Monday, February 20, 2012

Apologetics: Christian belief in a pluralistic world

It is customary among certain segments of society to think that Christians are arrogant and are flaunting their beliefs by the act of evangelism. How should we as Christians deal with the matter?

Many years ago, I got into a quarrel with my Junior College classmates. It started with one person who was basically sending homosexual promotion material through the group list. I was rather unhappy with that and replied, asking him to stop. One thing led to another and I withdrew from the group due to the hurt I had experienced from them. These people think that I am pushing my faith on them, while all the while being blinded of their hypocrisy in pushing their faiths on me. [Newsflash: Promoting homosexuality is not arrogant; asking people to respect my Christian beliefs is arrogant!]

This incident lies behind my apologetics sharing here. I have now more than enough time to think through the incident. While it caused some alienation between me and my JC friends, and still to some extent stand between them and me even now, I would not do anything substantially different now compared to then.

What is the apologetic manner of dealing with the secular humanists in places like Singapore? If we are to be effective in witnessing and outreach, the most basic task is to defang the objections of these people. In their minds, they think that Christians are disrespectful of other religions and arrogant in saying that we have the only way. What we have to do is to turn the tables on them. Expose their own hypocrisy and blindness. This may make them more infuriated, but it leaves them without an excuse.

Let's apply this to some examples. Let's say person X is an atheist. Well, who the heck does he think he is to arrogantly flaunt his belief in evolution? Let's say that I happened to be offended by such a disgusting unscientific metaphysical claim that not only is held by them but pushed by them upon all of society. According to his own standards, he is such an arrogant jerk who thinks he is right on evolution and that everyone must believe the same as him or be unenlightened.

Let's take the case of person Y, who is a Buddhist. Well, why is it proper for him to think that only those who practice the eight-fold path can achieve Nirvana? How arrogant! Why is Nirvana restricted to Buddhists and not any other person who follows what he thinks is the right way, including Hitler who truly thinks he is doing what is right?

You want to talk arrogance? You who attack Christianity, you are just as arrogant! How dare you judge Christianity by the same criteria that condemns you if applied to your own beliefs! Hypocrite!

2 comments:

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Expose their own hypocrisy and blindness. This may make them more infuriated, but it leaves them without an excuse."

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Jesus did this as well.

PuritanReformed said...

@TUAD:

indeed, he did.