Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Aye... church today was nice.
I woke up at like 3pm today, and got ready to leave for church. My mom was going to Sunway area anyway, so she offered to drive me to church. Ah, nice. It's been a little tiring going to church with public transport in the last few weeks. I mean I went through worse when going to church in CHC SG, but well, I wouldn't mind if things are convenient sometimes =p.
It wasn't that convenient though. There was a huge thunderstorm and as a result, Federal Highway had a huge jam -.-. I reached church just in time for offering, and the sermon was the third (and it looks like final) part about Now That We Have Grown. Today it was about having greater capacity in the marketplace and in knowledge of our Christian faith. For the marketplace, Pastor Kevin expanded on more personal issues, like not being naive, even though we're told to be as innocent and harmless as doves in the Bible.
What really got my attention though, was the part about knowledge. Pastor Kevin touched upon the subject of Christian apologetics, my favourite. In case you don't know, Christian apologetics is not Christians apologizing -.-. Apologetics means a defense of a conduct or procedure, and for Christian apologetics, a defence of the Christian faith. He talked about how Christianity was a faith based on evidence, and that because of evidence, Christianity is an objective faith. It can be debated upon, and we need a reason for believing. Just believing because you believe is not a way to show how your faith is true.
Pastor Kevin also shared that our hearts can never rejoice what our minds reject. How can we enjoy the emotional part of Christianity if we reject the intellectual part? We'd be cheating ourselves. Also, he said that the resurrection was an actual event (which is backed up by compelling evidence, by the way), and whether we believe or not, it still happened. And that, by definition, makes all other religions false. That's why people who say that it doesn't matter what you believe, so long you're sincere, are deluding themselves. Sure, you can be sincere, but to quote Pastor Kevin "you can be sincerely wrong". Hitler was totally sincere in wiping out the Jews. Was it wrong? Yes. But he's sincere! If you truly believe that being sincere is more important that what you believe, then you are agreeing that mass murdering 6 million Jews is acceptable. And you can't say that's a special case, because then you'd be giving special cases to all the evil-doers of the world. Being sincere about doing good is also very ambiguous. Hitler did think he was doing good. In his eyes, Jews were the enemy of God because Jews were responsible for the crucifixion. What if the whole world believed in God, and agreed with Hitler? Would that make it right? No, it'd still be wrong, even if the whole world thought it was the right thing, sincerely.
Today's sermon gave me a lot of insights into the faulty arguments of the sincerity argument. It's ridiculous, but it sounds good. It makes us sound open minded. I was hit by it last time by a 12 year old kid. We were chatting, and he asked me what I believed in. I said I was a Christian. And he's like, it doesn't matter, so long as you do good and are sincere. He didn't say that in a very meek way either. He said it very firmly and quite arrogantly, as if he was trying to show that he knew more than me. Heck, kid, if that's what you really believe, go ahead. If you look at the argument though, and dig deeper, its a losing argument, as much as it sounds all so righteous.
I've always been more inclined towards the intellectual side of Christianity. Thankfully, I have a good mix of the emotional, spiritual and intellectual aspects of Christianity. But each person will have a main focus, and mine's intellectual. I like it 'cause its the best way of showing others why I believe, why I believe its truth. Spiritual things are very personal and hard to show others. Emotional things are not reasons enough for accepting a life-changing faith. You can feel happy about killing human beings too, and it would not be justified. That's why I value the intellectual issues, because it can be understood by all people (with an open mind, usually). Questions of honest integrity must be answered, and apologetics provides me with that.
I'm very touchy when people try to discredit Christianity. I am open minded, seriously. I can understand others views, their opinions and all, but it doesn't mean I accept it. But when people outright try to disprove Christianity, or bring up some huge biblical dilemma, then that gets me started. There's many reasons for me to believe, through spiritual, emotional and intellectual ways, and there's even more reasons why I defend it fiercely. That's why I read so much, Christian material, and anti-Christian material.
I rarely make such a long post on the weekend. However, the sermon talked about apologetics, a very intellectual issue for Christianity. I know many people aren't as focused in intellectual issues as I am. In fact, I only know 2. Anyway, why am I posting this? I was online and saw something mentioning Richard Dawkins, the so called high priest of atheism. Remember I bought The God Delusion? In the book, it claims to open up and enlighten people's minds, to show the problems religions cause in the world, and how religion (he says religion, but he's attacking Christianity in 90% of the book) as a whole is all fake and made up. He said he would open up minds to leave religion as a whole and embrace the freedom and life of atheism.
I finished his book last year, ironically during Asia Conference, the biggest Christian conference I've attended so far. He said he'd make the readers see the faults of religion and make them forget their faith. What about me? Has he fatally crushed my faith? Has he made a huge gap that's left me helpless in my faith? Did he do to me what he said he'd do in the book? No, my faith stands even stronger than before. Dawkin's said the book was the magnum opus of his atheist work. His best has only strengthened my faith, and from what I can see, it has done the same for many other Christians.
I'm getting my fire for apologetics back again, after last week's debate on religion, on whether it was relevant and holding us back. Now, after remembering about Richard Dawkins and his book, and today's sermon, I've got every reason to. Once my holidays start, I'll be writing a post, mainly a book review of The God Delusion. All the major arguments he makes, all the wrongs of religion and the problems it causes, I'll be countering them. He even uses a "God hypothesis" to compare to scientific hypotheses. What a faulty argument, although it sounds really good.
Heh... don't think I hate the book though. The God Delusion is one of my favourite books. Richard Dawkins has a brilliant sense of humour and scientific prowess to boot. Also, anything that strengthens my faith deserves good credit. Brilliant scientist as he is, he's a terrible philosopher and theologian.
He said that research and knowledge about leprechauns was not needed to disprove the existence of leprechauns. So why does he need to do the same for Christianity? Well, Darwin's dear dog (rottweiler, if you'd like to get specific), if what you're trying to disprove is little bearded men in green who have pots of gold, by all means. But if what you're trying to disprove is a faith on which the eternal lives of everyone in the world is hanging onto faith in Jesus Christ, I think you'd better damn well do your homework.