Thursday, March 13, 2008

Can they be a little right?

Wayne made this comment in the last post:
I would let a Buddhist talk to me about why I should share his faith....I would let him talk without getting mad or interupting....but...when he was done I would show him the error of his religion and show him that his transgressing the Law of God has put him in the direct path of the God of justice.

It made me realize something.
Our desire to be right.
We all think we're right.
We come out with,
"This is right, that is wrong."
And defend it vehemently.

Why is it though, that when we find a certain truth, everyone else has no truth?
I'm right and you're wrong.
Maybe you are.
But has the thought ever come up that the other guy might have a little truth?
Why is it that we can't reasonably discuss something with someone and try to see where someone is right as well?

I'm not even saying I'm immune to this.
I'm not.
I have to fight down glee when people are shown to be hypocritical.
Use NY Gov. Spitzer as an example.
It is hard to wish well for someone who showed others no compassion, and was sooo right.
It is hard, but not impossible.
I try to picture what it would be like to be in his shoes.
I try to understand.
Not condone, just understand.

So when someone is sooo right, and others aren't as right as that person, we all have this knee-jerk reaction.
And rightly so.
It could be God's way of getting their attention.
It could be His way of getting our attention.

Next time instead of being so confrontational, try to see what things you have in common with the other guy.
Try to be his/her friend.
Jesus did that all the time.
He hung out with sinners.
They let him hang out with them.
They wouldn't do that if he was always pointing out their sin.
He cared for them and listened to them.
Pointing out sin came for those who thought they had none.
And he was very pointed about it.

Those are just my thoughts.
But I want to leave you with a quote:

"Whoever fights monsters
should see to it
that in the process
he doesn't become a monster."

Frederick Nietzsche
German philospher 1844 - 1900


Doorman-Priest said...

It's interesting, and I think I understand fully where Wayne is coming from, but Buddhist thinking and morality has many parallels with Chritian thinking and morality. A Buddhist would be a fantastic person to talk theology with. I can certainly recognise Buddhism's inate truth even if I believe it to be incomplete. I don't think of Buddhism as wrong, just as an incomplete understanding. I know many Christians who have adopted some Buddhist practices.

The problem with witnessing to other faiths is that it is not just the religion but the whole cultural identity which is at stake for the potential convert.

I think this is why we see very few cross-cultural conversions.

Roland said...

I don't think of Buddhism as wrong, just as an incomplete understanding.
That's what I was trying to get at.
At least you would be able to talk and relate, instead of waiting for your turn to say, "Unh-uh!"
I understand Wayne's point as well.
I just think it's incomplete as well.
Sometimes I think we get hung up on semantics.
I don't want that to be the thing.
Can I accept some of Buddha's teachings to be true?
Can a follower of Buddha do the same with Christ?
We may have differing views on who Christ actually is, but at least we are seeking truth. And since God is truth....

Anonymous said...

Hey guys. I think you know where I fall on this. I don't have much use for the Way of the Master tecniques, I guess because they wouldn't work on me. I think that formulaic attempts at evangelism just bring about "false converts" as they would say. Roland, I do think this goes back to the quote you posted a couple of days ago. Fear is a powerful force, but only for as long as you are afraid. I am deathly afraid of heights, but once I am back on solid, low, ground I forget the fear. Such is idea of scaring people into Christianity. Most people I know, who really act like Christians, have come to Christ by relizing he loves us and that we should be Christians because of that love, not wrath.

Roland said...

Love is the answer.
Thanks, Nator.
Everyone have a good couple of days.
I'll be back on Saturday. :)

Wonder Woman said...

Love is the answer, I like that!

All kinda of love right?


Darn tingles!


WW :)

Anonymous said...

There must be truth to what you are saying Roland. Because even though I have said similar things, my first thought was still "blasphemy." Which is really strange and out of place for me. Which makes me think it is truly my old self speaking...

Craig said...

I understand your point to be kind. However, the Bible gives warnings about false teachers and I believe that Buddhists fall under false teaching. I think this verse states the answer to the post:

1 Tim 6:1-5 (NKJV) "Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. (2) And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
(3) If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, (4) he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, (5) useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. "

WayneDawg said...

Nator said - I think that formulaic attempts at evangelism just bring about "false converts" as they would say.

Wow - evangelizing the way Jesus did brings about false converts, I've never heard that one before.

False converts come about because people 'come' to Christ through deception and false doctrine that is so prevelant in the modern church today.

I have grown tired of defending the 'formulaic attempt' (as Nator said) of how Jesus and almost everyone else up until about the 20th century did evagelism (Law before grace unless that person was already humbled enough for the Gospel).

I've explained why and how Jesus witnessed to people. But Roland and Nator don't see it the same (I think DP is investigating the Scriptures to see if what I said is accurate).

I will continue to visit both of your blogs because I enjoy reading you both, but I think I have said all I can in defending the witnessing pattern that Jesus established and has been followed up until the turn of the 20th century (which, by the way, since the change of the method of Law before Grace, from the 20th centruy on has seen the greatest number of flase converts in the history of Christianity).

MikeT said...

Buddhism is actually quite different from Christianity in many ways that count. Just start with the "4 noble truths" which are very much without parallel in Christianity. Where Christianity teaches that the root cause of suffering is sin, Buddhism teaches that it is attachment to things of this world. Christians know that a healthy desire for things is no source of real agony, but that sin and the death it causes, most certainly is.

As CS Lewis said, they're right when their religion agrees with what's in the Bible. So a Buddhist who acknowledges some of the teachings of Jesus or the Torah is speaking truthfully, but when they go off on subjects like the 4 noble truths, they aren't.

My aunt is Buddhist, and one of the things that I've used to approach her on this is to point out that Christianity is actually fairly humanistic compared to Buddhism. It teaches us that the path to happiness is to live a full human life in communion with God, not to seek an elusive spiritual goal like Nirvana that requires that we sacrifice so much for something that we have little reason to hope of ever attaining.

I found in my own experience that the thing that got her thinking about all of that was pointing out how light the yoke that Christianity imposes is versus Buddhism. God doesn't ask you to give up good food, your things, your job, sex with your spouse, or pretty much anything else in this world. He asks you to submit to him and love him.

j razz said...

I will add this but not be around to really interact much (out of pocket).

Truth is truth. It has a monopoly on being right all the time. One truth cannot contradict another truth as this is contrary to the nature of truth and is thus a lie. You cannot have to things that are seemingly truth but opposite in stated positions. For example: Jesus said He is the way the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through Him. And Muhammed is the holder of all truth revealed to man and to find your way to God you should look to him and his writings. Those two things cannot be both true as they are contradictory in nature and that is not a characteristic of truth.

In our culture we have attempted to passify those around us. We attempt to make it so that no one is offended and by doing so, we have entered into a post-modern mentality. Craig M. Gay has written a nice little book on this very topic called The Way of the Modern World

So, to answer your question, I would say that it is the nature of truth itself that seeks to be right. But, in our sinfilled nature, we turn to pride so we can be right. It is our duty to suppress pride, but to still uphold truth. I think that is what Jesus did so well and that is the issue, not being right. For He did not consider the position of Godhood something to be grasped (He was humble about it).

j razz

Anonymous said...

Waynedawg, obviously we come at this from two different points of views. I do see most attempts at "let's go out and evangelize" as formulaic. I hope you don't do it that way.

I see evangelism as a natural progression of your life. You meet people, get to know them (not just after a few minutes), and then your opportunity will appear.

I don't agree with your statement that we have the greatest number of false converts now. They are only false converts (as you say) in someone's opinion. I think we can all see, in the blog world, that opinions are a penny a dozen.

Anonymous said...

Waynedawg, keep coming back!

Linda said...

Just wanted to share from an article I read concerning truth:
The Pursuit of Truth and Wisdom -
Since discernment is the activity by which we may discover the truth of God, we would do well to consider the value and emphasis which Scripture places on truth. First, consider truth with respect to ourselves: The truth has the ability to set us free (John 4:23). We were saved upon hearing the word of truth (Eph. 1:13), for God begot us with the word of truth (James 1:18). Furthermore, after becoming a Christian, the truth sanctifies us (John 17:7). In contrast, the unsaved are “destitute of the truth” (1 Tim. 6:5), and they do not obey the truth (Rom. 2:8). Moreover, they do not love the truth that has the power to save them (2 Thes. 2:10,12). Although some unsaved people come to some knowledge of the truth, they may hold the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18), or be opposed to the truth (2 Tim. 3:8). Some change the truth of God into a lie (Rom. 1:25). Others are ever-learning but never come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:7).

The nature of God is associated very closely with the concept of truth. His word is truth (John 17:7). Jesus Himself is the truth (John 14:6) and we may find truth in Him (Eph. 4:21). Jesus was a minister of the truth (Rom. 15:8). The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). The judgment of God is always according to truth (Rom. 2:8).

According to the Scriptures, how should we view truth? We must think on whatsoever things are true (Phil. 4:8). We must examine the Scriptures daily so that we might know whether the things we hear are true (Acts 17:11). We are not to love in word or tongue, but in deed and truth (1 John 3:18). We are to be fellow-helpers of the truth (3 John 3,4), as we walk in the truth (2 John 4), being obedient to the truth (1 Pet. 1:12), as we are girt about with the truth (Eph. 6:14). We are to speak the truth in love as we worship God in Spirit and truth (John 4:24). In addition, we must heed the warnings regarding the truth, for some can go astray from the truth (2 Tim. 2:18). Besides, we all have a propensity to turn our ears from the truth (2 Tim. 4:4). And, for those who go on sinning wilfully after having received the knowledge of the truth, they may expect a "certain, terrifying expectation of judgment" (Heb. 10:27). Therefore, given the emphasis that Scripture places on this matter, should we not be ever mindful, ever vigilant regarding the truth? Do not the above references underscore the need for discernment whereby we may ascertain what is the truth of God and whether or not we indeed have the truth?

In Christ,

Doorman-Priest said...

Truth can be partial. I go back to where I started: I can not dismiss other faiths because they are not in my view complete revelations. I can still see the common ground and celebrate it and learn from it. I do not have to acceot it in total but the common ground is a great starting point.

Today I discovered that my colleague and friend Asim says his prayers in an empty room at lunch time. I intend to join him. One Muslim and one Christian in prayer together in their own traditions. I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

Your comments remind me of both how Paul witnessed and what he stated. In Romans he says that all have received the truth to one extent or another and will be judged according to their understanding of the truth. Also, he used the mythos of the people to whom he witnessed as a way to explain the truth to him. Is this not a better way than to tell people that the truth that they have is lie and that they must abandon it all for the truth that we have to tell them (which may also be a fairly limited truth based on our level of understanding)?

Craig said...


Do you believe you and your Muslim friend/colleague are praying to the same God?

What are you trying to accomplish?

I am just trying to understand your position better.

Anonymous said...

"Do you believe you and your Muslim friend/colleague are praying to the same God?"

Craig, is there not but one God? Are the Muslims not Abraham's descendants also?

MikeT said...

Craig, is there not but one God? Are the Muslims not Abraham's descendants also?

'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am the LORD. --Exodus 12:12

4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. --II Corinthians 4:4

Answer your question about the number of deities that exist? There are many gods, but only one God.

Craig said...


How do Muslims view Jesus.

Luke 10:16 "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me."

For the record I agree that there is one true living God. Just in case there was confusion in my question in my last post.

Anonymous said...

"For the record I agree that there is one true living God."

Understood Craig, and no confusion friend. :)

"How do Muslims view Jesus?"

Seems like a tough question to me. How do people in Michigan view Jesus? How do Germans view Jesus? Do you see what I'm getting at? You can not stereotype millions of people into having a single view of Jesus.

Roland said...

"How do Muslims view Jesus?"

Pointed question.
Here goes:
Some of them view Jesus better than some Christians I've met. How sad is that?!

And there are many gods. True.
And there is but one God. Also true.
Yet for some strange reason, we differ on how this God of ours operates.

Do you believe God, without any human agency can restore souls to Himself?
I'm not asking your Bible.
I'm asking you.
Do you think He can do it or not?

Next questions.
Do you know all the ways of God and how He works?
Do you know which ones He will save and which He won't?

Last questions.
If you don't know (making an assumption, here), then you must treat everyone as your brother in Christ. Whether they deserve it or not.
I'm not saying you need to agree with everything they say, but you must treat them with love and respect.
Because God does know the heart.
And He will forgive us as we forgive others.
And to me, that is a very scary thing.
If I choose not to forgive...,

Roland said...

One more point:
I didn't say agree with.
I said forgive.
And if you've forgiven, you will treat them with love and respect.
Whether or not they accept it from you.