Recently at a Bible study, one of the guys there made some (for me) very frustrating and adamant statements. They weren’t really arguments, as he offered nothing to support his statements; he just repeated them, sometimes in a slightly different way. Here are the two that bothered me the most, especially coming from one who professes to be a Christian:
1. There are many ways to God
2. Everything is true; something can be both true and false at the same time. In other words, he rejects the laws of logic. Granted, he was speaking specifically of religions that deny that Christ is the only way of salvation, but the spiritual realm is not exempt from logic.
The thing that bothers me about this sort of nonsense (and I will explain how it is nonsense) is that I’m hearing it more and more often not only from pop culture philosophers, but from people who claim to be disciples of the Christ!
I dealt with the first premise in my post about Pluralism, and I touched on the second premise briefly. If you need a refesher on that, go read it now, and then come back.
Because Jesus explicitly stated in John 14:6 that the only way to have a right relationship with God is through him, if the second premise (‘everything is true’) can be disproved, the first is automatically disproved, given the laws of logic.
Since the laws of logic are not merely human constructs, but like the laws of gravity recognition of laws of nature that cannot be ‘wished away’ or changed at a whim, I’ll take a closer look at how a rejection of logic leads to nonsensical thinking.
One of the basic laws of logic is that a statement cannot be both true and false at the same time. To put it mathematically, if “A equals B” is true, then “A does not equal B” must be false, and “A equals be” cannot be false.
To say that “everything is true” when speaking about religion makes just as little sense as the following argument:
All greyhounds are dogs. Greyhounds are house pets. My cat is a house pet. Therefore, my cat is a dog.
Of course, a house cat is not a dog jus because it shares one (or more) characteristics of a greyhound, which is a dog. No matter how much you may want it to be a dog, it is a cat. It cannot and never will be a dog.
In the same way, the following argument cannot be true:
Christ is the only way to a relationship with God. Christianity is a religion. Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, etc. are all religions. Therefore, they all are a way to a relationship with God.
You see the problem? If Christ is the only way to God, then the other religions are false. If Christ is NOT the only way to God, then Christianity is false. In any case, Christianity, and any other religion in comparison to Christianity is either true or false. It cannot be both, at least not unless you are either insane, willfully ignorant, or intellectually unwilling to grasp what is a simple, fundamentally universal concept of existence: Either a statement of fact is fact, or it is fiction and therefore false.
Occasionally, someone will try to rebut that statement with something like, “I don’t believe logic applies in the metaphysical realm. I take the Eastern mystical approach to such things, so your argument is invalid.”
Really. Let’s think about that for a moment. What that statement is saying is that as long as we’re not discussing physical objects, logic does not apply – but the argument carries the logic with it:
It is true that metaphysics (or religion) does not conform to the laws of logic. Eastern mysticism does not use logic. Therefore, your statement about logic is false.
Um…. setting aside the fact that Eastern mystic religions do use logic, isn’t that either a logical statement or self-contradictory statement? Let me explain:
The only way the statement ‘logic does not apply in the metaphysical realm’ can be true is if the statement is not false, because if it is false, then logic applies… but if logic does not apply, the statement is both true and false, but if it is false….
It catches itself in an infinite loop of ‘but ifs’, and the nonsense of the statement is readily apparent.
In the end, any statement that tries to present a religious system based on anything other than the Deity, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ and being a disciple of His as a means of eternal salvation is either true or false. It cannot be both.
Based on the clear teaching of both Christ and the rest of the Bible, there is no other conclusion. The REAL question then becomes: will you submit to Jesus Christ, the only One who offers salvation from the wrath of God, or will you chase after a lie that will inevitably lead to damnation?