Is there one way to Heaven?

In a service on Christmas day, our worship pastor made a comment about Jesus being the only way to Heaven. The claim was a little more direct than we usually make, but I thought it was well in the appropriate bounds for a Christian worship gathering. I knew there was a Muslim man attending our service to watch his son perform in our service. I remember glancing his way to see his reaction and I was surprised to see him clapping. Even more so, he came up to me after service to tell me how much he enjoyed worshipping with us and to thank me for mentoring his son.

That's not the first surprise. The people who were offended by the claim were from our congregation. This week, these two youtube videos are assigned viewing in my Contemporary Cultures class at Fuller. 

What do you think of these? Is there one way to Heaven or are there multiple ways? Has Oprah gone off the deep end here? How would you respond to these women?

I'm pretty conservative in my beliefs, but I'd like to know what you think. 


The Hanique's said...

This is a very interesting and yet difficult topic to discuss. And it most certainly will not fit in this comment box :)

Here's some thoughts I had when watching the videos.
I do understand why she's against doctrine. It is a dangerous thing when leaders tell you exactly how to live and leave no room for own interpretation. I do believe people should be taught to think for themselves and don't follow doctrine blindly.
But in my opinion these videos have a bit of a New Age mindset; there's multiple ways to heaven and it really doesn't matter as long as you have lived a good life.

One point was made that God doesn't fit in a box and is so much bigger than we can comprehend or put into Christian beliefs. And also people may give things different names, we call it God and someone else may call it Divine Energy or something. I think this is a valid argument, we can never begin to comprehend the greatness of God. And in a way I don't think Christianity represent all that God is. But I do think we need to take Jesus seriously when he said 'I am the way, nobody will be with the Father but through me' (don't know the exact words). You can't work your way into heaven by living the best life you can. Because of our sinful nature we will never succeed on our own. I don't want to offend anybody but in my opinion this leaves little room for other religions that do not teach Jesus' teachings. And so it may be that other religions have valuable things to teach us, but we must never forget that Jesus is the only way to the Father. So I would think it best to test the wisdom of other religions with the things Jesus said. Besides, there's a saying in Dutch that states 'there's more than one road to Rome' but even though there may be more than one road to Rome, you'd be crazy to take a detour :) Why not take the most direct route.

I have many more thoughts on this but it wouldn't fit in one comment :)

Guillaume Hanique said...

We all know the statement "all roads lead to Rome" is a (ship)load of crap. There are very few roads leading to Rome. And if you follow to roads that lead approximately to Rome long enough, you'll drive right past it and find yourself on the bottom of the Mediterrenean Sea. (And yes, you can travel to Rome via Moscow, provided you don't die from starvation before you arrive).

The creep does have one very good and true point, though, when he says: "If you deny other people's belief, then religion becomes a closed door." In my ministry we regularly talk to and pray with new age people like the creep and Oprah. As soon as you tell people they're wrong and you're right, you do destroy every hope of ever reaching them. In stead tell them you have something better (you do!). Everyone is interested in something better.

We should preach (read: demonstrate - 1 cor 2:4) the Kingdom and leave the reproving part to the Holy Spirit (John 16:8).

Oh, I believe it was Oprah who suggested you should look inside yourself for what's right and wrong. Many people would have died if I'd lived by what I feel is right or wrong.

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