Dr Ravi Zacharias wrote – “A worldview basically offers answers to four necessary questions: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. In turn, these answers must be correspondingly true on particular questions and, as a whole, all the answers put together must be coherent.
Taking it a step further, the three tests for truth must be applied to any worldview: logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and experiential relevance. When submitted to these tests, the Christian message is utterly unique and meets the demand for truth.”
“Nothing can impose better on the people than verbiage. The least they understand, the more they admire”. – Saint Gregory 540-604 AD.
Dear Sir, when you say “all the answers put together must be coherent” you allude that Christians have all the answers, and they are all coherent. How can you give such an impression when every Bible teacher agrees that there are many questions for which they currently do not have the answers, but would receive them only in eternity, till which time the status-quo of (blind) faith on generally accepted answers is demanded to be maintained?!! How can you say that, when Christians run away from questions that shake the basis of their faith and punish those who ask such questions?? (I am a humble victim of such punishment, Your Honour)!
THE UNIQUENESS OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW IS NOTHING BUT A PERCEPTION THAT IS FORCE FED DAILY INTO THE MINDS OF ITS BELIEVERS WITH HYPED UP PROOFS AND FALSIFIED CLAIMS.
Even otherwise, what is the basis of your belief that what you believe is unique? The heavily edited religious texts you have received from vested interests who were eager to impose on the world their newly acquired worldview, but whose practices do not form a part of your present belief system which you claim is superior to theirs’ based on those very texts??!!!
THE UNBELIEVABLE PROOF OF YOUR SHAMELESS SMUGNESS is in the fact that you so smartly point to those heavily edited books of the Bible and claim a higher coherent ground!!!!!! How could you have defended your claim, had the teaching of ‘praying for the dead’, found in the deleted books of Apocrypha, been a part of your “Holy Bible”? How could you defend your claims of Jesus, as God, if the Testaments that mention about his disturbed childhood were part of your present set of books? Wouldn’t the inclusion of those books strike at the very base of your claim for “coherence” in your answer about Meaning and Destiny?? Just analyse your defence for the non-inclusion of those books. Don’t you say that they were rejected because they contradicted with the remaining books? Well, who then decided on finality and acceptability of the “remaining books” that you now pledge your allegiance to? On what criteria was that decision based, and on what authority was it made, that other books are rejected on its basis??!!!
WHAT CHRISTIANS DO NOT REALISE IS THAT BY SUCH DEFENSE THEY SEEM TO ACCEPT THAT MAJORITY IS THE PROOF FOR CORRECTNESS AND DIVINITY. They seem to say that if majority of manuscripts agree with each other, then what it conveys should be right!!! What if 9 out of 10 writers deliberately wrote falsehood and God actually had conveyed the ‘Truth’ through that one writer who was rejected???!!!
Christians insist on “Divine Inspiration” of the original writings of the religious texts THEY HAVE CHOSEN FOR THEMSELVES, inspite of the fact that the “Holy Bible” they hold on to now is the result of planned instances of human interventions in accepting many books that were rejected earlier as heresy, and rejecting many books that were accepted earlier as ‘divine’, thus rendering the very text that claims ‘divinity’ for itself, as highly questionable!! So when a Christian claims that his beliefs are “Utterly Unique” because of its “Logical Coherence”, it not only sounds as silly as a small kid trying to prove to other kids that his dad is the greatest, based on the convenient facts he has managed to collaborate, but it also proves that a Christian is smug enough to shove verbiage on to the ignorant, to cover up the ‘lies’ in his ‘ultimate truth’!!!
There are hundreds of different answers for Origin, Meaning and Destiny, and almost all of them are based on beliefs that are derived from religious texts, legends or myths. (Just like how the creation story of Genesis was a legend for more than 2000 years before it was written down as part of a religious text!), and each of these “answers” are considered true and valid by those who hold on to them. When there aren’t sufficient proofs to substantiate existing claims, BLIND FAITH is brought in to compensate!! Questioning it becomes a “sin” in itself (Its like getting arrested for cracking a joke on an elected representative of a Secular, Democratic country)! With each trying hard to justify its flaws to establish themselves as the better option, how can one find a universally acceptable answer for Meaning and Destiny??
This urge for a universally acceptable ‘answer’ is the need of a Monotheistic belief system. Because, the logic is that, if there is only one God, there should only be one Way. But, a polytheistic belief system is tolerant to non-coherence because, their belief system is like the Linux open software. You can develop it in different ways. And as long as it lets you function efficiently, its fine! Hence, their focus is only to live as well as possible in this life and move on to the next by pleasing one or the other of the Gods that possess different powers, without bothering much about what others think or do. Since they are taught to focus on their Present, answers about Origin and Destiny are not considered imperative for their task at hand. Life, for them, endlessly continues in different forms and stages until it finally merges with God – a concept (the final part thereof) that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15:28. This reality, for them, will not alter because of contradictions or in-coherence in their religious texts because their beliefs are not purely based on them.
Just like meaning of life, definitions of morality also changes with the accepted worldview. According to Christian teachings, polygamy is a sin called “adultery”. There can only be one husband for one wife and any other relationship would be sinful, because it was instituted thus, only to reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church. But when asked how the holy men of God of old were able to marry many wives, Christians say in defence that it is not considered a sin because it was an accepted morality in the prevailing culture. With that logic, God will have to accept homosexuality as sinless (which the Christians consider as sin, based on some misinterpretations) when practised in a “culture” that accepts it as a norm!! Wouldn’t it then mean that morality and sin can be decided based on existing cultural norms and not on a set godly standard??!
WHEN Logic is based on acquired knowledge, IT is relative. For example, according to modern science, its illogical to believe in God. But for many educated religious people, it makes complete sense without any tangible evidence. The functions of Homeopathy or Rekhi are completely illogical for an English medical practitioner, but are completely logical for those who have mastered it. Hence, the basis on which you have arrived on your “logical” conclusions, based on which you try and derive a consistency for what you believe, may not be acceptable to a person who has acquired a different worldview.
Swapan Dasgupta, a senior journalist and Rajya Sabha MP, during a debate said, “Hinduism has a certain lack of certitude; a celebration of ‘greyness’… (an acceptance) that everything cannot be in black and white”. While the Monotheistic teachings like that of the Christians, portray a “do-or-die”, “doomsday” scenario, hence their desperateness to get it all right before the ‘final call’. SO MUCH SO THAT a Christian has ‘strait-jacketed’ God into his accepted doctrines and would rather dethrone him from ‘godship’, if he tries to impart anything apart, than compromise on their dogma!!! But why should the Christian “do-or-die” worldview DICTATE “answers” to those who, based on what they are taught, believe in an endless cycle of good and bad, birth and rebirth???
“Experiential Relevance” is no different. Many non-Christians confidently share instances of how their Gods miraculously answered their prayers. But you, as a Christian who believes in One God, would say that it was your God who helped them, right? You would even say the same when a Muslim, who also believes in One God, claims that his God answered him, because there exists no other God but yours, right?? And yet, at the same time, you wouldn’t accept that they are calling on the same God in different names, because you believe that they are calling on “other gods”, right?!!
No religious person on earth holds on to a belief knowing it is wrong. Those that are confused and dissatisfied, end up searching for more or accepting other beliefs. If Christians claim that people from other religions have converted to Christianity, they should also not forget that there many who have converted to other religions from Christianity, too. So number of conversions cannot make any particular religion the ultimate truth on earth.
Empirical Evidence is a vast open field! Sikhs believe that their founder Guru Nanak disappeared while bathing in a river and appeared after three days as a totally different person. You as a person who believes in the uniqueness of Jesus’ death and resurrection are certainly not going to accept that as an empirical evidence for an eternal truth, right? Hindus believe that Krishna actually lived in Mathura. You wouldnt accept that “empirical evidence’ as truth, would you?!! Ancient Hindu texts mention ‘flying objects’, ‘laser fires’, ‘atomic destructions’, etc, which modern science learnt just few centuries ago. You wouldn’t accept those as an evidence for the credibility of those texts, would you? Because you believe what you believe is “unique”, purely based on what is written in your Texts… right?!
What audacity do Christian scholars have to refer to other beliefs as “myths” and their own as “facts” when they hardly have any unique physical evidences to provide? Try and contrast Your ‘evidences’ with those that Hindus now produce, to prove what they believe is right and try and understand how one is called a myth and the other a fact. (It is just that Hindus were not pro-evangelical through the ages, hence they were passive with their apologetics. They never felt the need to defend or IMPOSE their faith for any reason).
If you analyse you would realise that HOW you believe what you believe is not very different from how others believe what they believe. You claim what you believe is right because you believe that those who wrote them down for you were righteous and hence right. But that is how everyone believes what they believe!!!! They believe that their religious texts were written by godly people, under godly guidance and were handed down to them over generations to be believed and accepted as true! They would not need any greater proof than the fact that it was thus believed by their forefathers who interacted with those men!!
Christians are no saints when it comes to defending their flaws. As is said, “We are good Judges of others and good Lawyers for ourselves”! The same logic which a Christian scholar uses to prove divine inspiration of John the disciple to write the book of Revelations, is somehow used to reject similar claims of divine inspiration of Prophet Mohammed to write the Quran, as mere drug-induced hallucinations. If the rumour about Prophet Mohammed’s addiction is right, then we should also believe in the rumours that Jesus was a pot-smoking hippie, wandering the town with weird teachings. Jesus himself agreed that people called him a drunkard (was that smoke without any fire?)! Now how can one prove the other wrong when the knowledge on which such logic is derived is based on the acceptance of the reliability of the respective religious texts, in pure faith??!!
The only advantage Christians had over others was that they had initial access to mass printing, which they used smartly to promote their beliefs as unique. Otherwise, what unique “historical evidence” do they claim to have to prove that Jesus was real? Isnt their most important piece of physical evidence two open tombs vying to be considered as “the one”, with neither of them holding any proof whatsoever to link Jesus directly to them, but mere hearsay?? Arent there serious doubts about the true existence of the one place – Nazareth – that Jesus’ name was always associated with?
The proofs for the historicity of Jesus, inspite of how strong they are, can NEVER prove his divinity – it can only be alluded to and hence be accepted in faith! I am sorry, but the addition of real dates AND original names of people and places does not necessarily prove the truthfulness of any story.
Dear brother, You can do scholarly justice only if you stop studying other beliefs to criticise them and start criticising your beliefs as if you are totally against it. But then your eyes will open and you will realise that there is nothing much that separates you from other ‘believers’!
So please stop fooling vulnerable people with false claims and proofs!!! But if you are adamant about the uniqueness of what you believe and you are getting wealth and fame by preaching it, then don’t bother rocking your boat! SAIL ON; FOOL ON!!
– Mr Abraham Jos Maliyekal.