Is it Unloving to Call Someone’s Beliefs False?
by Steve Bruecker
Question: Why do Christians spend so much time and effort calling other beliefs wrong? It would be better if they spent their time studying their religion and leaving others alone.
Answer: This criticism is leveled at everyone who thinks they have the truth and are confident all other belief systems are false. When this particular accusation is aimed at me, it reveals some information about the questioner’s belief system. No one is neutral and everyone has a worldview. This question assumes some information that I need to expose.
I will use three worldviews to demonstrate how people view religious belief. I will examine this question from the viewpoint of an atheist, pantheist, and a Christian. In “bold” will be the assumption of the person asking the question.
1. All religions are made up by the individual. Atheism believes there is no God. In the mind of the atheist since God doesn’t exist, all religions are manmade. They are created to satisfy a need such as life beyond death or to give purpose and meaning to existence. They see God as some sort of theological Santa Claus giving all good gifts to his followers.
If all religions are made up then to tell someone their beliefs are false is the height of arrogance. Who are you to say? It would be similar to telling someone who loves chocolate ice cream he is wrong. All religions become personal preferences. Who are you to tell someone their mythical beliefs are false. Fiction or make believe cannot be true or false.
The questioner is assuming his viewpoint is true and all other religious beliefs are false. Is the atheist unloving? I love to point this out. In order for this assumption to be true, the atheist has to make his case God doesn’t exist.
2. All religions worship the same God but have different ways of expressing that belief. The pantheist holds this viewpoint. Pantheism teaches that all is god and god is all. Every material and immaterial thing is god. The chair I am sitting on as I write this is god. Since all is god then any distinctions we observe are simply illusions…
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