Saturday, December 16, 2006

More Philosophy


Just kidding, wanted to make sure I had your attention.

What I want to discuss today is existentialism, another philosophical movement, but one that involves far less science then naturalism.

Existentialism is a philosophy that holds human existence is basically unexplainable and values are subjective to the individual. A complete definition of existentialism is difficult being that there are so many different beliefs held by existentialists.

Prepare to be amazed, to everyone's suprise I don't agree with this philosophy , shocking that I would disagree with something, I know (I'm being a little sarcastic).

Here I think might be the only place I can agree with a naturalist, we can both agree that human existence is not unexplainable. I think we can also both agree that there are things that are absolutely true, even though we might not agree on what they are.

Now I'd like to go into point number 1.

Human existence is definately not unexplainable. Really to make it simple God created man (and the earth for that matter). Now some people believe God used evolution, some like myself believe in a literal six-day creation; that's not what I want to debate in this post. Even in an exchange of ideas with a naturalist we both agreed that evolution, if it was true would not deny the existence of God. Human existence is most definately not unexplainable.

Now the more difficult part of the discussion. Perhaps some values are subjective, maybe you feel very strongly that you should not drink Kool-Aide, whereas I will drink it. In situations like that I could really care less how you feel about it. In Corinthians Paul talks about some people being able to eat meat and others not, solely on the basis of their conscience. In situations like that you just need to do what your conscience feels. However there are absolutely situations where values are absolute. Terrorists flying planes into a building to kill people are wrong! I don't care if they do believe it is in a holy war, murder is wrong. Attacking innocent civilians is wrong.

What we must keep in mind here is there is a difference between opinion and fact. Fact, the Earth is not flat; opinion, Republicans are a better political party. What we also must keep in mind is that we as the church have taken far to many issues that are simply traditional, cultural, or personal and preached them like they are Biblical (Edwards). Let me give you a list from Dwight Edwards book Releasing the Rivers Within in which he challenges us to look at a list of issues and rate them as Cultural, C; Biblical, B; Traditional, T; or Personal, P. (I've shortened it for times sake). I've put my response next to each.

Praying before meals (B
Having a daily devotional time (B
Having a daily devotional time in the morning (T
Going to church each Sunday (C, day is irrelevant as long as we have one.
Lifting hands during worship (B
Dancing during worship (B
Allowing children to run inside the church building (T or C
Playing golf on Sunday morning (T
Drinking alcohol (P
Drinking alcohol in public (B
Kissing before marriage (P
Having sex before marriage (B
Masturbating (P
Dating and marrying of mixed races (C

The point is every issue we try to make Biblical isn't. The church today has in a very real way become a bunch of Pharisees and legalists. We condemn people for playing golf on Sunday and wink when they break the speed limit (and the law).

The Church needs to wake up and start preaching Jesus of grace; not the Christianity of condemnation.


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