Before I begin, please remember that today is Veterans Day. A friend asked me to write a reminder because it is so easy to take the brave for granted. These men and women who are serving our country deserve our thanks and a great deal of gratitude. Many have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today, and we ought to respect all that they have done for us in the past, present and future. If you see a veteran today, be sure to thank them. In fact, if you see a veteran tomorrow, thank them as well. Let's support our troops everyday.
Returning to Christian idealism, you also might be wondering why I can trust my own ideals anyway. After all, let’s take a popular objection to the Christian faith in our world today. How can you be sure that God is the one true God? How do you know that you are following the right one? At the base of this objection is a question of my ability to perceive that which is true and good. If you were able to trust me entirely that I knew what was right and good, then this objection would not be an objection at all.
The problem is that you know me, and you know that I am not perfect. You know I have been wrong on certain things in the past. Therefore, you cannot have perfect trust in my judgment. As a result, you question my ability to discern which God is the one true God.
I need to therefore convince you that I have good reason for believing that following Jesus Christ is the narrow path that leads to salvation. That is where the entire exercise and discipline of apologetics comes into play. By presenting evidence, you don’t need to rely on my judgment; you can use your own reason which presumably you trust more than mine and work through the process yourself.
This applies to our discussion of Christian idealism as well. My ideals are undoubtedly influenced by my Christian worldview. As a practical example, I do believe that people were created with a free will and therefore our governmental policies ought to protect our individual economic freedom. Therefore, even if nobody else wants to fight with me, I’m going to fight for that principle that allows us to live in a way that is consistent with the way we are created.
You might not agree with me. You might not trust that my ideal is accurate and somehow my understanding of our economy is faulty. You know that I am not always capable of perfection and therefore believe that this is one of those times where I actually should not trust my own ideals.
However, should the possibility that I might be wrong prevent me from standing up for the ideals that I sincerely believe in?
Absolutely not. If I do that because I think you might be right about me being wrong, then I have elevated your skepticism to the level of infallibility. As much as I might be wrong, you might be wrong about me being wrong. Therefore, I certainly shouldn’t just cave-in because I might be wrong.
If I have done my homework and come to a reasonable conclusion that seems to correspond with the way the world really is, then there is no reason that I should shy away from sharing that. If we are all really after truth, then I actually have an obligation to share truth if and when I find it.
Is it possible that I might be mistaken at times and need to revise my position? Certainly. I would never pretend to be perfect. However, the imperfection certainly does not eliminate my ability to find truth; it reminds me of my need to be humble.