Sunday, November 28, 2004

The token conservative

I just signed onto a board for underground-music-loving Christians. I’ve been around the board long enough to see my beliefs are in the minority. So I wrote this little introduction for myself and thought is was kind of interesting; so here it is…

I’m the one who believes the Bible is the indisputable Word of God, thinks we should all go to church, and typically votes republican. I believe in absolute truth. That some ideas, philosophies, religions are right, and others are wrong. I also believe it is totally possible to believe this AND maintain a loving, compassionate outlook on life and towards others without yielding any ground.

I am open-minded in the sense that I love to learn, listen to other people’s issues and ideas, and exchange my own. I am close-minded in the sense that I am completely convinced that Christ is risen and His Spirit dwells in me. I have come to this conclusion through a triangulation of a variety of data. There are the existential aspects. (Those that can be denied through simple dismissal as self-induced experiences.) There is the observational aspect. I have examined my life and the lives of those around me. The truth claims of orthodox Christianity play out with utter clarity among those I have seen living in them. Those who live outside of them produce very different ‘fruit’. (This aspect can be rebutted by pointing out the fairly narrow range of humans and conditions that I have been able to observe.) The third aspect is the logic of nature. If my rational mind is my only tool for understanding the big picture of existence, then I can still follow a line of logic that leads to Christ. There are far better thinkers than I who have laid out very good arguments for this, so I won’t even try to make a case for that here. Suffice it to say, it starts with the fact that we are here. (This logic can be disputed from all angles and most philosophers out there have tried.) My point is that while any one of these reasons for faith could be argued, the fact that they all coincide and work together so brilliantly is all the convincing I need. Like irreducible complexity: there is no way each component could have developed separately, yet worked together so flawlessly. So I’m not searching for more proof of that. Like C.S. Lewis pointed out; an open mind is like an open mouth. The reason it is open is to eventually shut on something. (Not the exact quote.) I have found that those who insist on having an open mind about everything are close minded to one thought: that there is an absolute truth to be found. And once found, it should be held and treasured.

So I view this reality through the lens of orthodox Christianity. I enjoy jumping out of that world view to examine ideas from a different perspective from time to time, but always come back to the One who first loved me.

I hope that I can advocate orthodoxy without a judgmental attitude, and with good grace, humor, and above all, Love. I’m not on a mission to “save” anyone here; just to make as clear and compelling a case as I can for Christ as He has made Himself known to me.

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