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Winning Essay - Spring 2009 Article Writing Competition 


Author's Introduction

In recent years it has been difficult to find organizations that represent Orthodox Christianity in an uncompromising way...even more so, on the internet.  The StandForGod.Org website offers clear statements of belief that resonate with me and I am sure with many other Christians who are trying to pursue a better, more effective witness for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in a culture that is so deeply confused.  God has been working in my life to strengthen my convictions with focus, clear thinking and compelling strategies for engaging my culture here in Boston, Massachusetts.  It's encouraging to see that there are like-minded followers of Christ who are also pursuing these same ideals in Canada.

I wrote this essay to clarify that the Christian Worldview is not a collection of personal preferences, but is a divinely prescribed, comprehensive set of precepts and guidance; perfectly formulated by a loving God.





Aaron Andrade


My wife and I don't generally watch very much television. But there are two shows that we have been watching pretty regularly - one is HOUSE HUNTERS and the other is called HOUSE M.D.

HOUSE HUNTERS is a great show for soon-to-be home buyers. It's also great for nosy people (which we both are). Viewers get to peak inside people's houses and discover their tastes as they go out shopping for a new one. The Episodes revolve around the shortcomings of their current house, and the great features of three new houses that could potentially fit the bill.

It's fun to watch the couple as they tour the potential homes. Usually they will make several comments that reveal their preferences about such things as - kitchens, bathrooms, and closets. They will also reveal what type of style they like - "contemporary" or "country". So then, after three in-depth tours and a suspenseful commercial break, they finally reveal the chosen house. Most of the time, regardless of any small clues, it is difficult to guess which house will be the winner...but we try anyway.

The other show that we watch is HOUSE M.D., which is also a great show. It gives a captivating glimpse into the mind of Dr. House and his team, as they diagnose people's medical conditions. Each episode revolves around one specific question...why is this patient sick? During the show, Dr. House and his team of doctors proceed to comb the body of evidence (pun intended) to determine exactly what is wrong with the patient.

The show is an hour long - so as you can imagine, they use all sorts of creative approaches aimed at finding the perfect diagnosis and this is what makes the show so fascinating. Though we (the viewers), don't know much about the actual medical conditions that are discussed, we can appreciate and enjoy watching the doctors analyzing, testing and applying their knowledge as they carefully work toward a final verdict. Only after every option has been exhausted and all of the evidence has been weighed (usually in the last five minutes of the show) do we discover what the true illness is.


Observing the characters as they struggle for a solution to their problems is what makes both of these shows so entertaining. They both deal with a problem (sickness/crappy house) that needs a solution (cure/new house) and the fun part is finding the solution - which is done in two very different ways.

In HOUSE HUNTERS the main characters are looking for a solution in a subjective kind of way. They need a new home that suits their needs. Their problem is subjective - in that - it is particular only to them, and so their solution is also subjective. The right house for them depends entirely on what works for them - subjectively.

(DR.) HOUSE however, is hunting for a solution using a different approach. The problems facing his patients are objective ones and so the solutions must be objective. It doesn't matter who they are, there is only one proper diagnosis based on the symptoms. And so, the right medical treatment for them depends entirely on what has proven to work for everyone - objectively.

So, the kinds of solutions that they are looking for depend very much on the type of problem that they are dealing with. If it is a subjective problem, like a new house, then the solution is simply a matter of personal tastes and preferences; but, if it is an objective problem, like diabetes, then the solution has nothing to do with preferences - it has to do with a universal treatment (insulin) that works for everyone who has the disease.


Admittedly, this idea, that problems can be seen as either objective or subjective, is not a novel concept, but it is often overlooked. Let me give you an a Christian I believe in the existence of God and in His son Jesus Christ. Based on the rich historical evidence for His life, death and resurrection, I think it is reasonable to trust His claims to deity and the truth of His message. So when someone asks me about my beliefs I share with them the Christian message. Jesus taught that we are all sinners deserving of death and that He is the only way to eternal life - for everyone. In other words, every human being has the same problem and the solution to that problem is Jesus.

But, often times, when Jesus is described as the only solution, many people are deeply offended. Words like "fundamentalist", "judgmental", "dogmatic" and "closed-minded" are used as trendy ammunition for eliminating this "arrogant" message. However, these challenges miss the mark based on a simple misunderstanding.

This widespread misunderstanding is due in large part to a culture in which issues of morality and religion are normally seen as subjective. People envision themselves on an episode of HOUSE HUNTERS. Searching for answers to the big questions, they go out for a private tour of the beautiful and lavish Buddhism house. On their next stop, they preview the Jewish house in all its splendor. Last but not least, they arrive at what appears to be the Christian house.  But, just as they are about to enter the house they notice a sign placed on the front door that reads:

"We really don't care what your preferences are - unless you move into our house, you are going to hell!"

Well if this is the Christian message, it's no wonder people are offended. All they're looking for is a house that fits their needs...a religion that caters to their own personal preferences.  It's arrogant to say that their preferences don't matter...isn't it?

Maybe not.  Understanding the real Christian message requires a different approach, where the focus shifts from preference to prescription.

Rather than viewing Christianity as just another interesting destination on our HOUSE HUNTERS - "Favorite Religions" tour, it needs to be viewed in an entirely different environment - like the Emergency Room on an episode of HOUSE M.D.  The real Christian message says that we've all contracted the same disease and we all need the same prescription - regardless of our preferences!  When we stop and consider the severity of our symptoms...the evil that we are capable of - our personal preferences become irrelevant and all that matters is finding the cure.  This is what Jesus meant when He said:

"Whoever loses his life for My sake, will find it."  (Matthew: 10:39)

In a culture flooded with individualized, customized and personalized solutions, the true Christian message is far from popular, but is it arrogant and judgmental?  I think not.  In its proper context the Christian message should not be seen as an arrogant and judgmental message toward certain people; but a message of hope for all people.

Perhaps you disagree with this message.  That's OK, many people do.  But, let's make sure we get the message right:

Christianity was never intended to be a preference,

It was meant to be a prescription.