Why I am liberal, but not LIBERAL! [pt.3]

    2. Stereotypical Liberal Assumption: Christianity is equal to, not greater than, all other world religions. Salvation can be found through faithful adherence to any of the world’s religions, philosophies, or through merely being “a good human being.”

As a religion – a human-constructed organizational structure – Christianity is no greater than any world religion. One might even argue that Christianity is inferior. It’s certainly caused far more pain and suffering in the world than Buddhism. In fact, any religion that has managed to enjoy the dominance of absolute political and military power (in particular, as Christianity, Islam and Hinduism have) is generally guilty of all sorts of atrocities, oppression and human rights violation. The Christian religion is largely a corporate structure designed to be economically viable, effectively marketable, practically transferrable, and easily produced and duplicated (there is plenty to read about here, under the subjects of Christendom and Colonialism, Post-Christendom and Post-Colonialism).

As for salvation, I have not rejected Jesus’ words in John: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (14:6) But I like C.S. Lewis’ inference from Mere Christianity: “the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him.” (p. 65) I could go on, concerning salvation in a pluralistic world and how other religions may fit in, but will be brief, only saying I believe God is far more gracious than any folks I happen to know, and probably likes a lot of Buddhist lifestyles more than my own materialistic, consumerist, bourgeoisie Christian living. I don’t believe easy lines can be drawn regarding “who is in, and who is out.” Read Brian McLaren’s More Ready Than You Realize for some great examples of transcendent salvation from an Emergent Christian perspective.

1 comment:

Peter said...

As an aside, Thomas Merton provides some thrilling perspectives on interfaith dialogue - particularly with his friend Thich Nhat Hanh.

Popular Posts