Posted by BAGWIS VIZCARRA on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 with 0 Comments. | Link | Bookmark This

I believe in religious freedom and religious tolerance. They're among the highest civic achievements of modern society. Personally, I subscribe to them in their full political meaning, no more, no less. Some bible-believing people, however, tend to allow such socio-political ideals to unnecessarily influence their religious beliefs making them susceptible to the idea that every religion is valid in the eyes of God.
It's really fine by me if such notion is part of your personal religious convictions but it pays to disabuse oneself of the presuming that such notion is biblical. It simply is not. It is more akin to New Age thinking, with centuries-old theosophic roots in Hinduism.

Indeed, Hinduism is seen as the most tolerant of all religions. Hiduists, it is argued, could listen to your religious doctrines for hours on end and even agree with you but they won't convert (unless they are convinced that your religious practices are worth a try in the yogic sense). For them, every religion is just as good as the next and borne only of the same god, though it may be clothed in different fables. They could even possibly believe that your religion is superior but they would still rather live out their karma in this lifetime with their own religion and all for the wisdom it would teach them. . .

Now, if for any reason you happen to consider Hinduism is pagan, it should definitely worth your while to consider the question from a biblical standpoint. Is every religion valid before God?

In the bible, God proposes only one path, just one master plan of salvation. He established just one Church although called it by varying names depending on the dispensation. He spoke with a consistent tone and message although by various means and through different spokesmen. He sent only one messiah, who died as a sacrificial lamb for the remission of sins of those who would believe, but he died only once and for all and was resurrected just once, not every Easter Sunday! And, last I heard, there was just one group of Christians that the apostles acknowledged to be of God during their time although they cited other preachers who also teach in Christ's name but are not of God. . .

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy
and strife; and some also of good will:

Could it be that the same doctrines taught by those false preachers are the very same things now being peddled by self-styled preachers who call themselves prophets, apostles, evangelists, bishops, messengers, angels, messiahs, and what have you?

If we can be very meticulous in what we eat or what we wear, or what political opinion to subscribe to, is it not only logical to even be more thoroughly meticulous when it comes to what religious doctrines to believe in or to disbelieve in? What does it profit a man, anyway, to unquestioningly swallow every hook, line and sinker of dogma his Sunday school teacher or priest or pastor or guru or whatever lodged in his mind as a child? We should think it more forgivable for politicians fool the people than for religious leaders to flatter our sensibilities with unbiblical and anti-biblical teachings.

The worst that politicians can do is to make a living hell out of our mundane existence but religious authorities can do far worse. They can tell us to go to hell in such a way that we actually look forward to the trip.

In the end, however, the choice is ours alone. Would we rather go for the negotiable words of man or the unchanging words of God in the bible? Even Jesus Christ himself noted that it is not proper to simply believe his words just because he said them so… what is important is that they came from God. . . it is the message itself, the doctrine, and not the teacher, that should matter, for indeed the indellible mark of a false messiah is that he is dishing out a false teaching or false doctrine...

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,
whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (18) He that speaketh of
himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the
same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. God’s underlying promise here is
that those, and only those, who sincerely want to follow God will, inevitably,
unavoidably, discern the true will of God.

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

I can almost hear those reading saying "And whose interpretation of the bible do you propose we subscribe to?"

Consider this verse. . .

Revelations 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

It is more blessed to read, than interpret, the bible. But of course we need a preacher.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Yet, is there a preacher who preaches not by interpreting the bible but instead by just reading the bible? This should be the challenge to contesting preachers. Show me a preacher who is categorically biblical in his teachings and I will show you a preacher worth listening to.

Some preachers are better left disregarded and some given the benefit of the doubt. Do your own elimination process. Are they teaching mere traditions? Superstitions? Or are they strictly biblical? Definitely listen to all those who claim to be biblical and scrutinize them for their claim.

I am not about to advertise my own preacher of choice but allow me to say this much. The bible is NOT an open book. There are difficult, confusing, seemingly contradictory and even apparently convoluted passages in it. They were put there for a reason. They are, I believe, the Waterloo of false preachers. The demarcating line that separates mere opportunists from true messengers of God. Like Arthur's Excalibur buried in a rock, not every preacher can wield God's two-edged sword from out of the bible with prophetic ease. And there the excitement begins to unfold, this thing called the Word of God.

Beware of false preachers then. Ask them hard, probing, biblical questions. Test their mastery of the very bible they are boasting about. Check whether they are merely speaking out of their own philosophical or theological or psychological or ideological insight or whether they are really speaking from exact biblical sources. Ask for the specific verses they are using as basis and check them independently in your own bible at home. Study their teachings, not their personality, and compare them with many others'.

Read your bible independently. It could take months or years of searching for biblical truth but it is a journey worth taking. Indeed it is the only journey worth taking. Pray hard that God sends His holy spirit to guide you in discerning or else all our probing may be useless.

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