My three-year-old is a stubborn little thing. We had an interesting “conversation” this morning in the car on the way to the Y. As we drove along, she asked if we were going to Awana tonight. I told her, that, no, it is Friday. We go to Awana on Wednesday. Upon which she began crying and yelling that it is Wednesday, it is not Friday, and we are going to Awana. And she got progressively more upset about it and more insistent that it was Wednesday. I told her I wasn’t going to continue the conversation. She can yell as loudly as she wants that it’s Wednesday, it won’t make it so, and I had no intention of getting myself all worked up trying to reason with a 3-year-old who was being unreasonable. Which is pretty much what 3-year-olds do, act unreasonably when they do not get their way, that is. They aren’t capable of adult reasoning and it is foolish to try to engage in it when she’s like that.
The thing is, adults can be just as unreasonable. We live in a day and age when tolerance (as defined by our postmodern culture, not in the truest sense of the word), political correctness, pluralism, and niceness (defined as don’t you dare ever talk as if you are sure about anything or as if there are absolute rights and wrongs) are valued much more than truth. There is a bumper sticker I see often that sums it up. I’m sure you have seen it, too. It says, “COEXIST,” and all the letters incorporate symbols of various religions, worldviews, etc. That bumper sticker breaks my heart. Sure, we should be kind to people, no matter how different we are from each other, and yes, I hate that there are people who kill in the name of religion. That is shameful. That is the fruit of ‘religion’ which is devoid of a true knowledge of the One True God.
But the problem with the coexist idea and pluralism and ‘that’s fine for you, but my truth is different’ type of thinking or ‘all religions lead to the same end’ or any of that kind of thinking is that it just isn’t true. You can scream it, yell it, discuss it, have conversations about it, insist that it is so all you want, but it does not change the fact that there is only one way to God, and it is a narrow way. Ultimately to buy into the “all roads lead to god” or “all religions are just as valid and have just as much truth and lead to the same end,” you actually buy into a form of idolatry or atheism. Because to buy into that line of thinking is not to believe in the true God, who has revealed Himself and has said that the way to Him is very narrow. It is not through man-made religion, man-made thoughts about who God is, man-made ideas about how to approach God, it is only through His way, through relationship with Jesus Christ. And not just your or my idea of who Jesus is, but HIM, as He has revealed Himself.
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through Him. The fool has said in his heart there is no God. I heard a great sermon on that verse, by the way. The pastor said a clearer translation of that is that the fool says, “No, God.” As in, even if You are there, I don’t want You.
So, for all the voices telling us that all religions are the same, all roads lead to the same end, soft or loud, no matter how they say it, it does not make it true. Just because they want it to be so doesn’t make it so. People want to settle for “god-to-me” rather than submit to the only wise God who is the Lord, and as Christians, we have a calling to speak the truth into that darkness in love. And in doing so, we are called “intolerant, hateful, arrogant, etc.” But it does not make our message any less true or any less necessary. We have the only hope of reconciliation with God. We have the hope our culture desperately needs to hear, no matter how much it keeps telling us that tolerance is the thing and pluralism is more important than discovering the truth. Insisting that we can believe whatever we want as long as we are sincere doesn’t make it true, just as my daughter insisting that today was Wednesday didn’t make it any less Friday. What we believe matters. It matters in that it determines how we live and behave here and now, and it matters for eternity.
“The fool has said in his heart,
‘There is no God,’
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.”
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”