One way to God?
I have a family member who sincerely believes that there are many paths to God. It is one of my triggers, so unfortunately I react rather than respond. I am working on this. I wish I’d simply say, “Well Jesus will disagree with you on that,” and let her ask the questions, if she is truly seeking.
Writing this is likely my way of processing my inner thoughts and dialogue with God this morning, and from several other mornings.
Imagine you read an article, or watch the news, or hear a podcast about a beautiful cave unlike anyone has ever seen. The source of this information has named this cave “Paradise” because of it stunning beauty. He shows evidence of having found this cave – gemstones, photos, and so on. He is the only one who knows the one way, and to find him and follow him there, you must travel to the Canadian Rockies… And while you do not have to change and become something else to find him, you will be changed by walking this path.
Your friend knows a guy who knows a guy. He says there is a path to this cave through the city. Your friend prefers the city, so off she goes to find this guy who knows this guy.
Your cousin prefers the hot arid desert. He is sure he can find his own path to this cave from there, so off he goes to the desert.
Your brother prefers the freezing cold of the Alaskan outback. He is certain that it is close enough to the Rockies that he can find a path leading to the cave, and if not, he has been promised there are people there who know how to track their way to this cave themselves.
What do you do? Are there many paths leading to this Paradise Cave? Or is there only one way? Do you spend the money and time and go to the source? Do you look around where you already are and find someone who makes the same promises? Do you trek off with your friend or cousin or brother? And how might this one path change you?
Your friend, she ends up doing a lot of walking in circles. There are a lot of people who promise to know the way, and she follows them until she realizes she is back to where she started. It isn’t really vigorous walking in the city – a lot of starts and stops. She ends up tired and her lungs are wheezing from the exhaust fumes.
Your cousin – well its hot. He finds some people to travel with him in search of another way to this Paradise Cave, but they do a lot of sitting and waiting for the air to cool off, traveling mostly at night in the dark. That makes for slow travel. They feel like they are getting somewhere, but an aerial view shows they are not much further along from where they started.
Your brother has tried a few guides, but none of them have thus far led him to the Paradise Cave. He is getting to know the outback though, so he has decided to give up on the search and settle down in the wilderness as a field guide.
But you. What do you do?
Following the source, if you have to cross a lot of water, you will have to swim a lot. You may not like it in that freezing and rushing water, but you will grow stronger as a swimmer. If you have to do a lot of rock climbing to follow him on this path, your nails will be shot and your hands now rough, but your arm and upper body strength will be magnificent. If you do a lot of uphill hiking, you might sweat a lot, thirsty, and be filthy with dust, but your legs will be strong. It will change you, as he said, but it will change you by making you truly strong. Do you trust this and press on to follow this original source?
There are many paths, but that sentence has to stop right there. There are many paths.
These paths are called free will. But there is only ONE path to Paradise, and in the end of it all, we really only have two choices. We are all, on our own, headed aimlessly in circles, dead ends, or simply wandering towards ultimate destruction. We do each have a free choice, and it is your choice to make, not mine. But as for ‘many paths leading to Heaven’, the ORIGINAL SOURCE (always the best source) says… Well, let us read it verbatim from a conversation about getting to this ‘Paradise’ in John 14:6:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This is the response from the original source.
Many paths? No. One way. One path.
As for me, I will follow Him.
What say you? Join me?
Let Him be our guide. Let us follow Him while we press on. His path will be challenging at times, but it will make us legitimately stronger, and it will lead us in the right direction… Home.