Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Exclusivity of the Faith

Those of us who are Christians are beginning, more and more,
to experience the same kind of Hatred to the fundamental
message of our Faith that our Founder did:

Jesus Himself claimed, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;
no man comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6),
and again, "...he that has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

And His disciples knew immediately, after Jesus ascended to
heaven, the central theme of their calling: "...there is no other name
under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

The Jewish leadership of Jesus' time, and the civil leadership under
which most of the Church has lived for the last 2000 years, HATED
what our World today HATES MOST about Christianity:
The Exclusivity of the message.

Jesus' Jewish contemporaries snorted with indignation as the son
(rumored to be illegitimate) of a poor carpenter, from regions outside
of Jerusalem, rose in that city and claimed to be GOD, and to be
the Only Way of Salvation for all men.

At Pentecost and beyond, many ofthe earliest members of the Church
were routinely persecuted and even murdered (some in the most
gruesome fashion) for expressing the same kind of "Intolerance".

And there is nothing that the World of today HATES more about the
Christian faith than this same position of Exclusivity. "Who are you
to say that Jesus is the 'only' way to God?" they demand. "We all
must find our OWN 'truth' " they say, "there IS no 'One Way' "...

It does no good to share Bible verses with someone repulsed by
The Message. Indeed, Our Lord Himself was abused, beaten, tortured,
and finally brutally murdered for insisting He was the ONLY Way to God.

It is only in the power of the Ressurection that Jesus' claim as the
Only Way comes raging back as indeed THE TRUTH. Not only is the
literal Ressurection of Christ a matter of historical record (and how many
other "ways" to God feature their Founder rising from the dead???),
but it is still relevant in the experience of every single Sinner who
comes to the point of accepting Jesus:

The Bible says we were all "dead" in our sins until we were "raised"
to New Life in Jesus Christ: SALVATION! And not just TO God, but
also FROM OURSELVES (and from our "own truth").

Until a person realizes just how desparately they need fixing, there
is no point in discussing broken-ness. You don't often find a person recoiling
against the singularity of Jesus' message AFTER they've laid down their
weapons and have come to understand just how deep and how profound
their Sinfulness is; no, those reactions come only from a mindset that believes,
deeply, that there are many "ways" to God, and that any one of us can
pick-and-choose what "our way" should be...

Osama bin Laden shares this belief: He and his terrorist cohorts sincerely
believe that God is inspiring their murderous hearts, and that their networks
of Evil are God's tools to carry out His will. They each believe they will be rewarded
in Heaven with any of a number of things (7 virgins, etc.).

We may very well be entering a period in human history where Western Civilisation
begins experiencing the kinds of persecution of Christians that has gone on in
Eastern countries for hundreds and hundreds of years. The fuel of that HATRED
will stem from our refusal to temper the central theme of our Faith:

Jesus Christ -- God, born of a virgin, lived the first and only sinless life, was murdered
and yet rose again, and whose Blood satisfies God's righteous requirements -- is in fact
the ONLY way back TO God. All other ground is sinking sand...

1 comment:

William said...

Greg, I think a lot about the marginalization of biblical Christianity and what that means for the future. It scares me for my daughter and for freedom in general.

The question for me is what is the right way to combat it. Many Christians I know seem to shy away from the culture wars in order not to appear too political or maybe they are on board with the economic assumptions of liberalism. I not sure what their hesitation is - but I used to be quite a liberine before I became a Christian and spent most of my life around "progressives". I know exactly what they are up to and appeasing them will only make them bolder.