For many people today the ethical and moral teachings of Christianity are thought to be the enemy of freedom. On an individual level they appear to limit personal growth and constrain the freedom to choose our own beliefs and practices.
On a social level they undermine and threaten the fabric of a truly democratic society. Critics argue true freedom is freedom to create our own meaning and purpose in life. Implicit in this view is a very important question, “Is belief in absolute truth the enemy of true freedom, whether personal, cultural or political?” In other words, does belief in absolute truth necessarily undermine true freedom? Or to put it the other way around, does the belief that true freedom is self-determined necessarily preserve and promote true freedom?
Consider the following example. “Some people say, ‘Every person or culture has to define right and wrong for themselves.’ But if you ask them, ‘Is there anyone in the world right now doing things you believe they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behavior?’—they would invariably say, ‘Yes, of course.’ Then the question arises, ‘Doesn’t that mean that you do believe there is some kind of moral reality that is not defined by us, that must be abided by regardless of what a person feels or thinks?’” (Tim Keller, Reason For God, p. 47)
Why are conversations like this important? They have a direct bearing on how we get on with people who hold to different beliefs and practices. Whether you remain convinced or unconvinced of the truth of Christianity, you will hold your position with greater clarity and humility having spent time discussing it with others.
Join the conversation Tuesday, March 4 from 6 to 7 PM at the Black Sheep Pub (just north of Tenth Church on 17th Street). What you can expect? There will be a brief introduction to the topic of the evening followed by open-ended questions and conversation, led by Rev. Will Spokes, Minister of Outreach, at Tenth Presbyterian Church.
© 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Will Spokes. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org