Who decides?

I still occasionally get some foaming-at-the-mouth comments surrounding my posts about Oprah and Ekhardt Tolle. Since I said that I won’t publish these comments, I have refrained from doing so, since they add nothing to what has already been said and addressed here.

The one comment made by Oprah, and echoed by many others in speeches and even from the pulpit in some cases, which still amazes me, is this: “There is more than one way to God.”

Who says?

I guess those that make the comment do so in the name of tolerance and correctness, not wishing to offend others. And while that is a noble thought, the comment itself is, well, simply wrong. It is either a straight lie, or a completely meaningless statement.

Why do I say so? To start with, exactly which “god” is being referred to here? There is no generic “god”, no, not even the pantheistic man-made god of Tolle. There are many other gods, as described in many faiths across the world, but each of them differ, and the way to gain favor with them differs too. Even Tolle’s “god” has a different way, some sort of exclusive way to get to it.

Secondly, what are the ways? It mostly revolves around earning some kind of reward from the god. Except in Christianity, and maybe not in the case of Tolle’s god, where there seems to be no reward to be earned in future anyway. But are all these ways the same? No, they are clearly not, and it is simply ignorant to claim that they are equally valid without destroying the basic tenets of that particular faith.

We mostly hear this statement in the context of the Christian God, and that is nothing but crude blasphemy. One may argue that the Christian God is not the one true God, but that is another topic altogether, and has no influence on testing the validity of this statement. Because if one assumes that the Christian God exists, but that the ways to Him are wide and varying, that is a gross insult to God. It dilutes, nay, destroys the necessity of Jesus incarnation and redemption.

Why? Because He Himself revealed the way to God:

Joh 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Act 4:11  This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. Act 4:12  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Rom 10:8  But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
Rom 10:9  because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

1Jn 5:11  And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
1Jn 5:13  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

All of these passages demonstrate the exclusive claims of Christ as the only mediator between man and God. The only one. In John 14:6 that is Christ Himself speaking, the Son of God. And He states that He is the way to God. The only way. There is no other way. And He continues to say that He is the truth, not that He tells the truth. The truth here is that which is conformed to reality, and is perfect and complete. And He is life, the fulfillment of the Father’s purpose. And He confirms that no-one can get to the Father except through Him. Not through some other diety or man-made religion, but only through Him.

So what then do we have to do to be saved, and be with the Father? Rom 10 makes it clear, even more so than the famous words of John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”). We must confess Jesus as Lord (and not ourselves as a god), and believe in His victory over death. That victory which is ours by virtue of our belief in it. Our conviction of it. Our acceptance of it as the truth.

And then, from 1 John, we will know that we have life. Then we can be sure, when we believe through the grace given to us by God. When we believe in the Son, then we have the Father. We have found the way. And this is starkly confirmed in Ephesians: Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  ph 2:9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. And here we see the difference, that the way is not because of something that we did, or earned, or worked towards, but as a gift from God.

And that is much different than all the other ways, is it not? Our way to God is not from us, but is given to us by God. And that is what He clearly tells us.

So who are we then to decide that He is wrong? That this gift of His is to be declined in favor of tolerance and correctness? No thanks God, we say, we don’t want this gift, we’d rather please those who claim that they have another way to get to you, even though You tell us there is no other way, and could not have made it easier for us to get to You. Instead of crying out to You and gratefully accepting Your gift when You answer our prayers, we are going to say that it does not matter what You say.

Who decides that God is wrong? And on what basis? It can only be human weakness and sin that wants to make God into a liar. There is only one way to God, and that is the way that He tells us. He decided on that way, not me, not the pastors and theologians or the faithful, but God alone.

Quit believing the lies and cry out to God for His free gift. Accept it with humility and faith when the Spirit empowers you, and live for Him. That is the way.


2 responses to “Who decides?

  1. Dear John.

    I have been a Christian my whole life and have recently found myself faithless. I just see so many bad things happening around me. Bad things that are happening to good people. I don’t see the point of hoping anymore. I feel as though my prayers are falling on deaf ears.

    In connection with your piece, i’ve seen the way all these influential people make all these claims about th way. Yet it all seems so cliche’d when they don’t live it. It’s so hypocritical.

  2. Kay, thanks for the note. I know how hard it is to sustain one’s faith.

    God does not promise us peace on earth. We unfortunately live in a sinful world where bad things do happen, and where evil sometimes triumphs over good. While we may pray to be unaffected by the evil that pervades our world, it is inevitable that it will touch us in one way or another. Rest assured that God works all things according to His plan.

    The hope in our faith is not for or in this world, it is for the life with God hereafter. I know that it does not make it easier to see or experience the worst of the world around us, but at least we live in the knowledge that it is only temporary, and that we will one day be away from it all, in real peace and eternal love with our King.

    Ground your faith in the hope that is Christ eternal for your soul eternal, and not in the evil that rules this present world.

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