Questions for non-Christians #3
Conservative commentator Matt Walsh recently likened socialists to toddlers in that both “cannot distinguish desire from reality.” They operate from an immature perspective which leads them to believe that what they want to be true is actually true, he says.
It seems to me the same can be said of many non-Christians. What they profess to believe has no firm basis in facts but they find it appealing, they want it to be true, and so in their minds it is true. This would not be a problem if truth didn’t matter, but it does. A lot.
How does truth matter? Let me count (some of) the ways.
- The truth is that opioids are highly addictive and getting hooked on them will ruin your life, or end it. You want them to make your life more enjoyable, or bearable, and so believe that they will. Your belief may kill you.
- The truth is that you make a modest income which just barely covers your living expenses but you believe you deserve and can afford the lifestyle enjoyed by your wealthy acquaintances. So you max out ten credit cards and end up having to file for bankruptcy.
- The truth is that you can’t sing. You want to sing well, however, and so you believe that you do, and when the producers of American Idol get done with you you can’t leave your house without someone pointing their finger at you and laughing hysterically.
If I were to count all of the ways truth matters this post would have a million words and I’d never get to my 3rd question for the non-Christian, which is:
Are you willing to objectively examine your beliefs for how well they cohere with reality?
That the will is the driving force behind many people’s professed beliefs is an undeniable fact. They choose to believe based not on a persuasion from facts but on a prioritization of feelings…whatever works to meet their emotional or psychological needs. And because of that, many of those are unwilling to subject their subjective opinions to scrutiny and they object to an objective comparison of them to reality. They’re comfortable believing what they do because it satisfies their desires in some way, and they aren’t interested in an examination which may result in upending their belief system and making them decidedly uncomfortable.
Beliefs that make one comfortable in this temporary existence will likely lead one to an eternity spent in unmitigated discomfort. But belief in the uncomfortable truth…that each of us has wronged a just and holy God who must judge wrongdoing…leading to trusting faith in Jesus Christ who took upon himself the punishment due us…secures for us an eternity not only without discomfort, but without sorrow, pain, evil, darkness, deception, or death.
Denying or ignoring reality does nothing to change the way things are. But it may impact the way things will be. For you.
“Are you willing to objectively examine your beliefs for how well they cohere with reality?”
Absolutely. That’s how we know things are true, and it’s a process I undertake all the time, even when it leads me to conclude that my beliefs are wrong and need to be changed.