Matters of opinion
Feb 13, 2013 | 1338 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
Matters of opinion

“We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” — I Corinthians 1:23-25 (NIV)

In one of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strips Linus and Charlie Brown are engaged in serious conversation:

“I have a theological question,” says Linus. “When you die, and go to heaven, are you graded on a percentage or on a curve?”

“On a curve, naturally,” Charlie responds.

Linus asks, puzzled, “How can you be so sure?”

Charlie brightly answers, “I’m always sure about things that are a matter of opinion.”

One of the most prominent theological “matters of opinion” is the statement “all roads lead to heaven.”

Religion today gets relegated to a matter of personal taste rather than objective reality, much like our tastes in clothes, the colors of our houses and what cars we choose to drive. It’s a smorgasbord or buffet. You pick what you want. There’s no right and no wrong to it. It’s just a matter of your personal tastes.

As a result, comments are made to the effect that if there is a God, he’ll understand. After all, everybody is just trying to reach him in different ways. It shouldn’t make any difference, as long as you’re sincere.

You can’t be open-minded and tolerant when it comes to God. Even smart people ought to realize this has got to be true.

In just about every other serious field of knowledge, broad-mindedness is not allowed.

There is no room for broad-mindedness in a chemical laboratory. Water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. The slightest deviation from the formula is not allowed. Any change to the formula and you wouldn’t have water.

There is no room for broad-mindedness in the mathematics classroom. Neither geometry nor calculus nor trigonometry allows any variation from exact accuracy. The solution to the problem is either right or it is wrong.

Every other serious field of knowledge refuses to allow for tolerance of truth. Except, it seems, when it comes to God.

Jesus said in John 16:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” Peter declared in Acts 4:12:“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Do all roads lead to heaven? Not on your life! There is one road, one way — and that way is Jesus.

n The Rev. Paul Johnson is pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.

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February 18, 2013
If I sit and read your post I can honestly say there's a million ways to interpret your message.

Im sure there are millions of ways a person can interpret the bible too. our way of perception is largely ruled by our emotions. Hopes, but, more often our Fears.

“We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”

-- Rudyard Kipling

As for God-

Nor you, Nor I can say what are/were Jesus's thoughts, state His Level of Understanding or prognosticate any of His (or the Father's) divine Plans:the ultimate design.

Through the Holy words Jesus left behind, He teaches us to Embrace and Love unconditionally.

"Turn the other cheek" but gives us a warning to change our evil ways.

Only Jesus has the power to judge and we are nobodies to nit pick how people come to His side.

Remember the tower of Babel? He scattered people language and all. Even then- people still reached out of the dark to find the light and warmth of goodness, protection and hope.

Every path to His Table IS different, but, the Bread and Drink He offers is the Same.

Revelation 2:7 says, "To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God"

You are Dust as I am Dust, as Anyone is Dust.

In the Bible, The Christ Promises the Repentant Thief on the cross a place in Heaven- Ive dug through those pages and it seems he was the only 'man' given a real guarantee. a blessing to those who genuinely repent.

and I quote you:

""You can’t be open-minded and tolerant when it comes to God. Even smart people ought to realize this has got to be true.""

Ice cold Brother. Ice cold and theres a place for that.

Do not Arm your Neighbors or yourself with 'rocks' where glass houses have been 'Built'.

I notice you cant say discriminating words but the undertone was there regardless of how well intended you are.

“When young lips have drunk deep of the bitter waters of hate, suspicion and despair, all the love in the world will not wholly take away that knowledge. Though it may turn darkened eyes to the light, and teach faith where no faith was. ”

― Rudyard Kipling

Chemistry is science, mans way to investigate, classify and demystify the world he's born into-

talking about exact science is a tawdry way of making a point when you speak of the Spiritual things chemistry cannot delve into. anyone can contest the bible if you do- we would all be walking fiction were it not for our bones.

You are right though- we can only have what is offered and that invitation was given through Him

in a place where the spirit only travels, to dine on the food of the holy right? or are these are more Matters of opinion because we truly don't/ wont know until we take that last breath?

It all starts with yourself and how you treat the people around you. God tests us all and what we do with our lives does not make us more or less important then the next man.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson

Im not alone in my travels, Sir, I never was.

the truth my heart tells me is that no one ever is.

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