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Summary: How Can I Believe in One Ultimate Truth? Series: How Can I Believe? Brad Bailey – May 6, 2018

How Can I Believe in One Ultimate Truth?

Series: How Can I Believe?

Brad Bailey – May 6, 2018

Intro

We are continuing in our series entitled: How Can I Believe? We are engaging the questions that can be a natural part of the process of faith. So in the recent past weeks we have engaged the questions of How can I believe in God?…the Bible.. knowing Jesus…and today we are going to engage the question:

How Can I Believe in One Ultimate Truth?

or it might be said as…

How Can I Believe Jesus is the Only Way?

Perhaps the biggest underlying barrier to believing is the aversion to the very nature of there being one particular truth.

A person may be inspired by all they discover in who Jesus was and what he taught…but shrink at the prospect of believing anything that is considered intolerant of other beliefs.

There is a giant cultural confrontation that has arisen against the Gospel message of Christ. It isn’t about the profound nature of his teaching… his profound works… or his profound sacrifice. It’s about unique role in reconciling us with God.

Such a belief can be deemed to violate the most sensitive values of our current culture… that of being intolerant, narrow-minded and arrogant.

It may help to understand that the underlying issue relates to a shift in what is called a “worldview”…that is, the paradigm in which one sees everything and evaluates everything.

A worldview is often described as the grid that we process everything by…or the wearing some type of colorized glasses that affects what you see and how you see it.

It’s vital to understand that we all have internal grids that have been shaped by how we have been told we should see things.

My sense is that those who are older have a different set of values related to truth….than those who are younger…and that is because there have been some major cultural ideas which have emerged in the past 20 to 30 years.

Underlying Current Cultural Mindset (“Worldviews” / “Paradigms”)

One such shift has come with…

Globalization / Pluralism (Truth is dangerous because it divides us.)

The world is now globally interconnected. There was a time when America was a more monolithic nation… with a more common worldview rooted in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. and dominant majority who shared a common belief in Christ.

That America is no longer the reality.

This has come in part from immigration. Originally much was from Europe and South America…so much of that worldview was shared. But now the wider breadth of cultures are finding home here. Look around your neighborhood. Look around your child’s classroom. Take a close look at the people in your office, your store, your factory, your industry. [1a] I think it is a rich opportunity that should be welcomed.

But there’s something far more engaging than immigration…and that is the internet. The internet has brought a globalization unimaginable. We are connected to every culture and idea.

The simple truth is that we live in a day of increasing religious pluralism.

This naturally raises concerns for the potential conflict. The world has changed… and everyone is trying to find a way to make it work.

If you ask people today what the biggest cause of division and violence is in our world, your most likely answer would be radical religion--especially a religion that claims to be the only way to God. Believing that your way is the only way is what causes people to fly planes into buildings, or so people think.

Here is precisely where we need to think a little more deeply.

The problem we face in today’s more diverse world…is not religion…it is human nature which seeks to protect it’s own insecurity through every way in which we can claim separate ourselves… claim to be more self-righteous and superior.

This takes many forms… gender… race… education… and certainly religious affiliation. Religious affiliation is a great tool to use…but it is human nature which uses it…and uses it the same way it uses every other way to distinguish ourselves from others. Anyone who looks fairly at the various religious wars… will see that they are usually carried out by the least devout of any religion…usually rooted in ethnic pride…and a desire for power and control.

As soon as people carry a sense of personal superiority related to any distinction… it naturally can elicit a reaction.

Another cultural shift has been what we might call a radical…

Individualism (Truth is defined by one’s personal preference)

I am not referring to the recognition that we are each individuals with distinct ideas… but reducing truth to merely personal preference. [2]

Sarah Michelle Gellar (star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Scooby Doo movies) said this about spirituality. “I consider myself a spiritual person. I believe in an idea of God, although it’s my own personal ideal. I find most religions interesting, and I’ve been to every kind of denomination: Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist. I’ve taken bits from everything and customized it.” [3]

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