Over the past decade in particular there has been a new belief slipping into the Body of Christ like a deadly serpent sliding silently under the gate
That all faiths lead (or may lead) to the same God.
Church leaders have been heard to talk of the 'other great faiths' in a tone of voice that goes beyond just being gracious.
Jesus is being lined up shoulder to shoulder, almost as on an identification parade - alongside buddha, allah etc - with people being invited to select their own personal way to God.
The belief is summed up thus.. "If a man is of another religion - whether that religion is Christian, Jewish, buddhist, etc - and has lived a good life, been kind to his fellow man and lived up to the positive ideals of his religion, will he not be rewarded in the afterlife, whether that afterlife is called Heaven or whatever passes for a positive afterlife in the company of a loving God?"
The doctrine is that all sacred books contain truth, and the doctrine is because God is loving He could not abandon any sincere person, especially those who had not heard about Jesus, to hell.
An example might be Dr Billy Graham (whom we all respect for his many years of service to Jesus throughout the world) In a televised interview by Robert H. Schuller he declared that unbelievers and people of other faiths - for example Muslims and Buddhists - who may not even know the Name of Jesus will be saved if they know in their heart they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have"
An example might be Tony Campolo (who can be very challenging on many genuine Christian issues) defending Billy Graham's declaration, contends that when asked "are only Christians going to be saved?" replies "It's the only way I know" and adds "that's different from saying that's the only way there is" He quotes Romans 2 (presumably verses 14-16) saying that it shows that those "who never hear about the message or the law of God but somehow have something in their heart which drives them to live out everything that God is about - will God not make room for them?" [note: I cannot read this conclusion into these verses nor does any of the commentaries I have checked. Rather that God will judge those outside of the law by their own consciences, and by whatever means, none will stand before Him righteous as per Paul's conclusion a little further on in his same letter - Romans 3; 9 onwards.] He contends that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no man comes to the Father but through Him, but adds "I'm not sure about all the people Jesus brings into the Kingdom. They may go beyond my exclusivist confines. He tells a favourite story of his wife's which goes 'Peter is in charge of the gate of heaven while Paul is the key administrator. Paul is constantly coming to Peter telling him that there are more people in heaven than he is admitting through the gates and he can't understand how this could be. Then one day Paul comes running up to Peter saying "I found out the answer - it's Jesus, He keeps sneaking people over the wall". He says that Jesus may be sneaking people into the Kingdom that the church is not ready to accept. (taken from Tony Campolo podcast titled Current events part 2)
When the seeds of this counterfeit belief system are sown as tares in the heart of a Christian then certain two thousand year old foundations of the Christian faith have to abandoned.
The first foundation that would have to be abandoned is that Jesus Christ is Lord. That He, and He alone is the way to the Father. If there are other 'Lords' recognized by God, such as mohammed or buddha, then Jesus is merely a Lord rather then the Lord. He is merely a way, and a truth, rather than the Way and the Truth.
If salvation can be obtained through sincere adherence to other gods and to other gospels then clearly Jesus is not 'Lord and God' as Thomas declared Him to be in John 20:28
Recently the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA found itself divided on this issue. The Dallas Morning News reported..
The second foundation that would have to be abandoned is the complete and sole authority of the Bible as the Word of God.
If you deny the unique Lordship of Jesus - and thus deny that He is the only way to God - then as a consequence you must also abandon the doctrine of scripture being the Holy Spirit breathed Word of God.
Scripture records Jesus Christ as saying
Scripture records Paul as saying
Scripture is crystal clear on the issue of other gods. That they are demonic entities. Described by Paul in Ephesians 6:12 as principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this age. Scripture shows that these spiritual beings come under the rule of satan who seeks to get worship for himself so that he can be 'like the Most High' Isaiah 14:14
Satan is the deceiver. The Father of lies. God has given us His Word as the protection against deception. When we abandon God's Word we are wide open to the serpent's bite. When satan tried to pervert Jesus' beliefs He replied to each attack with 'It is written..' Luke 4
Scripture is crystal clear that God will have no other gods before Him. (Exodus 20:3) In any shape or form. Nice ones or nasty ones. Big ones, small ones. None. Not only that but six times He describes Himself as a 'jealous God' and nothing kindles the righteous anger of God than His people giving succour to other 'gods'
And scripture is quite clear that when His people entertain other gods then He steps aside and the inevitable consequences follow.
The third foundation that would have to go is the work of the cross. Scripture makes it clear that if their is no cross then there is no salvation. You cannot have one without the other. So much so that the Apostle Paul would boast of nothing else.
Paul talks of the cross being 'foolishness' to those standing in their own wisdom. (1st Corinthians 1:17-18) He talks of the cross being an offence to those who are perishing. (Galatians 5:11)
The fourth foundation that would have to go is the Great Commission and the centuries old tradition of missionary service. The last words of Jesus to the disciples as recorded in mark 16:15 are "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" If sincere obedience and worship to buddha and allah are all sure roads to God then there is clearly no need to go anywhere near those nations with the gospel. Indeed all who have laid their lives down in these dangerous mission fields would have perished in vain as the people were safe in their own beliefs. A deadly tactic of satan.
The fifth foundation that would have to go is hell as described in scripture. Yes we all dislike even mentioning it, but Jesus spoke more on hell than any other Biblical figure. Scripture makes it clear that the whole world is under the control of satan 'the evil one' (1 John 5:19) and that where he ends up is where all those under his devastating control will end up. ( Revelation 20:verse 10 & 15)
Some years ago a well known man of God was interviewed on radio about the subject of deliverance. As understanding on this controversial subject was still in its infancy by the present day church he expected some hostility from the church on the subject. Hostility did indeed come, but to his surprise it came because he said that Jesus Christ was the only way to the Father. He was accused of being arrogant for daring to make such a claim.
In more recent times a lady who had signed herself on for a six month discipleship course at a residential school, left almost immediately when the opening address included the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.
Without question much blame must be laid at the door of the Vatican.
On October 27th 1986, at Assisi, Italy, Pope John 2nd invited and took part in a multi faith service with buddhists, muslims, hindu's, animists, snake worshippers, North American witch doctors, spiritists and fire worshippers.He declared that 'they were all praying to the same God and that their prayers were creating spiritual energy that was bringing about a new climate for peace"
The Pope allowed his good friend the Dalai Llama to put the buddha on the altar in St.Peter's Church in Assisi and with his monks to have a buddhist worship ceremony there while shintuists chanted and worshipped outside"
The Pope then proceeded to have an Indian shiva priestess place the mark of the goddess shiva upon his forehead in Bombay, then journeying to Iraq he publicly kissed the qu'ran (koran)
His message to his flock is therefore unmistakable. And so blasphemous as to be breathtaking.
I can think of nothing more offensive to God.
How widespread is this apostate theology?
A member of our team was on holiday in Southern Ireland with two friends, and while dining at a restaurant they get into conversation with the man at the next table who turned out to be an Anglican lay preacher, also on holiday. As the conversation developed between the two tables this lay preacher proclaimed the following points regarding the theology that he travelled extensively to teach...
The Apostle Paul warned the church of such teachers..
No wonder the Apostle James declared ..
This new wave of deception breaking upon the church is nothing less than the age old masonic doctrine that has sucked in many a good man even from within the Kingdom of God. Freemasonry provides its own altar in its own temples, where men of all faiths can kneel together and worship an all encompassing, non-judgemental deity referred to as 'the Great Architect Of The Universe' (GAOTU). This masonic altar will accommodate - with equal authority - whatever sacred books are necessary to represent the faith of those men kneeling before it. All who kiss the sacred book of their religion upon this altar are thus joined by what masonry calls the 'mystic tie' into a worldwide brotherhood.
No doctrine could be more contrary to the proclaimed will and the ways of God.
A man would not be permitted to remain in Masonry if he stood up within their temples and declared that the Bible alone is the revealed will of God and that Jesus Christ His only begotten Son is Lord and Saviour and the only way to God the Father.
This counterfeit belief system being sown within the church is what the Apostle Paul calls 'another gospel'. A man pleasing gospel. That is why it is so popular. It seems right to man. Politically correct.
It is a gospel that denies the necessity of Jesus Christ, His Cross, His shed Blood and His resurrection. Paul tells the church quite clearly that whoever brings this gospel - even if it is an apostle or an angel - then such a person is accursed in God's eyes. We deny, diminish or discredit the atoning work of God's Son at our peril.
Satan 'that old serpent' is the deceiver. The father of lies. He knows that when people buy into and then bring to others 'another gospel' they come under God's curse and straight into his hands. For God will not bless what He cannot bless. And what He cannot bless is the devil's by legal right.
That is why the belt of truth is the first item of armour that scripture tells us to put on. If we have put on the belt of deception then all other pieces of armour are of no value whatsoever.
God's Word is truth. The apostle John writes excitedly that the Word of God became flesh and dwelt amongst them.
The truth is a Person. Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)
God neither gave us a library of sacred books to choose from, nor did He give us an a la carte menu of saviours to choose from. He gave us His Word, the Bible, and He sent His only begotten Son Jesus. The Messiah.
There is no other Name under heaven by which men may be saved.
We can agree with men, or we can agree with God. The choice is nothing new.
The walls of truth have fallen enough. Lord raise up the Nehemiah's and the Ezras for such a time as this.
Church, poise your spirits and souls for substantial pressure to deny the Saviour of your souls.
2nd Timothy 3:12-17.
[see also Islam and Christianity - a common God?]