Believing in Truth Is Not Intolerant
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
In the "Voices" column of the Arkansas Democrat (August 28, 1990) guest writer, Donald Reeves expounded the increasingly popular proposition that a Christian who believes that the faith is "the only true faith" is "exclusion-oriented," "intolerant" and "the height of religious egotism." To support this proposition, Mr. Reeves even attempted to enlist the teachings and example of Jesus as one who condemned, according to Reeves, "promoters of religious exclusion."
Intolerance and bigotry towards others is offensive. However, Mr. Reeves' faulty idea, that Christians who believe their faith is the only true faith is intolerant, is equally offensive. Toleration requires a fair and objective attitude towards others who are different, it does not require one to abandon what he believes to be truth, merely upon the ground that others hold opposing views. A good balance between the belief that one is right and a toleration of the beliefs of others is found in the ancient saying, "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Our relativistic culture has redefined truth from "an absolute fact or reality" to "a relative viewpoint." Thus, it finds itself in the absurd and contadictory position of asserting as true that one cannot know truth. Anyone who professes to "know truth" is labeled as "intolerant and "exclusion-oriented" and is not tolerated by society. Who is truly intolerant?
In light of this popular view, Allan Bloom observed in his book, The Closing of the American Mind, "The true believer is the real danger. The study of history and of culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past; men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism, and chauvinism. The point is not to corrct the mistake and really be right; rather it is not to think you are right at all." "Thus what is advertised as a great opening is a great closing. No longer is there a hope that there are great wise men in other places and times who can reveal the truth about life. (pp. 26 34).
Unfortunately, the popular relativistic philosophy of society has infected many in matters of religion. Mr. Reeves is an good example of this. He professes to be a Christian while at the same time denying the explicit and exclusive claims of Jesus Christ to truth and the founder of the only true faith.
Truth is exclusive, it excludes all that deny and con
Could We Be Wrong About Jesus.
In his execution, his hands and feet would be pierced (Psa. 22:16; Luke 23:33). People would continue to mock him as he died (Psa. 22:7,8; Matt. 27:39). He would be pierced (Zech. 12: 10) and of course this was fulfilled by a Roman soldier with a spear (Jn. 19:34). Though counted as wicked, he would be buried by a rich man (Isa. 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60). Think about it! If Joseph of Arimathea had not been present to offer his tomb and the body of Jesus had been dumped along with the bodies of the criminals, then Jesus would not have been the One!
"Remember the former things long past, for I am God and there is no other,- I am God and there is no one like Me. Declaring the endfrom the beginning andfirom ancient times things which have not yet been done, saying, 'My purpose will he established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure"' (Isa. 46:9,10).
What Are the Chances? "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me,- for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (Jn. 5:46,47)
Remember those silver dollars we talked about at the beginning of this article? The chances of you picking the right one are I in 100,000,000,000,000,000. That is the same as the chance that any man living down to the present time could have fulfilled all eight prophecies, based upon mathematical principles of probability. This is according to Professor Peter Stoner in his book Science Speaks, which has been reviewed by the American Scientific Affiliation and found mathematically dependable.
Approaching it from the opposite direction, is there any wisdom at all in rejecting Jesus when the chances of him being who he claimed to be are so very great? And add to that the fact that we're only talking about fulfilling eight of the more than three hundred prophecies which he actually did fulfill! If all the prophecies were considered, the odds of Jesus not being God's Son are about as near zero as one can get! Since Jesus is obviously God's Son, put your eternal destiny in his hands. It's the right thing to do!
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 22, pp. 684-685