by guest blogger, Kimberly Jackson, MA Apologetics, 2017
The apostles preached Jesus crucified, buried and risen on the third day according to the Scriptures. This was a historical fact that happened in time and space. Our faith cannot be divorced from history. However, our modern culture’s interest in diversity and tolerance drives the way the culture today understands Jesus and early Christianity. An insidious moral relativism has come to create a Jesus that loves everyone, tolerates sin, never gets angry and thinks that everyone can find their own path to god (God) through the gospel of diversity and tolerance. We have created God in our own image. As Christians, we have this hurdle we must get over in this diversity hugging culture.
Ultimately, there is an absolute truth. Amazingly, the law of non-contradiction works! (It states that something cannot be both true and not true at the same time when dealing with the same context. For example, Islam states that Christ did not rise from the dead. Christianity states He did. They both cannot be true.) Try it on somebody off of the street, no matter if they believe in Buddhism, atheism, or altruism…any of the -isms! Start by asking them this: why should I believe that?
So, how do we get this point across to people?
- First, preach the gospel (both the good parts and the not so palatable parts). We have to preach all of the gospel, in its full context, and this includes the doctrine of hell.
- Second, continue to refute and attack false gospels; Christians need to be more critical in their thinking (study up, folks!). Don’t be afraid to think like the unbeliever to be able to understand their position. This helps them see their error in thinking. Therefore, we must not only know our own doctrine/theology, but read and understand the unbeliever’s arguments in order to disprove them, and teach our children to, also.
- Third, we have to proceed prayerfully and humbly, yet boldly! Remember idols tend to blind the minds of unbelievers.
In the end, God doesn’t need anyone to defend His truth, but we are called to do so. 1 Peter 3:15 calls us to do so, and do it humbly, motivated by love for our fellow humans and obedience to God’s divine decree. We especially need to be preaching the gospel, refuting false gospels, and proceeding prayerfully and humbly with our fellow Christians in our churches, as well as the unbelieving everywhere. But we don’ t have to make an idol of seeing results in the other person or buy into the lie that we can change them; only God changes hearts. In other words, their response should not dictate what God has decreed us to do.
This will testify the truth of the gospel. We can certainly have diversity and truth at the same time, but we can’t have tolerance for the idea that there is no truth.¹ Truth is a narrow road, leading only in one direction—to Jesus Christ.
1. For further reading refer to: The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity, by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Michael J. Kruger, Crossway Publishing, 2010.