Monday, October 10, 2005

Is there one way, or many ways, to God?

I came across a great Hoobastank song that expresses frustration at people who are so narrow minded as to believe that there is only one way to God. Here are some of the lyrics for "Same Direction"...
...everyone thinks they're right
And nobody thinks that there just might
Be more than one road to our final destination
So why does there only have to be one correct philosophy?
I don't want to go and follow you just to end up like one of them
And why are you always telling me what you want me to believe?
I'd like to think that i can go my own way and meet you in the end.
I think the song embodies the belief of many people today. But are they right? I know it sounds good. I addressed this in my Sunday message, Faith Options...Are there many ways to God? Let me share four points that I closed with from Brian McLaren's book, Finding Faith. I really think they bring a good balance to the whole discussion...
  1. Honor the truth wherever you find it. Jesus may be the way to connect with God, but that doesn't mean that other religions don't have any truth. It's important that we have the honesty to admit it.
  2. Honor the glory wherever you find it. When we find examples of dedication, faith, compassion, sacrifice or beauty, it doesn't matter what faith the person has. These qualities are good regardless of the faith. The fact that the person is not Christian doesn't invalidate the virtue.
  3. Honor people, even when you disagree. When we honor people, we honor God, even when people don't agree with us.
  4. It's okay to not know. The big question that people often have about Christianity is, "What happens to people who never hear about Jesus?" Many people have assumed that they automatically go to hell. That answer has turned people away from the faith. They don't want to be a part of that kind of religion. But the truth is we don't know. The Bible doesn't say. It's pure speculation, and personally, I think it's poor speculation. It's not consistent with what we know about God. But I won't speculate the other way either. That's the point - it's okay to not know. I like what Abraham said, "Won't the Judge of the whole earth do justly?" I rest in that.