jesusfreak5610 asked: Hey Unka Glen!! I recently had a friend challenge something. We were talking about different religions vs Christianity and what happens to people after this life. He told me he was a Christian but that he believed that whatever faith people accepted, be it Hinduism, Reincarnation, Islam, etc., they go to the respective afterlife of that belief. I know that the Bible states that no one can get to the Father unless they accept Christ. But I don’t know how to respond to him in a Godly way.
Unka Glen answered: So your friend stared into space, came up with this cute idea about the afterlife, and then he decided that his idea, that he just came up with, is now… the truth? And you’re wondering how to break that down? I mean, it’s an interesting and cute idea, but, ya know, this is not how we discover the nature of reality.
Okay, so let’s track this wacky train of thought, shall we? So, the first thing he was taught in whatever liberal arts class he took in college, was the idea that truth is subjective. What’s true for you might not be true for me, man. So, like, don’t subject me to your reality, man. That’s like your truth, man.
From this brilliant and insufficiently scrutinized observation, he made the bizarre leap that if truth is subjective, then whatever he comes up with, that has to be true. So if it feels true to me, it is true. This is, of course, a big ol’ pile of poo (to use an academic term). What those liberal arts professors were trying to say, is that by definition truth is obviously objective, absolute, and universal, it’s our perception that’s totally subjective and often flawed.
Two plus two equals four. That’s not my own personal subjective truth, that’s just how it is. For me, for you, for everybody. This isn’t an opinion, this isn’t a theory. Two plus two equals four, that is true. Period. The truth can be discovered, deduced, taught, observed, or theologically arrived at, but truth is not, nor ever will be, whatever cute idea I just make up in my head.
None of that really matters though, because your friend knows that the world doesn’t organize itself around his imagination, (otherwise Victoria Secret models would be hand feeding him bacon right now), so the real thing for us to ask ourselves is: why would he make up this particular fantasy, and then repeat it to you? I think the answer is clear— he dislikes the idea that sweet, devoted people, doing their best to live a devoted spiritual life, might find out that they picked the wrong religion.
Heck, I don’t like that idea either. Yes the New Testament does talk about the condemnation of those who reject the gospel message. But what about those who were never given a clear offer of salvation to reject? The answer is kind of buried in a lot of other details in Romans 2, but the basics are that non-believers will be judged according to “the requirements of the law that are written on their hearts”, and according to the sense of conscience they are given.
So in a sense he is almost right, some people who’ve never really heard of Christ, have devoted themselves to their own best understanding of God, and they did the best they could to follow their conscience, and on that basis, one presumes that some of them will be getting into a pretty kick-butt afterlife, even if it wasn’t the sad little afterlife they’re expecting.
Stick with the actual truth. If you do the math, it’s always better than what people make up.
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