Published January 31, 2012
"Jesus Christ is a liar!"
Who says so?
Sit down for this. According to findings from a Pew Forum survey on Religion and Public Life, 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life. Not just Christianity, but "many" religions. Yes, these are "attenders" of churches categorized as Christian "evangelical" churches!
In so saying, these "evangelical Christians" and I use that term only because those who conducted the survey apparently did fall right in line with 70 percent of Americans who claim some sort of religious affiliation and who believe that way. Not surprisingly, 68 percent said there is more than one way to interpret the teachings of their own religion.
There is nothing absolutely nothing more fundamental to the Christian faith than the belief that Christ is the only way to eternal life. In fact, He said so quite clearly: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). There it is. That's pretty clear. No disambiguation is required. "Except through Me" is about as clear as you can get. No other way. None. Zip. Nada.
But, for the very reason that this truth is so absolutely fundamental to the Christian faith, it is one truth that Satan delights in ridiculing. And he has a great number of accomplices in this.
Oprah Winfrey, who some call one of most powerful and influential women in America, told a television audience, "One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing that there is only one way to live and we don't accept that there are diverse ways... many paths to what you call God... Her path might be something else, and when she gets there she could call it the Light. But her loving and kindness and generosity... If it brings her to the same point that it brings you, it doesn't matter if she called it God along the way or not. How could there possibly be just one way?"
Although surely realizing that she was greatly outnumbered in that studio (humanly speaking), one amazingly brave member of Oprah's studio audience stood up and said, "What about Jesus? There is only one way. And that is through Jesus!"
Oprah derisively and condescendingly shouted back, "There couldn't possibly be just one way!!!"
Now before you accuse me of getting that quote wrong, I assure you I transcribed it myself from a video of this exchange. Unfortunately, Oprah is having a startling impact. Cky Carrigan, an evangelism professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, calls Winfrey the "most influential preacher of New Age ideas," winning "converts every day in staggering numbers, many from Baptist churches."
But she is far from alone among high-profile adherents to this belief. Barak Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times, speaking of this very issue, "I believe there are many paths to the same place..." At another time he told an interviewer that he believes non-Christians who live "moral lives" are just as much "children of God" as he is, citing his late mother, who wasn't a Christian, but he's "sure she's in heaven."
Obama's former pastor of twenty years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was asked by a reporter at the National Press Club about Jesus' statement that "no one comes to the Father but by me." The questioner asked pointedly, "Is Islam another way to heaven?" Wright smugly replied with Jesus' out-of-context words, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold," and refused to be more specific.
Unfortunately, much of this anti-Scriptural nonsense is being spouted from today's pulpits. John Killinger, theologian in residence at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, says Jesus was not necessarily deity and that this belief is a "more advanced" understanding. He said "doctrine is a thing of the past now religiously." And he said he found many preachers dismissing John's accounts of Christ's deity some ignoring the book of John altogether because Christ was "not necessarily the preexistent one that we find in John."
Lord have mercy. Speaking of the end of the age, Jesus said, "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many" (Matthew 24:11). Paul warned the Corinthians that many would claim Christianity for worldly power: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
I absolutely shudder to consider the end these popular misleaders have coming to them. They surely will, as Peter euphemistically put it, "receive the wages of unrighteousness" (2 Peter 2:13).
Jonathan Falwell, who inherited the pulpit of his late father, Jerry Falwell, but who is an impressive preacher in his own right, put it this way: "Jesus asserted that He was the only way to heaven. If we preach or teach otherwise, we are saying that He is as a liar. Further, if we believe that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant Word of God, we must take Jesus at His Word. This is the basis of our faith."
Please don't let anyone you encounter any friend, any family member, anyone you hear on TV or the radio, or even anyone you hear in the pulpit tell you otherwise. Jesus Christ IS the only way.
*This column first appeared here June 24, 2008 but is even more timely today.
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