|Series Theme: Difficult Questions|
Title: 1. Aren't all viewpoints equally valid?
A series that helps consider difficult questions of the Christian faith
Christians claim to have THE answer, but isn't that arrogant in today's society where we accept everyone's views as valid.
It is true that in the West we live in a world where society says it is all right to believe what you want, no viewpoint is absolute, and no one can lay claim to 'truth'.
There are various things that we should note about this assertion which are going to take a while to consider:
1. The Lie about Equality.
This view, that is espoused as 'pluralism', purports to give equal respect to all views. However, in reality that is far from the truth!
For anyone wishing to question this, you probably couldn't do better than read Franky Schaeffer's book, "A Time for Anger - the Myth of Neutrality", published by Crossway Books.
However, rather that catalogue the variety of examples where he shows that this 'neutrality of pluralism' is pure deception, we might simply suggest that one consider the whole concept of "PC" or "Being Politically Correct", a concept that has been forced into our vocabulary over the past twenty years or so by those pressure groups who have their own agenda to drive through.
This is not the place to discuss the many facets of what is 'PC', simply to observe the phenomena and its nature.
The nature of 'PC' is that certain viewpoints are being paraded as "the norm" and to disagree with them means you are derided in a variety of ways.
IF pluralism was genuine, then indeed ALL viewpoints would be respected and NO particular viewpoint would be declared 'PC'.
But the reality is that the Christian viewpoint is frequently derided and Christians are mocked by those who are forcing their specific views on our society to achieve their own ends.
Watch TV with fresh eyes and after a week's watching, say that the standards being portrayed are varied and equally valid!
Our society does NOT accept everyone's view as equally valid!
Those who deny there is no 'truth' push their alternative views as if they alone are the truth!
There is a blatant lack of intellectual integrity in our society.
To see an excellent article that reveals this, read the article from the Times, "Since when was it a sin to be the best school in town?" by Stephen Pollard in the April 28, 2003 edition.
2. Pluralism is Morally Defective
Just saying the words, "All moral views are equally valid" immediately screams to us the ridiculousness of it.
For many years the writer taught Law and started every year off asking the students, "Do we need rules, who is to make them and on what basis?". Every year those students said, "Yes, we need rules to protect the weak and the innocent, because the human race is not nice."
Inherently every one of us has a view of what is right and what is wrong. It may be the ultra simple cry of the five year old against her little brother, "Mummy, it's unfair, stop him doing that!" or it may be the emotional screams of the tabloid press against the latest 'wrong', but we all have these concepts.
Wherever we draw the line, we DO all draw a line. We have yet to hear someone saying, "I think it's perfectly OK for someone to choose a random victim in the high street and gun them down!"
The reality is that we don't believe that all moral views are equal. We actually believe our view is right and opposite views are wrong. In our society it is the pressure group that shouts the loudest that carries the day.
Pluralism is morally dishonest when it says all views are equal (we don't think it is all right for you to break into my house and rape my wife!) and none of us actually believe it!
The question we struggle over as a society is who is to decide 'the rules'.
Some have opted for "let's have no rules", but anarchy has never worked!
Throughout history humanity has struggled with this.
Dictators have claimed that "Might is right!" but their track record has not been good!!!!
Wise men such as Plato have suggested a committee of the most intelligent or the most noble, should rule. Sadly intelligence and nobility often don't go with common sense or compassion which are both needed for the mass of us.
Democracy is heralded by the West, but what this tends to mean is godless democracy, decisions by the mass, each one deciding what is right in their own eyes.
Sounds all right in theory, but the realities of life today mean that the ideas of the masses are manipulated by the powerful and wealthy few, whether they call themselves media or moguls.
Modern democracy has created a Society that is in grave trouble, a hurting and anguishing society that is about to erupt.
A variety of religions claim answers but many don't stand up to scrutiny. As someone has commented, one particular religion required the forcible burning of a widow on her late husband's funeral pyre, until their foreign rulers put an end to it. According to pluralism it was wrong to stop it! Hmmmm!
The final possibility is that, intelligently and carefully, we consider whether God, the Creator, might know best about how His Creation works in the best way. Yes, it may be full of difficulties to be worked through, yet that is the Christian hope that is derided for not being PC!
3. The Myth of Religious Equality
All views and all religions are equal says our modern viewpoint. Really? The fact or existence of a variety of 'systems' or religions does nothing to decide whether they are valid.
Again as someone has said, although there appear many ways out of the maze, it is quite possible that many of them run into dead ends.
The belief that all religions are the same is a mantra espoused by the ignorant. How many people have investigated all the main world religions?
How does one assess them? Dare one assess them? Is that even something forbidden by this pluralistic deception of our society?
There must be some basics that we can look at? Consider the following:
a) How did they come into being - what of the life and integrity of the originator?
b) How do the writings of the particular religion stand up to the scrutiny of a modern, intelligent and educated person?
c) What have the lifestyles of the best or majority of the followers of that particular religion been like? Has the world been improved by it? Is it only for a few special people?
The moment we start studying in depth the religions of the world under these microscopes, suddenly some of them don't feel so comfortable.
Or try this as a means of comparison: what do they say about God or gods?
Again, to talk about all these being 'equal' is to make a mockery of the English language!
4. The Christian Claim
Your question talks about the Christian's claim to having THE answer. Let's examine that.
Christianity claims to be unique for two reasons:
1. It claims that GOD came to earth in human form, that of Jesus Christ.
2. It claims that Jesus proved this claim by the things he did, the life he lived, the death he died, and his subsequent resurrection from the dead.
Yes, the first claim hinges on the second. If that second claim IS true, then it does distinguish Christianity from all other faith beliefs. Of that there is no question.
To examine these two claims, you now need to go to the many other pages on this site that detail why you can believe what you read in the Bible, and why you can believe what you read about Jesus Christ.
To do this, it does mean you need to be committed in your search.
There is plenty of material on this site to get you thinking.
The only remaining question is, are you willing to get thinking?
Until you are willing to investigate these things for yourself, you will always be left with the nagging thought, "Perhaps they DO have THE answer." You'll never know until you go looking.