08 July 2015
Great Expectations – A Pause to Respond – Part One
Greetings Dear Reader,
Yesterday I received some interesting questions regard my post. I want to first say that I love and respect those who ask such questions. Second, I will not pretend for a moment that I have all the answers. I will still attempt it.
The first response that you gave Dear Reader is an honest question that I am not sure I can answer. That does not mean there is not an answer. The asker is being honest and polite. I will attempt to respond in kind. Here is the comment as received.
“This is an interesting discussion to have. Your piece talks about two things that seem opposed. You say that your faith has the exclusive arrogance of stating plainly that all other paths cannot lead to salvation and that this faith does not lead to God favoring anyone above anyone else.
How do you reconcile those ideas?
It seems to me that a person of this faith must judge someone outside of the faith to hold this truth. One can argue the details, but at it's core your faith seems to say to everyone else: ‘Your path is wrong and leads to a bad end.’
What are your thoughts?”
I think that the first response is that there are other statements Jesus made that must be viewed with this apparent dichotomy. I will get to those in a moment. The second is to say that I work very hard at reading the Bible for what it says and not necessarily for what American Christianity has told me to believe about it.
Let me address the first thought first. Jesus said just as clearly that “Even so it is not the will of your Farther which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” If we look closely the language here and remove the filters of western civilization the words “not the will” matter.
A literal interpretation is that the Father has determined that no one shall perish. I cannot claim to be sure that I know how God will work that out practically. I do know that Jesus also said that when he was lifted up he would draw “all” to himself. This use of all means everyone both individually and collectively. I think there is an inclusiveness to Jesus’ exclusiveness that we do not yet comprehend. I have a great expectation that we will be very surprised.
I will talk more about this over the next couple of days and invite you Dear Reader to continue to participate. Thank you for the honest questions.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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