Is God Close-minded? (part 3)

If God really loves the world, why did He provide only one way to redeem it?  

I believe God is perfect love and justice, therefore I believe God will show love and justice to all people, regardless of their beliefs.  As the prophet Isaiah says, “…the Lord is a God of justice (Isaiah 30:18 ESV).”

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Thomas Jefferson
Artist: Rembrandt Peale

Thomas Jefferson literally cut out what he didn’t like in Scripture, so his Bible reflects his own biases.  This is a real temptation for us whenever we read parts of the Bible that make us uncomfortable.  Instead, Christians should remember two biblical teachings: 1) God is patient with us, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2Peter3:9).  2) Outside of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

Christianity teaches that God took on human flesh to redeem sinful humankind.  God offers eternal life to those who trust in the person and work of Christ.  Is God closed-minded for providing only one way to salvation?  Your answer depends on how you answer these two questions: 1) Do you believe God is righteous and holy?  2) Do you believe that humankind, God’s highest creation, has rejected God and His laws? 

If your answer to these questions is ‘yes,’ then perhaps we should be asking, in amazement and gratitude, a different question: “Why is there any way at all?”

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About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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4 Responses to Is God Close-minded? (part 3)

  1. Carol Childers says:

    Amen,

  2. Birdie Cutair says:

    I did answer “yes” to both questions! I guess my amazement stems from “look how long Christianity has been around.”

  3. Janice says:

    Yes and yes. Why is there any way at all? For hope of eternal life. God is patient with us, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2Peter3:9). Thank you, God, for being so patient. But my question is, “How long will God’s patience last?”

  4. Ann Denbow Simmons says:

    Good morning:
    I answered yes to both of the questions also. Janice I liked your quote and I agree the big question is “How long will God’s Patience last?” I also think perhaps another question is how evil and cruel and in-human can man allow himself to become in order to prove his personal power over God?(You and I know that man has never been able to accomplish this yet their are those in this world who continue to try. Why?)
    Have a blessed day!
    I do not know about each of you but this blog has been a God sent for me! I can only imagine what would happen when and if we actually met in person. m

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