What would it take to convince you?
Sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy, but then sometimes I think that regardless of what people think of me, they need at least a seed planted.
What would it take to convince you? Convince you of what, would be a good question. The answer though is startling: What would it take to convince you that your pet view of the world is wrong? For some, it might be what would it take to convince you that what you think the Bible says is not what it says. For others, what would it take to convince you that your view of civil rights in not what the constitution says.
Many of the "pet views" of people can be challenged in many ways. I'm going to address two categories, and for one, I'll address two different radical points of view.
First, civil rights. Rights generally can be civil rights only if they are not natural rights (though I will allow that civil rights can parrot natural rights in that a government can recognize and codify natural rights that government has no authority to deny). The right to self-preservation is a natural right. That right is reflected in the civil right to bear arms. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is a reflection of that natural right that government has no authority to deny. Some argue that "the people" here does not mean individuals, yet the same phrase is used in the 1st, 4th, 9th and 10th -- passed into the constitution as a whole -- could not possibly mean anything but individuals, and so it would be a stretch requiring extraordinary evidence to support that position. What would it take to convince you?
Now one to get me in trouble with others that I call brothers. Two views from a Biblical perspective. (Can we get religion and politics in the same post? You bet!)
The Bible says that mankind is without excuse (all of mankind) for not knowing and trusting in God because God (as author of creation) revealed himself through creation. (There are many passages that speak of revelation in creation, but for now just consider Romans 1:18 - 20). If God revealed himself through creation, then creation is God's revelation. I (and others) call this revelation "general revelation". If it is God's revelation, then it is without error and is infallible in what it says. Because God is the author, it is just as infallible as any other work of God's authorship (unless you want to say God is the author of lies, I think you would have to agree).
"Now, Mr. Capernicus, everyone knows the sun goes around the earth." Excuse me? What? Did we change our interpretation of scripture because we found information in creation (the book of God's works) that gave us a better view of the Bible (the book of God's word)? Certainly we did. When we find data in creation that contradicts our view of scripture, then at least one of two things is wrong: we are either wrong with the interpretation of data, or we are wrong with interpretation of scripture (or both). The heliocentric view of the universe (at the time, we recognize this as just the solar system now) was considered contrary to the scripture -- foolishly supposing that the Bible was a science textbook. What would it take to convince you?
How about the present fervor in "young earth" vs. the general consensus that the earth is several billion years old? What would it take to convince you that your view of scripture is wrong? Do you attribute deception to God by invoking the light from what appear to us as super novas of stars from millions of years ago as "apparent age"? Do you really think God would deceive us with parlor tricks of creating light for a star that never existed? The heaven declare the glory of God -- they do not declare him a deceiver. What would it take to convince you that your interpretation of a young earth is wrong?
How about those that want to state that what the Bible clearly defines as sin is not sin? Pick the big politically incorrect one of our day: homosexual activity. Clearly, what follows in Romans 1 is condemnation of homosexual activity. Yet there are those that say it is "gay-bashing" or "homophobia" when someone says what the Bible says is sin is in fact sin. Some even say it is a matter of interpretation. What would it take to convince you that the Bible actually says it is a sin to commit homosexual acts?
This post is not meant to win any friends. What is meant to do is ask everyone to think.
Those that have honest opinions on these issues do so because they believe what they believe. On civil liberty, the view is that the constitution says what it says. I truly am sorry if you don't feel safe with the knowledge that someone could be a "bad guy" out there, and he could have a gun. The Petit family didn't have anyone die of gunshot wounds and no guns were used in that crime, but the three women (mother and two daughters) were still raped and murdered (reported in the NY Times). On Biblical authority, they do so because they see what they believe to be the plain message of revelation (both general and special). It is not a liberal agenda that moves people to the view, but a conservative one that refuses to attribute to God deception in any revelation.
What would it take?
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