I was taking my early Friday morning walk at the mall recently when I passed the men’s barber shop, one of the few places that was already open. I couldn’t help noticing a lone book on a shelf inside–The Names of God.
I’m not familiar with that book, so I’m neither praising nor criticizing it, but it did make me do some thinking. With a name like that, it could mean either of two things.
The book could be about the various names given to the Christian God of the Bible. If you want to see some examples of what I’m talking about, check this website.
Or it could mean the exact opposite. Many religions refer to their deities as “god.” Probably billions of people not only believe all of them are valid, but that every path leads to their “god” and that he’s essentially the same as everybody else’s god.
Christians often take heat from non-believers about our intolerance of anything but Christianity. And our refusal to accept every religion as a legitimate pathway to God.
We have a friend who considers himself both Muslim and Christian. Jesus plays an important role in Islam, but He’s not the Son of Allah or anything more than a very important prophet. Our friend believes that all ways to God are good–and asks that we not try to proselytize him. He thinks he’s fine in his beliefs.
Despite his study of the Bible, he apparently doesn’t understand that Christians base our “one God” theology on what Jesus Himself says in the Bible. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me.”
That’s pretty clear cut, don’t you think?
One other thing I’d like to mention while I’m thinking about it. Christianity is not actually a religion. A religion is a belief system in which followers must live up to whatever standards their whatever-called deity has established. Standards that are necessary to please the deity and attain whatever rewards fulfilling them results in.
Trying to be “good” is admirable, but trying to be “good enough” to earn God’s favor is something else: Impossible.
That’s because Christianity is a relationship. Each believer has his or her own relationship with God through faith in Jesus as the only one who could ever be “good enough” to make us acceptable to God. That’s how we become “Children of God.”
Is that relationship aspect of Christianity something you’re already familiar with? Does it make sense? Please leave a comment, even if you disagree with anything I’ve said.
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“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.
My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.