I go to the local gym each morning to exercise on week days. There are a number of elderly gentlemen I talk with in the locker room. We see each other like clock work. They are a joy to be around and quite humorous. It's funny to see men in their 70's and 80's totally ripping on each other. We talk sports, family and sometimes faith.
There is a man that goes to mass faithfully everyday before he gets to the gym. I admire his devotion to God and faith. He said something today that struck me however, "I think religion is a personal thing and that no one religion is better than another." I respect this man very much, and chose not to respond. Internally however, I really had to disagree with that statement.
Christians believe Jesus is God. Jews however, would say that believing such a thing is nothing short of blasphemy and idolatry. So can both of these positions be simultaneously true and acceptable? No. Somebody has to be wrong.
Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on the cross and then came back to life three days later. Muslims believe Jesus was never crucified and just ascended into heaven one day when his earthly ministry was over. Can both of these assertions be true? No. Somebody has to be wrong, or even both could positions could be wrong. But it cannot be the case that Christ both died and didn't die.
Most world religions agree that God made the universe and all that is in it. Atheism, another faith choice, states that God doesn't exist and thus had nothing to do with our existence. Can both of these views co-exist? I'm pretty sure not. One of them has to be wrong.
Yes, faith is a very personal thing and it should be. But faith being personal does not mean that it disregards logic and common sense. It is OK to say that some things are wrong--even in matters of faith!
Now I'm going to say something that would cause most of the women on "The View" to explode: "Some faiths are better than others." The reason is very "comman sense." For centuries man thought the sun revolved around the earth. Then Copernicus said that it was actually the earth that revolved around the sun. His idea was better because it more closely identified with the truth. Without saying which is faith is the best, second best and so on, I will simply say that whichever faith most closely resembles the truth is better than the others. What's wrong with that?
For those of us that follow Christ, the reason for our faith should go well beyond the personal. We are Christians, not because our parents brought us up that way, or it's just the religion that suits us best. We are Christians because we believe it is true.
The next time someone says to you that religion is just a personal thing, consider the first sermon ever preached on Christ that we find in the scriptures, "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know" (Acts. 2:22). Our faith is far more than personal, it is historical!--an actual encounter with God.
We believe because it happened.
Pastor Adam Barton