“I feel like we stopped midway through our last conversation,” my neighbor said as we took an afternoon walk together. “I mentioned that I thought the Bible was offensive, but later realized that might have offended you.”
I inwardly let out a sigh of relief. She had told me on our last walk about going to a church that sometimes preached Jesus’ words, and other weeks talked about Buddha or Gandhi. I never really responded to that at the time as the conversation turned quickly, but I sensed this opening to comment now. Problem was, I didn’t have a clue what to say. Just days before a homework question in Bible study prodded about what to say to someone who believes all paths lead to eternal life. Let’s just say I didn’t give that response the attention it deserved, yet here I was with another opportunity to respond.
God, help. You know these prayers, these unspoken pleadings. Intervene now, please. Don’t forget that prayer as you read on, for what I said next never would have otherwise come out of my mouth.
“I absolutely agree,” I told her. “I, too, think the Bible is offensive.”
“Really?” she asked, her sigh audible. “How so?”
“Well, it says that Jesus is the only way. Most people don’t want to hear that because we want to think that if we’re good, then we’ll have a favorable outcome later, but the Bible doesn’t say that.”
“So that’s what offends you?”
“Actually, no, but I know it turns others off.”
She told me how she views Jesus as a good man who loved well but didn’t have a purpose beyond that.
“Funny, because we’re both saying nearly the same thing, but yet what we both believe varies just enough that it has a completely different meaning for both of us.” I went on to explain that I, too, believe Jesus is the ultimate model of love, but said the place where we view it differently is that Christ’s love has an eternal purpose. I explained that when Jesus died on the cross, God turned his back since all of our gunk was too much. Simply, sin and God don’t mix and all of our sin piled upon Jesus in that moment left God with no choice but to temporarily turn his back.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
“No one before or since has ever demonstrated that level of love for us. Jesus came to this earth knowing exactly what he would endure, yet he still decided to do it all because of his deep love for us. That kind of sacrifice earns Jesus the right to say that he is the only path to God.”Jesus' sacrifice earns him the right to say he is the only path to God. Click To Tweet
Friend, in a world where we’re supposed to be PC–even at the risk of forfeiting what we believe–let’s be sure to never undermine this ultimate sacrifice by pretending it is just one of many paths.