A Times magazine article titled “Christians: No One Path to Salvation” reported in a survey that 70% of respondents agreed with the statement “Many religions can lead to eternal life.” ( Times Magazine, by: David Van Biema Monday, Jun. 23, 2008) This movement as a whole is very disturbing. It points to the erosion of biblical knowledge even by those claiming to be Christians. What they are really saying is lets set aside our differences, we are all worshipers of God. In doing this they are in fact setting aside the truth and ignoring the will of the Lord. The problem with ecumenicalism is that is seeks to diminish the power of the truth. It seeks to assert that there are many truths, and dilute the potency of the one truth.
In I Kings 12:25-33 king Jeroboam decided to implement a new form of worship. He feared that allowing the people to continue worshipping the Lord according to the Law would lead them to reconciliation. His solution was to create another version of worship. Jeroboam built idols in Dan and Bethel. He turned to the people and proclaimed, “behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (I Kings 12:28) Jeroboam claimed that he was intending to worship God. According to most ‘Christians’ he is simply exploring an alternate path to worship God. But what does God have to say on the matter?
1Kiings 13:1-2 “And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.”
2Ki 13:1-3 “In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days.”
This practice that Jeroboam instituted was not worship. It was sin. God was not pleased with this “alternate path”. The Lord wiped his entire house from the face of the earth.
“But you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back– therefore behold! I will bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male in Israel, bond and free; I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as one takes away refuse until it is all gone.” (I Kings 14:9-10)
Jesus encountered the ecumenical sentiment with the woman at the well. John 4:19-20 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” It is almost as if she is saying, you worship there we worship here, who is to say which is right? She implies that both systems of worship have equal value. You guy’s worship your way, we worship ours… just so long as we both worship, right?
Jesus quickly corrects her. John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Consider Christ’s response it is wonderfully elegant. He does not speak to the failings of either form of worship. He does tell her that there is only one system of true worship. In Spirit and in Truth! By its very definition truth precludes the possibility of a plurality. There can be but one Truth. There are many falsehoods but only one Truth! John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The truth is, there is but one way to be with the Father in paradise. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Does Jesus’ statement leave room for more than one way? Eph 4:4-5 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;” Any way that does not follow the way of Christ, leads to destruction.
Matthew 7: 13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.