The Facebook post reads, “Pope Francis Says All Major Religions Are Paths To Same God” and shows Pope Francis posing for a picture with other interfaith leaders. The accompanying comment: “Many names. Same Source.”
This article refers to the video produced by the Pope World Prayer Network, first seen back in January 2016; over four years ago at the time I’m writing this. Though it’s terribly wrong, folks easily swallow it because it laces in love and unity as its underlying message.
On this particular feed, the post received over 30 ‘likes’ and ‘hearts’ and was shared 18 times. While one person quipped, “To whom does he want the tithing sent, though…” (which I found quite funny), another was wowed by the news.
I piped up:
[Matthew] lol.. People should actually read the article. It’s actually written by an outlet that believes the words of Jesus and His exclusive claim (made in John 14) over the words of this pope. Overlapping moral codes do nothing to address competing truth claims. Jesus is either Lord, a liar or a lunatic; He didn’t leave room for anything else. Therefore, He is either the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one will come to the Father but through Him, or there are many ways back to God and Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were completely unnecessary.
When I came back a couple days later, I was surprised to see someone had volleyed. Well, they kinda volleyed. As in, they wanted to engage but only long enough to inject some relativism, and then they wanted to end the conversation:
[Dave] No one comes to the Father except through Him: If “I and the Father are One”, than this is obviously true. What I don’t have the authority to pronounce (yes, I know the Scriptures) is what exactly “through me” means. Maybe every Iman, Shaman, Yogi, etc., who acts out of (“God is) love” will, upon their death, no longer “see through a mirror darkly, but now face to face”.
Just FYI: I will not be responding to any messages that you post. My heart is not into theology at this crucial point in time.
That’s fine if he wants to drop his wisdom and then disengage, but I think some of the error he’s leaning on is spiritually dangerous for folks, and since the stakes for being wrong about Jesus are high, I felt I should point out a few things. So far, Dave has been true to his word; he has not written back to my following response.
[Matthew] Dave, thank you for writing. Respectfully, the Pharisees knew Scripture and they still nailed their Messiah to a Roman cross. We can know a lot about Jesus without actually knowing Him personally. Jesus said it’s the truth that sets us free, so I believe accuracy in spiritual truth is vital, ESPECIALLY now in this “crucial point in time.” A person who says, “Your belief in gravity may be true for you but it’s not true for me,” will still plummet to destruction when they walk off a cliff, so maybe we can agree that truth matters. The examples you gave–Islam, paganism and Hinduism–all believe vastly different things. Islam says Jesus never died, which completely disagrees with the entire Bible and one of Jesus’ primary missions on the earth; the perfect atonement for sin. (He is the spotless Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, per 1 Peter 1.) And paganism? How did God judge pagan nations in the Old Testament? How did Israel’s syncretism work out for them? Finally, Hinduism is pantheism; creator and creation are one and the same. Idol-worship is rampant here. This isn’t what Jesus taught at all.
Fortunately, the pope is not our example to follow; Jesus is. Therefore, I would petition anyone within earshot of my voice to abandon ecumenical relativism and step into a living, vital relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Here is a longer conversation regarding the exclusive claim of Jesus Christ.
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