According to a recent comprehensive study, most Americans believe in God, but also believe that other religions than their own can provide a path to Heaven. It seems that the individual beliefs of most Americans contradicts the traditional teachings of their churches. I can accept that the god of the majority of monotheistic religions can be the same God that I worship. I can accept that my Father in Heaven is the same God as that of those who believe in One True God who is the Creator of Heaven and Earth, but have a different Name for Him in their own language. I am not even debating that right now. I have two different concerns.
First, the media would actually have us believe that truth is determined by popular opinion. Aren’t we, as a people, more intelligent than that? Do we really think that if enough people believe something that it becomes true? I understand and embrace freedom of religious beliefs. Somewhere along the line, however, it has become not enough to let people believe what they want, it has become necessary for us to accept their beliefs as equally correct as our own. I teach high school math. I have students who struggle with arithmetic. If enough of them believe that 2+2=7 does it cease to be 4? Imagine you are riding home on a bus and you are tired of riding on the bus so you pull the bell, the driver stops and you get off. Are you home now because you got off the bus? I am 45 years old. If I convince enough people that I am 37 do I cease to be 45 and become 37? I think the freedom of religion implies that we all can believe what we feel is right, not necessarily that we must accept as right all other beliefs. Honestly, why have any beliefs at all if any one is just as good as another?I don’t get that! Isn’t truth truth? I can accept that others do not believe that what I believe is true and I pray that one day we will have an opportunity to find out the truth. I understand that we are all seeking truth and that people are passionate about what they believe. Them believing it however, does not make it true. So how do we know? How do we find the truth in this life? Truth is truth and no one can change that, no matter how many people believe.
This leads me to my second point. If we consider only the monotheistic religions of the world, we can divide them into two groups: those who accept Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world (Christians) and those who do not. There is much more debate, even among Christians, as to how we best follow Him, but we will leave that for now. Many of those who do not follow Christ believe He was a great teacher or prophet, yet I can understand how some may equate Buddha or Mohammad with Jesus. Again, there is much room for debate here and that is not what concerns me about the recent study. In the US a huge majority of people claim to be Christians. Also, the study reveals that a majority of people believe that there is more than one way to heaven. The quote that got me was a Christian who said; “I can’t believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.” WOW! I was blown away. Are Christians not reading or not believing the Bible? Jesus said; “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one gets to the Father except through me.” Seems pretty clear to me. Jesus is the ONLY WAY to get to Heaven. OK, some people do not believe He is the way to Heaven. Some people do not believe in Jesus, OK. We have freedom to believe (or not) in what we choose. It is alright for people to not believe in Him. What is not OK is for people to believe IN Him, but not BELIEVE Him. Why would Jesus, the Son of God, come to earth and sacrifice himself and teach us that HE is the only way, if it were not true?
Truth be told, either He was telling the truth or He was just a lunatic and should be completely ignored. My blog is about seeking truth. It may not always be obvious in my writing, but I believe all truth comes from God, through Christ. He is the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. We can (and must) accept that people will reject Him, some out of ignorance and some in rebellion, that does not make His teachings any less true. We can (and should) understand that others do not see Jesus as the Way to Heaven. We can share with them the truth we know. We can accept that they may not choose to follow Him, but for Christians to say that there could be another way to Heaven is for them to not understand Jesus at all. We must believe in Him, and we must believe Him as well.