A Unitarian Universalist Questions His Beliefs - 01/11/2004
Dear Contender Ministries,
My name is Weston, and I am a 16 year old Unitarian Universalist. I have taken the time to read through a great deal of your information on Unitarian Universalism, as well as many other religions that you have placed in the "Cult" category. I found each page to be very insightful and well written. I would have to agree, many things you have written are true, and what's more, is that after having read all of this, I questioned my beliefs very harshly, seeking this idea which you have labeled as "absolute spiritual truth." I do not believe I have found any such thing in the short term, but I will continue to look. In the mean time, I did have a question that I have been a bit hesitant to ask. What is it that makes evangelical Christianity the one true religion? The only answer that was apparent to me, was the evidence of the Bible. However, is the Bible such a credible source? It was written over 1500 years ago by people we know very little about. Is it not fair to say that other texts which may have been written so long ago are equally as credible?
Many ancient texts have credible authors, as well as methods to verify the writings found within them. Granted, the Bible does have a fair list of verifications, but then again, does the Quran not? And who was Jesus to say what absolute truth was? Is Jesus not the self-proclaimed son of God? I seek truth. Truth about the physical world, and truth about the spiritual world as well. If I believe in something, an idea or doctrine as it may be, and it has a very positive effect on my life and how I live my life, is that not a good thing in my life? Does something have to be religious, or follow a so-called religious truth to be good? I may indeed be considered a Pagan, or a non-believer by many evangelical Christians, but does that really make me a bad person? I have devoted my life to helping other people, to righting the wrongs I have seen in the world, and to embetter the lives of my family and friends as best I can. Even though I am not driven by spiritual truth, aren't I doing what is right?
The way I see it - as long as somebody is motivated to do good, and combat evil, while believing in something, then no matter what that belief is, shouldn't it be an accepted and respected belief? I am deeply troubled by the seemingly infinite number of questions plaguing my mind. Any light you could shed on my worries would be very much appreciated and insightful.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Weston. Thanks for contacting Contender Ministries. We’re sorry it has taken so long to respond. You asked what makes the Bible such a credible source. I’m glad you asked. The Bible was written a long, long time ago. In fact, the New Testament books were written more than 1900 years ago! The Old Testament was written earlier than that. There are numerous evidences that point to the credibility of the Bible. One evidence comes from its historical and geographical accuracy. Through the study of ancient non-biblical texts and archeological discoveries, we learn time and time again that the people and places in the Bible really existed. We also find that the historical events listed in the Bible actually occurred as the Bible said they did. Another strong evidence comes from prophecy. The Bible is almost 30% prophecy. Now some of these prophecies refer to the last days, and have yet to be fulfilled. But the prophecies regarding the Messiah, Israel, etc. all occurred just as they were prophesied! Mathematicians have calculated the odds of all those prophecies being fulfilled exactly as they were, and the odds were astronomical!! Such prophecy fulfillment shows a divine hand in the creation of Scripture. The men who wrote the words were truly inspired by God. I won’t argue with the Qur’an we read today being much the same as it was written, but the evidence shows that Muhammad was not divinely inspired. He was no prophet.
“Who was Jesus to say who the absolute truth was?” He was not only the self-proclaimed Son of God…others bore witness to that as well. Of the over 100 Messianic prophecies, Jesus fulfilled each one exactly!! The odds of that are akin to randomly plucking an electron out of the universe, and having it be the exact one you were tasked to find! The miracles He performed were witnessed by thousands! Yet we do not read ancient texts from that day that contest those miracles. After His resurrection, he appeared to hundreds! The apostles that testified to His deity and resurrection were put to death when they wouldn’t recant their faith in Him. If He had been a fraud, it would make no sense for them to stand by Him to the death! Furthermore, the effect He has on the life of those who submit themselves to Him and accept His gift is very real indeed. Therefore, when you ask who Jesus was to say what absolute truth is, the answer is, He is God in the flesh. There is no higher authority.
Being saved is not about being bad or good. We’ve all sinned, and are all in need of the forgiveness Christ offers. The Bible is clear that being a good or nice person won’t save us. We can’t earn our way to heaven. Only by confessing our sins to God and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives may we be saved. That doesn’t mean that we are not to act well and do good works, but those will be the fruits of our salvation, not the cause of it.
Weston, I encourage you to go to your local library or bookstore and pick up Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell. He presents a compelling case for the authenticity of who Jesus was and is, as well as a strong case for the credibility of the Bible. When you realize that absolute truth DOES exist, then you must know that such a truth does not depend on our belief or disbelief. Jesus is Lord whether you accept that or not. Heaven and hell exist whether you believe in them or not. You have the free will God created in you to make up your own mind about whether or not to follow Jesus, but you need to know that rejecting Him carries eternal consequences. Accepting Him carries eternal rewards. It is that simple. We will pray that the Lord will give you wisdom in this matter.
Ben and Jennifer Rast