Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who's the Lousy Evangelical?

Just saw an article where a woman lists 13 things that make her "a lousy evangelical". Things like, she believes the earth is billions of years old. And she has nightmares about Sarah Palin. And she asks a lot of annoying questions. Had to chuckle.

But also had to heave a big sorrowful sigh. Because she points up a frustration I have with so many of my Christian brothers and sisters -- the attitude they have toward truth. It doesn't bother me that they think they know the truth. Honestly, we ALL think what we believe is true, or we wouldn't believe it, right? That's not arrogance; that's what it means to believe something.

It's not that they believe in one truth and reject the mushy mantra, "That may be true for you, but this is true for me." What hogwash! Truth is truth. If we believe opposite things, one of us is wrong. Or both of us. Just because it isn't yet clear who is wrong doesn't mean we're both right.

What bothers me is that they treat the truth like it's a fragile thing. They're afraid of it being challenged (insert tangential comment about evolutionists here -- which I won't get into right now). Many of them have never questioned their own beliefs and start to hyperventilate when someone else questions them. They wrap their children in virtual bubblewrap so there's no hope of their seeing or hearing anything mom and dad disagree with.

Because they haven't examined their own beliefs, they do a lousy job of explaining them to anyone else. So they give up. They expect others to accept the consequences of those beliefs (like, say, making abortion illegal) without their ever accepting the premises of the beliefs. They protect the truth, but they don't defend the truth. There's a big difference.

If the truth is the truth, it doesn't need to be sheltered from attack or examination. If the truth is the truth, it has a power all its own. If the truth is the truth, it will come out in the end -- and perhaps we evangelicals will be as surprised as our counterparts.

One thing I'm pretty confident of: being afraid of . . or angry at . . or contemptuous of someone because they don't agree with you about what's true does NOTHING to promote the truth. So, stop it.

(And yes, I'm preaching to myself, too.)

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