A respected friend who took pride in his self acclaim of being an atheist bombarded me with these questions, “If your Christ is Truth as you say He is, then doesn’t that make all other religions and beliefs false? Isn’t that rather exclusive, arrogant and intolerant?”
I responded that truth by its very nature and definition is exclusive. It does not, therefore, in its absoluteness meet the contemporary “politically correct” test. Truth is exclusive.
The law of non-contradiction in logic is that two opposing claims cannot both be true. Truth stands alone and it does contradict other beliefs as an absolute, leaving no option except the choice to believe or not to believe. An example of one of the most classic historic cases is Jesus the Christ who claimed not to be a way, but to be the Way, the Truth and the Life. He even went further in his claim to be God.
This exclusive claim by Christ to be the Truth presents a problem to those who say there is no truth or that there is truth in all religions. “Political correctness” would say don’t go there. Legislative initiatives would attempt to deny the freedom to publicly speak of the exclusivity of Truth, thus reducing it to the lowest common denominator — an unrecognizable blob of nothingness. The prevailing culture of secular relativism has provided a platform for “political correctness” to thrive in the name of tolerance, but is itself becoming increasingly intolerant to free expression of truth. Why should political correctness deny free speech so long as we have mutual respect for each others rights to freely express beliefs, values and discovered truth. Anything less flies in the face of First Amendment rights and even universal human rights. This intolerance targets disproportionately followers of Christ largely because of their belief regarding His exclusive claims.
Jesus Christ made some incredible claims which could only be Truth if He were God. Dr. Peter Kreeft of Boston College said of Christ, “If He is not God as He claims to be then He is an idiot, not a sage. If He is God, then all other religions, however many great truths they may contain, can be nothing more than torn pieces from Christ’s ‘seamless’ garment… The traditional triumphant claim of superiority over all other religions is not a claim about Christianity (and certainly not about Christians), but is a claim of Jesus the Christ Himself.” Some say Christ is “just one path to God among many.” It would be more intellectually honest for them to say Christ is a liar because He claimed to be the only way to God and to be God himself. Thankfully they can still say that without fear or threat and even still be respected as fellow human beings.
Can you imagine, in contrast to Dr. Kreeft’s statement, the response if a similar statement were made about Mohammed, the Koran or a cartoon by a Muslim or anyone else? Are the life threatening responses not the ultimate of intolerance? Is the cultural rush toward “political correctness” motivated by fear or freedom of expression? Whenever writers, editors and citizens fear repercussions and establish policies that deny free speech expression and elevate the definition of “hate crimes” to deny that free expression, freedon will depart us. The growing reaction to this prevailing “politicallly correct” culture ironically is creating the seedbed for courageous new leadership to rise up and take back,, secure and preserve the free expression liberty we love. This is the genius of our founding fathers’ gift to us of the best albeit finite democratic system of “We the People” rising up to keep the cracked and imperfect bell of freedom ringng.
World renown scholar and author, C.S. Lewis, saw the issue of Truth, he had rejected and rediscovered, clearly when he wrote, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic, on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg, or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher or just another prophet. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Is not the arrogance of “political correctness” which demands tolerance greater than the arrogance of a statement of Truth that offers choice? Since truth by definition is exclusive, it does not necessarily follow that it be dispensed arrogantly. In fact, the Bible mandates “speak the Truth in love.” Both politically correct advocates or believers of Truth can share their beliefs, but believers, particularly followers of Christ, are the primary targets of discrimination. A good scientist would not brush aside a phenomena without first examining its essence, content and evidence. Interviews over the past 50 years have confirmed that most people who discount the claims of Christ have not taken the time to carefully examine His claim of being Truth. Most have never read the entire Bible or even the Gospels where Christ’s claims, made in the first person, are to be found.
The Biblical approach to Christ’s claim to be the Truth comes with an offer and choice. There can be no love without choice. To live is to choose. If Christ is Truth, then we have the choice to consider His claims and the evidence for those claims. Truth can stand the test of scrutiny and can set free those who are honest seekers. The rewards are awesome, for in finding Christ who claimed to be the Truth, we are set free to be all God intended us to be. It is our exclusive choice. The Bible says, “Choose you this day whom you will serve… ” “You can know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” The invitation as presented in the Scriptures is, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That is a choice offered with an RSVP, as well as a choice not to RSVP.
Extending an invitation of choice, is not imposed proselytization. If you choose not to believe then you bear the consequences of your choice. You will likely go your own way independent of God, living a life of “quiet desperation” without certainty of hope, heaven, meaning or purpose, just chasing after the wind. Your mode is self-gratification, to “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you shall die.” This could lead to a lonely and bitter unnecessary end.
Does not choice have more virtue of purpose than being “politically correct” which imposes a demand void of meaning and that denies others that disagree the freedom of speech? Does having the option to choose Truth and the freedom that flows from embracing it offer a greater certainty of being set free to be all God made you to be? You decide. It is your choice. Is it not better to be correct if Christ is Truth than to be politically correct and live with the uncertainty of what is truth and risking being wrong. If truth determines ones destiny as well as meaning and purpose for our life here does it not merit the highest priority to examine all the evidence in your truth pursuit?
The ultimate mark of tolerance is in the freedom to choose. Truth is irreducible and therefore demands a verdict either by our choice or by our default. For the believer that decision means a certainty of Hope both now and forever and for the unbeliever a future of uncertainty void of Truth. “You can know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.”