Brian McLaren = false teacher

Levi has a thorough take-down of Brian McLaren’s “A Generous Orthodoxy.”  McLaren is even worse than I thought — and I already thought he was pretty bad.  I read that he just performed the ceremony for his son’s same-sex union.  Ugh.  One more reason to consider him a fraud.  I go between feeling sorry for his deceived followers and realizing that, a la Romans 1, God has just given them over to their sinful desires.  Here’s an observation that applies to McLaren and countless other false teachers:

 McLaren’s theology contradicts itself when he consistently claims that we should follow Jesus’ example but also denies the validity of the witness accounts of Jesus’ life and teaching. How do we follow Bob’s example when everything we know about Bob is written by men whose writings are decidedly fictional?

McLaren and the like think it is wrong to be sure of something, even though they are sure of what they claim about the Bible and they are sure that it is wrong to be sure.  Consistency isn’t their strong suit.

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Roundup

5 myths about the Jubilee — a good analysis of how the concept of the Jubilee is often misused to justify government redistribution of wealth.  I pasted the text for the first one.  Click the link for the rest.

Myth 1: Jubilee means a forgiveness of debt.

It is clear in the Old Testament text and to many commentators that in Leviticus 25, Jubilee does not involve forgiveness of debt, at least in the way we normally use the term. There is no debt forgiven because it has already been paid. Let me explain. If Israelite family members have a debt they can ask the person farming their land for a lump sum payment priced according to the number of years before the Jubilee. The price would be determined by the projected amount of crops to be yielded prior to the Jubilee. To put it in modern terms, if you had a debt of $250,000, there are five years prior to the Jubilee, and each crop is worth $50,000, then the “buyer” would give you $250,000 for the rights to farm the land, and at the time of Jubilee you would receive your land back because the debt had been paid off.

So the “buyer” does not really own the land but leases it. The debt is paid off by the land (crops). We don’t know exactly how the price was determined for each year of crops, given the uncertainty due to bad weather or other factors that could lead to a poor or lost crop. Perhaps the price took into account that some years would be more profitable than others.

At the time of Jubilee you would of course rejoice that your debt had been paid and your land returned to your full use, but you would not thank the leaser for “forgiving” your debt. The Jubilee declaration might be analogous to a “mortgage burning party.” You would celebrate with friends that this significant debt was paid. The debt is not “forgiven” or “cancelled” because it is paid.

Numerous commentators endorse this understanding. For instance, Derek Tidball says, “Purchasing the land was like purchasing a lease.” [1] And R. K. Harrison says, “Only the produce of the land could thus properly be bought or sold.” [2]

Myth 2: Jubilee involves a redistribution of wealth (land).

Myth 3: Jubilee shows the relative nature of private property.

Myth 4: Jubilee leads to income equality.

Myth 5: Jubilee is a universally applicable principle.

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‘Two and a Half Men’ actor calls his show ‘filth’ — I’ve never watched the show but from what I’ve heard it was child abuse to subject this kid to the material he was given.

Nineteen-year-old Angus T. Jones has been on the show, which used to feature bad-boy actor Charlie Sheen and remains heavy with sexual innuendo, since he was 10 but says he doesn’t want to be on it anymore.

“Please stop watching it,” Jones said. “Please stop filling your head with filth.” . . . .

In the video posted by Forerunner Chronicles in Seale, Ala., Jones describes a search for a spiritual home. He says the type of entertainment he’s involved in adversely affects the brain and “there’s no playing around when it comes to eternity.”

“You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that,” he said. “I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show.”

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New study from China links abortion to breast cancer — yet another study shows the connection.  At least some of these cancers are preventable!  Please pass this along the next time someone asks you do buy something pink or to donate to breast cancer research, or especially if they claim that Planned Parenthood helps reduce breast cancer.  Planned Parenthood causes more breast cancer than it detects.

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Mystery: Virginia gun violence falls as gun sales soar — Once again we see the impact that more guns = less crime.  But keep repeating it, because the mainstream media sure won’t tell people.

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When photo ops meet red tape — Sadly and predictably, Obama’s “touching” photo ops with Hurricane Sandy victims were nothing but empty promises.  Too bad so many voters said it influenced them to vote for Obama.  I’d like to think that these victims will see the wisdom of conservatism now and be a little less naive, but the salt-water effect of Liberalism usually leaves the victims craving more.

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I am not making this up: Slate says white turkey is racist— Of course preferring white meat is racist! That’s why Americans prefer hamburgers over pork chops (“the other white meat”) at a ratio of about 1,000 to 1 . . . oh, wait, that goes the other direction . . .

If we preferred dark meat they’d claim we were racist cannibals.

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Your tax dollars at work: Middle School Children Taught Homosexual Foreplay — and this is before that state passed a “same-sex marriage” law.

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California is to states as Detroit is to cities, and they are now the poverty leaders.  But just try those Liberal policies a few more decades and things will totally turn around.

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Obamacare will pay for abortions for people making up to $92,000.  Got that?  So if you are the parent of several kids and you make $46,000 you get to pay for abortions of the childless people making double what you do.

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Lesbian complains about Muslim barber to Human Rights Commission — You’ll have to suppress the schadenfreude when reading about this Liberal Sacred Cow vs. Liberal Sacred Cow battle.  It is a perfect example of what happens when the government increases discrimination by granting special rights to certain ethnic or sexual perversion groups.  In this case you should bet on the Muslims because the Left fears their violence and can rationalize it as religious tolerance, even while being wildly and hypocritically intolerant of Christians.

It is similar to the hypothetical dilemma where you ask Liberals whether they’d approve of aborting gays in the womb.  In my experience they usually love abortion more than gays.

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Great points by Crowder about Stupid Stick (marijuana)

  • Marijuana is more harmful than alcohol, not less.
  • Legalizing pot increases use. It does not decrease it.
  • There is almost no one in prison for convictions of marijuana use alone.
  • Marijuana makes you much more likely to suffer from psychosis.
  • The biggest reason for the increase in use among young people is the propaganda that it’s harmless.

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And now for some great news — the saving grace of God in Saudi Arabia.  Never forget that God is sovereign and that while we should be salt and light in a sinful world, He will ultimately overcome and He still changes lives every day all around the world, even in — and especially in — the most unlikely places.  But note how God used the radically different behavior of the Christians to help convince the man to read the Bible.

A look at the sermon of a false teacher

Reading the sermons of wolves in sheep’s clothing so you don’t have to!

False teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie took a break from taking little girls to gay pride parades to preach a “sermon” about John 18:33-37.  He is symptomatic of the theological Left and their anti-Christian teachings.

I wrote previously in Heretics ‘R Us about Chuck’s abuse of John 14:6 (Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”) and how Chuck’s key points were to claim that Jesus was not the only way to the Father (despite the Bible claiming that over 100 times), that other religions such as Islam should inform our view of the Gospel, and that the Bible is not accurate or reliable — specifically that the Gospel of John was written 100 years after Jesus was crucified for being such a nice guy.

Never minding that even Liberal scholars concede a date around 100 A.D., and the case for a pre-70 A.D. dating is very strong, Chuck is now claiming that it was written 200 years after the crucifixion.  (Note that his dating is relative to the crucifixion, not the resurrection, because “Reverend” Chuck and other theological liberals don’t believe the resurrection really happened.  We have a name for those who hold that view: Non-Christians.)

Via Thy Kingdom Come:

In our on-going Sunday night adult education group we’ve come to know that the Book of John was written nearly two hundred years after the death of Jesus and far from recording historical accounts of his life it reflects theological understandings of his ministry and existence.

Well, there you have it!  Chuck now says it was 200 years, not 100 years.  So his view is that the author(s) were complete liars, because the Gospel of John explicitly claims to contain eyewitness accounts and evidence for believing that Jesus rose from the dead and is the source of eternal life.

Chuck seems to make up things as he goes along, kind of like Benny Hinn.  But even if Chuck was right, why on earth would he do an entire sermon on a book he “knows” is thoroughly fraudulent?

Sadly, as the latest of the Gospels, it also reflects the reality that by this point in history the early Christian community is becoming separate from the Jewish community that Jesus was apart of.  With this separation comes persecution of early Christians and the narratives of Jesus death change in ways that blame the Jews more directly as a people for the death of Jesus, when the Romans where truly responsible.

Knowing all this we can sit back from our vantage point and see how it was that Pilate must have been confused about Jesus.

This lowly son of a carpenter was actually wildly popular with the Jewish people and word had reached Pilate that some referred to Jesus as King.

So Chuck seeks to absolve the Jews of blame for the crucifixion, even though all the Gospels record that Jewish people were the cause of Jesus being killed.

Luke 23 18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”– 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

Chuck & Co. will claim that is anti-Semitic, but there is another more accurate term: Fact. No one claims that all Jews killed Jesus or that Jews should be persecuted.  We just point to the obvious truths of the Bible.

The church too quickly forgot the lessons of Jesus.

But wait — Chuck & Co. insist that the documents containing Jesus’ words are hopelessly flawed.  He and his (apparently former) employer the “Jesus Seminar” insist that Jesus only really said a small fraction of the words attributed to him — and of course they deny that He is part of the Trinity and on board with the entire Bible.

We spend too much time in the Christian church debating what happens to us after we die and not enough time talking about how to improve the world we live in.  Jesus was never obsessed with death and salvation the way he was obsessed with building up the Kingdom in the here and now.

Again, Chuck refers to a Jesus that he made up.  The real Jesus spoke plenty about eternal matters:

Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Back to the false teacher:

We pride ourselves on being places where all points of view are accepted.

Uh, sure — views like pro-real marriage and pro-life?

But I also agree with Martin Luther King, Jr. who once preached at Riverside Church that: “…I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.”

Wait — does Chuck actually believe in Hell?

There are too many great moral issues being debated in our community today – in our state and the world – that require the attention of the church.  These issues – whether it be the coming debate over marriage equality or more life threatening issues concerning global climate change – that demand that we not be silent but take stands, not just as individuals but as a church community.

“Marriage equality” is a fiction.  “Same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron.  Unions that can’t produce children or provide a mother and a father to children are not equal to unions that can.

As a play on the favorite line of pro-gay theologians, “Jesus never said anything about marriage equality,” so their pet issue must not be very important.

Global climate change = made-up Leftist power grab.

What would Pilate think of us?  This is a serious question.  If we dropped Sunnyside Church and University Park Church through a time warp and into Pilate’s time would we been seen as a community that was at all threatening?  Or could we easily be ignored?

He’d probably think they were a bunch of fake Christians, especially since their #1 issue in the election was forcing pro-lifers to pay for abortions, because Chuck & Co. think our biggest problem is that not enough babies are getting killed in the womb.

We need to be marching alongside workers at Wal-Mart calling for livable wages. We need to be demanding of our President and our Congress a carbon tax and other measures to dramatically shift the way we all live to save God’s creation.  We need to be demanding of our local community permanent funding sources to create affordable housing and standing with those facing foreclosure.

“And we need to do it by taking the money of other’s by force!  Because Jesus would never expect us to use our own money!  And it would take way too much work to open businesses ourselves to compete against Wal-Mart and pay those “livable wages.”  And besides, we don’t have any business skills!  We just need Caesar to solve all of our problems!”

And Sunnyside Church and University Park Church should be the first churches to Oregon to publically endorse a ballot measure calling for marriage equality in 2014.

Well, sure, go ahead and make your Romans 1 Poster Children picture complete.

If we do these things and more, we can stop being the church of Constantine and start being the movement of Jesus.  We’ll be controversial.  New people will come to worship with us and others will mock us.

Yes, some people will worship (Satan) with Chuck & Co., but not many.  Just look how much Chuck’s apostate employers (the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church) continue to shrink.  Why get up early on Sunday to go hear what MSNBC tells you  for free 24×7?

Here’s the final irony of Chuck’s “sermon.”  The last line of his text — you know, from the book Chuck says was full of lies and not written by John and adopted by the early church — says this:

John 18:37 Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Chuck & Co. explicitly do not listen to Jesus’ voice, and they miss the self-parody of quoting that verse. By their own words they do not belong to the truth.

Make no mistake: If you follow people like this you are lost. You are like the people in Romans 1 who God gave over to their sinful desires. You are like Pharaoh, who continually hardened his heart until God finished hardening it for him. Get out of those fake churches while you still have time.

A simple but important point about theological Liberals

From Mark on Facebook:

What does Jesus say about those who don’t believe Scripture?

“But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” (Luke 16:31.)

That applies to all those Leopard Theologians who think the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots.

Roundup

Oddly, countless people will get up even earlier than usual on a day off to fight traffic and massive crowds to save a few dollars, yet are shocked — shocked!, I say — to learn that corporations will shift jobs to equally effective countries to reduce their taxes by more than half.  Or that if you raise taxes that people — even politicans! — might change their behavior to avoid them.

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Are Non-Mormons Considered Christians by the LDS [Mormons]? — Short answer: No.  They started marketing themselves as a Christian denomination a few decades ago but they don’t really believe it.  Glenn offers a big pile of evidence in their own words.

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Some of the union insanity that killed Twinkies and are killing many other companies as well:

It isn’t only a matter of Hostess being forced to pay extravagant salaries for menial labor. There is also lunacy like this:

“The snack giant endured $52 million in workers’ comp claims in 2011, according to its bankruptcy filing this January. Hostess’s 372 collective-bargaining agreements required the company to maintain 80 different health and benefit plans, 40 pension plans and mandated a $31 million increase in wages and health care and other benefits for 2012.

Union work rules usually required cake and bread products to be delivered to a single retail location using two separate trucks. Drivers weren’t allowed to load their own vehicles, and the workers who loaded bread weren’t allowed to load cake. On most delivery routes, another “pull up” employee moved products from back rooms to shelves.”

It’s amazing that Hostess managed to sell Twinkies for less than $20 apiece — but still more amazing that anyone thinks bailing out industries rotted through with unionization (e.g., the auto industry) won’t lead to national bankruptcy in the end.

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Teachers face termination for refusing to promote gay marriage — Coming soon to a country near you.  We’ve been warning for years that legal recognition of “same-sex marriage” would necessarily reduce the freedoms of speech, religion and parental rights.

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Good points about re-thinking post-abortion testimonies

First, “I regret my abortion” is the easiest pro-life pitch to refute. That is, all the other side has to do is put up a woman who says, “I don’t regret mine.”

Second, a heavy emphasis on post-abortion testimonies often works against the Christian tradition. Christianity entails confessing your sins, then forgetting them in light of the grace given us. . . .

Third, there’s a plausible danger that subjective testimonies will dictate pro-life policy. For example, I’ve seen some (by no means, all) post-abortion pro-lifers object to graphic depictions of abortion on grounds that the images are mean-spirited. Never mind that pictures work; all that matters is that we not make people feel bad.  . . .

Finally, how do the husbands feel? In most cases, post-abortion testimonies involve a previous relationship, not a current spouse. If the wife’s ministry centers on retelling what she did with her ex, how does that help the current marriage relationship move forward and flourish?

The Christian gospel is the fantastic news that God the Father declares guilty sinners righteous in virtue of another–the sinless Lamb of God. Isn’t it time we focused more on that blessed declaration and less on our own canceled sins?

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From the “I am not making this up” department, the new Massachusetts Highway Safety Department leader has had 34 issues on her driving record.

Given the outrageous hypocrisy of our liberal rulers — who govern by the motto, “Do as I say, not as I do” — it would be hard to imagine a better bureauweenie to head the Massachusetts Highway Safety Department than Sheila Burgess:

[C]onnections [with the likes of Hanoi John Kerry] helped her secure her $87,000-per-year government job even though she had no experience in the field of highway safety.

Her personal experience with traffic violations, however, are extensive.

[The Boston Globe] reports that she has had 34 different entries on her driving record since 1982.

Those charges vary, and include four speeding violations and two instances where she refused to stop for a police officer. There are single counts of times when she was cited for not having her license or registration in her possession, not staying in her lane, and not wearing a seat belt.

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If they are consistent, those making the pro-abortion “parasite” / bodily autonomy argument would judge this woman not guilty of any crime or moral wrong as long as she slit the infant’s throat and stabbed her before the umbilical cord was cut or while she was breast feeding.

Cassandra Elyse Norwood cut the throat of her newborn son almost immediately after giving birth two weeks ago in her eastside Athens home, according to Athens-Clarke police arrest warrants.

The death was apparently premeditated, according to the warrant, which states that Norwood “did unlawfully and with malice aforethought cause the death of Baby Norwood … by cutting the throat of the infant and stabbing it in the abdomen almost immediately after it was born.”

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Sad Elmo’s Very Bad Week — too bad for Kevin Clash (the voice of Elmo on taxpayer-funded Sesame Street) that these allegations didn’t come out until a few years from now when the moral freaks on the Left will have made the case to the public that pedophile homosexuals were “born that way.”

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Obamacare: Tales from the front lines — I urge people to take note of these examples and share them.  It will only get worse as more of it gets implemented.

A Physician’s New Reality Under ObamaCare: Patients Ask Me to Break the Law…

“Ironically, but expectedly, the ones who do this now arelikely to have supported Obamacare.”

..there is the “annual ” or “preventative” exam, which according to Obamacare is “free” …
What they did not tell you, and I am, is that it covers absolutely nothing more than the bare minimum.

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Here’s another one: Obamacare hits academia — You’ll have a tough time suppressing the schadenfruede.

Normally it would be highly inappropriate to guffaw at the fate of those who will be thrown out of work or have their hours dramatically cut as a result of ObamaCare. But considering that the percentage of academics who voted for Obama is probably in the 90s, an exception can be made for this:

“Pennsylvania’s Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is slashing the hours of 400 adjunct instructors, support staff, and part-time instructors to dodge paying for Obamacare.

“It’s kind of a double whammy for us because we are facing a legal requirement [under the new law] to get health care and if the college is reducing our hours, we don’t have the money to pay for it,” said adjunct biology professor Adam Davis.”

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Whoa — this originated from HuffPo?  Six ways for women to stamp out the risk of divorce.

  • Skill #1: Do at Least Three Things a Day for Your Own Pleasure
  • Skill #2: Relinquish Control of People You Can’t Control
  • Skill #3: Receive Gifts, Compliments and Help Graciously
  • Skill #4: Respect The Man You Chose
  • Skill #5: Express Gratitude Three Times Daily
  • Skill #6: Strive to be Vulnerable

False teachers want to reduce abortions by increasing abortions. Or something like that.

False teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie took a break from taking little girls to gay pride parades to spread disinformation about how Contraception Reduces Abortion Rate.

It is a classically disingenuous move on his part.  Pro-aborts like him pretend to want to reduce abortions, but everyone who supports the Democrats is explicitly in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions that will obviously increase the number of abortions (duh).  So if they really wanted to reduce them then why take the money of pro-lifers by force to increase them?

And he ignores that half of abortions occur while women are on birth control.  The rate of failure is highest for teens.

Reducing the number of abortions is a cause most people of faith share but not all people of faith believe women should have access to contraception – some believe such access should be difficult or even illegal.

That is a straw-man argument.  Just because we didn’t buy Sandra Fluke’s nonsense doesn’t mean we want birth control to be illegal.  She’s a 31 yr. old law student managing to finance a $50,000 /yr. education and she can’t get her boyfriends to pool $10/month for birth control?  It was one of the most Prozac-inducing parts of the campaign watching so many people side with her.  Is it so hard to see the difference between access and forcing others to pay?

And isn’t it just possible that all the great pro-life laws (ultrasounds, informed consent, parental notification, etc.) put into place have helped reduce abortions?  Remember that pro-aborts strenuously oppose all of those.

Such thinking increases the need for abortion.  Groups like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice work to promote contraception.  We need more voices joining with RCRC.

The RCRC is all about abortion.  “Reproductive Choice” is a fallacious term, as all abortions kill humans who have already been reproduced.

At the same time, faith communities need to be fighting hard for quality sex education in our public schools and to be providing such education in our churches.  A great resource for churches is the Our Whole Lives curriculum developed by the United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universialist Association.

I can only imagine what perversities that Chuck and the Unitarians have cooked up for these poor young people.  Remember, Chuck is so eager to show how “progressive” he is that he uses his 6 yr. old daughters as props to take to gay pride parades.  That’s sick, but he is a perfect picture of the “Christian” Left (Read: Wolves in sheep’s clothing).

Run, don’t walk, from false teachers like this and the denominations that support them.

The Life of Pi and religious pluralism

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I just finished reading the Life of Pi, an enjoyable, well written book that will be coming out as a movie this week.  One of the sub-themes was how Pi, the main character, tried to simultaneously follow Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.  One humorous scene was when he is walking with his family and his mentors from each religion just happen to converge on them and his secret of religious pluralism is revealed.

The book doesn’t dig deeply into the contradictions of the religions, but I think that the movie will give believers a good opportunity to address the notion of religious pluralism and use it as a springboard to point out the following:

  • why these religions can’t all be true
  • why your preferred religion doesn’t become the one by which the real God will judge you just because you like it the best
  • why the evidence of history points to Christianity.

Do a little prep work and this may be your easiest evangelism of the year!

There are two main kinds of religious pluralism.  One is good and one is intellectually bankrupt.

Good pluralism: Numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society.

Bad pluralism: All religions are true and equally valid paths to God.

pluralism.jpg

Pluralism can be a good thing if it means we should tolerate the beliefs of others.  Jesus, who was God in flesh, didn’t force anyone to convert.  So why should we think that we can?

Christianity should flourish in a society with good pluralism, as the Gospel can be shared freely and there isn’t pressure to fake one’s beliefs.  Sadly, we often get complacent in such atmospheres and Christianity spreads just as well or better in times of persecution.  It tends to weed out false believers and teachers more effectively.

Of course, there are some truths in each religion, but there are irreconcilable differences in their essential truth claims regarding the nature of God, the path to salvation, their view of Jesus, etc.

Here are some examples:

One of the following is possible when we die, but under no circumstance could more than one be possible:

  1. Reincarnation (Hinduism, New Age)
  2. Complete nothingness (Atheism)
  3. One death then judgment by God (Christianity, Islam, others)

Jesus was either the Messiah (Christianity) or He was not the Messiah (Judaism and others), but He cannot be both the Messiah and not the Messiah.

God either doesn’t exist (Atheism), He exists and is personal (Christianity) or He exists and is impersonal (Hinduism, Buddhism).

Jesus either died on the cross (Christianity) or He didn’t (Islam).  The Koran repeatedly claims that Jesus did not die on the cross (Sura 4:157-158). What evidence does Islam offer? One guy with a vision over 500 years after the fact. That is not what we base history upon, especially when scholars of the first century — whether Christians or not — agree that a real person named Jesus died on a Roman cross.

God either revealed himself to us (many religions) or he didn’t (Atheism, Agnosticism).

Jesus is the eternally existent God (Christianity) or He isn’t (everything else, including the Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness). In fact, in Islam it is an unforgivable sin to claim that Jesus is God, so there is no way to reconcile Christianity and Islam.

Some people hold the view that God will be whatever you conceive him to be in this life.  That is one of the most bizarre religious views I have heard.  I’m not sure how they came to the conclusion that every human gets a designer god and that at death it would be just as one wished.  That fantasy doesn’t work for 10 seconds in this life, so why would it work for eternity?

Consider the view of Mahatma Gandhi and Hinduism in general:

After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that [1] all religions are true; [2] all religions have some error in them; [3] all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one’s own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible. (Mahatma Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers: Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as told in his own words, Paris, UNESCO 1958, p 60.)

Yet the exclusive claims of Christianity prove Gandhi’s worldview (that of Hinduism) to be false.  Among other things, the Bible claims at least one hundred times that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  It also commands us not to worship idols and that we die once and then face judgment (it does not hold to reincarnation).  Those are key elements of the Hindu faith.  So if Hinduism is true then Christianity cannot be true.  But if Hinduism is correct in stating that all religions are true, then Christianity must be true.  But Christianity claims to be the one true path, so if it is true then Hinduism is not.

Also, Hinduism claims that Christianity is true, so if Christianity is false then so is Hinduism.  Either way, the logic of Gandhi and Hinduism collapses on itself.

When I share the Gospel with people I do so as respectfully as possible.  But I always try to work in examples like the above to highlight that under no circumstances can we both be right about the nature of God and salvation.

I must confess that I used to hold the position of religious pluralism.  We studied world religions over 20 years ago in an Adult Sunday School class and, sadly, didn’t dig very deep.  I was attending a theologically liberal church but was not really a believer yet.  At best I was “saved and confused” and became a believer despite the work of that church.   (What changed?  I read the Bible on my own and listened to lots of Christian radio and studied apologetics.)  Most of us walked away thinking the religions were “all pretty much the same” and with no incentive to go out and make a case for Christianity.  How convenient for us!

So why did I – and so many people today, including Christians – embrace bad pluralism? I think it is typically out of a lack of clear thinking on the topic.  When you examine the essentials of these faiths it is not that hard to show how they are irreconcilable.

Political correctness and fear contribute as well.  It is easy to deny the exclusivity of Jesus (or the truth claims of whatever faith one follows) if one wants to avoid controversy.  But as unpopular as it is to make truth claims, it is really a rather logical thing to do.  The one claiming all religions are true needs to back up that claim with their evidence and logic.  Just rattle off a list of religions, sects and cults and ask why they are all true.  Just be careful saying things like, “Hinduism has a lot of sects.”  If you say it too quickly people will have surprised looks on their faces.

Sheer laziness is another factor.  Knowing enough about one’s faith to defend it in the marketplace of ideas is hard work.  Religious pluralism is a great excuse not to evangelize.

I expect many non-Christians to say that all paths lead to God, but it really bothers me when Christians do so.  They should meditate on this passage, among others:

Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Again, the Bible claims over 100 times directly and indirectly that Jesus is the only way to salvation and there are countless warnings not to worship false gods.  That isn’t what makes it true (his resurrection does that), but it does mean that anyone claiming the name of Christ should hold that view.  Run, don’t walk, from any church or “Christian” leader who doesn’t have the knowledge or the guts to make that simple claim.

Please be prepared to engage people on this important topic.  You don’t have to jump in with a direct assault on why their views are false.  For example, if I’m talking to a Muslim I may start by describing the views of a third religion, such as Hinduism, and point out that Hinduism and Islam can’t both be true.  Typically you’ll get quick agreement.  Then you can shift to the Koran’s claims about who died on the cross and how the Koran teaches that the Bible is the word of God and that God’s word can’t be corrupted.  Therefore, they should study the Bible.

That’s just one example.  Get the conversation going then point them to the Bible as quickly and thoroughly as you can.  Religious pluralism is demonstrably false and we can all be equipped to point it out in simple ways and to steer people to the truth.