Dear friends,

“Christianity believes it is exceptional, but every religion believes it is exceptional. There have been at least 10,000 religions and 100,000 gods. There were religions that existed before Christianity that do not exist today. In 4000 years’ time Christianity will not exist and there will be other religions. These are just facts that you have to accept.”

I was told this repeatedly recently at one of my favourite coffee shops. What did I say? What did I do?

It was hard to say anything. Several times I said that it was an assertion instead of an argument. In fact, it was an assertion to stop arguments and an assertion that refused to inquire and reason. So I let my friend have the final word and went back to my work. Then I prayed for my friend. Sometimes this is all you can do. But you can pray with hope that the conversation will start again in the future and that there can be conversation rather than an assertion which does not suspect it has questionable assumptions.

So, let’s look briefly at the assertion and the Christian faith. First of all, the Bible is very aware that many religions and “gods” exist on earth. The assertion assumes that the existence of many religions is a surprise and a rebuke of the Christian faith. The assertion also assumes that if God really existed, no other religions that did not worship Him would exist on earth. The assertion assumes that if one God truly existed, no human being would worship another god. In fact, this is an interesting point, every “religion” has to give an account of how it is that other religions and gods exist. I do not have space here, but the Bible gives a powerful and reasonable account for why many gods are worshiped.

The assertion also assumes that every single religion is false. The assertion never considers that there can be “fool’s gold” and “real gold”; glass diamonds, plastic diamonds, “paste” diamonds, zircon and real diamonds; counterfeit money and real money. In fact, the assertion assumes that the presence of 10,000 religions somehow proves each religion is false as the fact that most jewelry is fake somehow proves that diamonds do not exist.

The assertion is also lazy and anti-intellectual. It means a person does not have to look and study and see if all religions are in fact the same at a fundamental level or to see if there are good reasons that one “religion” might be true.

Please note, I have shown that the assertion rests on many assumptions, but the tragedy of the assertion is it believes it is self- evidently true and rests on no assumptions that can be discussed. In terms of 2 Corinthians 3 it is a veil that covers the mind and the heart.

Friends, please pray for your friends. Pray that you will have the courage to bear witness to Jesus. Do not worry about having convincing arguments. Bear witness and pray. Please pray for me.

George +