Unless you have lived in a cave or otherwise have no access to any type of media, you are aware of Brit Hume’s comments to Tiger Woods that he ought to turn to Christianity since it offers the the forgiveness and redemption he needs for his transgressions. Naturally, the comment sparked a firestorm, particularly from non-Christians who deemed the comment offensive to other religions and came across as arrogant, superior and narrow minded. As a follower of Christ, the backlash should not surprise me, although I was reluctant to write this for that reason.
However, the more I think about what Hume stated, the more I objectively have to avow his statement concerning what Christianity offers. I am not taking a position on the appropriateness of the comment on secular television, although I do applaud his courage. But the fact is that there are unique claims to Christianity that no other belief system offers and to state those claims is simply demonstrating truth in advertising. It is not superior, just factual.
The fact of Christianity is that God the Son, who always existed as God, became human but was fully God and fully man. He came specifically to make reparations through death by taking upon himself the guilt and condemnation that is imposed upon each individual. His resurrection seals that transaction and provides eternal life for those who would place their faith in what he has done. His payment for sin relieves the believer of their requirement to be judged before God for it. It is a free gift, offered to those who would accept it. It’s not something we work for, our attain to higher levels or empty ourselves to get. That is the claim of Christianity with features that are unique to it. So to say, there is something that is not offered in another belief system is truthful. What other belief system offers forgiveness of sin based on God himself coming down from heaven to take the payment upon himself so that the one who believes will be absolved of the guilt, without any work on their part? There isn’t.
We do this all the time with consumer products. We would not hesitate to advertise a unique deal. It would be like Consumer A saying they know of a market where you can get product X for $10 and Consumer B indicating that the same product can be purchased for $5. But if Consumer C says, they know of a place that is giving the product away and all one has to do is got there to get it. Would not the Consumer C offer something, the others don’t? That is truth in advertising. Now Consumers A and B may not believe Consumer C, but that does not diminish the fact that Consumer C claims to offer something the others don’t.
So were Hume’s comments denigrating to Buddhism? Or was he simply just stating the factual and unique claim of Christianity? Moreover, perhaps it should give the believers in Christ incentive to readily and willingly advertise Christianity’s unique claim.