Monday, August 17, 2009

In a State of Irritation

I suppose that in my previous posts I have been a bit vague about who I am, my interests, and so forth. Today you will learn a bit more about me through the venting of one of my recent frustrations. Yay.

Last summer I dated an Indian man who, while growing up in a Hindu culture, considers himself more of a "spiritualist". I, on the other hand, am a Christian, and I typically hold to Baptist doctrine. We have remained very good friends, and do get together every so often and occasionally get into deep conversations.

A recent phone conversation took place where my friend, whom we will call Mr. S, was raving about an Art of Living workshop that he attended locally. He told me of the church that held this inter-faith conference and how there were images all over the church of symbols from various religions. Mr.S thought that it was wonderful how the church embraced other religions and that it showed how Christians ought to act: be open to other religions and accept that our beliefs may be different, but equal.

Evidently, Mr. S had not been in a Christian church. He said that it was Unitarian or Universalist or something. Either way, if that is what the church held to, then it directly contradicted the Bible. John 14:6 quotes Jesus as saying "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This does, of course make sense when considering the cross. Why would God send His son down to earth, and then have Jesus die an excruciating and torturous death in order to take away the sins of all humanity, if it really did not matter what path you followed?

"Ehh, I sent my beloved son to be an atoning sacrifice for everyone, but y'know...whatever. Do what you want and be happy. Peace, man." Sorry, couldn't help adding the last part.

Anyway, that conversation truly frustrated me, especially since Mr. S seemed to think that he better understood my faith than I did. Jesus was not trying to be inclusive with his teachings. He didn't try to water down his message for mass appeal. What he spoke of was exclusive. You follow him or you don't. He offered himself up to die for the forgiveness of sins. The choice was, and still is, for every individual to make.

This post is not meant to bash my friend, or even beliefs that differ with mine. I do, however, want to make it clear that churches who believe that there are multiple ways to Heaven and to God are not following the Bible.

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