Vol. 11 No. 10 October 2009
I am including the entire text of a letter to the Editor from Sunday, 4/13/08 on page 3C of the Montgomery Advertiser. I will follow it with my comments.
Faiths Offer Varying Routes
I don’t understand the conflict between the West and the Muslim world. Why must they be antagonistic? Basically, all three are monotheistic, a simple concept. Each believes in a single Supreme Being.
He is over Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca equally. He’s called God here, Jehovah in Jerusalem and Allah in the rest of the Middle East, but that’s just three names for the same entity. It’s like Martin Luther King. He could be called Martin or Luther or Rev. King. The West’s God doesn’t fight with Jehovah or Allah. He isn’t a split personality. The problem is not with the Supreme Being, but with the men who make up the various priesthoods, their egos, their ambitions and their narrow-minded greed. Each church, synagogue and mosque has a different roadmap to the promised land and few, if any, are willing to admit that there are alternate routes, like the different roads from Montgomery to Mobile. ~ Dale Pope, Montgomery
Years ago, I was on a train in India talking to a Hindu man as we travelled in a sleeper car. He said to me, “You talk of heaven, we talk of Nirvana, other religions call it other things. We are all simply trying to go to the same place. You go there by following Jehovah God, Moslems by following Allah, and we do by following a variety of gods, but the end goal is the same. It does not really matter what god you worship to get there.” Actually that Hindu man, and the writer of the above article express a logical follow up to the concept that “one church is as good as another.” They simply extend it to, first of all, three extremely disparate religions (the article writer), then to the concept that all things called religion are of equal value (the Hindu man on the train). What is wrong with these concepts?
First of all, the fact is that Judaism, which was once the religion of the chosen people of God, was designed to prepare the way for Christ and Christianity. It was the “schoolmaster” that brought God’s people to the time when the church was established (Galatians 3:19-29). Modern day Judaism rejects the only source of salvation, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). It is not any longer a link to God because it rejects the message of its own prophets concerning Jesus Christ.
Secondly, Islam denies that Christ is the Son of God in the flesh, holding Him to be simply “a prophet” but inferior to “the” prophet, Mohammed. Note, however, passages such as 1 John 2:22-23: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). To deny Jesus as the Son of God is to remove the only path to God. Islam is not an alternative route to God, but it denies the only path to Him.
In the third place, Jesus is very clear that there are not many alternative routes to God and to heaven. He is clear that there is a broad path that leads to destruction, and a narrow path that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). He also states that “many” will find the path to destruction, and “few” will find the way to life. Christianity, in its pure unadulterated form, is based upon the teachings of the Word of God, and is the only avenue into an eternity of blessings with the one true God.
Finally, there are seven “ones” listed in Ephesians 4 that are the central points of the truth and Christianity. (1) One Body (the church that Jesus died for, bought and over which He is head, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25; 1:22-23); (2) One Spirit (the Holy Spirit); (3) One Hope (found in Jesus Christ); (4) One Lord (Jesus Christ); (5) One Faith (one system of faith, Jude 3); (6) One Baptism (the baptism of the Great Commission, immersion in water for the remission of sins, Act 2:38; 22:16); and (7) One God. To speak of any “church” or any “religion” or any “god” being just as good as another is patently false. On the other hand, if it is said that “one church is as good as another,” then it has to be admitted that one faith (or religion) is as good as another, and ultimately that one god is as good as another. In truth, there are the same number of churches, faiths and Gods that are true and bring us to eternal blessings: one of each. The one God has sent the one true Lord to build His one church in which humanity can be reconciled to the one God (Ephesians 2:16). In the days of Noah there were not many paths to salvation from the flood – only the ark. Now salvation is found only in Jesus Christ, through His body, the church, which will take us safely home to God, if we simply follow His divinely appointed path. No alternate routes to God and eternity exist!
By Mike Benson
A story is told about a man who came face to face with the dangers of worry. Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, “What are you going to do?” “I’m going to take 100 people,” Death replied. “That’s horrible!” the man said. “That’s the way it is,” Death said. “That’s what I do.” The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell, he met Death again. “You told me you were going to take 100 people,” the man said. “Why did 1,000 die?” “I kept my word,” Death responded. “I only took 100 people. Worry took the others.” “An anxious heart weighs a man down” (Proverbs 12:25).