Christian by Choice, not by Birth

Dan Lenington on February 10, 2015

One of the objections that many secularists level at Christians who maintain the exclusivity of Christ is that they are only Christian because they have been brought up as a Christian. The implication is that if they had been brought up as a Muslim, they would be just as devoted to that religion. Expanding on this accusation, some may even find themselves impressed by the sincerity and somewhat consistent worldviews of many people from different walks of life. When you put yourself in their culture, you can often see where they get their ideas and worldview from. This can be a little unnerving since we are all more comfortable with excluding ideas contrary to what we have already accepted. The other common reaction is to be so open minded that we accept everyone's ideas as equally valid. Neither of these approaches deals with the fundamental challenge posed by this objection.

The objection is based upon the assumption that man and his mind is the measure of all things. If we begin with our experiences and our own interpretation of them, when we will ultimately come to many conflicting conclusions. Most people from all different backgrounds including Muslims, Christians, or athesits depend on their own mind to distinguish right from wrong and truth from error. Their conclusions are based upon personal evaluations and often unidentified presuppositions. However, we must challenge the assumption that man is the ultimate standard of truth. I believe everyone would admit that man is a flawed being. We make mistakes in our judgment and in our character. Therefore, we need a higher source of truth than our own experience and reason. We cannot just believe something because an authority taught it to us or because it seems logical in our mind. We must have a source of truth that transcends error and fallacy or else we are trapped in a never ending cycle of uncertainty. Our culture thrives on this moral ambiguity which seems to permit anything. However, from history, we can see that this mode of life is untenable. Where then can we find real truth?

Truth by definition is what accurately represents reality. This could includ our report of real events (history), our study of physical processes (science), and our effort to define right and wrond (morality). If we are to learn anything about these areas of study, we must assume one fundamental fact about our existence. Namely, that reality is stable and predictable. Science depends on the careful observation of repeatable experimentation for the purpose of drawing conclusions about the nature of reality. Evolution doesn't account or allow for this stability. In fact, an evolutionist must ignore the teachings of evolution just to do science. The Creationist worldview, however, not only teaches this stability (Gen. 8:22) but also explains teh purpose for it. God the Creator has made all things orderly and stable to reflect His qualities in creation for the purpose that we might study and learn about His nature. More importantly, He has also given us a pure form of knowledge and perspective about reality in the form of His Word to guide our examination of creation. Therefore, our senses, our conscience, our mind, and our experts must all look to God's special revelation for guidance.

However, you may ask, how do we know that the Bible is the perfect and complete Word of God by which we should test our conclusions? The Bible sets itself apart from all other religious books by allowing itself to be verified by histry. The Book of Mormon claims to record the history of the American Indians but none of its cities, people groups, or events can be verified. The Quran, and other religious writings of the Hindus and Buddhists don't give any real world connection by which to verify them. The Bible, however, records thousands of historical events that have been verified through archaeology and history. The Bible also sets itself apart through detailed prophesies and documented miracles culminating in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So where does this leave us? While it is true that many Christians, Muslims, and atheists are what they are because that is all they have ever known, this fact alone cannot prove the validity or fallacy of any of these faiths. Likewise, it is a ridiculous assumption to claim that no one in any of these faiths has ever examined the claims or evidence presented in another faith. What we must do is recognize the weakness of our own mind. Next, we must recognize that we all have a bias based upon our upbringing and identify our presuppositions. We must evaluate these presuppositions with the evidence from creation with an open mind knowing that we need our Creator to guide our thinking. Finally, we must examine every conclusion with the perfect revelation of God found in the matchless Word of God, the Bible. Only then can we hope to escape the fallacies of both traditionalism and progressivism.