Tuesday, May 25, 2010

They judge me, they judge me not.

A question for my ex-fundamentalist readers for when you were a fundamentalist: if you happened to have a really good friend who was a non-Christian, what did you think any time that non-Christian was less than perfect? Aka, simply human?

I'm lately wondering that any time I'm simply human around fundamentalist friends -- you know, those moments where you're petty, or mean, or jealous, or hateful. I wonder if the fundamentalist friend sympathizes with me or if a part of the friend is screaming, "God hates that behavior! How can you NOT see how imperfect you are, and thus how much you need Jesus?"

I'm now awaiting a comment that tells me this pondering is really because the Holy Spirit is convicting me of my sins and showing me my need for a Savior.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Calling Pontius Pilate ...

I've pondering Christianity and it's relation to truth. Pulling from memory, there are quite a few Bible verses dealing with truth.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life."

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth."

"God be true, even if every man is a liar."

"I have come into this world to bear witness to the truth -- Everyone who is of the truth shall listen to my voice."

Or that Satan is a deceiver, seeking to lure people away from God with lies and so forth.

Ergo, Christianity is very concerned with the nature of truth. So how far does this concern go? Is is a universal truth, or is just truth in terms of the Christian tenants? How well are Christians able to discern truth, compared to non-Christians? Overall, I would say they're no better, and no worse.

I'm thinking of stories I've read about de-converting Christians, who said that they spent years in the church as an atheist, in order to preserve the peace in their family, or because they couldn't confess that they were atheists. And not one Christian noticed at all. There wasn't any special discernment of the truth here.

I'm thinking of me personally, and how if I told my evangelical friends that I had confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and started going to church and essentially acting the way a Christian should -- if I came across as sincere enough, they'd never know the truth. There would be no special discernment.

I'm thinking of really renowned Christian leaders, who rant against certain lifestyles, and then it turns out that the same Christian leaders in fact participate in those lifestyles. Christians found out about that the same way everyone else did -- through the lifestyle partners coming forward. There was no special discernment.

I'm thinking of the Catholic church and the child rapes, and how when the victims first starting coming forward, the Catholic congregations rushed to defend the priests against such "lies." Again, the truth wasn't uncovered until the victims came forward, and papers started appearing about how the Church was complicate in covering up the rapes. There was no special discernment.

In each of these situations, the truth came out because someone came forward, or someone confessed to something. There was no special nudging from the Holy Spirit, no special access to the one source of Truth, or anything like that. Christians discover what the truth is the same way other people did.

Now, perhaps a counterargument to this could be that in terms of God and Truth, that only deals with the nature of personal salvation, or the nature of God, or something like that. But if God is a God of Truth, why wouldn't He be concerned with all Truth, period? Why wouldn't He give His followers some sort of special insight that non-Christians lack? If God is that focused on the truth ... why are Christians discovering the truth through the same methods that non-Christians must employ?