Prove Your Religion - Without Using the Bible - 11/24/2003
Now before I begin, I'm going to state that I will not tell you my religion; I don't want to hear the sound of your minds slamming shut. There's an equally good chance that I share a religion with you as there is that I share one with the Pope, the Shah of Iran or the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Before I get to the meat of the issue, I want you to promise to look at it from a purely critical point of view. Not as part of Contender Ministries, not as Christians with a preconceived notion of what is right and wrong, but as simple, unbiased observers.
I have only one thing to say concerning your statements that your religion is correct: Prove it WITHOUT using the Bible as proof. Saying, "My religion is right because the sacred text that it has based its beliefs on says that it's right" is roughly the same as answering a question with a simple "Because." It doesn't prove anything. Besides the fact that that goes for every religion that has a sacred text. How do you know, a priori, that your religion is the correct one? The Universe is a huge place; what if the correct religion belongs to, say, the bug people of Beta Centauri? What if it's the belief in the Great Gunzbaar of Klatfu? What if there is no correct religion anywhere, and the great cosmic something-or-other is just waiting for somebody to figure it out? What if there isn't even a great cosmic something-or-other? You can't prove it one way or another without falling back on a book that might or might not even be true.
Before I leave you, I would like to leave one more thing for your consideration. Ponder:
- What is the a priori chance that any random person belongs to the correct religion?
- What is the a priori chance that you belong to the correct religion?
If those two numbers are different, I reccomend that you revise your view on the world.
The Student of the Light
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Joel. Thanks for writing. Contrary to what you may believe, we're not closed-minded. We look at things with an open mind. That's how we are so sure that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is the only path to salvation. We have made comparisons, and all the evidence points towards the absolute truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have forums on our site, and we welcome everyone to share their opinion, whether we agree with them or not.
You want us to "PROVE" the absolute truth of the gospel to you? You are asking for something that no one can do. There is a lot of evidence that points towards the truth of the Bible, the existence of God, etc. In fact, the preponderance of the evidence supports those things. I encourage you to read Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell. Only do so if you have an open mind though. It will challenge you at many levels. Christians have walked toward where the evidence pointed, but at some point, we all took a step of faith. Once that step of faith has been made, the truth of the gospel has been proven to each person, as the power of God works in us, through us, and around us every day.
What is the truth? The absolute truth of the scriptures can be summed up as follows:
1. Everyone is sinful.
2. Because God is just, the penalty of sin is death.
3. Because God is love, He's not willing that any should pay that price. To that end, Jesus Christ paid that penalty for us.
4. God created us with free will, and we have to choose to accept Christ's sacrifice.
5. If we reject that wonderful gift, we will pay the price.
6. Heaven awaits the eternal souls of those who choose to accept that gift.
7. Hell awaits the eternal souls of those who reject it.
Those are truths, and they are absolute. You can choose to believe otherwise, but these truths are not dependant on your belief or disbelief. Just as gravity will act on my body if I step off my roof -- whether I believe it will or not -- so will these truths continue to be true, regardless of your beliefs. If you want the type of proof you can see/feel/touch, I say take a look around you. If that's not tangible enough, then it will only be proven to you if you accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, or when you personally pay the penalty for your sin. In a conversation between Jesus and "Doubting" Thomas we read, "Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'" (John 20:29). In Hebrews 11:1 Paul said, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Because we are convinced of the absolute truth of the gospel, and we recognize the condemnation that those who reject that gospel will face, we must point out how other religions stand opposed to biblical truth. To do otherwise would be unloving. It would also violate our religious beliefs, of which you seem intolerant.
Once again, if you are courageous enough to be challenged and as open-minded as you claim, I urge you to pick up a Bible and Evidence that Demands a Verdict, and see how you feel after reading them. It could be a life-changing event, and I pray that it will be.
Ben and Jennifer Rast