Don’t Force Your Beliefs on Me
How many times have you been slapped down by this little postmodern gem?
You have just finished presenting a well argued case for some particular viewpoint you hold whether it be the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ proving He is God, or the moral bankruptcy of a company that turns a profit by selling the body parts of the defenceless baby humans it has just killed.
You take a deep breath after finishing your long list of reasoned evidences for your position, expecting the person you have been talking with to either agree with you or present his evidence for why you are wrong. And then you get this – Don’t force your beliefs on me!
Now what do you do?
The person you believed to be a rational, reasonable human being is actually nothing of the sort! He has just chosen to ignore all of the logic and reason you have presented and choose the “truth” he is most comfortable with. For people who actually believe that there is an objective reality out there that is independent from your belief about it, this can be very confusing.
The sad fact about these postmodern thinkers is that they have been blinded to objective truth, reason and reality by an extremely deceptive and vain philosophy, a philosophy “after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
You cannot convince somebody who denies objective truth and reason of anything objective. Christianity is all about objective truth, and therein lies the battleground! How can you convince someone of the truth that there is a universal, transcendent God if that person doesn’t even believe in “universal, transcendent” truth…
Giving The Gospel to A Postmodern is NOT ENOUGH
Before you accuse me of being a heretic, consider this. If you present the gospel of Jesus Christ according to 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 to a postmodern thinker, he may very well agree with you, and you will happily walk away expecting to see him again in heaven someday! Sadly when he told you that he believes what you told him about Christ is “true”, he is not defining “true” as all rational people would have hoped!
Truth to the Postmodern Mind
It is a sad statement on our society when we cannot even agree on what “truth” actually means, let alone what is actually “true”. The traditional, “common sense” view of truth is to do with how well a proposition or belief corresponds to objective reality. This view of truth affirms two components;
- the statement/belief about reality
- objective reality itself.
The key idea is how these two components relate to each other, how they “correspond”. This view of truth is called the correspondence theory of truth. Objective reality is the standard. How true a statement is, depends on how it measures up to objective reality.
Postmodernism has different ideas. For the postmodern there is no objective reality separate from belief about that reality. It is belief that constructs reality. This is where all of this “true for you but not for me” nonsense comes from. Whilst this may seem incredibly intellectual, especially if you spend your days teaching philosophy in a university lecture hall, it makes a total mockery of good sense.
Humans do not create reality with their words, God did that with his WORD -John 1:1-4
This idea that your beliefs and words create your reality is one of Satan’s favourite lies. The New Age Movement and many Eastern religions which are based on pantheism/monism endow humans with this divine power to “create” reality.
Goodbye Christianity – Hello Eastern Spirituality
Is it any wonder that the New Age Movement, Yoga and other forms of Eastern Mysticism have replaced Christianity as the “New Spirituality” in the West?
Today, when someone in the West talks about being “spiritual” they are most probably not referring to being a faithful Christian. You would be much more likely to see gemstones, mini-buddas and a few books about meditation and yoga scattered over the coffee table in their home than a Bible.
What Went Wrong?
Without objective truth, there is no Christianity. Christianity teaches that mankind is separated from God by man’s sinfulness. The gospel works from a foundational acceptance that all the good works a man can do are never going to be good enough to reconcile him to a Holy God. This is not only true for those who believe it, Christianity affirms it is true regardless of whether you believe it or not. It takes humility to accept this (Matthew 5:5).
Humility is Not Comfortable
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
Accepting that even the Holy Mother Teresa is too sinful to get into heaven is not an easy pill to swallow for all of us normal, 9-5, 21st century Westerners. After all, we sent a man to the moon and we give millions of pounds to developing nations every year, we may not be Mother Teresa but surely we’re pretty good!
If You Don’t Like The Truth Swap It For A More “Comfortable” Version
How common is it for us Westerners to answer a question about heaven along the lines of…
“Yeah…if heaven exists, I’ll get to heaven, I give to charity, I care about the environment. I’m a good person.”
Whilst this type of reasoning feels very “comfortable”, this is not what Jesus teaches. The Western concept of heaven comes from the teachings of the Bible. These teachings are right there alongside the teachings that tell us “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6) and that no one can get to Heaven except by Christ (John 14:6).
The reasoning of our postmodern/liberal friend may seem good to the casual Christian, but to any serious Christian it does not hold water. Saying you can perform good enough works to get into heaven:
- seriously underestimates the Holiness of God – profaning God’s name.
- seriously overestimates our own goodness – arrogance, the opposite of humility.
- makes a mockery of Jesus’ sacrifical death on the cross as the “only way” to the Father. – blasphemy.
Comfort Over Reality
The facts presented above are extremely inconvenient to “fallen” man who likes to think “if there is a God, he would be unjust if he didn’t let a good man like me into heaven”. Whenever the facts get in the way of feeling good about yourself you know postmodernism will not be far away.
A postmodern-style belief that says “my God would never condemn someone like me” is far easier on the ego of modern man than the biblical view of man’s works compared to God’s holiness. In the consumer driven Western world life is all about our preference and our comfort. I know which version of truth I’d prefer if it were at all possible to choose “truths”!
Accepting that you are separated from God because of His Holiness and your sinfulness is not comfortable… BUT IT’S TRUE!
The Postmodern Spirituality
Over the last 50+ years we Westerners have been lulled into a false sense of reality – that we are here to be served!
We are here to please and serve God. God is not here to please and serve us!
Our consumerist, materialistic society has been gently feeding this distorted view of reality with various technological titbits over the years, all designed to make our lives just that little bit more comfortable. The consumer-driven society has made life all about our physical needs and bringing us physical comfort.
Postmodernism seeks to do the same thing for our “spiritual needs”. The New Spirituality is all about picking and choosing spiritual ideas and beliefs that are comfortable to you – truth is irrelevant!
Postmodern spirituality is far more akin to shopping in a gigantic mega-mall where it is the job of the shopkeeper to woo you into their shop with their life-improving offerings. If what the shop offers doesn’t bring a perceived benefit to you then you just move on to the next.
Christ Over All
The Christian worldview does not fit this postmodern spirituality where preference and comfort reign supreme in matters of truth and spirituality.
Christianity is about what is true not what is comfortable .
Postmodernism has taken “spirituality” out of the realm of objective truth and placed it firmly in the domain of comfort and preference. For Christians, it doesn’t matter whether you believe Christianity is true or not, Christianity’s God will judge you all the same.
The serious Christian’s message must be a call to repentance from the deceitful spirituality of postmodernism and a turning to Christ as the objective Saviour of all mankind regardless of whether you believe He is or not. Only with a rejection of the postmodern view of truth can a person start his walk with “objective Truth incarnate” – our LORD Jesus Christ.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6