Ancestral Religion v. Marketplace of Ideas

On the one hand, some people wanting a religion to practise (or else just affiliate with) go with what their ancestors have done; on the other hand, some go with what appeals to them, with no regard for historical connexion. Many Christians today are likely to think the latter is better, but I disagree. It’s natural to start with the deity worshipped by your ancestors and try to understand that thoroughly first. I have less respect for people who judge all religions on an æqual footing, trying to choose as if religious belief is a ‘marketplace of ideas’. After all, the instinct that your ancestors were probably right about something in religion is a pious one. It’s just that, when the word of God himself comes to you, you must kowtow, because he is the God who made and sustains this whole world, not a god of some but the one God.

This is true even of someone from an Islamic or Hindu or Sikh background: rather than treating all religions as æqual and starting from nowhere, he must start from somewhere, and humanly that somewhere is whatever religious tradition his family and his nation already have. When the ray of God’s word pierces into the darkness, then either he will love the light and discard what’s wrong in his religious tradition, or he will hate the light and set himself against the gospel, to his own destruction. But a person purporting to judge religions out of nowhere, even if he does outwardly become a Christian, will have much difficulty in the Christian life because of his impiety toward his parents and his forefathers. Indeed, such a convert may make shipwreck of his faith and show himself to be reprobate and destined for hellfire. But if God has chosen him to be saved, the word of God is enough, and encouraging him to pose in a false neutrality will tend toward impiety rather than genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

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