The simple truth
We choose not to investigate other world religions, in part, because the one we’re born into says that “there’s only one way”! And that way seems very plausible. Why bother looking any further?
When forced to investigate other world religions or Christian cults, it doesn’t take long to find holes in their systems of thought, and we quickly dismiss them as false religions.
Mormonism holds tighter to the book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price than the bible itself. When push comes to shove, the bible gets shoved out of the way. Mormonism says that Jesus was a half-brother to Satan, and that we can all become Gods. Woops. That’s out.
Muhammad was born about 600 years after Jesus. His teachings on murdering the infidels clash with God’s OT directives. Like Mormonism, the Muslim religion has the Koran trumping the Jewish old Testament. Therefore, it’s rightly seen as a fraud, and Muhammad a false prophet.
Judaism denies that Jesus was the Messiah. Fairly easy to right that religion off.
Buddhism puts forth that the world around us is an illusion. If true, why have hospitals? Easy to dismiss.
Hinduism speaks of karma and returning from past lives. But it has as a goal to be so pure in the current life, that you cease to return … and become one with the universe. Again, easy to put that religion aside.
So, we’re back to what we call Christianity. Clearly the most plausible “religion”.
What would happen if we did a deep dive into our own theology? Would we find gaping holes like the other world religions? If we did find those holes, what would we do about it? I see three possible actions:
- Ignore them. The ostrich approach. Doesn’t turn out well for the ostrich.
- Chuck religion all together and join the atheists. Big risk there?
- Work hard to see if the system as we define it today, is in fact what Jesus taught?
If you have the capacity to choose the third option, then I ask for God’s wisdom in your life as you search the claims of modern Christianity.
Let’s start here. Modern Christianity puts forth that Jesus is “the way” and that “no one comes to the Father except through Him (Jesus)”. OK? How were people before Jesus “saved”?
Perhaps you’re really sharp and have a plausible answer for that one – they followed the Jewish laws and sacrificial system. Then God changed over to grace. OK? How were non-Jews saved before Jesus?
Rahab the harlot, who was in the blood line of Jesus?
Ruth the Moabites, also in the blood line of Jesus?
Abraham who was considered right with God well before the Mosaic law?
See the problem?
How about this one. God said to Adam “in the day that you eat the fruit, you shall surely die”. But Adam lived on into his 900’s? Perhaps God meant that Adam would die “spiritually”? OK? How was Adam brought back to spiritual life? Twice, Paul indicates that in Adam we all died spiritually. Adam was our federal head, so as his offspring, we inherit Adam’s “dead to God” nature. But then Paul goes on to say that in Christ all are made spiritually alive. If all are made alive … who is in hell?
And what of this concept of a “second death”? The word never occurs anywhere in the bible until it occurs several times is the book of Revelation. If Adam’s death (and our death) was a spiritual one, and the “second death” is a physical one, how do we explain the two beasts of Revelation being thrown “alive” into the lake of fire which in Revelation is also called the “second death”? How do we explain the living people at the end of the seven last years of prophetic history who Jesus calls “goats” and whom He casts “alive” into hell – the second death?
How about this one. “It is appointed for man to die once, then comes judgement”. So we apparently have a time limit on our ability to “decide” for Christ? We imply that you never know what might happen, so make your decision quickly before you die! Purchase your FIRE insurance while you can! You only die once!
The widow’s son?
The man buried next to Elisha?
The daughter of the synagogue official?
Those taken in the rapture?
This one bothers me the most. We say that anyone who confesses “Jesus as lord”, anyone who “knows” Jesus is “saved”. But when we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:22 where He indicates that not all who say Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, what do we think? He goes on to tell us that “many” will say “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles”? To those “many” Jesus replies “I never knew you; depart from me …” Wow! How can that be? He has the same response to the five virgins in Matthew 25:12 saying, “truly I say to you, I don’t know you.” How can we know Him … but He doesn’t know us?
As you can see, most of us never look that deeply into our own theology. We take the pastors word for it that he has it right. After all, he spent years in seminary studding this stuff and we don’t have that kind of time. Seems rather important that we reconcile these passages, these concepts for ourselves, don’t you think?
Here’s a clue to help you start your search. Temporarily put what you’ve been taught on the shelf and create your own thesis, one that can be modified as you discover truths and find other conflicts. As you refine and finalize your thesis, you can then throw out the portions of what you’ve been taught previously. Portion that you know in your own mind are in error. It’s kinda like untangling a spider’s web. A web that Satan’s helped spin. Once unspun, the solutions are childlike simple. Come as a child Jesus said. What you’ll find is straight forward and simple. No need for a seminary degree. You’ll find a God who you thought was powerful, and righteous, and merciful, and loving, will become significantly MORE powerful, and righteous, and merciful, and loving.
If you have any questions, I’d be honored to assist you.
God’s speed on your journey.