JOHN PEARRELL: It is possible to believe in truth and not be arrogant or divisive

Have you ever noticed that there are those who go to extremes in their effort to discount the Christian faith? Their tactics are simple: they take one or two aberrations from the faith and turn them into the idea that these aberrations are, in fact, the norm and are always happening.

That is the tactic often used when people challenge the "exclusivity of the Christian faith." Even though every major religion in the world has their points of exclusivity, Christianity is the only one charged with it. Why is that?

In a recent public forum, one individual blasted the speaker claiming that he thought "it just wrong that Christians would dare tell other people that they were wrong." The speaker was very kind and ignored the obvious response to such an accusation.

If it is wrong for Christians to tell someone they are wrong, why is it right for you to tell Christians they are wrong? The man was violating the very premise of his own argument.

Whether we like it or not, we must face the fact that truth, by definition, is going to be exclusive. Despite the Eastern philosophy of "both/and" that is permeating the West at the moment, two opposite things cannot both be true.

One teacher of world religions took an individual to task, telling him that he did a great disservice to the Hindu religion because he simply didn't understand the Eastern philosophy of "both/and."

The gentleman he was addressing tried to take issue with the professor's argument, but the professor wouldn't hear of it claiming that this man's "either/or" logic was causing him to miss the beauty of the Hindu faith.

After spending hours explaining his perspective on why, if the man was going to understand Hinduism, he would have to embrace the "both/and" mindset, he finished building his case. The person he was trying to convince said, "I only have one question for you. Are you telling me that either I evaluate Hinduism from a 'both/and 'perspective, or I don't evaluate it at all?"

Stunned, the professor replied, "Well, the 'either/or' does seem to present itself doesn't it?" To which the other man (who happened to be from India) stated, "I have news for you. Even in India we look both ways before crossing the street. It is either me or the bus, but not both of us!"

If there is no such thing as truth, science would not exist. If there is no such thing as truth, mathematics would be useless. Someone who didn't believe in truth could never have put a person on the moon.

The problem with trying to deny truth is if you claim there is no such thing as truth, you can only make that claim if you believe what you are saying is true.

If what you are saying then is true, then there is such a thing as truth and you've just destroyed your own argument. If you hold fast to the claim that there isn't such a thing as truth, then you destroy your own argument because if there is no such thing as truth, then what you are claiming is actually false.

It is possible to believe in truth and not be arrogant or divisive.

As a Christian, I believe that Christ is the only way to heaven (a claim He made, by the way). You may not agree with me, but you are disingenuous if you discount and vilify my view as a wrong view by claiming that it is wrong to believe someone else is wrong.

Sadly, we use that very argument to discount Christianity, but never realize that in using it, we have just declared someone else was wrong.

Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington and may be contacted at www.gatewaycommunity.org.