My exams are over now and I thought I’d get back into blogging with a short but important post to get the ball rolling for what I hope will be a summer of regular posting. A few weeks ago I wrote about non-Christians telling me about my faith (see here: https://bengarry.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/quick-thoughts-non-christians-telling-me-about-my-faith/), and I want to write on a similar theme in this post. There are some things within what appears to be Biblical Christianity that are at odds with what society deems to be acceptable. I’m going to pick on an easy example. The Bible says that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6); society says that religion is a personal choice and that religious beliefs are equally valid (in technical jargon, this is known as pluralism). The ‘Life of Pi’ is a good example of this ‘all religions lead to God’ idea. Us Christians, we tend to hold to what Jesus said on this and that can be an unpopular position. So why do we bother?
Well, the reason that I choose to accept Jesus over society is because I believe that all Scripture is ‘God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16 – note, this verse refers to Old Testament scripture only, because the New Testament was not complete at the time of writing). Furthermore, I believe that Jesus is the ‘author and perfector’ of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Thus, Jesus should be the ultimate authority for Christians. When he called himself the way, the truth and the life, he was not speaking in a parallel. There is no case that can be made for taking these words at anything other than face value. The Old Testament reveals that God is the only God; there are no others. The implication of this is that there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can challenge the ultimate sovereignty of God. As a Christian, I believe that he’s right. If God’s view of something, as laid out in the Bible, conflicts with society’s view of that thing, then I will try my best to align myself with God. This may lead to unpopular views. That’s fine. I am confident in God as my authority…but what is the moral authority behind someone who does not believe in a god? If we have differing views, I argue because I believe in the word of God; someone who does not believe in a god is arguing because of their trust in…in what? That’s something to think about.
As a final point, I know that not everyone interprets the Bible in the same way and I am happy to discuss the pros and cons of different interpretations of tricky passages, but there are some things that are stated unambiguously, outside of any parables, poems or summaries that are hard to take in any way other than face value. The fact is, humans are fallible – we’re not always going to be able to perfectly discern God’s will, but, if we accept that the Bible is a reliable resource that gives guidance on important issues, why would a Christian fall in line with humans who claim to know more than the God who created them?