Sunday, June 06, 2010

Word of the Week for June 8, 2010

What affects our Faith? Pluralism. 
As I wrote last week: None of us grows up in a vacuum. We are affected by all the social, political, philosophical, educational, and media influences that surround us as we grow up in this world. But we don’t always know what these influences are, where they come from, or how they might contradict the truth of God’s Word.

Let me start with a question. Would you want your doctor or your banker to be a liar?

This week we focus on Pluralism. Religious Pluralism is the idea that all religions are really different paths that lead to the same place. The term “Pluralism” is used for several different religious views. What I want to focus on in this article is the religious parallel to cultural pluralism in the politically correct “diversity” movement. In order for Pluralists to make their claims they need to lie. Pluralists need to lie about what each religion considers to be its central truths. And, in order to fit them into their own false views about the nature of God and the world, the Pluralists also need to distort what every other religion teaches.

Religious Pluralism makes these three main claims:

First Religious Pluralism claims that Christians and other religious observers are intolerant (and possibly ethnocentric) to claim that their religion is true to the exclusion of others. This kind of thinking, the pluralists argue, has lead to religious wars and bloodshed.

Second, when the Pluralists compares and contrasts the teachings of various religion, they claim that none of them have the whole truth, like the blind men with the elephant.

Third, Pluralists hold that all religions have the same basic teaching on ethics: the Golden Rule. Furthermore, they claim that each religion is just as effective as the next at causing positive change in a person’s life.

Each of these three claims distorts the truth, and deliberately misrepresents every other religion. The first claim is simply hypocritical. Pluralists claim that their view of religion is the only right view. And they are intolerant of any other view. So they lie.

They lie about how each different religion views the ultimate truth of God. Let’s take the blind men and the elephant story as the example. A king wants to stop religious quarreling so he gathers blind men to demonstrate what religion is like.

The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.

A wise man explains to them: “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.”

But the problem is that none of them is right at all. You, the reader have to know what an elephant really is before the story makes any sense. The story wouldn’t make any sense to most readers if, instead of an elephant, the story used the word cthulhu. The king knew what the elephant really is, so did his wise man. And they deliberately withheld this truth from the blind men. That is, even in the old Buddhist, Hindu, Jainist versions of this story, the people who promote this notion of pluralism base everything on lies and deception.

Pluralists deliberately steer people away from knowing 1) who God really is, 2) what happens when we die, and 3) that sin against God is the real cause of all our unhappiness and problems in this world.

Unfortunately, religious Pluralism permeates our society at every level. The proponents of “diversity” promote this web of lies to dumb down people and make them conform to their own way.

The way for Christians to deal with Pluralism is to know the Bible. Read it. Know that every word of the Scripture is given by God’s inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16). Besides, there is a better example to show what reality is like. In Luke 16:19–31 Jesus tells us about The Rich Man and Lazarus. The rich man, through lack of faith, ends up in hell. Lazarus, though poor, trusted that God would deliver him. Through faith, Lazarus is in heaven. The rich man wants Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to teach his brothers: so they won’t have to go to hell.

Does Abraham say “there are many ways”? No. He says: ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ That is: They have God’s Written Word. That written Word will save them from Hell.

But the rich man argues: ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

Abraham emphasizes again the power of Salvation is only through the Scriptures: ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’

There are not many ways. On the night He was betrayed Christ told us: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)