Uncertainty

Hi MRFF, I am a follower of Christ. But please don’t let that stop you from reading on. I’m not quite sure who this is going to but I hoped I have not reached this email in error. I wanted to commend you in your efforts for the cause you believe deeply in and your passion for your convictions. Let me be clear when I say I don’t agree with your ideology, but admire you for your outspoken courage. Let me get right down to the point. 12 years ago I wrestled with the question concerning what will happen to me after I died. I’ve always assumed that I will die of old age, but I really don’t know for sure. Anyway, I found that uncertainty of death a little unsettling. I’ve watched my grandfather slowly die of cancer on my moms side, and my uncle died from cancer on my dads side, he was in his 40s. I too will pass away maybe from old age, or disease, or however. I do know I won’t live forever, which is exactly the point I’m trying to make. Nobody does. It’s a scary thing to gamble on, the afterlife. What if there was a chance that Christianity is true? What if God really did walk this earth and died as a sacrifice to save you and I from sin and death? What if He is coming back to judge each person according to their deeds?

What would you risk if you read the New Testament? And I don’t mean a verse here or there, but in large chunks. I guess my thought is, if Christianity is just a false religion then no harm no foul…I’ve wasted some time I probably won’t get back. But if Christianity is true…

I’ll leave you with a C.S Lewis quote

“Christianity is either of infinite importance or of no importance…one thing it cannot be is moderately important”

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us, and thank you very much for your commendations. We do appreciate it.

It seems, based on the content of your e-mail, that you have a misconception about the MRFF being against Christianity. That is not the case at all. We embrace our Christian compatriots and many of our staff are Christians. In fact, 96% of our clients are Christians who have come to us because their chain of command has harassed them for being either the wrong type of Christian, or not Christian enough. We defend the rights of service members to practice the religion of their choice.

To answer the direct questions you’ve asked is a philosophical venture, something that the MRFF is not in the business of doing in any official capacity. As it so happens though, I am well equipped to answer them personally. To be very clear, what follows is NOT in any way representative of the MRFF, but is just my personal response to your personal philosophical questions.

You’ve posed a common argument known as Pascal’s Wager. Basically saying we should all hedge our bets and be Christian to avoid going to hell. The problem of that argument is that it assumes a dichotomy, and this is certainly a false dichotomy. What evidence is there to suggest that of all of the world’s religions, the only one with a possibility of being true is Christianity? Christianity has no evidence to support its truth claims which exceed that of other religions. So here we have to enter into the equation every other sect of every other religion ever observed by mankind. For an approximate visual representation of what the decision matrix actually looks like, follow this link: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8NdaLJYgUIs/UEzOZj0N9jI/AAAAAAAABPs/jO2Lxk-rS0M/s1600/expanded.png

As you can see, the conclusion that choosing Christianity as a preferred religion out of fear of Christian hell is the statistical equivalent of placing all your chips on 42 before spinning the roulette wheel, knowing the ball also has a chance of landing on 24. There are FAR more potential outcomes which make this argument relatively insignificant in deciding which religion to follow. This is why the threat of hell fire has never caused me any distress in my personal decision to be a Secular Humanist, and is also why I choose to defend the rights of people who follow Islam, Wicca, Judaism or any other religion. The odds don’t really make a difference. It’s my view that the way we live our lives and treat our fellow humans is of much greater importance than what creed we follow. I also believe that if there is a god and I have not learned his name, he/she/it will judge me on my decency or lack thereof or is an unjust god that I would not wish to worship anyway.

Again, this is just my personal train of thought, and not a message from the MRFF in any official capacity.

Cheers,

Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of West Point Affairs

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