Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 (NIV)
Cats have long been internet darlings, usually for their hilarious antics captured on video. I typed “cat videos’ in a Youtube search, and it returned about 1,890,000 results. The internet is currently astir about a torstoiseshell cat named Holly, but not because of some cute video that her owners posted online that went viral. Holly had gone missing from her owners, the Ritchers, while on vacation in Daytona Beach, FL, 190 miles away from the family home in West Palm Beach. After two months Holly was found just a mile away from her home.
The Mazzola family had taken in the emaciated and apparently stray Holly. For a week the family fed the cat and nursed her back to health before taking her to a vet. Barb Mazzola asked the vet whether a microchip had been imbedded into Holly that could identify her owners. As it turns out, there was, and Holly and the Ritchers were reunited.
Scientists have marveled at how Holly managed to find her way back so close to home. Other animals are known for the keen homing instincts, but not cats. As incredible as this story is, the truth is Holly would have likely stayed with the adopted family had it not been for the implanted microchip. She would have lived out the rest of her days, just a mile away from home.
We live an age of religious pluralism, that essentially says all religions are the same and “all paths lead home.” Public references to God have become increasingly vague as to intentionally not call out a Christian God. Since 911 there has been an effort to synthesize the differences among Christianity, Judaism and Islam using the term from the Koran, “People of the Book” referring to non-Muslin adherents to faiths with a revealed scripture. After years of standing separate and distinct from Protestantism and other branches of Christianity, the Mormon Church has launched an ad campaign portraying itself as a mainstream Christian alternative.
Do all paths truly lead home? Anyone who undertakes even a causal study of various religious systems and their sacred writings will quickly conclude they are in conflict. This is not to say certain universal virtues may not be taught across many systems including, goodness, truthfulness, honor, compassion and devotion. All truth is God’s truth wherever it may be found. The law of gravity is true for all. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist or agnostic alike will meet with similar results if they decide to test the universal truth of this law by jumping off a building.
There are some who are not adherents to any one religion but pick and choose from they like best from various faith systems. This approach results in ultimate confusion. We’ve already concluded various religions conflict beneath the surface. Following this cafeteria religion, i.e. a little of this and a little of that, is like getting conflicting turn by turn directions from a GPS. You will end up lost.
Against all of these claims of various ways, Jesus Christ makes the bold, audacious and non-PC claim he is the way, the truth and the life and that no one can come to the Father except through him.
Bridges must be completed in order to be useful. A partially constructed bridge is no good at all. The Fort Duquesne Bridge in Pittsburgh was affectionately called the ‘bridge to nowhere’ after construction concluded on it main span in 1963. Due to delays in acquiring property rights, the bridge lacked access ramps on one side. The bridge sat suspended in midair, rendering it useless for another six years. One man found this out the hard way when he drove off of the bridge in 1964.
The universal truths contained in belief systems apart from Christianity are sufficient to partially construct a bridge, but not to complete it. Follow them and you will end up like Holly, a mile away from home. Being a mile away from home is not really being home at all.
NOTE: I am migrating my website from a hosted WordPress site to a self-hosted WordPress site. This will give me greater autonomy over the look and content of my site. For example, ads will no longer be able to be placed on my site without my permission. I do not anticipate any impact in your ability to access my site, but if does occur I ask for your patience and forgiveness:)