IS HUMILITY TIED TO TRUTH?

Daniel writes a blog that seeks to have people keep an open mind towards the Christian world view.  I found this post intriguing. – STEVE DUNN, School of Evangelism

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Several years ago, I had a conversation with a friend who said something that has stuck with me ever since.  It’s funny, I don’t even remember when or where it was or exactly what we were talking about; I only remember one particular thing that was said to me in that conversation:  “I don’t like being told that I am wrong.”

Now why would I remember that so vividly?  The idea itself is not really that unusual.  Who likes to be told that they are wrong?  I know I don’t.  Ask my wife.  For good or for ill, it seems to be a part of our human nature; we like the feeling that we are right and don’t like feeling or being told that we are wrong.

I think these words have stayed with me because I see in them the seeds for a non-rational bias that many hold against considering the truth claims of Christianity.  What I mean is, even before they might consider any intellectual questions, there seem to be emotional and/or psychological barriers that make Christianity a “dead option” for them.

How so?

Well, one of the central claims of Christianity is that we’ve got it wrong morally.  In other words, we all do things that–in light of God’s moral law–make us guilty and therefore wrong in the worst sort of way.  But it’s not just that we are wrong; it’s that we are bad.  We are sinful.  We’re not as bad as we could be, but that badness has touched every part of us.  We are stained by our own sinfulness with no way to get right by ourselves.  So, for someone who doesn’t like to be told that they are wrong, this is not welcome news.  Oftentimes, it is rejected out of hand.

And this is the problem and my point.

If we have this insurmountable, irrational bias against being wrong, we will not be able to consider whether the Christian message is worthy of our trust.  We don’t like the idea of moral wrongness, so we will take it away by saying it doesn’t exist or “it’s not that bad.”  But if we take away or play down the wrong, we have no need to get right.  We take away the need for a Savior.  If we take away the need for a Savior, we take away the message of Christianity.

And this is a BIG problem, especially if Christianity is Really True.

But if Christianity really is true, we who “don’t like being told we are wrong” would never know it.  We cannot even get to the question of truth, save by humility.  We have cut ourselves off by our own bias.  Though we might otherwise accept or reject the intellectual reasons for believing the Christian worldview to be true, unless we entertain the possibility of being wrong, those questions will remain unanswered.  So then it seems, to test Christianity fairly and to come to a conclusion one way or another, we must at least come on Christianity’s terms.

We must come humbly.

“God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  1 Peter 5:5b

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About sdunnpastor

I am the Director of Bridgebuilders Ministries, the Intentional Interim of the Newport PA Church of God, and adjunct professor for Winebrenner Theological Seminary. I am the creator of Bridgebuilders Seminar, helping churches reach their unchurched neighbors.
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