Is It Loving to Tear Down Someone Else’s Beliefs?
IS IT LOVING TO TEAR DOWN SOMEONE ELSE’S BELIEFS? –An Open Letter To Those Who Oppose Our Ministry
As a result, Christians who hold to the traditional claim of Jesus Christ to be the ONLY way to God (John 14:6; 2 Timothy 2:5) and seek to present His truth as the ONLY means for spiritual fulfillment and a right relationship with God are criticized and accused of being “intolerant, unloving, hate-mongers.” No matter how loving their manner of approach is when persuading others who hold to differing views, all kinds of malicious motives are attributed to them and their attempts are labeled as “hate speech.” Is it “unloving” to tear down someone else’s beliefs? Our culture would say, “Yes!” but consider this true story as described on a memorial placard displayed in Logan County, West Virginia:
“BUFFALO CREEK DISASTER – One of the worst floods in US occurred here 26 February 1972 when the Buffalo Mining Co. Impoundment dam for mine waste broke, releasing over 130 million gallons of black waste water; killed 125; property losses over $50 million; and thousands left homeless.”
Reports are told of neighbors up the creek noticing water rising to the crest of the dam just prior to its break. As floodwaters broke through the dam spilling over into the valley below, those who escaped with their lives fled to warn their neighbors down creek of the impending flood. Unfortunately, many didn’t believe their reports and they lost their lives in the disaster because of their failure to heed the warnings given.
Was it “unloving” for the neighbors upstream to warn their neighbors downstream of the dam’s break even though this warning criticized and “attacked” their downstream neighbors’ “beliefs” about the dam? Would it have been “loving” for them to give a message of peace and joy, saying: “Well, that’s your choice to stay. Hope your decision works for you and gives you happiness”?
What kind of a loving message would that have been when people are about to die!? Wouldn’t a more loving message be one given with urgency and conviction, saying: “If you chose to stay, you will die!” This is the truth, is it not? If you really LOVE your neighbors, wouldn’t you share the TRUTH with them, rather than telling them what their itching ears WANTED to hear? The Bible warns:
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”—2 Timothy 4:3, New International Version
IS TRUTH RELATIVE OR ABSOLUTE?
There are many today who would say that spiritual “truth” is relative to the people and the situations at hand. They would argue that something that is considered “true” for one person might not be “true” for another. On this basis, they would claim that “God” or the “Higher Power” must accept each person’s view of “truth” regardless of the contradictory opinions held of it by various individuals and cultures.
Thus, they call for unity of the world’s religions, not through rational debate or discussions about the differences between religious views in order to determine a singular “truth” or religious standard to uphold, but rather, by minimizing the differences and promoting a religious “tolerance” of spiritual pluralism that is strictly “intolerant” of those who advocate the idea of “absolute truth”—that something that is “true” for one person is “true” for all people, regardless of circumstances, cultural backgrounds, and generations of time.
While this relativistic view of “truth” is appealing to those who wish for world peace and the tolerance of “brotherly love and acceptance” that would transcend cultural and religious barriers, it is completely impractical and cannot function in the physical universe. No nation or people can stand where intolerance of absolutes are advocated, for in the process of claiming that there are “no absolutes,” they are asserting that their claim is “absolutely true,” thus, self-negating and contradicting their own claims. There must be absolutes when it comes to spiritual truth for just as in the physical realm, if one holds to “truth” being “relative” without absolutes, one’s life would be a disaster. In all areas of physical life, “truth” does not function on the sphere of irrational, changeable qualities, but rather upon the rational judgment and unchangeable absolutes that are true for all people. Let’s demonstrate:
Consider the claim of the relativist who states that if one’s beliefs “work” for him, they must be “true” for him, regardless of the contradictory “truth” claims of others who state their beliefs “work” for them. Now transfer this system of determining “truth” to the physical realm where you would argue that your employer should pay you double the amount originally agreed upon because that amount “works” for you better than the amount he agreed to pay you.
According to relativism, if a belief “works” for you, it must be “true” for you. So, your “truth” tells you that you deserve twice the amount than your employer’s “truth” tells him that you deserve. Now, in the physical world, you have a problem. These so-called “truth” claims can’t both be “true” because one contradicts the other. So, we conclude that there must be a true and a false in this situation. The only way to resolve disputes like this is to appeal to an absolute standard for determining “truth” which in this case is the binding contract you both signed prior to the completion of the job. Since your view of “truth” about the amount you think the employer should pay goes against the absolute “truth” standard of this binding contract, your “truth” claim would be pronounced “false” in a court of law. Here we see three factors that determine absolute truth as Plato defined it in the 4th Century B.C:
- Truth is Public. It is for everyone, regardless of who believes in it.
- Truth is Unconditional. It is true whether it is accepted or believed by others.
- Truth is Eternal. It does not change, no matter what generations or cultures accept or reject it.
Now, let’s take a look at another popular claim that all religious roads lead home to “God.” Imagine if we were to transfer this claim to the physical world by stating that all roads lead to New York City in the United States. How absurd would that claim be to follow when traveling roads in Africa or Europe, much less in North America where the majority of roads do not lead to New York City? Indeed, this claim that all spiritual roads lead to “God” cannot be “true” for all spiritual roads go different directions just as physical roads in our universe lead to different places. Thus, this claim is proved FALSE just as God Himself testifies in the Bible, the only true absolute standard for spiritual truth:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”—Matthew 7:13-15 **
“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”—Proverbs 14:12
Indeed, just as in the story about the Buffalo Creek Disaster caused from a broken dam, we’ve seen the cracks in the dams of false religions and we share our message of warning with urgency to those who are about to die and be eternally swept away and condemned if they stay in these false belief systems, led by “false prophets.” Jesus warned that people must beware of “false prophets” and false teachers who teach that He is NOT who He said He is, and He warned that the results of believing in a false Christ would be to “die” eternally in one’s sins:
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” —John 8:24
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”—Matthew 24:24
To die in one’s sins is to face eternal judgment because one has refused to accept the forgiveness offered in the blood sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Scripture warns:
“How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.’ And again, ‘THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.’ It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”—Hebrews 10:29-31
“And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. …And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”—Revelation 20:12, 15
We share these spiritual warnings because we LOVE people and want them to experience freedom from the spiritual death penalty that they carry due to their sins and false beliefs. We want them to find the true freedom one can only receive in knowing the REAL Jesus of the Bible.
“ ‘…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free…’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. … So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”—John 8:32, 34, 36
FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE OUR RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
WHY DO YOU ATTACK AND JUDGE OTHER RELIGIONS?
WHY THEY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS – Answering the Question: “Why do you say that Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses and not Christians. Don’t they believe in Jesus?”
** Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are quoted from the New American Standard Bible.