Religious language is confessional: Rhetorical analysis on Christian faith
Is Christianity true?
Christians testify that Jesus is the Lord and that salvation of humanity is granted by God when humans accept Jesus as their savior. Is this true? I say, "Of course, it's true if you're a Christian."
The nature of religious language is confessional. It's never scientific/objective. When St. Paul says that Christ died for the sins of humanity, he was speaking a confessional language. Paul admitted (in the Letter to the Romans) that his efforts to fulfill God's will through obeying the Law failed. He humbly acknowledged that he was not able to save himself through his own efforts. Instead, he accepted God's grace that was demonstrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. His confessions are very moving to anyone who reads his letter to the Romans.
As a non Christian, I TOTALLY respect Paul's confession. I even feel happy for him that he feels that he has been saved. I say, "Congratulations, Paul. I am happy for you that you found salvation in Jesus."
Religious language is essentially a confessional type. It is totally subjective and existential. It the truth for those who confess. Did Jesus die on the cross for the sins of the world? Absolutely, if you're a Christian. I have absolutely no problem with this claim made by Christians.
Islamic faith testifies that there is only One God and that Mohammad is the true and final prophet. Koran is the book that contains the most pure and final revelation of Allah (The God). Is this true? Absolutely, if you're a Muslim. I have absolutely no problem with this claim made by Muslims.
To me, the key to people of different religious faiths getting along well with each other lies in knowing the nature of our language. Let me give you another example. On Valentine's Day, many guys will confess to their lovely wives or girlsfriends: Honey, you're the most beautiful woman in the whole world, and you are the one whom I will pledge my love to forever. If my buddy Tom says that to his lovely girlfriend, Jenny, will I be upset? Maybe I should be very upset because my wife, Mary, is better looking than Jenny??? Of course, I won't be upset. I say, "Tom, I'm happy that you're happy with Jenny."
Scientific, legal, and economic language is entirely different from that of religious/confessional language. Examples: The earth is within the solar system; The sale of an illegal drug is a federal crime; America's GDP is the largest in the world. Are these statements true? Absolutely, and we can demonstrate it. These statements can be verified, and they are true no matter who you talk to.
Conclusion: Religious truth is a subjective truth. It's a truth to live by. It's true for those who embrace it. So, Christians can talk about their beliefs in the comfort of their church as an iron clad, etched in the stone truth. But, if they go outside the comfort of their own church, they really should understand that other folks have their respective truth, too. Trying to convert Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and others will be quite offensive.
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