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"The Way of God"

Acts 18:26 tells us that when Aquila and Priscilla heard the eloquent and learned preacher Apollos preaching at first century Ephesus, "...they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately." This language upsets many people in our postmodernist age where truth and absolutes are out and relativism and pluralism are in. The popular idea is that all religious roads lead to God, regardless of their accuracy or inaccuracy according to the Bible. Pop singer and icon Madonna says she had her daughter Lola baptized as a Roman Catholic, even though she herself renounced that church. She spoke for millions in our postmodernist, pluralistic, uncritically tolerant age when she told Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes II, "I can disagree with doctrines and dogmas and still celebrate them. I go to synagogue, I study Hinduism. In the end, all paths lead to God" (USA TODAY, 5/21/99).

Unlike Madonna and millions of postmodernist thinkers, Jesus Christ did not teach that all paths lead to God. In John 14:6 He stated what is to this day one of the most controversial things He ever said- "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." In a bold and absolute claim, Jesus states that if the question is how one comes to God, His way and His truth and His life are the only means available. He is asserting that there is a way to God, but that there is only one way- His way. New Testament writers never stopped insisting there was a way and but one way to God. Their teaching is summarized by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:4-6, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all..." The church of the Lord is under increasing pressure these days to change these verses. From outside the church the atheist would have us say, "There is no body, no Spirit, no hope, no Lord, no faith, no baptism, and no God." We dare not yield to that pressure. But pressure is also coming from inside to change the message of these verses to say, "There are multiple bodies...many faiths...and many baptisms- in short, many different paths and ways to please God- so long as you believe in Jesus."

To suggest Jesus is a way but not the only way to God is always popular with men, but it is not accurate. The question is not are you in a way. The question is are you in the way that leads to God?

by Dan Gulley
Smithville Church of Christ