“Your Right and I’m Wrong?”

Zach —  January 19, 2013 — 4 Comments

“Your Right And I’m Wrong?”

Ruidoso is experiencing blue skies and calm winds today.  Again, I am taking in nature from my study window and actually thinking of donning my hiking clothes and boots and getting out in it!  There is something about the sound of a bird’s whistle and a faint breeze bringing the scents of nature to your senses that stirs and inspires motivation!

As I focus on the task at hand, I remember a conversation I had outside Wal-Mart a couple of months ago.

He looks startled as I approach with a tract in hand.  Looking from my face to my hand , he asks, “What’s that?”

“Hi, I wanted to ask you if you got one of these,” I state upfront as I offer my hand to shake in greeting.

“Whatever it is, I don’t want it,” he mutters and turns away.

“Wait!” I say as he turns back towards me and glowers.  “I would love to ask you a question if you don’t mind,” I offer and wait for his reply.  He looks at my hand but still does not offer his.

“Yeah?” he queries, “What kind of question?”  He looks suspiciously into my eyes as I mentally calculate just how I want to proceed now that I have his attention.  After a few seconds – to compose my thinking – I offer, “Do you think that you’re a good person?”  He just looks quizzically at me.

“Now, what kind of a question is that to ask a stranger in the street?” he half laughs, half sneers as I respond without any hesitation,  “Do you?”  I wait as he appears to mull the question over in his mind – half ready to walk away but curious enough about what I am up to, asks smugly, “Of course I am, are you?”

“Because you’re wrong!” he shouts back.  He is still glaring at me when I ask more softly…

We fence for awhile, back and forth, until he finally counters, “Look, truth is relative!  You see things your way and I see it my way!  I know you don’t think this way but we are both right,” he says in consternation and what appears to be a look of dismissal.  “What I believe is right for me and I have no problem with you believing what you do, okkk?” he sarcastically states and then begins to turn away.

“Wait, just one more question,” I say, raising my voice just enough to get his attention, “Why don’t you agree with what I just stated?” I say, waiting now for his answer.

“Because you’re wrong!” he shouts back.  He is still glaring at me when I ask more softly.

“So you’re right and I’m wrong?  What happened to we are both subjectively right?” I finish.  He begins to turn beet red as his mouth opens to make some retort.  Slowly, a light seems to appear in his eyes and he closes his mouth, looks down and back to meet my eyes.  He just looks at me for about 10 seconds, turns on his heel, and walks away.

  • Different worldviews have different perspectives. 
  • Different worldviews have different lenses in the glasses.
  • Different paradigms have a different focus.

All worldviews are different in most perspectives but they all have one thing in common.  They have a believer who contends for them.  All believe that their worldview is correct.  There are some philosophical thinkers who concede that no one has a handle on absolute truth; therefore, they will allow that their belief might have flaws.

However, they hold to possibly flawed paradigms until something subjectively influences them to change.  Then they will tentatively conclude that their view needs adjustment.  With that being said, they only change their view in the subjective context within their own minds.

As we consider different worldviews on this blog, we will look at both secular and religious ones.  We will look at the pros and the cons.  We will compare and contrast.  We will analyze, construct and deconstruct.  Overall, we will glean a set of skills, allowing us to analyze our own, particular worldview in as unbiased a manner as we possibly can.

I look forward to this journey with you!  Please consider the question below and comment on it as part of adding your focus to this post.

Until next time!

Zach

 

QUESTION:  IN THE WORDS OF PILATE –WHAT IS TRUTH?

 

 

 

 

 

Zach

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First off, I am a family man. My wife Rhonda and I have 5 grown children, four boys (Shane, Brian, Brent, and Billie) and one girl (Melanie). We have three grandchildren (Kaylin - 6, Olivia - 8, and Bellevae - 3 mo.). Family is a top priority for Rhonda and I. My interests center around my faith, my family, the church I pastor (Mescalero Baptist Church - Mescelaro, New Mexico on the Mescalero Apache reservation), my hobbies ( walking and jogging, hiking, Bible study, pastoring and mentoring, disciple making, and writing). My professional interests are performing my duties as an ordained minister (SBC), certified life coach, certified pasttoral counselor, author, public speaker, and Christian apologist. My education consists of a BS in religion (Liberty University), currently finishing my MA in professional counseling (Liberty University), planning my Doctorate in Counselimg Psychology. I am presently concluding my studies at Biola University in Christian apologetics and NAMB as a nationally Certified Apologetics Instructor (CAI). My career goals are aimed towards helping others and towards the coming of the kingdom of God.
  • http://www.facebook.com/dallas.swoager Dallas Swoager

    This could be something that I am totally off base on, and I will admit that I have a bias because I am not comfortable doing it myself, but are these actions ever particularly fruitful for you? This approach to evangelism has always seemed a bit confrontational to me. I remember watching “Way of the Master” before I was a Christian because I thought it was ridiculous, and I don’t watch it now for much the same reason. I have personally found that issues like this are far more fruitful when dealt with relationally. It does kind of beg the question of how we are to spread the gospel if it is meant to be done relationally and not by randomly accosting people. I would suggest that we need to be more socially active as a whole which also confronts part of what is a weakness in some (or much) of church culture. When Jesus was praying in the garden he prayed that we would be in the world but not of the world, yet we often times find a culture that encourages the Christian to pull themselves out of the world through an “at the church whenever the doors are open” mindset. Churches don’t need outreach ministries, what they need is Christians living out the gospel within our culture and investing in others.

    But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:14-16 ESV)

    This is describing a life that is being lived in a way that demands an explanation which is much different from the dialogue you are describing here. In essence you are asking this person for the reason for the hope that is in them, and frankly crouching in wait to tell them that they are wrong. Again, this is just my own view on the subject and would be thankful for correction if you disagree.

    I will address your actual question of truth later. This was just my initial reaction to the post itself.

    • http://twitter.com/PastorZMalott Pastor Zach Malott

      Hello Dallas,

      On the one hand, I agree that evangelical, one-on-one efforts tend to produce better results. The incident that you refer to in my post, concerning the example, revolves around a behind-the-scenes glimpse of worldviews in action — rather than an endorsement for the Comfort methodology as an evangelical tool fitting for everyone. It appears to work quite well for the purpose (street evangelism) in which Ray utilizes it; however, I do not do broadcast street evangelism personally.

      Most of my evangelizing is on a more relational nature, usually with one or two persons at a time through relationship building. This is not to say that I do not approach complete strangers as I do so when led by the HS to do so.

      On the other hand, I agree with Ray Comfort that the good news of the kingdom must be preached along with the law, its violation, and its consequences. Without an understanding of God’s law, the penalties of breaking it, the reason (the Fall) that we can’t follow it in the flesh, all must be understood for the good news of the gospel to make any sense to fallen man (that and the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit, of course).

      The actual example given in the post was with someone that I had been talking to for some time but, as mentioned above, the purpose it is mentioned in the post was for presenting differing worldviews and how each person defends them.

      That being said, the assembling of the body together for praise and worship was a command, for the benefit of the body, a community of believers to receive their spiritual food. The 21st century church has an obligation (command) to be more social with the world (as did Jesus) in terms of associating and being salt and light to that world; however, that does not negate the assembling together the body as intended God. Without Christian communal gathering, socialization would revolve around the world. That was the import of the command not to forsake it.

      I look up and see that my writing has taken on the tone of academia that I wish to prevent on this blog as it completely defeats the reason that I created this blog in the first place by losing the interest of the general public for which it is designed to reach. The end goal is to produce a non-academic approach to presenting worldview to the public who is not all that interested in the academic material that is rampant on the web, the apologetic debates on YouTube, and in most of the academic and trade writings on the subject.

      Like the evangelistic methodologies that we have just discussed, worldviews and apologetics can be presented in different methodologies. The book that I am writing as I blog it on the web, is for non-Christian seekers, feeding new Christians, and to be utilized for evangelical purposes, etc. — not an academic text or debate.

      I feel that providing references of merit at appropriate times during the extension of this blog and especially between chapters on my book will suffice to satisfy those who wish a further, academic treatment of the subject matter.

      That being said, I look forward to reading more of your responses as I feel that, understanding the nature and purpose of this blog, you can contribute greatly in helping readers who are “on the fence” by relating your own experiences where necessary and directing your responses towards the questions under consideration and pointing them towards the general public, who will make up the majority of readers on this blog.

      I relish your participation on the questions presented on each post that are designed to receive input from the public directly affecting the fine tuning and tweaking my framework hypothesis and the completion of the final draft of 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Way to Hope and Purpose.

      Keep posting, brother! 🙂

      • http://www.facebook.com/dallas.swoager Dallas Swoager

        A couple things:

        The Gospel message:

        I am far from a “seeker sensitive” type, or someone that wants to soften the blow of the gospel. I agree that you really can’t have the good news without first acknowledging one’s standing before God without that good news. My experience has been that there are churches out there that will teach the “Comfort” method of evangelism as THE way to spread the gospel. I don’t deny that there may be times that the Spirit may lead you to interact with someone in this way, but the way I have seen it presented is more like a “7 easy steps to Evangelism” seminar. In my own experience the saying, “they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” rings very true. As Christians we need to be wiling to invest ourselves in the lives of others. If I live as a follower of Christ and I share my life with you then there is very little chance that you won’t be presented with the gospel. BTW I am preaching this more to myself than to you, it is something that need to work on.

        The Church:
        I am also far from advocating that people “forsake the assembling of ourselves together”, but I think that there is a bit more nuance to the issue. As a little background, I have been without a church to really call home for about the last nine months, so I really do understand how important it is to have a church family to help support you, sharpen you, etc. I think that there are two competing false notions that we have to avoid when it comes to being the church. We have to watch our for being the “Lone Ranger” Christian who thinks that they can do this whole thing on their own, knowing that you are less a “Lone Ranger” and more a disembodied hand. We also need to watch out for being the “Comfortable Christian” who finds a nice warm loving place within the church and then stays there so they don’t have to interact with the scary world. We also need to watch out for our concept of what the church is because I am just as much assembling together as the church as three brothers on a Monday night study as I am with 200 people in a building on a Sunday.

        Academic Debate:

        I have no problem with the way you are wording your main posts as you are trying to reach out to a wider audience, but I think that the comments provide an opportunity to allow the conversation to go a few different ways. Just because I chose to take the direction that I did with the post, it does not preclude someone else from starting a new thread of conversation just below. As far as the comments go, and your replies to them, I would encourage you to allow your audience to determine your voice. I may not be your target audience, but I am here and enjoy interacting on these issues, and sharpening our swords so to speak.

        Truth:

        “A person who is a good and true Christian should realize that truth
        belongs to his Lord, wherever it is found, gathering and acknowledging it even in pagan literature, but rejecting superstitious vanities and deploring and avoiding those who ‘though they knew God did not glorify him as God'”

        I short, all truth is God’s truth, but God is the Truth behind the truth. In much the same way that Pharoah’s heart was hardened by being confronted with the truth of who God was, we still very much live in a Romans 1 reality as it addresses the world. I believe it can be argued that there is an infinite regression in truth that will always lead us back to God. Like a child who can’t stop asking the question why, God is at the heart of truth because he is the ultimate Why.

        • 21stcenturyconfusion

          Bravo!

          Correct me if I am wrong but from rereading all of the comments, it appears we agree so closely the we seem to be paraphrasing one another.

          Just to be certain we comprehend one another completely, I want to better clarify my statement about the tone of the comments. I have no problem in a response to an individual relating to their input. What I was pointing out, more to myself than you, was my “shop talk” was showing: meaning I had promised myself not to indulge in academic language in order to preserve the tone of the popular expressional methodology being utilized. I hope that might clarify my statement in the earlier post if it wasn’t clear.

          I like your definition of truth in that truth can only come from God; whereas, anything else is of the world and not to be trusted. In other words, truth can be found in nature, seculat works (example – psychological research), and philosophy. The key is to evaluate in order to carefully determine if the alleged truth lines up with God’s word: the standard that truth is measured by to eliminate subjective reasoning. I think mature discernment is key.

          Blessings!

          PS: on my iPhone so typos may be present above. 🙂