4.27.2009

Intolerant Truth

Erin, why are you "messing up this cute blog" that now centers around the beautiful growth of your daughter? Well, because this blog is about the SoCal Kerrs and our whole life - including reflections on how we live our lives.

I ran across this article about Atheism "gaining momentum".Part of what is giving the movement momentum is the proliferation of groups on college campuses. The Secular Student Alliance now has 146 chapters, up from 42 in 2003.

I point this out, not because I am worried about atheists. I am more concerned about people failing to see the logical conclusion that atheism leads to if one is honest. There is almost always some statement in these articles that talk about Christians or others being INTOLERANT of their beliefs. The irony and the issue that many fail to see is the atheist has a total absence of an absolute moral foundation. It's like claiming to build a skyscraper without having a foundation.

The thing that perplexes me about some of the statements in these articles by "secular humanists" is their use of ethical language. Can someone explain that to me? And how can the term "intolerant" be used by a secular humanist? Isn't that an oxymoron? Isn't that self-refuting? Without a belief in a "higher power" or a moral standard (the atheist must believe that man makes the rules), than the secular humanists BASIS/FOUNDATION/ANCHOR is rooted in what? It just becomes a matter of opinion or flavor.

If someone says I am intolerant because I take a stand on how I think the world is, based on the evidence available to us - philosophical, scientific, historical, archaeological even subjective experience... how can disagreement over ideas be intolerant? Now, if I don't treat someone with dignity/respect who happens to be different from me in ideology or ethnicity - that is wrong. But disagreeing on one's view... Isn't this one of the beautiful things about the U.S. - the freedom to have a marketplace of ideas where the truth wins out through dialogue and discussion with dignity?

I am all for allowing Secular Humanist clubs, socal organizations, etc. but I think it is intellectually dishonest, even illusory to have some sort of a moral indignation towards those who disagree with their worldview - THAT IS INTOLERANT.

Some other Thoughts
In my understanding of the evidence, the most compelling and coherent worldview that deals adequately with our human origin, our destiny, our identity and our morality is in Christianity - centrally in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the most inclusive and yet intolerant figures in history (according to the cultural definition of intolerance). He loved (loves) all people because God the Father, made everyone in His image. But that does not mean all religions, worldviews, perspectives on salvation, paths to God are equally valid (John 14.6). Jesus did not accept people's belief systems for the sake of TOLERANCE. No way - His ministry was about telling the truth.

The religous leaders of his day missed the point - He rebuked and corrected them.
They needed to know the truth.

The hurt, diseased, broken, poor of his day found healing and hope by his touch, his words and his power over the spirit world as well as the physical. The Stoics, the Epicureans, the other faiths of the time didn't deliver this kind of power and hope.
They neeeded to know and experience the truth.

The disciples and his followers were hoping and anticipating an earthly king of the Jews - the Messiah - but he had to continually help them understand that the Messianic Kingdom was NOT how they thought it would be.
They needed to know the truth - His ministry on earth was the inauguration of a new covenant with God and His people... that the Kingdom of God was available to anyone (Jew and Gentile now!) who placed their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Jesus died on a cross and rose from the dead, appeared before 500 people, including his disciples and others before his ascension... why?
They needed to know the truth - He had overcome death and verified his identity as the Messiah, and now they were to go and tell this to the world through the birth of the church, God's family of believers.

Thank goodness for intolerant truth. We can actually be changed, transformed and be forgiven by God who loves us and offers us real, true, abundant and eternal life. This is truly GOOD, intolerant news.

9 comments:

Don said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Their is a scene in the Soloist where the newspaper reporter is interviewing an "Athiest" who is cleaning the side of the freeway.
I think it says a lot about the emptiness of this philosophy vs. the scenes involving the Christian worker in the rough and tumble rescue mission in downtown LA.

Pops

Suzie said...

Thanks Erin! This was great to read!

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Deb said...

Great post....have you ever noticed the most intolerant people are those who preach tolerance!

You know you have to make a larger leap of faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian!

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