There is an interesting little story in the Book of Genesis chapter 11 in regards to a group of people building a tower in order to reach God; we know this as the Tower of Babel. These people are so enthusiastic about encountering God that they take it upon themselves to build an incredibly tall tower so as to facilitate the meeting. Though it is debatable if they are trying to climb to Heaven themselves, or merely providing a descending staircase for deity to utilize, the point is that they think they can do something to invite the presence God or Heaven.
Isn’t that the way some people think? That God can be reached according to any religious system which they may manufacture. The audacity it must take to think that somebody is going to determine how God, Heaven or salvation is going to be reached, rather than “playing according to His rules” is beyond me. The first major fallacy in that line of thinking is that God can be reached from the bottom up – that we can merely choose which system works best for us, and God will just have to accept that. God made the universe, He is God. He gets to determine how and when we will approach Him. His rules. Continue reading “From the Top Down”
Recently, I came across a work crew who was diligently working on paving a road. What a difference it makes to cover all those imperfections, potholes, and cracks. That started me thinking about the statement, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Well, I for one don’t even know what that means, but I think it is communicating that if you have good intentions but don’t follow through with them, you are going to Hell. I don’t know who got away with telling that sort of whopper, but it cannot be supported in Scripture.
Actually, the road to Hell is paved with sin, all kinds of sin. That means that anything that is not in accordance with God’s Word and Will, is paving the road to Hell. That is because sin is separating us from God, and that road takes us in a completely different direction from God the Father. Jesus speaks of the good road in John 14:6. He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Aha, contrary to the thinking that all roads lead to Heaven, there is only one road that leads to God, and that is the road named Jesus. Continue reading “The Road Less Traveled”
I heard some disturbing news recently involving a survey of “evangelical Christians.” It seems that of 3000 people surveyed, 83% responded that the “way” to “make it” to Heaven was by being good, by doing good works. And another 54% stated that they believe good people of other faiths can go to Heaven, as long as they are “good.” Now, I don’t know what defines these evangelicals, but that news disturbs me on several levels.
First, I am afraid we have equated the acquisition of God’s grace with the standards of the world; that if we are good little boys and girls we will receive eternal life in Heaven. That is in no way even close to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian Bible nowhere promotes this theology. Continue reading “Salvation A La Mode”
I remember as a kid in grade school often waiting for someone to open doors around campus, either a door to the classroom, to the cafeteria, or to the utility closet which held the sports equipment. We had to wait because someone who had the correct key had to open the door for us. Usually, it was a man in a grey shirt who would come rolling up on one of those little golf carts bringing a lump of keys on a ring, one of which would grant entry into that secured location. He would try many keys, for out of that entire conglomeration, it was one that he was looking for, as only one would work.
To anybody who believes in a god and an afterlife, it probably sounds like a pretty brazen, and even arrogant statement for me to say that Jesus is the only key, the one and only way to know God, and thus enjoy the afterlife. Yeah, I know that sounds pretty effusive, but isn’t that pretty much what every other religion is promoting as well, that their understanding of their god, and their salvation is the right way? Seems like if one doesn’t subscribe to an “all roads lead to heaven” sort of theology, there is a problem, but in reality, someone’s gotta be right and someone’s gotta be wrong. If somebody does believe in a pluralistic, or “many roads lead to heaven” then there is just as big of a problem because then nobody is absolutely right, and nobody is really even wrong, which is logically untenable blah-blah theology. Continue reading “No Other Name”
I would imagine most of us are aware of the pastime game of Jenga. The name comes from the Swahili word meaning “to build.” It is the game that begins with 54 wooden tiles that are neatly stacked in levels of three to establish a stable tower. The object of the game is for players to knock out tiles from one level and place them in ever taller and increasingly unstable levels as the game progresses. The game ceases when the actions of one of the players, through the movement of a tile, causes the tower to collapse.
Perhaps in the realm of table games, this is a winner, but it doesn’t work so well in the world of theology. All too often I see people trying to poke holes in sound theology to come up with a “modified” and weakened form of theological understanding, “something not so restrictive.” The resultant effect is a monstrosity of structure that is unstable and filled with holes. Continue reading “Jenga Theology”
Walking through the grocery store it is amazing to see all of the selections available for purchase. Who would have thought a hundred years ago that an entire side of one aisle would be dedicated to potato chips? What really amazed me is the number of options of sport drinks. Kiwi-Strawberry, Lemon-Lime, Orange-Strawberry, Fruit Punch-Berry. I have heard there are 40 some flavors from which to choose. What is next? Peppermint-Avocado, or Sirloin-Pumpkin? There are drinks for before a work out, during a workout, after a workout. Sugar free and not. Seems like we cannot just be happy with one choice.
We are like that as well when it comes to religion. Some of us just can’t commit to one certain kind. “I am a Buddhist, but really like the teachings of Christ.” “I am a deist, but embrace humanism.” “I think there are a lot of ways to get to heaven, I am just going to follow my own course.” “I think we are all God, but I practice basic Christ-like principles.” Some may say, “I am a good person, I think God should just let me into heaven.” The theological term for combining religions is called “syncretism.” It is a buffet type of selection where an individual chooses various elements of many religions hoping to create his or her own way to heaven. Continue reading “Choices”