Friday, August 13, 2010

When Christianity lost its groove

I've been thinking over the last few months about how the world seems to assume that it is Christianity's job to conform to every other belief and standard. This first hit me some years ago, when I was in a discussion with a Jewish friend over the evils of proselytizing. He informed me, rather emphatically, that it was wrong to convert people to your own religious beliefs. Then it dawned on me: wasn't he tying to do the same thing? After all, has it been shown in the lab, accepted by the scientific community, shown with mathematical precision that trying to convert someone is wrong? Or is that merely his opinion, dare I say, his religious belief about proselytizing and converting?

Of course this was several years ago, back in the mid-90s. Back when much of liberalism was founded on the gospel of tolerance, diversity, respect, and open mindedness. In recent years, however, I began to rethink this little conversation with my friend, and realized that, even he didn't realize it, the whole notion against 'converting' people was a sham. It was a hoax, a farce. It was a lie.

Fact is, humans have always, and will always, convert. They will make absolute truth claims, assume their beliefs are absolutely true, and demand nations, governments, institutions - and yes, religions - conform to those truths. To some extent they will attempt to convey these truths in the hopes of convincing and persuading others to change their minds and accept these truths. Eventually, as we are seeing in the post-liberal Left, there will come a time when tolerance for those who refuse to conform will lead to more 'drastic' measures.

The same is obviously true for religion. Christianity, a part of Western Culture, suffers from the Great Western Guilt. Assured of the narrative that 'the West' is to blame for everything, Christianity has backed off on making stands, against pointing fingers and saying that's wrong, against looking at others and saying 'you need to change.' All while other religions, philosophies, and ideologies think nothing of looking at the Church and saying it's wrong, dumb, evil, stupid, or anything else. Imams and atheists, Buddhists and Rabbis think nothing of sitting on a CNN panel describing the faults, flaws, and failings of Christianity throughout its history.

And all the while, most Christians still lumber along under the false pretense that we must be tolerant, that we must affirm anything and everything else, that we have no right to say we're right, you're wrong. We will not look at the other panelist and say, "Our values are the Truth values because they are founded upon the bedrock of Truth, the foundation of Eternal Divinity: God as revealed through Jesus Christ." Some do, of course. But too many leaders feel the need to become all soft and cuddly. To avoid saying such things directly. They are just scared to point out the flaws in anything else (with the possible exception of radical secularism).

Point out the bad points of Jewish history? Forget it. Mention Islamic aggression and expansion throughout the previous thousand years? Don't hold your breath. Explain that there are many bad things in Asian history, some of which actually tie to the religious beliefs of certain regions? Nope. Oh, their reps can trash, trash, and trash again the Church, its sins, its failings, its doctrines all they want. But all the while, the most respectable Christian leaders continue to be guided by that has-been of a teaching that watching the modern world should show was a lie all a long.

When confronted with diverse opinions at Athens, the Apostle Paul did NOT simply say this is one possible truth, and tell everyone else their truth was as good, or valid, as his. He did not trash his own tradition and stand idly by while others did the same. He did not use violence or aggression, as we should never do. I'm not advocating conversion at gunpoint here. I am saying it's time for the Church to stand up, take a deep breath, and say 'we're right and you aren't.' Doesn't mean we can't coexist. Doesn't mean we can't discuss and debate. It means we hold these truths to be self-evident, and are sworn to uphold and protect them. It means when folks go on tirades about the evils of Christianity, challenge them. Throw it back at them. Discuss the caste system of India, the deplorable rights records of the Far-East, the modern conditions and rights abuses across the Islamic world, the brutality (by modern standards) of pre-Columbia American cultures, the mass slaughter of the secular 20th century and its terror states founded on, among other things, the eradication of religion. Don't hold back or try to be a milquetoast anymore. It's not working. People want truth. Real truth. Truth not afraid to be truth and proclaimed as truth. And if we who believe we hold the truth don't take a stand, then others who we believe do not have the full truth will. And they will win.


  1. Wow!! Amen! Yes that is exactly right. We have got to stand up and say enough is enough. I believe what I believe. I hold to my faith. Remembering always that "God is bigger than the Boogie Man" as the old Veggie Tales song says. Why should we not hold on and keep hold and stand up for what we believe.

    One question- How long until Christianity is outlawed in America? I mean calls are everywhere for people to turn their back on anyone who even remotely suggest they have an opinion based on their religious beliefs (that is all religious beliefs) So when will it happen. I fear that the childern of today will be subject to not only criticism, but also to outright expulsion from every aspect of life if they stand up and speak for what they believe in their hearts.
    Keep on Keeping on is what we all must do. Never forget that God is there watching what we are doing in his name and that he will be there when his name is no longer spoken. "even the rocks will cry out"

  2. In some ways, those things are already happening. Years ago, when I first moved to central Ohio, there was a news story about an uproar in a local school district. Turns out the high school newspaper was publishing stories supporting gay issues. Parents were bothered by the this (it being ten years ago remember). Either the principal or super was at the meeting, and fully supportive of the newpaper and the promotion of gay rights. At some point in the meeting (this was shown on the news), a parent said he disagreed with the belief about gay rights and didn't think it belonged in a school debate. The principal (or whatever the title) looked at him, and she said 'there are other schools then if you want to follow a belief like that.' In short, we don't server YOUR kind here anymore. This is liberalism's hour, and either put up, or shut up and get out. And that was ten years ago almost. Just wait. The wait won't be much longer.


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