An Open Letter
I write this letter because I recently had a conversation with who I thought was - and pray to God is - my sister in Christ. I was discouraged when a comment she said prompted a question I asked her: So you truly believe Jesus Christ is God, right? Her answer was that it is "her truth" but who is she to say someone else's religion or truth is incorrect - and (more or less) that faith in Jesus is not the way to eternal life.
Christianity is not a relative truth; and her thinking that has caused her to stray. I write this letter in response (James 5:19-20). I hope this encourages anyone who may be struggling with this as well:
I feel like you are misled in your thinking about what Christianity is. It is not simply a religion. It is not things we "do" to worship a "relative" (meaning we may all have a different) God. Simply put, Jesus is the ONE TRUE living God. It may not be comfortable to hear my unwavering statement, but this is absolutely true. And not just a relative truth. It is a universal truth. Other religions are not to be looked down upon in self-righteousness and we can and should love others who are not enlightened, but it does not mean they are correct in their own views. They are missing out on knowing the true, creating God.
Jesus was before the beginning; Jesus is our creator. He is God. Fully and undeniably. When I talk about the Bible being true. It's not just a truth "to Christians". This Word was "breathed out by God" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The same God who created Hindu's and Muslims and Jews. However, just because he created all doesn't mean that all know him. The Bible isn't about a way of life that sounds good or is pure and wholesome - it is a book about God. It a book that reveals his character through the inerrant accounts in the Old Testament and the absolute truth through Jesus Christ's humanity on earth in the New Testament. Sure there are verses that demonstrate how we are supposed to live in Christ if we are called by God, but ultimately the book is written by and about the universe's Triune God.
I have brought up before, and live by The Great Commandment. The creator of the earth is telling us our calling. It is to love him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). To do this, you have to be willing to KNOW he is the one true living, universal God. Without that knowledge, how can you truly love God with all your soul?
Here is an example that comes to mind: You are raised for a large portion of your life with a male figure in your home named "dad". But as you get older, your mom starts telling you that the neighbor, the mailman, the pool guy all could very well be your dad as well. It's hard to say really. Could you live knowing who you truly were? A child of who?? You wouldn't be able to look at that dad you grew up knowing as if he was the ultimate creator of you. You'd question characteristics of him and think - if you weren't fond of them - whether he really was your dad and maybe write off those things as not part of you and ignore the reality of them. How could you truly, unconditionally, love him? Friend, you are a child of God. To know who you truly are, you need to know and not deny your true Father. I'm sorry if that is too blunt, but there is beauty in that statement.
Back to the great commandment: I think about loving God with all of your strength: this means defending him as God and not letting culture sway you. We are broken humans; it happened at the fall. We constantly live as atheists thinking we don't need our heavenly Father and the wisdom he has given us through his Word. In this brokenness, we are afraid to offend others by saying we know the truth. That is a cultural development. That is not God. That fear of man is created by us and is a sin against God - being afraid of what others think and denying the truth of God as to not hurt feelings: that is fear of man. We are to live not with fear of man, but fear of God (1 Samuel 15:24). Now it doesn't mean you are called to walk up to every Hindu and declare they are wrong. There is love and sensitivity that comes with walking in Christ. But, absolutely, it calls us to speak light and love of the Gospel when we have the chance so that they can have a chance to know the true, living God. God ordains the end and God ordains the means.
There are some uncomfortable realities about what the Lord has declared as right versus wrong for us and what he reveals living against him may look like...and, therefore, culture is a huge catalyst away from God. That strength is always turning back to Him for guidance and TRUTH - universal, unwavering truth. The Bible says the world will hate you (John 15:18-25) . It's because humanity's broken nature is to turn away from God, so to live for the Lord can mean that you don't always fit in. It's not comfortable, but it does mean denying cultural sways and false teachings (Ephesians 4:14).
I have talked about priorities - when you truly put the Lord first. Friend, it changes you. It changes your heart. He is present. The Holy Spirit will guide you in a way that is undeniably different than you have been led your entire life. In truly loving you as my sister in Christ, I need to tell you that you have to realize: until you are willing to say Jesus Christ is the one creating, universal God - who, through only his finished work on the cross, one finds eternal life - to yourself and admitting that it is okay and correct to say that people do, have and always will be misled to worship false Gods; then, it is going to be impossible to deny yourself, pick up the cross and completely know the most incredible, loving, personal God.
Fulfillment in life is found in THAT. Without it, you will strive for moments of satisfaction until the grave. I love you and truly want you to feel this love and be able to KNOW this love.
God bless you.