Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A "relationship" with God??

Some fellow readers-of-Lewis and I have been discussing
what the concept of having a "relationship" with God might mean...
My position is that if there IS such a thing, it is *profoundly* different
from any other "relationship" we have, so much so that it needs
its own word!

Check it out: HIGHLIGHT, and then COPY this Link...
and then PASTE it into your Browser "address" (or "location") field...
Hit ENTER and read the thread...

Feel free to post your Responses here, or there in the Forum
(you can submit your comments as "Anonymous", or use your Name)...

Monday, August 08, 2005

An American Icon Dies

Today we have the news that Peter Jennings,
longtime anchor and newsman with ABC,
has succumbed to cancer and has died.

Like many Americans, the news caught me
by surprise this morning as I sit here drinking
my morning coffee. Peter Jennings was the
ultimate newsman, setting the standard for
delivering an entertaining package that
included not just "the news", but a great deal
of style, thoughtfulness, and wit.

As I read today's news story, however (on CNN),
I was struck by a quote that Dianne Sawyer
attributed to Jennings:

"There is no absolute truth in the world
for every group of people.

This shouldn't surprise me, really; I had no
reason to believe that Jennings was a conservative,
much less a Christian, but the glaring declaration
of a concise Metaphysic like that sort of gripped me.

Picture things from his perspective: He was a
world traveler, by profession, and found himself
(over the decades of his career) in just about every
human context possible, from wars and famine to
abundance and celebration, and from religious and
political extremes to unbelievable wealth and
abject poverty. He interviewed proponents of
just about every World View on the planet, and
(from what little I know about him) he was an
avid reader, and a "stickler for details".

If *anyone* had a front-row seat on the idealogical
landscape of Humanity, it was Peter Jennings.

No Absolute Truth??
But here is the thing to keep in mind:
IF all he meant by that comment was that people
cannot AGREE on what is Absolute Truth -- that
sect "A" passionately holds belief "X" while
sect "B" (just as) passionately holds the exact
opposite belief "Y", then he is right; but there
are a vast number of reasons (some important,
some just plain silly) for that disagreement.

But IF, on the other hand, he was making a
metaphysical pronouncement on the nature of
Truth -- that there IS no Absolute for All people
in All places at All times -- then he either never
really thought that World View all the way out
or he clearly identified himself as a Humanist,
fundamentally believing that one can cobble
together one's own "truth" and then live out
our lives by it without fear that we might be WRONG
(because who's to say what "wrong" means??).

Because of his broad Viewer base, Peter Jennings
probably had (and will continue, to some degree, to have)
a big influence on the minds of those who watched him.
These kinds of comments, by someone like him, just
might help to cement that "sense" or "feeling" in the
general American population that there really IS no
"absolute Truth" and that we indeed ARE free to
"make it up as we go along"...

One of the problems, though, with that World View
is that NOBODY really believes it! The homosexual
who passionately chooses that side will then turn and
utterly REVILE the person who believes that homosex
is an Abomination to God; the so-called "abortion rights"
people will turn around and lend their efforts to "right
to die" campaigns; and many people who discount any
absolute sense of Morality will turn right around and
call this or that act "immoral" or will make some kind of
vague appeal to "moral duty".

And one other point: NOBODY -- nobody! -- holds any
position to be "The Truth" (e.g., "there is no absolute
truth...") without firmly believing that that position is TRUE,
and that its exact opposite (e.g., "there IS at least one
Absolute Truth...") is FALSE. In other words, if you
passionately believe that proposition "X" is the truth,
you ALSO necessarily believe that proposition "NOT X"
is NOT the truth (or, is False).

A Call to American Christians
The reason Mr. Jennings could get away with such
blatant declarations of RELATIVISM is that he lived
in a country where Relativism is the reigning Metaphysic,
AND where those who have the Courage to declare
that there ARE Absolute Truths are branded as "Extremists".

This is one of the luxuries of Freedom, especially of Speech.
Public declarations of that type in other countries could
result in public disgrace and perhaps even torture and death;
but in America, comments like this indicate -- to me, anyway --
that the Church must continue the Battle for the Mind,
especially the minds of our younger generations.

"...Speaking the Truth in Love..." we are admonished; and so
it ought to be: Our LOVE for those around us ought to awaken
the desire in them to know more; then the REASONS for the Faith
must be well-grounded and defensible.

We may not be able to change popular beliefs in the broader sense,
but perhaps we can influence Minds to consider Christ, one at a time...