“Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6 (Amplified)
I “follow” a page on Facebook about what refers to itself as “progressive christianity” (and I refuse to use capital letters there). Recently it posted that we should consider that this year (2015) the celebration of the birth of Mohammed falls on Christmas Day and the significance of this.
Anyone who’s followed my writing knows I struggle with finding a definition of my own Faith. Given the teachings of the “progressive” movement I increasingly find myself drawn to “Regressive” as a description. I want to return to the Christianity taught by Paul, by Peter, the beliefs that Stephen was martyred for within five years of Jesus’s Resurrection.
“I am astonished and extremely irritated that you are so quickly shifting your allegiance and deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different [even contrary] gospel; which is really not another [gospel]; but there are [obviously] <sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-AMP-29065b" data-link="[b]”>some [people masquerading as teachers] who are disturbing and confusing you [with a misleading, counterfeit teaching] and want to distort the gospel of Christ [twisting it into something which it absolutely is not]. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we [originally] preached to you, let him be condemned to destruction! As we have said before, so I now say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from that which you received [from us], let him be condemned to destruction!” Galatians 1:6-10 (Amplified)
“A different gospel” is certainly what is being taught. The Gnostics of Paul’s day considered all religions leading to the same destination and he condemns them for it. Pantheistic and Panantheistic teachings have been decried as heresy since before the council in Nicea, yet these teachings are being put forward again now.
The answer is simple. They are “Politically Correct”.
I was horrified to hear that under British Law a TV program was banned from being broadcast on a UK based Christian TV channel for saying “Jesus is the only way to God” instead of “The Bible says Jesus is the only way to God”.
Limits get placed on free speech if it comes from Christians and often uses the words of Jesus when quoted by Christians to indicate so-called “hate” speech. Granted there are a few people out there who try to pass themselves off as Christians and spout nothing but hate from their podium, but thankfully they are a minority – albeit a vocal one.
To define Jesus as being the Only way to Life and a relationship with God isn’t hate speech. To seek to draw people to the Cross so they can join us as our co-heirs with Christ in Eternal Life is not a form of entrapment, it’s Freedom in it’s purest sense.
I have very little time for traditional “conservative” christianity as it is portrayed today, particularly the way it has been hijacked by some political candidates. They use the Bible as a rod with which to beat down anyone who disagrees with them, when Jesus intended His words to be a Key to relaease them from their chains.
It’s not politically correct to say Jesus is the only way to God.
But if we read the Gospels, very little of what Jesus said would have been deemed politically correct by the Romans or the Jewish Sanhedrin of the First Century. Certainly the Pharisees and Sadducees were offended by Him. Their power was threatened by the Truth.
Today we see the same thing. Those with power – especially political power – either deny Truth altogether or twist the words into a hammer. In places where other religions hold power we see bans on Christianity and prison terms for those who stand against them. Brunei, Somalia, North Korea and China to name just a few have tried this tactic. But look at the Book of Acts in the New Testament and what happened during the first 250-300 years AD. That same kind of muzzle resulted in the fastest growth spurt Christianity has ever had!
So let the World say what they will. We are called to remember Christ as our centre and our Life. That’s what being a Christian is about after all. Put Him at the centre of our hearts to live His way and refuse other false teachings.
This Christmas remember those who have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith through the centuries and who continue to be today.
And remember why as well.
The World, and the one it still gives itself over to fear nothing more than the rise of Christianity and the recognition by all people of one simple Truth.
Jesus, nestled in a manger to hanging on a Cross to walking out of the tomb gives us the Only way to God.