Recently during one of those peacefully romantic moments of marital contentedness, while enjoying a glass of Old Tawny Port/Late Harvest Riesling before dinner, a romantic song from the old musical Show Boat captured my mind. You know the one?
"Why do I love you
Why do you love me?
Why should there be two
Happy as we?
Can you see
The why or wherefore
I should be
The one you care for?"
Yes indeed. Why?
Young children plague their parents with the word, and as we with children have found out, an impatient "Y's a crooked letter and Z's no better!" does little to satisfy their curiosity. This stiffling of curiosity, this dampening of inquiry and the discouragement of the search for knowledge and answers is surely anathema to humankind's use of God's gift of rational thinking. And why should this happen?
Recently my lifelong friend, Jock, and I were talking over a single malt after twenty holes of indifferent golf. No, not why the out-of-bounds creek accentuated my slice on one hole but my hook on the next. Nor why his approach shots did the exact opposite. No, our topic was religion and we were discussing why Christianity can claim to be the one and only true interpretation of God's relationship with humankind. We, as Christians, see Christianity as something special, unique, the Truth. We are, as Peter writes to those early Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor, a chosen people.
"But you are a chosen race, the King's priests, the holy nation, God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).
Why us? Why me?
Isn't it just a little bit arrogant, somewhat inconsiderate of others, bafflng, that we should reject the beliefs of others who are just as passionate about the correctness of their beliefs as we are? It is no wonder that this self-claimed superiority of Christianity has been rejected by others - individuals as well as other major religions.
As Christians we reject the others' claim of divine revelation. Why do we do this? The main reason seems to be that we are told to do so by our Pastors, Priests, religious leaders and theologians. We are told to accept our Bible as divine truth and reject all other holy books as contrary to the Word of God (our Bible). When looking around the world and seeing the sincere spiritual life of untold millions of members of other religions one has to ask "Why?" Why only us?