. In less than a half hour, you told us many other things about yourself and your thinking. I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you one day to discuss all of your objections to Christianity and the Bible.
If that sounds like something you’d like to do, please get in touch with me here.
What do you have to lose?