Truth or Tradition? Christmas Card Theology

Most Christians claim that they only believe truth, so we need to define truth. This is a religious term, meaning we believe it to be true. Truth is much different from fact. Fact is generally held to be that which has been tested and proven to be reliable to the satisfaction of most people. We say, for example, that gravity is a scientific fact and few would argue with that statement. Like electricity, we may not understand gravity or be able to explain it to the satisfaction of everyone else, but who would deny the fact of gravity or electricity?

Much of what we believe as Christians is based on our own experience and observation. We believe that God exists and that the universe was created by God, but both assertions are as difficult to prove as the assertion that there is no God and that everything evolved. In that respect, Christians and atheists are similar.

As long as our beliefs have a direct relationship to our actions and attitudes, we can earn the respect of those who believe differently and we can respect those whose lives are consistent with what they profess to believe. If an atheist gambles at the casino, that should not surprise us because he believes that chance can bring positive change. If a Christian gambles, his life is not consistent with the belief that God is sovereign. Unbelievers can get very nasty and call us idiots, but they can hardly criticize us for actions and attitudes that correspond to our beliefs. If we believe that others will be eternally damned in hell if they reject Christ, our witnessing to them should be expected.

When our beliefs become mere tradition, however, Satan rejoices! That puts all of us on the same level playing field. They can believe whatever they want and we do the same.

Ralph V Harvey