“Those aspects of life actually are all that endure in the largest perspective when they are made with eternity in mind…. Those acts include love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth. That’s why every religion values those qualities.”
Response: I am a fan of yours, and always enjoy reading your column. But I did want to respond to your recent column entitled: “Leaving a Mark”.
You mentioned that “those aspects of life actually are all that endure in the largest perspective when they are made with eternity in mind…. Those acts include love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth.”
I am in full agreement that having eternity in mind enriches our lives and those around us as we carry out our lives. However from a Christian perspective, the largest perspective would really be eternity – heaven and hell, and how we have assisted people move toward the former (or not). So we could treat people very well, but if we don’t help them see Jesus and learn about eternal life, we will not have helped them in the long run. And eternity is a very long time. As they burn in hell, they may remember how kindly we have treated them, but wonder why we did not introduce them to the sovereign, living God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ, who alone saves men and women unto eternity.
By the way, Maurice Rawlings is a cardiologist who discovered that about half of his patients that he revived from death came back screaming for him to save them, as they were in hell. Very interesting, as it directly contradicts liberal seminaries, which often teach that hell does not exist.
“Those acts include love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth. That’s why every religion values those qualities.”
Response: Is this really true? The Bible is clear that there were other religions in place at the time of the Old and New Testaments, and they were condemned by prophets in the Old Testament and Christ and His apostles in the New Testament:
- Moses directly confronted the spiritual leaders of Egypt, who espoused another religion. He could have said: “I know we have the same values, so I wish you well.” No, he rejected their religion and their gods, and each of the plagues brought upon the Egyptians demonstrated that their gods were impotent against the God of the children of Israel.
- There are many other examples of the prophets of the sovereign, living God of the universe rejecting pagan gods in the Old Testament and their practices such as sacrificing their children by passing them through the fire. (Similar to abortion today – over 50 million unborn babies to the gods of convenience, lifestyle, and reputation.) The Judeo-Christian respect for human life as created in the image of God and of a higher order than animals is unique.
- The New Testament is also full of examples of Christ and His disciples rejecting other religions. Christ clearly taught that the (Talmudic) Judaism taught be the Pharisees and Sadducees was insufficient to go to heaven. He told Nicodemus, a Pharisee, that he must be born again to go to heaven.
- When Paul spoke to the Greek philosophers in Athens, he noted that they had statues to many gods, then expounded on their “unknown god”, making the case that their unknown god was really the God of the Bible. These were professional, hardened, skeptical philosophers, and yet he found a way to reach them. But he did not reach them on the basis of shared values.
- Finally, Jesus stated: “I am the way, the truth, and the light; no one goes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6 This claim to exclusivity is either true or false; there is no middle ground. He was either who he said he was – the Son of the sovereign, living God, or a false teacher and charlatan.
“Each of us finds ways to weave and wind through the time we spend here. Many turn to religion in an effort to connect with the signal. I’ve chosen Christianity. I’ve also had friends of the Jewish faith. Others over the years have become followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, all seeking the higher frequency.”
Response: You imply that different religions are merely different ways to reach the same goal (“the higher frequency”), sort of like a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or truck are all equally valid ways to travel to Memphis.
As the Bible describes multiple gods in both the Old Testament and New Testament, it follows that everyone who worshipped a “god” back then was not necessarily worshipping the God of the Bible. A closer look at religions today reveals that not only is the nature of their gods quite different from the God of the Bible, but their eternal destinations are also quite different. They don’t all go to heaven, but to other places. Here are just three examples:
- Mormons believe that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, and Jesus was more successful at persuading the council of gods that he should go to earth and represent them than Lucifer. So god the father came to earth, had physical sex with Mary, and Jesus was born. Furthermore, if you are good Mormon, you and your wife(s) get your own planet when you die, where you procreate new spirit babies that are then born on earth, just one aspect of reaching godhood.
- Hinduism is also polytheistic, and if you are a good Hindu, after some reincarnations, you escape the wheel of samsara (reincarnation), and become one with the Atman – the All. Similar to a drop of water falling into the ocean, the person then loses all personal identity.
Furthermore, the positive traits that you mentioned: “love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth” are either absent or reinterpreted within the framework of Hinduism. For example, Hindus are known for not helping the poor in India because that would interfere with their karma. And their “truth” would include the perspective that Jesus was just one of many gods, and not even the main one.
- Allah, the moon god, was one of the pagan deities worshipped by the people of Arabia prior to Mohammad arriving on the scene. When he promoted his monotheism to the polytheistic inhabitants of Mecca, they chased him out of town. He traveled to Medina, where he gathered his forces, came back and took over by deception and bloodshed. He was a pedophile, a murderer, and a marauder who institutionalized deception (called taqiyya) within Islam, a practice embraced by Muslim leaders today. Allah is not known for his love, and the only way you can be assured of going to paradise is if you die in jihad – religious war. If you are a good Moslem man, you go to Paradise, where you have your own harem of 72 beautiful virgins. (I don’t believe Muslim women end up with 72 handsome men). The hyper-sexed Islamic culture is evident in Saudi Arabia, home of Islam’s most holy sites, where women dare not venture out of their homes without male escorts, and then covered up with a burka, lest they tempt a man to take advantage of them. If a daughter or wife were to be raped, the father of the family would be duty-bound by Islam to kill her, thus restoring honor to the family.
These elements are fundamental to Islam, and not merely some radical sect of Islam. The “love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth” is largely absent within orthodox Islam. (I used to live with Moslems while in grad school in Missouri).
NOTE: Just one of the ways that Islam is profoundly different from Christianity is how it treats women as second class citizens, even as property. Ann Barnhardt is a brilliant, totally outspoken, former financial broker and devout Catholic who provides key insights into Islamic sexuality. You can see her analysis here (part 1 of 4 parts) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2MelBr5VVE. Her videos provide great insight into the works of satan to destroy and pervert God’s ultimate creation – men and women, created in the image of God.
“Others over the years have become followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, all seeking the higher frequency.”
Response: You mentioned “the higher frequency”. By this do you mean there is some all-pervasive power that believers in religion can tap into? Sooner or later most believers in power religion (tapping a higher power) discover that the source of their power is ultimately Satan, who comes as an angel of light, and employs his minions and multiple religions to move us toward the creation of a one world religion, one world economy, one world currency, and one world government. By the way, we can see the foundation for this system now being established – economically, politically, socially, and religiously.
This is in direct contrast to Christians who live a life in the (Holy) Spirit, who worship and serve the sovereign, living God of the universe and His Son Jesus Christ, Who has sacrificed His life that we may be truly free. Furthermore, in contrast to religion, which are largely man-made belief systems, Christianity offers a personal relationship with the Lord. Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd and My sheep hear My voice.”
Further evidence of the uniqueness of Christianity:
- The Bible is not a single book, but a collection of 63 books written by 40 different authors with widely differing occupations from 3 different continents over 1,500 years. And yet it portrays a common theme and a common message, indicating that it was inspired by a common source – the Holy Spirit. The common theme is that of a sovereign, living God who is holy, just, and merciful – a God who created a universe of beauty and design, who created man in his own image with the capacity for choice, and a plan for salvation that satisfies His nature and requirements for holiness, justice, and mercy.
- Simon Greenleaf was the nation’s most eminent legal scholar on the rules of evidence, and the U.S. Supreme Court often referred to his books on tough cases. A Jew, Greenleaf occasionally would speak disparagingly about Christianity. When his students challenged him by asking if he had ever examined the evidence for Christianity, he replied that he had not, but agreed to do so. After several months of examining the evidence for Christianity, Greenleaf converted to Christianity, convinced that the evidence was so compelling, he had no other choice. A legal scholar, he rejected the religion of his upbringing for the truth and freedom of Christianity.
- In the book “The Math of Christ”, retired U.S. Army Colonel Stephen M. Bauer identifies 40 prophecies from the Old Testament that have been fulfilled, and the odds that they have happened by chance. He discovered that the chances that these happened by chance is one chance in 1×10 to the 136th power. Some scientists believe that the earth is 10 billion years old. Translating this into seconds, this would amount to a mere 4.8 x 10 to the 17th power seconds. Among all religious, only Christianity has such a record of fulfilled prophecies.
- An intelligent design movement has emerged from within the evolutionist
community (including some prominent evolutionary scientists). These scientists have come to the conclusion that the complexity of the universe cannot be explained by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, but reveals evidence of intelligence – of design by a conscious being. All of which is totally consistent with the Biblical account of creation.
Stepping back and looking at these issues from an overall perspective, what difference does it make? The Bible not only articulates a world view and theology that is exclusive, it provides a strong admonition against those who teach other views:
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9
We cannot serve both God and mammon. We will either love one and hate the other, or hate one and love the other.
I apologize for the length of this note to you. I would welcome the opportunity to continue this conversation – by e-mail or in person.