Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
March 30th, 2003
 

The new Anglican Dean of Sydney, the Very Reverend Phillip Jensen, has been criticised in the secular media for asserting of the unique truth of Christianity. He said "We must stop the stupidity of stretching social tolerance into religious and philosophical relativism." In other words, if you believe you have the truth, proclaim it! Jesus Christ is the Saviour whose demands are absolute and final. “The Australian” newspaper warned, “The Dean needs to be careful that in his enthusiasm for his own cause, he does not give offence to believers as genuine about their different faith.” Christians can never encourage antagonism towards Muslims or Jews but must always “speak the truth in love.” Ephesians 4:15

What really upset the various editorial writers was the Dean saying there is only one way to God and quoting Christ: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." The newspapers reflect the modern attitude where all faiths are equal, all beliefs are acceptable, and the most important attitudes are those that affirm everyone one else. Strangely, the editorial writers do not apply this to Rugby League where enthusiasm and commitment to one team to exclusion of every other team is commended: “That’s my team.”

But they do not want you to claim your religious beliefs as exclusively as your football team preference! Yet if you have a religious tradition that makes absolute and exclusive truth claims, one cannot passionately proclaim such claims without simultaneously offending those with opposing claims. Relativism no more works on the footy field than it does in the world’s great belief systems.

If you understand anything about Jesus, you become passionate and committed. The uniqueness of Jesus does give offence to people in an era where the guardians of political correctness want everyone to be inoffensive, bland, and believing that everyone has an equal validity. The New Testament Christians did not follow that path. Instead they argued, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." Acts 4.