There’s more than one way to Jesus

road_and_path07I love singing this song in evangelical settings and watching people’s faces as they wrestle with what it is saying. On one hand, I’m saying, “Jesus is the only way,” and everyone feels comfortable with that, but then I also include those telltale words of liberalism, “there’s more than one way,” and that makes everyone very nervous. The statement is true, however, and entirely biblical. I’m merely saying that there is only one way to God, and that is Jesus; but there are a myriad of ways to Jesus — probably as many ways as there are people who get there. And all we are saying in this stimulating discussion of Muslims and Christians is that one of those ways might just be by way of Islam. In other words, a person could start out as a Muslim and end up as a believing Christian. Whether they choose to outwardly convert to Christianity, or stay within the Muslim tradition, they are still believing Jesus is the son of God who died for their sins on the cross, which makes them a Christian in my book.

I know this is possible because there are many people who can give testimony to this, and we are going to have one of them on our next BlogTalkRadio show Tuesday night. Dr. Safi Kaskas, believes this so strongly that he has spent the last five years translating the Qur’an into simple English (think “The Message” version of the Bible), and also cross-referenced over 3,000 references to the Bible.* What he’s done is remarkable. He has made it possible to put in someone’s hand a version of the Qur’an that leads to the Jesus of the Bible. Now that’s a way to Jesus not too many people have thought of.

Certainly a lot of Christians haven’t thought of it because they are too busy bashing Muslims, proving them wrong and burning the Qur’an. What we are saying is that there is a better way to go about this. I’ve been saying this all along, so it should come as no surprise at least to our Catch community: Find common ground (see Declaration of a Marketplace Christian). Actually, if you listen to Dr. Larycia Hawkins, the former Wheaton professor who is no longer at Wheaton, she says this was all she was trying to accomplish in the Facebook post that cost her her job. Her statement about Muslims and Christians worshiping the same God was not a statement of theology; it was a statement of solidarity — an attempt to find common ground with Muslims.

And indeed, if there is truly only one God (and there is), then there is a sense that you could say that everyone who is seeking Him, is worshiping (looking for) the same God. As I stated before, Paul spoke this way when he brought the gospel to the people of Athens (Acts 17). He searched through their “objects of worship” and found an idol to an unknown God and proceeded to announce that what they were “worshiping in ignorance,” was actually the God of the Jews, who sent His son to earth to die for our sins and proved He was God by raising Him from the dead. So it can indeed be said, from Paul’s account, that the people of Athens and the new Christians were worshiping the same God. Paul probably would have lost his job at Wheaton, too.

Our job as Christians is not to prove everyone else wrong, but purely and simply to lead people to Christ. And one very important ingredient we’ve left out of this discussion so far is the Holy Spirit, the one Jesus said would guide us into all truth. Don’t you think that if anyone is truly seeking God in all humility with all their heart, that the Holy Spirit will somehow lead them to Christ? Do you really think God is going to say to to a person like that, “Sorry, you got the wrong god; I was really behind Door Number 3.”

We need to take a new message to the world. We’ve got to stop bashing and burning and start building.

* Dr. Kaskas will also show us that the proper reading of the Qur’an will not lead to the violent overthrow of all “infidels” adopted by Muslim extremists. Those who trace their killing to the Qur’an are grossly misinterpreting the text. How many Christian sects have there been in history — and are indeed here now — that have traced their beliefs to misinterpretations of the Bible? From the Crusades, to the Salem witch hunts, to the K.K.K., to Jonestown, this should come as no surprise.

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18 Responses to There’s more than one way to Jesus

  1. I hope I can find a post of this blog afterwards. I generally have to miss the live version. This has been a subject weighing heavy on me. A friend of mine works with which is a way to connect Muslims and Christians and also to help those who already have connections to slowly build on them.

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Great Catch today Pastor John, I just sincerely hope & pray others read it with an open mind and heart too – I once learned in college: (i’m sure or hope many have too) The mind is like a parachute, in it doesn’t work to well, unless it’s open.

    PS I’ll just like to add, or comment this isn’t as you chose to phrase it: “…I also include those telltale words of liberalism, “there’s more than one way,”” To me it’s called having an ‘open’ mind – you once wrote a post if I’m remembering correctly speaking about the dangers of “labeling.” Well plz inform me just how this isn’t “labeling” yet again? Also that post caused a lot of ‘gruff’ – simply becauze you chose to ‘label’ my Lord and Savoir as a communist – just to make a point… He is NOT a Capitalist, Socialist OR Communist – He is the true & only Son of God!

    Again my two cents… 🙂

  3. Terri Main says:

    Love it. Sharing it.

  4. Gary says:

    Surely it is not hard at all to grasp what you’ve been thrusting (rightly so) into not so willing hearts, the Sword of Truth. That even God fearing Muslims can find Jesus. “Oh wretched man that I am” . How could I deny that.! Even the ones who have their victims kneeling before them, waiting to have their heads removed. Let us set aside lamenting the reprobates that profane the Gospel with their tragic outcomes that are attached to the Body of Christ, of which they are not nor will not ever be a part of. It is a steep up hill battle to have the world realize the difference. As the saying goes “you will know them by their Love”. Building “just” walls is a “no win” Scenario. Building bridges can be risky. But as you said, Jesus didn’t grant us assured safety. I what to Love those who hate me. So that I know I am God’s Sanctuary. I just don’t like Bullies. I don’t care to hear “well what made them Bullies”. It’s their choice to be such.

  5. I find nothing wrong with have friendly dialogue with Muslims but we must see them through a biblical worldview. Muslims can be nice, religious, zealous, friendly, etc., but they are still enemies of God (Ephesians 2:1-3). Like us before Christ (Titus 3:3-4), Muslims are dead in their sins. Whether Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, or atheists, people need the gospel that first begins with the law of God (1 Timothy 1:8-11). Romans 10:1-17 is clear: religious people (and all sinners) need to hear the gospel to be saved.

    The Bible alone is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and we must point all sinners to Jesus as Lord and Savior (Matthew 28:18-20).

    • jwfisch says:

      No one is saying anything about salvation here. Yes, that is ultimately the most important piece, but it’s not where you start the conversation. We’re just looking for something in common. We’re all first human beings before we’re Christians or Muslims. And as far as sin is concerned, we’re all sinners, too. Sin is not a division; it’s a place of commonality. Start with what you have in common. And you have a lot without even bringing up religion.

      • Just a question then John for clarification. After you talk with Muslims and build a dialogue, do you tell them they are sinners in need of Jesus Christ, our sole mediator before a holy God and establish that they are dead in their sins apart from Him? Not trying to argue here. Just want to know.

      • jwfisch says:

        Do you tell that to anybody? Then yes. Personally, I tell it in terms of myself. That realize I am a sinner before a holy God and I need a savior, and found forgiveness in Jesus. Yes of course you tell this because it’s part of your story, but that part of the story always goes down better in first person.

      • Thanks John. No issues there. I fear in our modern culture that people who claim Christ as Lord are often ignoring the Bible’s call to evangelism and the need of people to hear the truth of the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:47; Romans 10:14-17) but want to believe that all roads lead to God (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus is the only way as you point out (John 14:6) and He is our only mediator before God (1 Timothy 2:3-6; Hebrews 9:27-28). This must be our message.

        May Jesus be preached (Psalm 110:1)!

      • jwfisch says:

        All roads go somewhere. Jesus is the way to the Father. God is the rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.

  6. Kent B says:

    Wow John, we’ve never done it that way before! Our church starts with a greeting and then a warning; “you are gathered in a very safe place to hear a potentially dangerous message, buckle up”. This may qualify as one of those messages. Buckle up my friend. Thank you!!!

  7. dierama says:

    Wow! Agreed! Thank you for shouting it out to the digital age!

  8. Ivan says:

    There’s only one way to God, through Jesus Christ. And there’s only one way to Jesus, through the heart. Not an open mind, or one’s lips or hands but a longing heart.

  9. Matthew Liffengren says:

    I have had similar conversations with friends. There will be mormons, jw’s etc.. in heaven as long as they have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior! It freaks people out but it’s true. Some people have accepted Christ in their heart and maybe don’t know all the workings of the church they are in. Of course, I don’t believe any church denomination is perfect but we are all part of the body of Christ.

    Matt L

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