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Part 3 Do all Roads Lead to Heaven?

As I pointed out in part 2, many people believe religious truth is a matter of preference and cannot be verified.   They are usually quick to point out, “All roads lead the heaven;” that all religious beliefs are true for the follower and no one can say they are right.   It appears to be a viewpoint that seemingly offends no one.  In fact it is promoted by the media as a way to end the religious violence that permeates the world today.

I have a friend who is a strong advocate of the all roads lead to heaven mantra.  His thinking reflects a new way of looking at beliefs and is specifically designed to replace outmoded worldviews like the Christian faith.  I was talking with him about Christianity being exclusive and he said that saying Jesus was the only way was a primitive belief.  He went on to say, telling people “Jesus is the only way” is not only offensive but also closed minded and hostile to all other beliefs.  He saw his beliefs as superior and in harmony with all worldviews and in contrast the beliefs of Christianity as archaic.

According to a survey by USA Today 70% of Americans (USA Today) believe many religions can lead to eternal life.  On the other side only 24% believe there is only one way to heaven.

A writer in the Los Angeles Times responded to a letter by a Muslim theologian about the relative nature of religious belief and said this,

“It was refreshing to see your article on the religious relativism of Abdul Kareem Surash in which this Iranian theologian is quoted as saying that all religious understanding is relative and that no one interpretation is absolute. Such a lesson in religious tolerance and pluralism is not just needed in Iran. In the United States, people like Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan and Jerry Falwell need to comprehend that they do not possess a monopoly in understanding God's will. Additionally, of course, it would be a great day for the world if the Pope would also adopt Surash's admonition to abandon religious absolutism.” (Tabash, Edward, Letter to the Editor, LA Times February 10, 2005)

Both the original writer and the responder believe that all religious belief is a matter of personal preference and no one person can know the truth.  In other words, all roads lead to heaven.  However, immediately we see a problem; the statement “…all religious understanding is relative and that no one interpretation is absolute,” is itself a religious statement and therefore at least one interpretation is absolute; the statement no one interpretation is absolute.  Here is an absolute religious statement saying there are no absolute religious statements.  The statement itself is self-refuting; it is contradictory and false.

There is another problem. The Iranian Muslim theologian said all religious understanding is relative and that no one interpretation is absolute. Why should I believe his statement that “all religious understanding is relative and that no one interpretation is absolute?”  Or why should I or anyone else believe all roads lead to heaven?  They need to defend their view.  This is the purpose behind asking “why” questions; it puts the burden of proof where is belongs; on the person who makes the religious claim.  Part 4 I will continue to explore these questions of religious truth.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Missy December 29, 2015, 9:50 am

    God’s word is absolute. There is a problem tough, not many know God’s true word. The reason of that? They don’t read, or study the bible and simply follow what others say. Which this is false teachings for the most part. I stand my case with the verse:

    1st Cor 4:5 “therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the lord comes…” Everybody, even priests need to stop putting opinions into the bible because this verse says wait for the lord to appear. The question is will he appear again?

    Heb 9:28 “so Christ was sacrifices once to take away the sins of many; he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting” during his second coming Christ will reveal the true interpretation of the bible.. Read Revelations 5:1-5. The Root of David is the only one who can open the scroll/bible. Who is the root of David? We have to find him and listen to him. He is the only person worthy of revealing the absolute words of God. There is only one road towards the kingdom of Heaven. One interpretation of the bible. One true religion. One true God.

  • Steve Bruecker January 1, 2016, 7:15 am

    Missy,
    I agree there is a lack of knowledge of God’s Word. However, taking 1 Corinthians 4:5 out of context doesn’t make your point. Your reply exposes your lack of knowledge of God’s Word.

    Here is the entire verse: 1 Corinthians 4:5 (ESV) “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” The Corinthians were judging Paul’s ministry (v. 1-5) and he said stop this type of judgment because there will be a time when all ministry will be judged by God. There seems to be a hypocritical nature to their judgments.

    These verse have nothing to do with priests putting opinions into the Bible. I suggest reading all verses in context before passing judgment on others, which Paul warned the Corinthian Church not to do and he is also warning you.

    To make matters worse, you then misinterpret Hebrews 9:28. Chapter 9 focuses on the temporary OT sacrificial system that pointed to Christ. Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant. His sacrifice once and for all, pays the penalty for our sins. Those who trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, will be forgiven. These verses have nothing to do with the idea that upon his second coming he will reveal the true interpretation of the Bible. With the help of study and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, we can know the “true” interpretation today; we don’t have to wait.

    Finally, you try to make your case with Revelations 5:1-5. Revelations contains loads of symbolism and is not an easy book to interpret. But one thing I know, it is not teaching that we have to wait until the 2nd coming to understand the truths of the Bible. Yes Jesus has perfect knowledge but these verses don’t teach what you want them to say. If we couldn’t understand the Bible today, then why did God give us His Word?

    My series shows only through Jesus can anyone enter the kingdom of heaven. And yes there is only one true interpretation, Christianity is the true religion, and one true God. Even though we don’t have perfect knowledge, we can still trust in our interpretations. You seem to trust in your interpretations. However, you need help in understanding how to properly interpret the Bible. All the verses you quoted in this comment section were taken out of context and one thing I do know; your interpretations are all wrong. I don’t need Jesus returning to reveal this.

    Steve

  • Missy January 1, 2016, 11:17 pm

    You see Steve, there is a problem with you, me, and everyone in this world. It’s the fact that none of us are nowhere near perfect or near thinking like God. ISA 55:8-9 The Lord says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Take this with a grain of salt, but a man’s interpretation, the Lord said, are not His interpretations.

    Also, take some time to read these verses.
    Rev 3:12 (the one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God….and I will also write on them MY NEW NAME)
    Rev 2:17 (Whoever has ears, let them hear…..I will also give that person a white stone with A NEW NAME written on it….)

    The above 2 verses testify of a new name. I’d assume you know why the new name is on a stone. In case you have any doubts: 1st Peter 2:4. (As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by humans but chosen by God…) just as Jesus was rejected once, even when he comes with a new name he will be rejected again.

    Is it possible? I will give my opinion now. There was a time when people prayed to Jehova, this was the age of The Father. Then came the age of The Son, this is Jesus. But scriptures say, be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Does the Holy Spirit have a name like the Father and Son does? Does the Holy Spirit have any actions or is it only spiritual? John 14:28 Jesus said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send I’m my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” the advocate/Holy Spirit is Jesus as the root of David. Rev 22:16. Here is the cath, why root of David? Hos 3:5 says we will seek the Lord and David for blessings in the Last Days. Did Jesus come in the last days? To my understanding 2000 years ago, was not the last days. Heb 9:28 cannot be anymore black and white. But then again, this is why his new name is on a white stone. So people can trip and fall over it/his name as they were destined to in disbelief.

    Why have a bible if we can’t interpret it? Is because there is a prophesy behind it. The prophesy of 1260 days/42 mths or times, times and half a time. It’s the time that The Church of God/or truth was trampled over before it is restored. It was eliminated by the Roman Empire. Sabbath was abolished 321ad, Passover was abolished 325ad and people were murdered if they followed the true teachings of Christ. This is why Christ has to appear a second time to reestablish what has been lost. All by his will and biblical prophesies.

    You are a wise man Steve. I’d love to invite you to come and study with the Church of God and try to find its faults. Needless to say, The Church of God has been reestablished according to biblical prophesy. But you can be the judge of that.

    Also, by the way you write I can see you lack something the bible teaches. Col 3:12, 1st Peter 5:6, 2nd Chronicles 7:14. And many more verses. It’s called being humble Steve. You should try it, specially if you are the lead of this website. We are all here to learn.

    I appreciate your website. Thanks!

  • Steve Bruecker January 4, 2016, 6:41 am

    Missy,
    The letter you wrote on Jan. 1st is self-refuting. You argue we cannot interpret the Bible and then you go ahead and interpret the Bible. I hope you can see how self-refuting this is.

    The Bible encourages us to study, teach, and interpret the Bible. We don’t need perfect knowledge to do this. A believer in Christ has 1) the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and 2) many great tools that give us confidence we are honoring God in our interpretation. He helps in the process. God wants us to study and interpret his word; that’s why he gave it.

    Paul encourages Timothy to study hard as he interprets the Bible: 2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” Later he tells Timothy: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” In order to teach we need to interpret the Bible. Along those same lines, Jesus said this days before he ascended into heaven: Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” In order to teach the Bible, we have to interpret the Bible.

    There are good interpretations and there are bad. Peter warns against false teachers in: 2 Peter 2:1-2 (ESV) “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.” Peter also later warns against twisting Paul’s letters: 2 Peter 3:15-18 (ESV) “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” To grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ we need to properly interpret the Bible. Many churches worldwide falsely interpret the Bible and lead people away from the truth.

    Whatever branch of the “Church of God” you are following, if you represent their doctrines, I would advise leaving. They are teaching false doctrines and Jesus calls them wolves. Matthew 7:15-23 (ESV) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    Your history references are completely false (Sabbath abolished 321 AD and Passover 325 AD). I don’t know who gave you these dates but they obviously don’t know church history. I won’t touch these issues now because there are bigger problems to deal with.

    The Church of God has many offshoots. What is the exact name of the church you attend. As I said before, if you are teaching their doctrines, leave that church today. My warnings have nothing to do with humility. God wants us to confront and correct false doctrines. I am simply doing what Jude wrote in: Jude 1:3 (ESV) “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” It is not prideful to contend for the faith.

    Steve

  • Missy January 4, 2016, 11:28 am

    I apologize I’m making this public. I would send you a personal email if I knew where to send it or if I knew it would go directly to you.

    But, if I say, no one can interpret the bible yet I’m interpreting the bible then when we put two and two together we come to a conclusion. Either I’m listening to a false prophet (which the study of false prophets is amazing by the way) or I’m listening to a great prophet. Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day the Lord comes.” It’s in your bible. I’m not making any of this up. And the studies/prophesies they teach directly from the bible are too profound and even compliment history books like WW2 and and the study of the Fig Tree, I can’t deny the teachings or even look behind me anymore.

    As far as Mat 7:21. It’s my favorite verse. The first one I learned actually.
    Do you know what our Father’s will is? Mat 7:21. Maybe you don’t because they have been abolished during the rise of the Roman Empire or Catholicism I should say. Which there are Museums today to even prove it in Italy and other places. Do you know what lawlessness is referring to on Mat 7:23? It’s truly amazing when the the answers are discovered in the bible.

    Anyway, I’d love to know your interpretation of the following verses. Please take your time to read each one: Gal 4:26, 4:31 which Jerusalem (spiritually) compliments many verses. But here is a few: Rev 3:12, 21:9-10 and my favorites: Isa 62:1, 62:6-7. As well as, what is your interpretation of the before verses I sent of Jesus stating He would have a New Name. You can’t deny them, they are in your ESV, KJV, NIV ect.

    If you don’t have an answer, actually we have a great number of studies directly from the bible (prophesies) that can explain. Starting with the original Hebrew word for God, Elohim. If you still insist that I should leave The Church of God (Isa 2:2-3, 32:21) which keeps our Father’s laws so we don’t become lawlessness, then I understand. “For many will be invited but only a few will be chosen.” (Mat 22:14) But remember, if we deny Elohim, Elohim denies us.

    If you’d like to know more, email me. Otherwise I’d say, your cup is too full. Mat 5:20 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of Heaven”
    Joh 5:39-40 “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come and have life.” These matters are very hard to understand, let’s not be ignorant and distort ourselves to destruction. Agreed.

    I wish you the best and God bless you Steve.

    Missy

  • Steve Bruecker January 5, 2016, 9:09 am

    Missy,
    I will take this web site conversation to an email one. I will email you, since it is provided for me.

    Steve

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