One of the signs of a dying belief system is the self-affirming rigidity and exclusion that it promotes.
A deeply held belief in evangelical Christianity is that “Jesus is the only way to God and heaven.” A statement like this is attempting to deny all other attempts and paths to God. Classic arguments for this way of thinking is when Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Proponents of this view sound like a broken record constantly repeating this line as if it alone proves their point.
In growing up in this kind of culture, there is an inherent fear in actually believing certain ideas because of the threats that apply once you do. There is so much value and weight placed on whatever thoughts are going around in your head, that even the slightest variance from what the church’s stated dogma is considered a ‘slippery slope, ‘breeds fear of the unknown and warnings.
All this to say, I think some things just need to be said in order to give permission for us that have thought it before and our hearts were filled with anxiety or we were dismissed by institutional Christianity.
There is more ways to God/Heaven than through Jesus.
For those of you that thought it before, breath a sigh of relief, it’s been said, you are allowed to believe it, afterall there is very good reasons to do so.
For those of you that felt your heart sink a little bit and think I’ve fallen off the boat. That’s ok. I love you. You’ll get over it. I’m still a Christian.
For those of you who don’t believe a single word that I’m saying then that’s cool too, why are you still reading?
I’m not even going to get into all the reasons why I can say that now. We know the self-proclaimed enforcers use guilt, manipulation, repetition and circular reasoning to ensure that if you do believe that, then at the very least you can’t call yourself one of them anymore. I object to that line of thinking. You don’t have to be a Christian to know God. To believe and act otherwise is to repeat all of the same mistakes that we have a whole book trying to warn us against making.
I refuse to hold to a way of believing that excludes most of the world and doesn’t take into account the violence in which is self-perpetuating by holding that very belief. It really is unfortunate that a belief that ‘Jesus loves the world’ turned into ‘Jesus is the only important thing.’
Go into the world and love it, stop trying to change it.