“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.” Augustine of Hippo
Far too many Christians try to straddle the fence in today’s world. They get caught between clear biblical teaching and what culture pressures them to believe. Isn’t it time for true Christians to challenge those who are straddling the fence and ask them the very question Elijah once asked Israel as they strayed from God – how long will you hesitate between two opinions? (1 Kings 18:21)
In his 2011 book, FeatureCast, George Barna warns that America is filled with people who are do-it-yourselfers when it comes to religion – either making up God as they go along or dropping traditional beliefs and practices in order to compromise.
In an interview with USA Today, Barna is quoted as saying that “People say, ‘I believe in God. I believe the Bible is a good book. And then I believe whatever I want.” This buffet-style religion isn’t confined to just Christianity. USA Today quotes Nadine Epstein of the Jewish magazine Moment as saying, that most Jewish people when asked if there can be Judaism without God say yes! “You pick and choose the part of the religion that makes sense to you.”
Sorry, but all roads do not lead to God. You do not get to pick and choose what you believe from the Word. To reject some of God’s authority is to reject all of God’s authority. There is no room for fence-sitting when it comes to the Bible’s authority. John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life…” How simple can it get?
When Oprah Winfrey was asked why she abandoned Christianity, she said it was when “she took God out of the box.” Oprah did not take God out of the box – she removed herself from the box of logic and clear thinking because she did not like the idea of being boxed-in by certain doctrines.
While she and her ilk feel it is narrow-minded to say that Jesus is the only way to God, it is really not a question of being narrow-minded. It is a question of truth. Truth has dimensions. When you remove truth from the box, all you have left is deception. There must be boundaries between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and lies. Oprah took God out of the box and now, for her, all roads lead to God.
An exclusive Jesus isn’t popular in an inclusive world. Unlike many people today, Jesus did not teach that all religions in the world are simply different paths up the same mountain of truth that leads to God. Jesus could not have been clearer: he offers the only way to heaven in John 14:6 when he said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
If the Universalists are correct in saying that everyone is going to be in heaven regardless of what they believe, or the Pluralists are correct that all religions lead to the same god, then the horrific death of Jesus Christ was completely unnecessary. The only reason Christ submitted himself to the cross is because his death provided the only way for reconciliation with God.
Other religions and philosophies claim that all roads lead to God, but their contradictory beliefs cannot be reconciled. When we consider the various teachings about God from different religions, it is easy to see that they cannot all be true.
The existence of so many religions is not an argument against God’s existence. Rather, the existence of so many religions is demonstration of humanity’s rejection of the one true God. Mankind has replaced Him with gods that are more to their liking. This is a dangerous enterprise. The desire to recreate God in our own image comes from the sin nature within us.
Christ told us in Matthew 7:13-23 that “strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life” and few will find it. “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day…. have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
“Jesus, unlike the religious action figures sold at Wal-Mart, is not infinitely bendable, able to assume whatever postmodern pose we give him.” Stan Guthrie, All That Jesus Asks
Source: You Can’t Pick and Choose What Bible Verses You Accept, Focus Press; Days of Praise, The Institute for Creation Research; Do It Yourself Religion by Chuck Colson;