I've been thinking lately about starting my own religion. It goes something like this. The tooth fairy is real. I know we have all been told that the tooth fairy is actually our parents, but that is exactly what the tooth fairy wants us to believe. What actually happened when our parents put money under our pillows was the tooth fairy invaded our parents minds and bodies and gave us the money substitutionally through them. Both parents and their children have been unaware of the presence of the tooth fairy for all these years, but the tooth fairy is now wanting all people to know the truth.
Any volunteers for this new religion? I didn't think so. I remember when I used to work at Steak N Shake a coworker, who was a Wiccan, told me that she believed that everyone should have the right to believe what they want to believe. I remember thinking to myself-sure I should have the right to believe that the moon is made of cheeze, but that doesn't make it so. But in our brave new postmodern society, religious truth is viewed as something that autonomous individuals determine, not as an objective reality. As author Dan Scott points out in his book The Emerging American Church, the autonomous self is the new American religion.
The problem with the doctrine of the autonomous self is this. On what authority can I claim that the tooth fairy is real or that the moon is made of cheeze? Is this something that has been revealed to me? Does my believing it make it so? When it comes down to it, all propositions are either true or false based on their conformity to objective reality. This is equally true with religious inquiries as it is with scientific inquiries. Most people view science as objective and religion as subjective. I question this premise. If anything, religion is more objective because science can only tell us how nature behaves, not what nature is.
The strength of the Christian faith is that it makes claims that are either true or false based on historical events. Either Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead or He didn't. I believe He did and have good reasons to do so based on the historical evidence. And because I believe this, I have sufficient authority to claim that the hope of eternal life that Jesus came to give is objectively true. It sure beats believing in the tooth fairy.