Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Different Roads by Whitt Madden



I liked the article written by Whitt Madden. It is a good piece of work. It is also very true as Whitt says five very different roads claiming a variety of different things.   “So many roads to nowhere” as the song goes… Two of these are masquerading as “Christian” beliefs. One claims to believe in nothing, but even that statement is an oxymoron, and the other two resemble nothing of the God in Scripture.  So which one of these roads leads to Jesus? the Bible makes a very bold claim that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one can come to the Father except through Him.  None of these five roads will lead you to that conclusion, as you will see further into this study.

We continue in our series – Who Determines Truth? by taking a look at five really popular and very different systems of belief.  Five different roads, but do any of them lead to Jesus?


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The text for our study is John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Throughout this series we will look at the following claims from Jesus:
  • He is the Way.
  • He is the Truth.
  • He is the Life.
  • There is no other way to the Father, except through Him.

In this post I want to introduce to you 5 different religious viewpoints.  We will dig deeper into each one of these throughout the study.  Keep in mind these are summary statements about each one from key leaders in each of these movements.

1) The Muslim.


The Muslim believes  Allah is the proper name applied to the true God Who exists necessarily by Himself comprising all the excellent Divine names and attributes of perfection. Allah is One and Unique. He has no son, partner, or equal. He is the sole Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Every creature bears witness to His Oneness, Divinity, Allah has revealed His final Scripture, the Qur’an, to the last of His Messengers, Muhammad, peace be upon him, who was responsible for conveying the Message of Islam to mankind.

2)The Buddhist.


Buddhist Zen master, says “Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.” If you want to learn about Buddhism, I suggest putting aside all assumptions. Put aside assumptions about Buddhism, and then assumptions about religion. Put aside assumptions about the nature of the self, of reality, of existence. Keep yourself open to new understanding. Whatever beliefs you hold, hold in an open hand and not a tight fist. Just practice, and see where it takes you.”

3) The Atheist


Richard Carrier,  Author of Sense and Goodness without God – “There is simply no more evidence for Jehovah than there is for Zeus. Christians find no reason to believe that Zeus exists, so they do not believe in him. For the same reason, I do not believe in Jehovah. In fact, It offends me that an invisible god is given credit for every good thing that happens in the world, while every evil is blamed on humanity.”

4) New Age Spirituality


Henry Nouwen, a Catholic Priest who has written over 40 books on spirituality and battled depression for much of his life  - “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.”


5)  The Post Modernist.


Rob and Kristen Bell, formerly of Mars Hill Church – “Life in the church had become so small.  It had worked for me for a long time, then it stopped working.” – Kristen.  The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself “discovering the Bible as a human product, rather than the product of divinity.  The Bible is still center for us, but it’s a different kind of center.  We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.  I grew up thinking that we’ve figured out the Bible, that I knew what it means, but now I have no idea what it means.  Life used to be black and white, and now it’s in color.”

So Many Roads to Nowhere…


Five very different roads claiming a variety of different things.   “So many roads to nowhere” as the song goes… Two of these are masquerading as “Christian” beliefs. One claims to believe in nothing, but even that statement is an oxymoron, and the other two resemble nothing of the God in Scripture.  So which one of these roads leads to Jesus?

The Bible makes a very bold claim that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one can come to the Father except through Him.  None of these five roads will lead you to that conclusion, as you will see further into this study.

I admit, a part of me thinks it would be nice to say that you can believe whatever you want to believe. You can do your thing, and I can believe what I want to believe, and it’s all good, because whether you choose Jesus or Muhammad, Buddha, or you just want to trust in yourself, that we’ll all be together in the end as one big happy family.  Life would seem a lot simpler if Jesus was one of many ways and all roads would lead to Heaven.

The truth however, is that the Bible is not that kind of book.  Jesus doesn’t teach this, and all roads do not inevitably lead to Heaven.  I’m going to go one step further and tell you that none of the roads mentioned in this post will get you there either.

The Bible stands in direct opposition to the world and all of it’s false belief systems.  Jesus taught a message that was offensive to the world then, and it still stands just as offensive today. He makes exclusive claims that are hard for us to accept.  His message stood against every thing the culture believed and stood for, even  had been taught their entire lives.  Their hatred of Jesus crucified Him on a cross, where He died, mocked, beaten, spit upon, whipped, and physically crushed.

Today, the message of the Gospel is still offending the world, and His followers are receiving the same kind of response. Millions of Christians around the world are being beaten, tortured, exiled, and murdered simply because they chose to put their faith in a risen Savior instead of the endless gods and hopes this world tried to offer them.

What causes a man to stake his very life on the words in a book?  A man who would rather die than renounce this person of Jesus Christ?  I think of the verse in Matthew 13:44
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
I guess the next question I want to ask, is do you really know what it is that you believe?  Can you explain it, or even defend it?  Why do you believe what you do?  In the next post, I am going to share my journey with you about how I came to believe Jesus is the only way, only truth, and only life, and my prayer is that it will challenge and encourage you.

Discussion Questions:
  • Looking at the 5 different views listed, were there any that surprised you with what they had said?
  • Which one of these 5 seems to be the most dangerous path to be on?
  • What do you think causes a man to die for what he believes is truth?
  • How well do you know what you believe?  Can you explain or defend why you believe what you do?
The post Five Different Roads appeared first on Treasuring Christ by Whitt Madden.

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju



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