Fundamentalists Treat Christianity Like It Is Just Another Religion

Fundamentalists Treat Christianity Like It Is Just Another Religion June 1, 2013

It is often interesting to note the disconnect between the explicit claims a group makes and what their stances and attitudes imply in practice.

Take for instance the viewpoint (widely held among fundamentalists) that their Scripture, understood to be inerrant divinely-revealed truth, can be taken as the starting point, an assumption to which everything else must be subjected.

They think that in doing so they are defending Christianity, in the conservative form that they understand it. But they are doing precisely the opposite.

You see, anyone can start by merely assuming that a particular text is divinely revealed. If you do so, you will always find ways of harmonizing apparent discrepancies, and anything external to the text that conflicts with it can be dismissed as a demonic lie.

And since anyone can do that, and the conservatives of many religious traditions do precisely that, when conservative Christians approach the Bible this way, they are in fact communicating that their own religion is no different than any other. It is merely the same circular reasoning applied to one particular sacred text rather than another, but no different in kind.

If you really want to claim that Christianity is distinctive, then you have to live as though you actually believe it. And that means not merely assuming that it is, but believing that it can be shown to be distinctive when investigated skeptically, without assuming what needs to be proven.

You are obviously free to continue arguing in circles. But if you don’t have the faith to actually treat your belief system as different, then do not be surprised that others have the impression that your religion is just one more conservative religious system among others, and not worth taking more seriously than any other.

If you really believe Christianity deserves better, then show it. As one meme image I saw several times during the past year says, if your faith is capable of moving mountains, then it is surely capable of withstanding criticism – and holding up under skeptical scrutiny.

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