Thanks for this wonderful post. In response to your first paragraph -- YES!, I think you've hit the nail on the head. There are many who claim to be Christians who are not, just as there are many young/immature Christians who get too full of themselves. And yes, many Christians ignore what the Bible says -- it's a shame, but it's easy for people to think they've got all the answers themselves. I guess that's all you can say. We deceive ourselves into thinking we've got it all figured out, when we really know better.
As to your second paragraph -- yes, I agree here too. This is why it is so obvious that not all religions can be true -- because their beliefs and accounts of reality differ. The theory of relativism will never comfort the families of those who have suffered loss because of religious wars. You cannot convince them that perhaps their enemy was just as right as they are. You're exactly right when you say: "World views, especially absolutist world views, are dangerous things, and the Christian has no more a claim on the "right" world view than does anybody else." Exactly! No human can come up with an objective point of view on his own. It takes someone outside the system -- like God, for instance. Then you have to deal with those questions -- Is there a God? If there is, what is God like? Has God communicated with us, or is He currently? One of the claims of the Bible is that the faith to believe that God exists and that His account is true -- this faith is a gracious undeserved gift, not something a person works up on his own (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is the concept of illumination -- God sharing some of His knowledge with you. So, yes -- people don't come up with absolute ideas or conclusions on their own, and when they act like they do, they should be ashamed of themselves. This happens too much. Christians should be the humblest people on the face of the earth. When/if God shares truth with a person, doesn't it make sense that the natural result should be the profoundest humility? Again, there is the sad reality that the Christian is still an imperfect person in this life, an imperfect person who has been given a glimpse of Perfection.
So, yes, the clash of worldviews should be a worrying thing to everyone deluded by the foolishness of Postmodern relativism. You can't close your eyes to the clash, especially not today. The goal should be rather to come to conclusion -- if there cannot be many truths, what is the Truth? Those who seek will find (Matthew 7:7).
>>> [log in to unmask] 11/04/04 01:27PM >>>
I am not trying to suggest that some Christians argue that the
right to bear arms etc. are Christian beliefs. I am saying that
people should be judged by their actions and their actual beliefs
rather than by those of their professed religion, and that on this
basis many Christians are very "unchristian". And when you point
to the Bible for its condemnation of homosexuality, you only
underscore my point that there is much that is in the Bible that
is *ignored* by most Christians, who cherrypick according to their
prejudices, irrespective of what "God" or "Jesus" may have had to
say. This is an entirely separate issue from whether the Bible
and "God's word" have any place in dictating domestic policy.
And, to provide you with a parallel to your question: doesn't it
make sense to you that, if certain members of the Islamic faith
truly believe that America represents Evil, they should do what
they can to prevent that evil? World views, especially absolutist
world views, are dangerous things, and the Christian has no more a
claim on the "right" world view than does anybody else. Of
course, religion being what it is, the mere possession of "faith"
lends the believer the absolute certainty that their view is the
right one, so it doesn't matter to them whether other people might
believe differently--they are on the side of God. Do you not see
why this is a worrying thing?