Religious Pluralism is both blessing and curse
Last modified 2017-06-20 Total: 10 pages
A pastor friend of mine, in a prominent main line denominational church here in Hastings, NE, recently handed me a book entitled The Wide Wide Circle of Divine Love. A Biblical Case for Religious Diversity by W. Eugene March. This pastor let me know, kindly, that the “big tent” philosophy was going to be one of the driving rules here at his church. Immediately in my mind, I started to think, then your army will go no where and do nothing for the Lord, you will be lucky to even pull off having a good social club here, but I held my tongue, since I had done plenty of talking before this, and didn’t want to dominate the conversation.
First a few thoughts in general about Religious Pluralism before we dive into the book.
Religious Pluralism (hereafter R.P.) assumes there is no one-right-religion.
All are equal, or because all have some truth, all deserve what? To be valued? To be given equal power in our civil state? To be given equal power in our Christian Churches? To be given equal time in the pulpit? Or just to be given the equal protection of the law (Christian principled law, by the way) and tolerated by everyone else? You see, Christian Pastors who advocate RP haven't really thought through the implications of their stance.
Take it to the limit, and accept Satan worshipers, as one of your valid R.P. branches and ask yourself shall they get all the above?
Even, equal protection under the law, and the First Amendment, will fall away when the Satanists start sacrificing virgins at their “love orgies”. The Gerasene demoniac in the bible (Mark 5), shall we give his religion equal time? Shall we let him vote?
Hopefully we don't have to take this discussion all the way back to “is there then no-one-right-way” “is right relative”? Is there no One Ultimate Standard of Right and Wrong. We Christians have settled that argument long ago.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7
So, hey, God. What is the right religion? We don’t want to ask man, since he is no authority, and every word man speaks is corrupted by local politics (i.e. gain-saying, or only partial knowledge).
Christians believe that through REVELATION from God, their book has the right answers. It doesn’t have ALL the answers, or God would have had to have handed Moses a terrabyte SD chip, instead of just the 10 commandments, and then if He had given over an SD chip, how many synagogues, and first century churches would have had access to that revelation. But in the few places where the Bible speaks, it is inerrant and infallible (aside from some minor modern translational and textual omission errors).
So where do we get the other right answers, if the Bible doesn’t have all the answers? From Science, and even from other religions. The devil had to mix a little truth in with his lies to make his other religions appealing to man. We Christians can learn from that “little truth” that Satan knows that we dont yet know. Right now, I cant think of one thing that Hinduism or Buddhism or Muslims, or Zoroastrians could teach us, but I’m sure, if you took someone advanced and wise, in each of these religions, they would have something to say that would enlighten us. And sometimes, it is not a matter of us learning anything new, it is just an obedience issue. Sometimes these other religions OBEY God in a Biblical area, ALREADY REVEALED TO US BY GOD that we Christians are ignoring, at this point in time.
Thus, God uses them to instruct us and sometimes to shame us, and even I believe at times to discipline us (there can be no other explanation for the invasion of Christian Europe by the Muslim hordes 500 to 1500 AD, than that God was cleaning up on some liberal, back-slidden, corrupt, nominal Christians). Kind of like a mini, localized re-enactment of:
Genesis 6: 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth ...”
It is the same way with denominations, by the way (and Christian cults, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.) they all have value, even if that value is only to show us the wrong way, and the consequences there of.
This too, I believe is largely one of the functions that Man serves, relative to the Angels. The Angels look down from heaven and see Man, and say, “wow, I just took heaven for granted. Look at what life is like without Gods gracious governing hand DIRECTLY enlightening, guiding and ruling, as it does here in Heaven. On earth it’s INDIRECT governance by God, it’s
Eccl 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.
On earth, it’s free will run rampant. I.E. a bunch of mini-gods strutting around, all trying to impose their imperfect wills on each other. Then too, the angels remember a time when they also, could have joined the revolution against God. Lucifer gets to play GOD on EARTH for a while.
Matt 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. And John 16: … because the ruler of this world has been judged.”
But the angels reason, “look how that ends, if I had thrown my lot in with Lucifer”.
Matt 25:41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
So, there is temporary value in Religious Pluralism (R.P.) down here on earth, but may we point out that in heaven, there will be no R.P. Up in heaven, it’s
“all power in heaven and earth has been given to me”, “no one commeth unto the father but by me” Jesus says. “Unless a man be born again, he cannot enter (see, percieve) the kingdom of heaven”; “unless you believe that I am HE (Gods son, messiah) you will die in your sins” and “thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven”.
Which means that all good Jews, good Muslims, good fill-in-the-blank with your favorite R.P. group, will get to heaven when they convert to Christianity, and ONLY then. This conversion can happen after they have apparently died, since drowning men commonly see their whole lives pass before their eyes in an instant, (as did indeed happen to me when I almost drowned, back in Virginia in 2010) and then in those few fleeting moments before the soul leaves the body God can appear to them (if they are elect) to offer them repentance and salvation (as I believe happens to every aborted baby). To the family gathered around the deathbed it appears like the good Jew, good Muslim, etc died without knowing Jesus, but God knows different. This, by the way, answers the perennial question “what about the Africans, in lost or isolated tribes who never even hear the name of Jesus, what chance do they have of getting into heaven”. If you doubt these “visitations” or “appearances” of the Lord, just to my main web page WWW.TheNewJerusalem.biz and click on the link http://www.thenewjerusalem.biz/tnj/After-death-do-we-sleep-till-the-resurrection.html
So R.P. is of value down here on earth only, and I will maintain, not equally through all ages. As the (approx. 100,000 year) millennium (which we are now in, i.e. we are not in the last days, now) progresses, Christians will become wiser, and will need the instruction, shame and discipline of the devil and his religions less and less. In fact towards the end of the millennium when the lion lays down with the lamb, and the child plays by the adders hole, and men beat their swords into plowshares and study war no more, it will be said
Hebrews 8:11 “no one will say to his neighbor “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. ...
I believe there are two advocates of R.P.:
The attacking religion that wants to overthrow the majority held religion in any nation, (in our case, that would be the Zionists wanting to weaken Christianity in America) and
The Christian pastor who has not thought things through, but has bought into whatever was taught him in his liberal seminary (probably funded by Zionists or their liberal surrogates e.g. George Soros), or whatever the Zionist news media is selling, i.e. Diversity IS Strength. This pastor thinks that by having his church be a “big tent” (encompassing all faiths) he will be more successful at evangelism, his church will grow better and faster than the “purely” Christian church down the block. That he is being more “loving” to all parties concerned, i.e. to God, to the Christians in his pews, and especially to the non-Christian religionists also, in his pews or hearing his message over the Internet, etc.
This is the temptation in the garden of eden, being re-enacted all over again. Do you want to follow God, or follow the government of your own free will?. Oh, yea, the RP pastor says, build up their free will, let them govern themselves whether what they decide is right or wrong, and let us empower them, instead of communicating the ONE RIGHT WAY. Hey, the R.P. pastor says, to the Muslims and Jews in his congregation, I honored you by giving you a slice of the governmental pie, now do us honor by being tolerant, of others, and by joining our organization and serving gratefully (and eventually converting to Christianity, he hopes). The R.P. pastor thinks they will surely reciprocate, his magnanimous gesture, wont they?
James 4:4 “whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” and “Give not that which is holy (i.e. the very governance of your church) unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest happily they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you. (Matt. 7:6).
What those people really need is not a slice of government and empowerment by man, but a slice of God, a piece of eternal life, not empowerment in their ignorance. It is a lot like parenting. Are you loving the child best by giving him an equal voice in the family government, or by ruling over him wisely? OK, kids lets all vote on bed times, and whether to eat more McDonalds Happy Meals or have more vegetables at dinner. OK, kids, lets all vote on whether to spend Monday through Friday, playing outside or going to school. Should Mummy and Daddy go to work Monday through Friday, or stay at home and play with the kids all the time. Should Daddy save for a down payment on a house, or should we just go camping all the time? Are kids even capable of making these decisions?
You see that you get into trouble fast, if you empower ignorance.
Let’s test this R.P. Pastor and send in a Plurality of Religions into his congregation until its’ composition is 10% Hindus, 25% Muslims, 20% Buddhists, 5% Jews and 40% Christians. That is a 60-40 split in favor of the pagans. Suppose the pagans start demanding equal time in the pulpit with the pastors salary being divvied up according to pulpit time. Now the pastors salary has been cut by 60%, and he is looking for a part time job. Now the Christian influence from the pulpit has been cut by 60% and Christian evangelism slows by that same amount. In fact, some of his Christian congregation start to convert to Judaism (since they are the movers and shakers here with all the money). If the Presbytery refuses to give them equal pulpit time, well, what of your R.P. principle. Don’t tell me you Christians think you are superior to us and want to be the only ones to govern the church, say Cohen and Katzenberg the representatives of the pagan coalition. Now the pagans organize (and it would be the Jews organizing them, if history is any guide) and as one block, demand the right to vote and to be treated as equals or that the pastor scrap his claim to R.P. The pastor cannot back down on R.P. so the electorate is apportioned according to diversity. After a few months of this, the pastor notices that half of his Christians have left the “church” if it can be called that any more, because they like to hear the word of God preached EVERY Sunday., not just 40% of the time. Oh by the way, we now meet on Saturdays 5% of the time to please the Jews (and NO mention of Jesus is allowed on those days because all Jews know that Jesus was the false messiah, the great deceiver, and EVERY cross must be hidden on those days), and on Fridays 25% of the time to please the Muslims. And 10% of the time, the holy cows are allowed to roam and crap in the aisles by insistence of the Hindus. Soon the pastor himself transfers out to another Presbyterian church, where he can start teaching again and hopefully learn from his FOLLY.
Oh, No, Francis, Big Tent pastor would say. We would allow them in as VISITORS only. We Christians would maintain control of the pulpit and the governance of the church. So then I would say, how does that differ from the Conservative Christian Church down the street, who also allows in unbelievers to visit, and even encourages it, but they don't make any claim to R.P.
You see, once we analyze it, R.P. is a deception and a ruse. All religions are not equal, they don't even come close. But, that is not to say that SOME Christian Churches would not be helped by a healthy dose of R.P. If I were in Jim Jones “Christian church” and the Muslims in the congregation start objecting to the Kool Aide being passed around, I would join ranks with the Muslims. Some Christian Churches are in such bad shape that wise pagans have a net “good” effect on that church. Likewise some Christian cities, like Detroit, are in such bad shape (like Zionist controlled America) that a small dose of sharia law in some communities of Detroit actually keeps discipline and makes crime go down in those communities, i.e. helps them, in the short term.
What these R.P. pastors really want is to hold onto their Christian framework, which means keeping Christianity in the upper hand, and have VISITORS from other religions come around, and keep coming AS VISITORS, (not electors, or equal time in the pulpit, speakers), until they convert to Christianity. But that is far from R.P.
Moses may have listened to Jethro the Midianite and taken his wise advice, but Moses didn’t scrap the 10 commandments and adopt Midianite religion. Nor give equal time in his pulpit to the Midianites, nor let them vote in the assembly.
Now, on to the book The Wide Wide Circle of Divine Love.(WWCODL)
Preface page 9. The book began … as a result of studying under the tutelage of several Jewish professors and in the company of Jewish students in New York City. (TNJ: why doesn’t this surprise me, see the two advocates of R.P. above, this is the first enemy).
As I encountered these people (Jews) ... as people of deep religious commitment. I was compelled to understand them in a new way, they were every bit as committed to the service of God as was I.
(TNJ: whoa right there partner. “committed to the service of God”. Maybe you don't know what the Talmud and the Mishnah say about Jesus, about us the ‘goy’, and about the ultimate racism how “Jews” alone are humans, the rest of us goy (slur for gentiles) are but cattle or beasts. So it is no sin if a ‘human’ rapes one of the cattle, or steals from one of the “beasts”. Maybe March doesn’t know how they believe that deceiver Jesus is soaking on an upside down cross, in urine for all eternity. That is who W. Eugene March is calling “committed to the service of god”.
P 9, Preface, These Jews that March was studying with in New York City “he encountered these people as ones of particularly DEEP religious commitment, “I was compelled to understand them in a new way, they were every bit as committed to the service of God as was I.” My deep belief in Jesus Christ seemed to discredit or deny the religious experience and commitments of others.
TNJ: Thats right. Christianity discredits or denies all other religions, but that doesn’t mean we treat our fellow man without compassion and love, for we too were once, lovers of darkness, and enemies of Christ, even as they. As for whether it is right to discredit or deny the religious experience… of others, consider
1 John 4:1,2 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
Just a little after thought. Who are the main deniers that Savior Messiah has come in the flesh? Yes, These Jews that March was studying with in New York City “he encountered these people as ones of particularly DEEP religious commitment, “I was compelled to understand them in a new way, they were every bit as committed to the service of God as was I”.
Did March EVER try raising the messiah issue with them? Point out all the messianic prophecies, and then watch their scripture twisting and lies unfold before his eyes, even as Martin Luther did, who afterwards penned the essay “The Jews and Their Lies”, which is available for purchase at a pittance from American Free Press.
How could the one whom I knew as the way, the truth and the life, have disdain for or reject the wonderful people I was working with. It simply did not compute.
TNJ: Jesus did not disdain or reject them. He created them. He disdains their religion, and thus wants we Christians to treat them with love and Christian service and evangelize them, but not accept them as equals in any R.P. scenario.
Chap 1, page 3, Regarding the Muslim terrorists who supposedly crashed the planes into the twin towers and probably shouted Allah Akbar right before the planes hit the towers, all out of religious devotion, March says “ Such religious fervor is one form of what might be called “militant extremism”.
Its power rests in the assertion that its followers possess the proper, the true, understanding of the particular tradition being advocated. Many people seem to think that a kind of fanaticism is required if one desires to be a faithful adherent of a religion.
March, here is using a fallacy of logic called “guilt by association”. You Christians don't want to be labeled “religious fanatics” like those extremist Muslims are, do you? The implication here is that BOTH religions are flawed at the core, that getting too serious about either one of these religions is dangerous. Makes you wonder if March even knows what Christianity teaches.
But, now that he has raised the issue of Islamic fanaticism, if 911 were done by the Muslims, it would have been because they were getting even for the USA having supporting the Jews in the oppression of Palestine. But the evidence shows it wasn’t the Muslims that did it. Half these guys who supposedly piloted these planes into the twin towers and the pentagon, were seen walking around Europe 2 weeks later, very much alive and well. Which means they didn’t even fly the planes, the CIA or Mossad remote controlled them into those buildings, and got it blamed on the Muslims, to start a Holy War between Muslims and naive Christians, so the Christian nation (USA) would send its troops in to stop terrorism where ever the Zionist press found it, i.e. Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, wherever the Greater Israel needed land, that is. If those Muslim pilots were such fanatics about their religion that they were willing to die for it, why the night before 911 were they snorting cocaine, drinking alcohol and sleeping with pink haired strippers, all of which are forbidden by the Muslim religion. Wouldn’t that kind of bar your way from getting into heaven, what you did the night before, even though you took a plane load of infidels into the side of a building the next day?
Of course, from one who knows so little of real Christian theology, I would not expect him to know much about real history, either. Neither was Hitler the bad guy March makes him out to be, nor were half the atrocities supposedly committed by the Nazis, done. In reality it is our old friends the Zionist Press and Jewish Historians seeking to pin blame on those Nazi Christians of their day. Build up the guilt, so those $Billions in war reparations from Germany can keep coming to any Jew that claims “injury”. Build up the sympathy from the gullible Americans, so those $Billions in foreign aid to Israel can keep rolling in. Billions for her security, Billions in foreign aid to Israels enemies to keep them at bay, from criticizing or attacking Israel.
On Page 4, Rabbi Hartman asked a profound question. “Is single minded fanaticism a necessity for passion and religious survival?
Let us look at what Rabbi Hartman was really getting at by factoring in what we know about Judaism in relation to Christianity. This Jew was really saying “All you non R.P.’ers, who think your way is the ONLY way to heaven, and that your way is the ONE, TRUE rule of faith and practice down here on earth“ Well, you are just being single minded, (Narrow Minded, bigoted, etc) and you are being fanatics (overly zealous, extremists, etc) about your religion. The only reason you are being that way is your religion has little or nothing to offer. So since you have such a light payload, you must deliver it with greater force to get the same impact. You find that you must “work up” your emotions, your passion, over you trifles, so that the only apparent qualification for the most spiritual amongst you, “genuine spirituality” is how fanatic or zealous they are. Thus in order for your milk toast religious group to survive, you must “wup up” your passion.
What this Rabbi has said is something valuable. We see it every day. Indeed, many a club, many a flag waving patriot, many a drunken high school football player on Friday Night after the game, singing the High School song, have so little to sing about, but because it is their only form of unity, and they have such a need to belong to some group, they become fanatical about “us” verses “them”, all over trifles. Take away all the emotion, passion, fanaticism, and boil down the real differences between religion A and religion B, and neither religion would “survive”. In order for these religions to “survive” and stay distinct from one another is for minute and paltry differences to get blown way out of proportion, and valued far beyond their real worth. The problem is, Christianity, may look like “just another religion” to that Jew, but born again Christians know better. There is an infinite difference between Christianity and all other religions. So the Rabbi’s statement, while so true of most things on planet earth, does not apply to Christianity. But W. Eugene March, not knowing the value of Christianity, perhaps because he is not a born again Christian, or is just a baby, novice, born again Christian, and he, wanting so badly to fit in and be accepted by the world (especially the rich and powerful Jews) and he, having more than the average share of “men pleasing” or “fear of Man” in him, has written a book the pulls Christianity down to the level of equality with all other religions. And every non born again pastor out there, in the same boat as March (wanting so badly to be accepted and have “friendship with the world”), just loves this book, and cant really see much difference between Christianity and all the other religions. It reminds me of Jacob and Esau. Which one despised his birthright and couldn’t really see much difference between Israels religion and that of those of the land of Canaan, and thus was willing to sell it for a mess of pottage? And what does Romans 9 say about
“Jacob hath I loved, but Esau hath I hated”?
Let every R.P. pastor hear and know that “I the lord am a jealous God ...”
and that back in the days when the church was a baby, and needed “elementary school laws” like touch not, handle not, taste not, etc. that God also guarded the nation of Israel with the following commands.
Deut 13: 1 1“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4“You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5“But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.
Now that the church is no longer a child, per Paul in
6“If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end), 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. 9 “But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 “So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 “Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.
12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that 13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom you have not known), 14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. 16 “Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt. 17 “Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers, 18 if you will listen to the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all His commandments which I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.
1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things,) we no longer need the above “elementary” laws, (which elementary things have also “melted with fervent heat” back in 70 AD, in
2 Pet 3:10 “But the day of the Lord, brethren will come like a thief, in which the Heavens (high political places) will pass away with a roar, the elemental things (ceremonial law) will melt with fervent heat, and the earth and its works (old world creation) will be burned up”) but Paul does admonish us:
Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, were to preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema.
So this rabbi continues: Or can we have a multilingual view of God, a notion that God is not exhausted by just one religious path. TNJ: Multilingual is a deceptive term. Of course Christians can truly worship God in any language, but the 2nd half of his statement is equally deceptive. can we have a ... notion that God is not exhausted by just one religious path. TNJ: well, in view of our discussion above, Jesus saying
“I am the way, the truth and the life and NO man commeth unto the father but by me, and in view of Gal 1:8 , we have to say, YES, the way to heaven, is exhausted by Christianity and Jesus only. But NO, God is not exhausted by the one true way. The other false ways glorify Him too. See the discussion above about false religions, and all the purposes they serve. Teaching Christians, Shaming Christians, Disciplining Christians, etc.
page 5, “lest it seem that Muslims alone are guilty of misusing religion (militant fanaticism) lets turn our attention to Christians. Between the years 1099 and 1291 CE Christian rulers in Europe, actively aided by Priests and other religious leaders launched 7 armed excursions into Palestine called the Crusades, intending to free the holy land in general, but more particularly the holy places, from the hands of the infidels, i.e. the Muslims.
TNJ and here is what he thinks the motivation for the crusades is:
The Muslims had built a mosque on the very site of the Holy Sepulcher and that was scandalous and unacceptable in the eyes of Christian authorities, living far away in Europe, something had to be done to correct this terrible situation, nothing was said about the terrible economic situation that ravaged Europe at the time, or other social issues that brought fear to the heart of the ruling class, that necessitated some kind of dramatic action or distraction. No, attention was turned away from the economic and social problems, and was focused on the terrible plight of the holy land. Religious fervor was used with vigor to enlist and sustain Christian Crusaders on their long journey with the many great hardships that they encountered, after all these pilgrims were on a divine mission, the eradication of all non believers.
TNJ: no, I don't think the crusades were out to eradicate all non believers. Consider the greatest church historian Phillip Schaff:
The church as a visible organization never had greater power
over the minds of men. She controlled all departments of life
from the cradle to the grave. She monopolized all the learning
and made sciences and arts tributary to her. She took the lead
in every progressive movement. She founded universities, built
lofty cathedrals, stirred up the crusades, made and unmade kings,
dispensed blessings and curses to whole nations. The medieval
hierarchy centering in Rome re—enacted the Jewish theocracy on
a more comprehensive scale. It was a carnal anticipation of the
millennial reign of Christ. It took centuries to rear up this
imposing structure, and centuries to take it down again. Phillip Schaff Church-History-Vol. 4-Medieval Period-590-1073AD
Today, we surely must be at the low point in Church N State relations. The State kicks the church around always and in every area. Largely because we have Christian idiot Scholars, like Eugene March who are so far from one Christian Denomination having most of the wisdom and truth, and ruling planet earth for Christ in a Theocracy, that he cant even see that the ONE TRUE Religion, Christianity, is better than all others, as he stumps for Religious Pluralism.
Oh that he would convert to Judaism and move to Israel, and see how other religions are treated over there. Palestinian Muslims get persecuted and Christians (not tourists, but the resident poor) get spat upon and derided for believing in that great deceiver, false messiah Yeshua.
Oh that he would join the Mosque and ponder his lack of forgiveness for any atoning act of Jesus, and their deplorable treatment of women. Let him circulate amongst the Hindus and blame all his bad luck on his bad karma, as he burns incense before Gods Shiva (holding human skulls in his hands) or Ganesha, the god with the head of an elephant and the body of a man, knowing how fake and powerless they must be.
Would that he would move to Japan and ponder for a decade, the pot bellied sage before him, Buddha. Buddha taught that spiritual deliverance was found by letting go of desire and the quest to satisfy the nonexistent soul, and by detaching oneself from impermanent things. This teaching is the Third Noble Truth. The Fourth Noble Truth is that salvation is achieved through effort, which Buddha called “the eightfold path.” It requires wisdom (right understanding and thought), ethical conduct (right speech, action, and livelihood), and mental discipline (right effort, awareness, and meditation). Those who succeed leave the realm of karma and rebirth and attain nirvana, which is the blowing out of the human personality in a state that supposedly cannot be described in words. Buddha did not claim to bestow this state upon others, he simply pointed toward it. He never claimed to be God moreover; nor did he raise the dead, heal the sick, or cast out demons. At age 80, he died.
According to Jesus, salvation is found in Him alone:
“The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10 NIV). Jesus viewed Himself as the only way to restore fellowship with the heavenly Father:
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matt. 11:27 NIV; cf. John 14:6). He claimed, moreover, to be God incarnate (John 8:58). In light of this, Jesus beckons us to follow Him (Matt. 11:28–30) and to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life (John 3:16; 6:29). These claims, however, were not uttered in a vacuum. Jesus demonstrated Himself to be the divine Messiah through the wisdom of His teaching, His fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy, the unparalleled power of His miracles, His authority over the demonic world, His sacrificial death on the cross, and His own death-shattering resurrection.
To say that these are all equally deserving paths to God, and that they all should be not just tolerated as visitors in ones own church, but given representation there and treated as equals, is to dwell in naivety.
I would like to say I have read his Scripture Index of Verses used in this Book, and read and refuted all of them, but March, has no Scripture Index in his book. March quotes few scriptures in his book, because there are no scriptures that support R.P. The few scriptures he does quote are attempts to refute the anti R.P. verses in the bible. The foremost one is:
TWWCODL by W. Eugene March, page 104
John 14:6 (NIV) 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In John, Jesus is not presented as worrying about Hindus or Muslims or Taoists, or, for that matter participants of any other religions of the world that we now know. Jesus as a Jew is pictured addressing an issue among Jews. … challenging other Jews to recognize in Jesus the saving work of God.
TNJ comment: This is an obvious cop out, by March. There is no proof that Jesus meant this for the Jews only, nor for those of that time, only. March sets up a straw ;man argument when he says above
In John, Jesus is not presented as worrying about Hindus or Muslims or Taoists, or, for that matter participants of any other religions of the world that we now know.
That’s saying “hey you stupid non R.P.ers, since the Hindu religion didn't even exist back then, Jesus clearly didn't mean that Hindu’s were excluded by “and no man commeth to the father but by ME”.
TNJ: we will hold March’s feet to the fire and say, OK, lets take a religion that did exist in Jesus day. Are you March saying the worshipers of the Roman Pantheon Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, etc could get to heaven by strict and serious adherence to their religion and that they had an equal religion with Christianity? Or the Druids in England, at this time? Or the Mayans or Incas, cutting hearts out in South America?
No, we born again fundamentalist Christians are going to extend Christs “and no man commeth to the father but by ME”, down through the ages, since the Great White Throne Judgment will see sheep and goats from all ages gathered before the throne of God. And we will extend it to rebuffing all religions, not limiting it to just Jews alone.
So, then March does what every Catholic and every liberal writer tries to do, when they want to dilute a scripture. Well God is love, and this passage talks about Jesus, and Jesus is love, so really the root meaning of this passage is just about “loving” God, nothing more.
March says of these words on page 104 “they provide encouragement and challenge for Christians to be faithful to the God whose way is exemplified in the ministry of Jesus. These words do not define how Christians should understand others (like Muslims, Hindus, Druids, etc) but how Christians should structure their own commitments and priorities. … The point is that Jesus himself provides all a Christian needs (wait, March, I thought this was a message for the Jews only, of that day) for a full and authentic life. That “way” is intimately related to God, who is love and to Jesus’ strong admonition to his followers to love one another. Following Jesus, and thereby coming to the father, was not a matter of acknowledging doctrinal truths (like doctrinally excluding all other religions based on this “no man commeth to the father but by me” verse) for his disciples but demonstrating in their individual and communal lives how Jesus and the love incarnate in him was indeed the way, the truth and the life. (TNJ: spread the love message thick enough and you eliminate all other doctrinal truths). Comments and emphasis are TNJ’s.
On Page 116, we have more debasing comments about the cannon, and late dating books of the N.T.
In sum, March is a disgusting liberal, who late dates the books of the N.T. then tries to sell you on the idea that we owe our cannon the Rabbis post 70 AD, then admits to much of the bible being Fiction (in his opinion), then after mistakenly selling you on Christian intolerance down through the ages and laying a guilt trip on you, so that you will be extra tolerant today, then coming up with NO scriptures that back up R.P. and lastly he twists the few scriptures that deny R.P.
March must not be a born again Christian or he would know the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus and of Christianity vs. all other religions. Instead he would pull Christianity down to the level of Satans’ religions, and or Mans’ religions. It is fear of man and love of friendship with the world that makes him do these things. He has not thought through all the ramifications of a truly R.P. nation and/or church, nor where he would draw the line on what religions are acceptable in his pluralistic church and which ones are not (e.g. Satan worship requiring the sacrificing of virgins every Halloween, etc.). Lastly, he clouds the issue of How true Christians should treat members of other religions. All religions have value, as God Glorifiers (even Satan Worshipers) see discussion at the beginning of this essay. They are NOT all equally deserving paths to God, nor should they be given an equal voice in the local church, nor local civil government, but they all should be tolerated as visitors in ones own church, treated as objects of evangelism, and thus served in any biblical way we Christians can, and loved into the Kingdom, yet treated with caution, so that they do not subvert the Kingdom of God, nor threaten the local family, church nor state. It IS the pastors job to guard the garden, and kick out the the unrepentant and irreconcilable serpents, before they seduce Eve.
One wonders about the pro R.P. pastors. If they do not know the value of their own Christianity, and good church polity (government), how would they stand a test of God sending them a wolf in sheeps clothing? If they are such men pleasers, perhaps a rich powerful wolf in sheeps clothing, would be allowed to rape half the church, and split the congregation before the “fear of man” R.P. pastor even thought about disciplining someone.
Of course, if it is the goal of some pastors to rear up a good social club, and no church of Christ, then make up your own rules as you go along jettisoning those parts of the Bible that seem to conflict with culture, as the wind of what is popular, shifts and changes with the times. If any of your “flock” makes it to heaven, it will be purely by accident (nothing of your own doing), and on Judgment day when your flock blames you for not preparing them, take comfort in the knowledge that you were friends with the world while you were on earth, and you offended no one, especially of your own flock, and since there were many paths (religions) to God, all of equal value, (the R.P. Doctrine) it is really the congregations fault for not finding another path to God.
Besides that, if God is so narrow as to require only ONE way to the Father, who wants a relationship with that God? Maybe we should take our social club and go elsewhere for our “salvation”. In fact, now that I think about it, how could an all loving God even have a hell to send people to in the first place. I guess we will just have to redefine "salvation" to be "saved" from narrow minded religious bigots who dont believe in R.P. and think that their religion is the ONLY right way to God.