Dec 28, 2015 // By:dave cadieux // No Comment
When a grade schooler is taught mathematics, one of the basic laws is called the law of symmetry
as opposed to:
- A=non A
Simple logic dictates that opposite sides of the equal sign have to balance or actually be equal which is why the equal sign is there between the two sides to begin with. This carries over into the world of logic and clear thinking in a rule cleverly called the “law of non-contraction”. Two things that differ cannot be called equal or the same. It also means that two claims regarding a “truth” that differ cannot both be right. They can both be wrong but not both be correct regarding an absolute truth. Let’s try this in a regular conversation. Bob says he has the only key for a lock, then Sam says the exact same thing about a key in his own hand. They cannot both claim to have the only key to a lock and both be right. They may both be mistaken but not both right.
While our culture tries to teach tolerance for all beliefs and creeds, a basic dignity which all humans deserve, there is a difference between tolerance to differing ideas and what we now have in our culture which is the strange notion that no one has the right to even claim that another’s ideas might actually be wrong. While this concept might work with subjective things like “do anchovies and peanut butter taste good together, it does not do justice to attempts to deal with absolutes in reality. This is where we get responses to religious ideas in the form of “whatever works for you” mentality. It is not a matter of what seems to work for someone at the moment when it comes to the existence of God or our purpose within His creation.
In an era that promotes tolerance as the highest of virtues and the idea that truth is relative (where 2=3), it is considered outrageous to claim that Jesus is the one and only, exclusive way, for people to attain eternal life. A common response to His claim would be; “What about all those in the world who don’t believe in Jesus, following Buddha or Confucius or another teacher?”. “How can you say that they won’t go to heaven?” Well two responses:
1 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Jesus made it very clear that the way to the Father and ultimately the way to eternal life in heaven is through a relationship of faith in Him. The rest of the New Testament affirms this repeatedly. Just one example comes from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans: “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 With this in mind, the only way to say that there are other ways to eternal life is to completely ignore everything that the Bible teaches on the subject. You must trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and believe that He died and rose again in order to pay the penalty for your sins.
There are some who would discard the Bible and decide that it only if you are sincere in what you believe then you will live forever. The thought is that sincerity, not truth, is the ruling law. God is now seen as a being who is merely compassionate and would never draw straws over anything to do with truth or whether someone was right or wrong.
2. Sincerity does not establish fact. (believing thin ice will hold you up and out of the icy water will surely lead to a refreshing dip … believe in what holds you up does not hold you up, rather it is belief in something that CAN hold you up that is rewarded with actually being held up)
For the most part, it is only people raised in our post-christian culture who seem to be embarrassed by the claim of Jesus to be the only way to heaven since it means taking a moment to say” I think your idea is wrong.” That is not tolerance, it is numbness. Refusing to think because it causes differences. Refusing to say that “A” cannot possibly be equal to “non-A” does not define one as narrow minded. It merely states “I remember what I learned as a child about simple matters and how truth cannot contradict truth.” Did not Jesus say in Matt. 18: 3… “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Perhaps, just perhaps, He was thinking of us even when He said these words and how our modern tolerances would cloud reason to the point of absurdity and that we all need to remember the basic rules of non-contradiction.
Rom. 1:22 “Professing to be wise, they became fools” is the yellow flag waved at the human race in our quest for wisdom. Our modern tolerance has made it all but impossible to discuss the existence of absolute truth and even attempts to exclude God from the conversation since He, claiming to be truth is too narrow minded for such an intelligent culture as our own. We tolerate and place all beliefs on an equal plane, except of course for Christianity. There is not even tolerance allowed for exclusive truth. The old fashioned idea that 2 cannot equal 3 does not belong anymore. Next time someone tells you , as an evangelical Christian, that you are being narrow minded, ask why he has the right to believe he is correct but reserves the right to insist that you are wrong. He has, at that moment, broken his own law of tolerance. He has now claimed that you and he cannot both be right at the same time but was using that “law” to call you narrow minded just a few seconds ago. Even he, somewhere in his grade school tape recordings, knows 2=2 and cannot be 3. Do not let the “new tolerance” use the law of non-contradiction to exclude us from the culture. It is hypocritical at best and insidiously blinding at it’s worst.
There is no need for a follower of Jesus to be embarrassed by the exclusive claims of Jesus. Truth in it’s nature is exclusive. Just as light fills and destroys darkness, truth pushes away falsehood and insists that it be exposed and eliminated. Jesus is the truth who rightly demands our allegiance. Our highest command is to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. It is Jesus who is eternal life. He is the way without divergence, the truth without compromise and the life of eternal relationship with our Father. If we are not willing to engage individuals in our culture and offer to compare ideas and beliefs, we are, in fact, acting ashamed of the Gospel by fearing to be open about it. We are not being narrow minded, we are simply and logically pointing to a narrow path of salvation of which all must pass through the gate called the logos by John. the single gate by which all men may come to the Father. (the “open minded” in our culture who’s thoughts are widely accepting to conflicting ideas are traveling the wide road which leads to destruction and it’s to be expected when there is some defensiveness when they first hear that this easily traveled path leads to wasted life, squandered purpose, and ill-intended destiny)
Do not be ashamed to point out that contradicting facts cannot both be right. The world wants us to just fit in, including how we think and interact, but Roman 12:2 speaks directly to this …
We are intended to stand up and stand out since the Truth we represent has to stand out to be heard and understood. Be not ashamed but rather, consider the privilege you have been entrusted with … The Truth of the Kingdom of God is in your heart and waiting to come out of your mouth to all around you. 🙂
in His service, Dave Cadieux