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April 13, 2010

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Carrie

Pastor Adam Barton,

Yes, unfortunately we live in a world where it is often looked down upon to say we believe in ONE way. In our country it seems, it's becoming more and more unpopular to say you are Christian, as if it's disresepctful to others. We must arm ourselves with God's word and be continually prepared to give an answer to WHY we believe what we do. Thank you for your thoughts.

Carrie
Akron, Ohio

Ronald Reagan

Pastor Adam Barton,

It seems to me that we live in a world that is blinded by their own self-worth. This is the great deception of Satan. From the malls to the churches and you will see people who have inflated self-egos.

RWR,
Akron, Ohio

Bryan

Pastor Adam Barton,
Great stuff here my friend. Gives me something to ponder this morning. Appreciate your wisdom as always

Bryan
Akron, Ohio

Pastor Adam Barton

Bryan, Ronald, Carrie,
Thank you for your comments. Yes, it is becoming quite unpopular to stand up for one's beleif in Christ. It seems you're aloud to stand up for any religion expcept Christianity--the one that most people in this country follow to some degree.
Take care,
Pastor Adam Barton
Akron, Ohio

Mike Walder

Pastor Adam Barton,

Thank you for your comments. These days many christians are afraid to speak up on the truth because we are too concerned about the feelings of others. I appreciate your wisdom on this issue.

Mike, Akron Ohio

Pastor Adam Barton

Mike,
Thank you and you are most welcome. I hope we can all have courage to speak up when needed and also do that with grace and kindness.
Appreciate it,
Pastor Adam Barton
Akron Ohio

Athanasius

Pastor Adam Barton,

Why can't faith disregard "logic and common sense?" Don't you believe in a God that's infinitely beyond your ability to reason?

Athanasius

Akron, OH

Pastor Adam Barton

Antanasius, thanks for the question. No doubt God is far beyond our levels of reason. And "feeling" does indeed have an important place in faith as well. But God made us with minds, and gave us the ability to reason. It simply is a major part of how God's human creations operate. I don't think it would make much sense if God wanted us to use our minds for everything except matters of God and faith. If we didn't exercise reason and logic, all opinions regarding science and faith would be equal--and that leads to nowhere.

"Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matt. 22:37)
Thanks for the good question,
Pastor Adam Barton
Akron, Ohio

Beth

Pastor Adam Barton,
Thank you again for your thoughts on this topic. It is one that I know many would shy away from.
To put it simply - for there to be Truth there also has to be untruth. And I agree, some "religions" just don't make sense.
Beth
Akron, Ohio

Dave

Good morning, all.

You may find this strange, but I kind of see what you're saying. I basically think all religion is made up to some extent or another, but if someone believes that their religion is correct and logically defensible, it would be strange for them to claim that all religions are equally valid. This is one of those areas where I (speaking for myself, not other atheists) find I can have more fruitful conversations with true believers than wishy-washy liberal theologian types. If Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, et al, are just saying different versions of the same truth, and all are equally true, why would anyone be a Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist? You're absolutely right that either Christianity or Islam can be right, not both. My position is that neither are accurate in their claims, but I have more respect for Christians and Muslims who admit their differences than those trying to square the circle. Also, for my own interests, frankly I think sectarian religious thought helps us work towards a secular society more than the ecumenical variety. You believe all faiths other than your own are off the mark to one extent or another, which is ultimately closer to my belief that they're all off the mark, than either of us is to the "religions are all awesome" sloppy thinking of the politically correct majority. And (again, speaking purely for myself)I believe that the more people realize that at most one religion could be correct, more will realize that it's perfectly valid to infer that none of them are.

But at base, I think that ultimately it's most important that we respect each other as people while we wage our little ideological battles. We can disrespect each others' ideas, but not each others' humanity. And part of respecting someone is to accept that they mean what they say to some extent, and not try to distort it. Liberal apologists for Jesus often say "oh, he didn't really mean hell, he meant, uh, and he didn't mean for non-believers, he meant for evil people". Conservative Christians say "Jesus said he was the only way into heaven, and there's only one other way to go." And they're correct on that point, and honest on that point, and by respecting each other enough to say what we mean and mean what we say, we'll get to the truth far more quickly than with obfuscation and hand waving.

-Dave

Pastor Adam Barton

Dave,
Thank you for these very good thoughts. I like your thinking as it is sound and logical. You also make a good point about respecting each other's humanity no matter what we believe.
"If Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, et al, are just saying different versions of the same truth, and all are equally true, why would anyone be a Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist?" --so well said.
Thanks for taking the time,
Pastor Adam Barton
Akron Ohio

Derek

Pastor Adam Barton,

Good thought provoking article. Like any other good debate, the two sides should not and do not just come to agree that both sides are right. They usually at the very least agree to disagree (hopefully respectfully).

The deeper question is why do both sides of the debate have a strong passion to convince others they are right. What is the motivation? As a Christian, I would hope that love and concern for the other's eternal well being is the motivation. However, all to often it is not or at least comes off as not out of love. Something to consider when ever in a debate with someone from another religion/faith.

Derek
Akron, Ohio

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