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Are All Religions Created Equal

About eight years ago, I was asked to conduct the funeral service for a line-of-duty death my fire department suffered.  One of our United States Senators was in attendance.  He was sitting up front with the Lieutenant Governor and several other dignitaries.  As I was giving the sermon, I couldn’t help but notice him dozing off.  He stood out because the hundreds of firefighters and others present were all listening attentively.  I don’t blame him.  He keeps an exhausting schedule, including faithfully showing up to pay his respects when anything happens to a first responder or member of the military from our State.

Why Can We Only Be Saved By Grace

One of the major differences between Christianity and every other religion is its central teaching that we can only be saved by Grace.  This is so counterintuitive.  To most, even many Christians, it makes no sense.  Every other religion teaches that we are saved by adhering to a code of ethics, by doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, in short, by being good.  Going against this tsunami of wider religious tradition, not to mention common sense, either Christianity has this all wrong or it’s revealing a deeper Truth no other worldview has grasped.

As a college student, I was a little abnormal.  Because of questions that were raised by some of the classes I took my first semester, my nominal Catholic faith had been destroyed.  As a result, I was on a quest for Truth.  I was passionately focused on finding answers to life’s ultimate questions.  Like normal college kids, my classmates were more focused on where the next party was! 

Blaise Pascal was a true genius.  A Seventeenth-Century French mathematician, he is credited with many inventions.  His work has had a profound influence on modern science, everything from probability and statistics, to the existence of vacuums, which set the stage for quantum physics.  Amazingly, he was also a master of French prose and is considered one of the most important authors of the French Classical Period.  As if all this wasn’t enough, Pascal was an accomplished philosopher and theologian as well.  And this might be his best-known legacy.  You may not have had any idea what a genius Pascal was, but I’ll bet (pun intended) you’ve heard of Pascal’s wager!

Outdated.  Unscientific.  Anti-intellectual.  This is one of the most consistent themes in surveys that ask young adults why they’ve abandoned their Christian faith.  Modern science, they say, makes the Christian worldview look like a relic of the past, an unenlightened, archaic mythology.  Modern science, they say, makes Christians look like naïve simpletons who must base their faith on a blind leap, irrational emotional experience, or intuition that defies reason—an “I believe because I know Jesus in my heart” kind of thing.  Modern science, they say, makes it impossible for any intelligent, scientifically-minded person to believe in Christianity.

Chip Ingram is a pastor in California.  He has a daily radio show called Living on the Edge.  Last week I was listening to the broadcast as he addressed the question: Why do so many young people leave the Church?  Statistics suggest that around seventy percent of those raised in the Church leave the faith by the end of college.  Chip gave this example as one explanation why: He was talking with a teen from his church.  She firmly professed to believe in Christ.  But, she said, “If you ask me to tell my gay friend she’s wrong, I’ll walk away from my faith first!”

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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