A friend of mine at work has been listening to the Podcast. He describes himself as an agnostic and I believe that this is an accurate description. I LOVE the conversations that we have, because he is thoughtful, angry, disillusioned and seeking, all at the same time. I truly respect this guy for who he is at work and for the kind of man that he seems to be with his family. Our conversations have become the highlight of my week.
He seems to return to two primary issues that cloud his examination of Christian truth claims. Both are centered on the problem of evil. First, he is deeply disturbed by the presence of evil in the world and God’s apparent inability or lack of desire to stop it. Secondly, he is deeply disturbed by the evil he has seen in the people who either call themselves Christians or have become Christian leaders. No matter what we talk about, the conversation will ultimately return to these two issues.
Interestingly, my friend does not believe that absolute moral truths exist, and he does not believe that there are any transcendent moral truths that apply across cultural boundaries. For him, all morality is based in the opinion of each culture. In this sense, morality is limited. Something may be right for us, but wrong for the group living next to us, and that is OK by his view of morality. He will be the first to acknowledge this. I found that to be remarkable, especially considering what my friend does for a living. My friend is a detective and a member of the reserve forces of our military. He has been to Iraq and will most likely return very soon. My friend is a warrior.
So I asked him if he thought he was fighting for something that was merely a matter of opinion, or if he thought he was fighting on the side of something he thought was transcendently true and noble. Obviously, the opponent he faces in Iraq also believes that they are right; so is the battle just over a matter of opinion? Is opinion what motivates our troops to risk their very lives? If so, would they be willing to fight this hard to establish their preference in cookies or television shows? In spite of what my friend might SAY, he truly wants to be a warrior on the side of GOOD and RIGHT, as he battles against EVIL in the world. It is this fight for what is RIGHT that motivates him to risk his life, and while he may tell me that this ‘rightness’ is rooted merely in the opinion of our culture, he sure fights as though the ‘rightness’ is true for both sides of the battle.
My friend wants to be part of a JUST cause, a JUST war that is transcendently noble. He really does not want to be part of a battle of opinion. The problem is that no such transcendently just war is possible unless there are objective absolute moral truths. And these kinds of truths and laws require an absolute and transcendent law giver. They require the existence of God. In order for my friend to fight in a truly noble cause, he is first going to have to admit to the existence of the source of all transcendent nobility. He’s going to have to acknowledge the existence of God.