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"no One Comes To The Father Except Through Me."


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Here is a question that has been on my mind for sometime...How does a Progressive or Moderate Christian explain our view as Jesus being the gateway to God without ego? Also, how can one combat the egocentric "My Way Or The High"../Mine brand of faith is THEE TRUE one and your's is false and doomed"..mentality? How do we, as Progressive and Moderate Christians answer the Scriptures and quotes that the far religious right uses to try and justify their "my God is Better than YOUR god," mentality? You know, those Scriptures such as "No one comes to the Father (God) except through me (Jesus.)" and Yahweh our God is a jealous god." How can we explain that the Hare Krishna person calling on Krishna is indeed calling on Jesus? How do we reason with the far right Evangelical that dispite our disagreements..the God of the Mormon and JW and Catholic IS the same Yahweh God of the Bible?

 

Progressive Christians and Moderate Christians input on this greatly appreciated!:)

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Here is a question that has been on my mind for sometime...How does a Progressive or Moderate Christian explain our view as Jesus being the gateway to God without ego? Also, how can one combat the egocentric "My Way Or The High"../Mine brand of faith is THEE TRUE one and your's is false and doomed"..mentality? How do we, as Progressive and Moderate Christians answer the Scriptures and quotes that the far religious right uses to try and justify their "my God is Better than YOUR god," mentality? You know, those Scriptures such as "No one comes to the Father (God) except through me (Jesus.)" and Yahweh our God is a jealous god." How can we explain that the Hare Krishna person calling on Krishna is indeed calling on Jesus? How do we reason with the far right Evangelical that dispite our disagreements..the God of the Mormon and JW and Catholic IS the same Yahweh God of the Bible?

 

Progressive Christians and Moderate Christians input on this greatly appreciated!:)

 

Hi BeachofEden,

 

Perhaps you will get a lot of different responses here but here is the way I see it...

It seems to me that one that is progressive doesn't have to play those games. There is nothing to prove. We seek love and commonality and realize that all do not agree on these things. See the 8 points on the message board and you will find there is no answers to what we collectively believe of such dogma and doctrine.

ie: Point 5

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who know that the way we behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe.

 

I think that says volumes. I know of people who appear totally ignorant of such answers to questions you have posed yet their life is a testimony that speaks louder than linguistic wording or being able to put answers to these questions into words.

 

Besides it is rare you will ever change anothers mind by reason unless they have first discovered that the stuff they have been taught is suspect by an inner feeling they have from the spirit. It is my experience that One must first recognize the false before truth dawns upon him. Most of the time it seems to me others are just looking to argue and strengthen their sense of self. If someone is genuinely interested then it seems good to me to share what God has personally revealed to you and no more. The rest is all opinions, concepts and theory and conjecture which may be in error. Answer what you know and tell them you don't have the answer if you don't know for yourself unless of course you just desire to express your opinion as an opinion.

 

Therefor, I have basically said that it seems to me there is no one answer that all progressives might agree on to be satisfactory but most will agree with all the 8 points on the message board page and love you regardless of your beliefs.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

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The 'I am' sayings attributed to Jesus form a doctrine that has been used in evangelical activities for centuries. The 'one true God' myopia is responsible for much resentment against Christianity and has resulted in people leaving The Church as well as distancing themselves from it. When the myth of Jesus is seperated from the reality, we find Jesus the Teacher as an enlightened messenger...and not God.

Edited by Russ
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Here's an article I found that I had saved on this topic...

 

Interview with Bishop Carlton Pearson

 

Bishop Carlton Pearson, a minister, is the founder of the Azusa Interdenominational Fellowship of Christian Churches and the pastor of Higher Dimensions Family Church in Oklahoma. Pearson preaches the "gospel of inclusion," a controversial doctrine claiming that Jesus Christ saves all people no matter what their beliefs or actions. He spoke with Beliefnet recently about what his theology means for non-Christians.

 

Could you describe your message--the "gospel of inclusion"--in a nutshell?

 

"This gospel says that Jesus Christ, in the finished work of the cross, redeemed the entire world to God against the sin of Adam. The world is saved. [People are] not going to hell. They're going to -whatever the final end of God's grace is. All humankind will go back to the original pre-Adamic relationship and status with God.

Jesus did not just die for Christians, he died to save the world. Jesus was not a Christian, he was a Jew. God's not Jewish or Christian or Hindu or Buddhist-he's all of that, if we want him to be, and none of that, because he can't be limited by that. He's spirit. He loves everybody, he understands everybody, and he has a covenant with everybody".

 

 

So everyone is saved through the cross and through Jesus, but people don't have to believe that?

 

"It's just like the sun's rays reach Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, and backsliders. How do you receive sunlight? Even on an overcast day, the solar rays reach the planet. The Son of God is as inclusive and non-discriminatory in his light and warmth as the sun is."

 

 

"You don't have to do anything or believe anything. You can be born blind, but the sunlight will still shine on you. God is greater and bigger than the s-U-n."

 

So how do you answer critics who quote the gospel verse "No one comes to the Father except through me"?

 

"When Christians say that, they mean "no one comes to the Father except you get down on your knees, confess Jesus, and jump through all the Christian hoops."

But that scripture doesn't mean that. The door you entered to get into your office building: Did you kiss it? Did you acknowledge it? Thousands of people may walk through that door and not pay any attention at all. But the door is open, so they go through it."

 

Beach: I think the majority of people, be they Native American, Hindu or Buddhist DO have some sort of Savior belief..they may call him a different name like Maitreya, or Krishna or in Hopi call him The Great Nephew instead of The Son...but the belief is still there..and I would liken it this way...Let's say your name was Verna and someone sent you a thoughtful greeting called but they addressed it to "Vera", or some other name..Would you get all hateful and through the greeting card in the trash just because they pronounced your name different? Then why would we expect like of the Savior who is the perfect reflection of God? Besides, Jesus name is pronounced different ways. in English we say Jesus and in Hebrew it is Yeshuah, and in Spainsih it is pronounced Hey-sus.

 

"Jesus is the open door through which all of humanity accesses God, including Buddha and Muhammad. We all go through him, the same way the sun shines on us all. He is the way."

 

 

"Just to push your "door" metaphor one step further, what if someone does pay attention to the door and says "Hey, this door is Jesus! I've read the Bible and I don't accept Jesus"?

 

"I don't think that's possible. You can say, "I don't accept the sun," you can put on sunscreen and wear shades, but the sun still shines on you. God is irresistible. A person says, "I'm not going to accept this air." How can you not accept air? Jesus came to redeem mankind back to God. He did that without your vote or permission. This is a fixed fight. Even if people don't agree with the gospel, the gospel agrees with them. They don't have to agree with it. The good news of the gospels is not that you accept Christ, but that Christ accepts you. Jesus said, "You did not choose me, I chose you." It's not about our decisions. We're so fickle. People talk about free moral agents, but the Bible nowhere really says or shows that we are free moral agents, that we get to make all the choices."

 

Beach:Taking my own turn at answering this questioning...I think a GREAT number of Christians, especially the extreamists ones, make it sound like "Grieving the Holy Spirit," means if they try and win you over to join their church and you turn them down..then by so doing this you have rejected Christ..when infact, most likely have rejected church...and NOT Christ..though I note that a great number of Christian extremists seem to have a problem clearyfying one from the other, that is, differating the church from Jesus and in this I think they are dead wrong. This example I just gave you is WAY 'DIFFERENT' than one who HAS come to understand Jesus NOW..and THEN rejects him.

 

Yet many religions maintain that we are free moral agents--that we do have choices that have consequences.

 

"Being kind on earth makes earth kind. If we would all do that, it would be a peaceful planet. Our behavior here affects our planetary experiences. It doesn't necessarily affect the externals, because that's where perfection is".

 

So in the "faith vs. works" debate, you say we don't really have to do either.

 

Yes. Why we should be good is because Jesus wants his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be come ON EARTH..as it IS IN HEAVEN."

 

"When you say Jesus is the answer, you obviously mean something much more broad than many Christians do."

 

"[God is] so inclusive, it's hard to believe. He put the versions of himself back together in Christ. There's a version of God that's Hindu. There's a version of God that's Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Baha'i. It's so beautiful. Christians are hung up on "You got to believe in Jesus." Christians forget that it's not about somebody believing in Christianity, it's about Christ believing in humanity. He created humanity and understands the diversity of humanity. He accepts us as we are."

 

What are your views about conversion and proselytism?

 

"My objective is not to convert but to convince. If you convince people they're absolutely, unconditionally loved, that will alter their behaviors. Christians have tried to convert people based on "If you don't convert, there is a customized torture chamber called hell that this God of love will send you to." That I'd like to correct. You can't tell me God says to love my enemies--but the same God that says that will smite people who offend him."

 

Scaring people with hell, Armageddon or getting, "Left Behind", or all the above.

 

So is anyone going to hell?

 

"Hell is a place you go through, not to. We all go through hell. There are people that are so tormented right now-a hell that we created for them or that they created for themselves".

 

Hell actually is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word SHEOL which means simply death or the grave. Thus Jesus saves us from the Second Death.

 

Interview by Laura Sheahen from Beliefnet

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest wayfarer2k

Another way to dialogue about Jesus' exclusionary statements is to ask the question: what is the "way" that Jesus is?

 

This is a question that most fundamental Christians can't answer. They believe the "way" is the Romans Road or the Four Spiritual Laws or a creed that is confessed or a Sinner's Prayer or some other formula that, supposedly, gets them out of the "going to hell line". In their paradigm, Jesus' mission is solely to provide a "way" to escape hell and a "way" (or THE way) to get to heaven.

 

To counter that paradigm, if they are open to listening, it's best to go to Jesus' inaugeral address (from Isaiah) or the Good News he preached about caring for the poor, seeking justice, healing the sick, loving enemies, calling people to not use violence to fix the world's problems. All of these things, to me, are the "way" of Christ.

 

In this sense, Jesus is the "way" because he practiced what he preached. So his way is not about a formula to get to heaven, but about a way to live life in such a manner that it is readily seen that God is love and that loving one another is the best expression of our humanity and our relationship to God. Jesus' life embodied this way. And I think he taught that if anyone was to claim to know God, they must do so in the same way that Jesus did. The apostle John said something similar when he said that if we claim to love God but hate one another, we lie about loving God.

 

So ask what the "way" is. How does one come to the Father? By living as Jesus did. Many religions do this, even if they don't name the name of Jesus.

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Here is a question that has been on my mind for sometime...How does a Progressive or Moderate Christian explain our view as Jesus being the gateway to God without ego? Also, how can one combat the egocentric "My Way Or The High"../Mine brand of faith is THEE TRUE one and your's is false and doomed"..mentality? How do we, as Progressive and Moderate Christians answer the Scriptures and quotes that the far religious right uses to try and justify their "my God is Better than YOUR god," mentality? You know, those Scriptures such as "No one comes to the Father (God) except through me (Jesus.)" and Yahweh our God is a jealous god." How can we explain that the Hare Krishna person calling on Krishna is indeed calling on Jesus? How do we reason with the far right Evangelical that dispite our disagreements..the God of the Mormon and JW and Catholic IS the same Yahweh God of the Bible?

 

Progressive Christians and Moderate Christians input on this greatly appreciated!:)

 

This response is certainly NOT original with me but here goes the explanation that I have seen progressive Christians give:

 

Yes, Jesus said He is the way and no one comes to the Father but through him. This is true BUT what is the way of Jesus. It is the way of love, self sacrifice, etc and it is possible to do this as or righteous man or woman in any faith.

 

What did Jesus say you had to do to enter heaven (receive eternal life)? Jesus told the rich young ruler that you must keep the commandments. He was asked which ones. Jesus said, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal,…..you shall love your neighbor as yourself”. (Matt 19:17-19). These are obviously righteous things anyone can do in any faith. The way of Jesus.

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