How Many Ways To God?
Charles J. Aebi
As you read this article, remember that Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Also, remember that the Father is Jehovah, the only one true and living God; all other gods are useless idols.
In an article titled, “How Many Ways to God?” on the editorial page of the May 20, 2010, Parkersburg News, columnist Kathleen Parker says that God does not play favorites with His creation, so there are “different routes to the same destination,” meaning different ways to God and heaven. Among the points she makes are these:
(1) It was right for President Obama not to allow Franklin Graham to lead a prayer for the U.S. military at the Pentagon at this year’s Thursday National Day of Prayer because he had said that Muslims and Hindus did not pray to the same God he does and that Islam is evil. She means that God by any other name (Allah, Rama, etc.) is the same person, which is to say that all gods are “God.”
(2) Younger Christians, she says, reject the idea that one can go to heaven only via Jesus. She wrote that a survey by professors at Notre Dame and Harvard shows that “Nearly two-thirds of evangelicals under 35 believe non-Christians can go to heaven.” (“Evangelicals” usually means conservative Protestants.)
(3) She says that no one really knows whose prayers carry more weight in the heavenly realm. She is obviously unaware of John 14:6; 16:23.
(4) “New brain research supports the likelihood that one man’s prayer is as good as any other’s.” The brain research she refers to is how brain waves register on machines hooked up to people of various religions while they are praying, be they Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Protestants, or Catholics. All this research proves is that people of various religions think their prayers are effective; it measures their thoughts, not God’s.
The New Testament, not an EEG, tells us how to pray, to Whom we can pray, and through Whom we can pray. Read John 14:6 again. Jesus also said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you” (John 16:23). We pray to the Living God [all others are dead, never having lived] through His Son Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:16), who is the only way to God. One can be saved only in the name of Jesus —there is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12).
It is common for liberal theologians and the world in general to agree with Parker on these points. Except for atheists, most believe that religion is psychologically good, regardless of what god one worships or how it is done, as long as it serves humanitarian purposes. This is the true meaning of “social gospel,” and some who believe in it do not expect to go to heaven in a real sense, while others satisfy themselves with the notion of universal salvation.
The vast majority say one way is as good as another as long as one is sincere, but Jesus did not think that, nor did any of the apostles. They all knew that the way of Christ, crucified, is the only way anyone can come to God. “But that’s narrow,” one complains. Yes, it is. Jesus said, “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14). There is one God–the Father, not Allah, not Vishnu (Ephesians 4:6). There is “one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”–not Muhammed, not Buddha (1 Timothy 2:5). There is one Way, the way of Christ in the New Testament. To teach otherwise is to give people false hope and cause them to miss the true way to God and heaven. –2660 Layman Rd., Vincent OH 45784. email@example.com
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