Depression looms over the darkest question any man can ask,
“Is there a God?”
This is what I found out from my question to Andy Rogish.
Andy has a master's degree in Theology and is a translator of the Greek language.
I asked him my hard question.
Question: "Is Jesus the only way?"
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also." ( John 14:6-7)
I am writing a book titled "From Hollywood to God." It is the story of my search to fill the emptiness within me.
The book is a traveling journey to Holy Sites around the world in search of God. While in the Holy Land I saw a painting of a dove as (the holy spirit) descending on Jesus. I stared at it a long time in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. I could not seem to get passed the idea that other cultures that had not heard of Jesus, and therefore would not be saved.
In John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I chose not to put my faith in a plan that did not include all mankind, because I think people are confused about the specialness of this idea. Why would God go around picking and judging and throwing the confused into a Lake of Fire, when Jesus teaches to forgive and tells us, God is Love?
My question to you Andy is what is the correct interpretation of, "No one comes to the Father except through me." ...are we to have faith that Jesus is the only way? Yes or No?
Given the many interpretations of words in the Greek language are there other interpretations?
I would love to know your understanding of this idea? and what you think?
Well, first I must apologize for being such a sorry correspondent. Over a month is too long a delay. My apologies.
The passage you are referring to is John 14:6 “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Manuscript evidence: I looked over the passage up for textual variants. This would reveal where one manuscript might have a different wording than another manuscript family. And as it turns out, there is absolutely no disagreement or variation among manuscript families. Which means, there is no disagreement that this was one of the original words of Jesus to his disciples, as is.
Historical context: It's critical, in order to understand scripture, to look at what is said in it's primary historical context first, before looking for an application. As with any literature, this ensures we understand the authors intent.
John 14 occurs just after the "Last Supper." Jesus is trying to prepare His disciples for the extraordinary events that were about to happen (namely His death & resurrection.) And they just were not getting it. They were not putting 2 and 2 together. They had spent 3 years with Him, and couldn't envision what He was talking about.
So in John 14:1-4, He talks about going away. In verse 5, Thomas essentially says, 'just tell us where you are going, and we'll meet you there.' Since He is going to a place where they cannot physically follow- He tells them don't focus on a location, focus on Me!'
He uses a double article, which intensifies what He is saying,"I am the one-and-only road, truth, & life...."
The Jews were expecting the Messiah to appear, and that He would gather a following, then an army, then lead a grand effort to overthrow the Romans.
The disciples (and the Jews in general at that time) didn't get the fact that Jesus was coming to deliver them from an enemy greater and more devastating than the Romans. He was coming to deliver them from the consequence of their own sin, which would doom them, and to deliver them to a relationship with the Father, which would give them eternal life.
Application: So the purview of what He is saying isn't addressing other religions. The amazing fact is that the Father provided ANY way for us to know Him, and have a relationship with Him. I don't focus solely on the fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven, but I focus on the fact that God would provide ANY way for us to get to heaven. And He did it through His Son- Jesus.
So, I think the primary thrust of what the author of your book is saying, is this- "is God fair?" especially if Jesus is the only way.
In historical context, John 14:6 isn't addressing the "fairness" of God, He is revealing a discussion He had with the disciples to address their specific concerns. There are other passages in scripture that are designed to more fully address the issue of God's fairness.
Personally, I wouldn't use this passage to judge God's fairness, but I am just amazed that the Father made ANY provision for us to have eternal life (He was under no obligation to do this), and He clearly communicated the invitation through Jesus. And that invitation is open to anyone, of any faith- to accept Jesus as the "only way." And really, isn't that the definition of "faith." If a person believes there are many roads to heaven (the big mountain with many paths to the top theory), can they be a Christian at all, if they don't believe the clear words of Jesus- that He is the road/way, eternal truth, and eternal life!?
The bottom line is this- God loves you and me. He made a way for us to have eternal life through Jesus. There are many tough questions that we will wrestle with, like the one you brought up.
We will probably never have those kind of questions answered to our satisfaction in this life (who does?) But in the end, we each are called to make a decision- is God good, or is God bad? And then we are responsible for the decision we make.
I'm convinced God is good, and that He loves us. When it comes to difficult questions- I've learned to investigate what He said, and then just trust Him.
Thanks for the good discussion.
My Conclusion: After attending Bible college and reading the bible several times, and then seeking out it's origins and history, I conclude that this is "fundamental fear" subjected onto mankind for over 2,000 years. Please don't push "Jesus" on anyone one as the only way to heaven, because heaven is like oxygen and so is God as Nature, everyone is breathing. Love Kelly!!
|I am proud of my mind and body thanks to the Raw Food Diet, Qigong Meditation, and Exercise!|
I feel like I am just getting started in life in my 50's!
Find out how to feel this great by reading my book...
My memoir "From Hollywood to God" is now on Amazon and Kindle books!
Take a Peek into my adventure...
My first stop was to The World Sound Healing Conference in San Francisco. I wanted to understand the science of frequencies, especially if everything in the universe was vibrating to their own unique song!
I waited in the large conference room to hear Dr. Susan Yale's lecture on the Harmonic Oscillator.
The room went black and three pyramids projected on a movie screen.
"You can hear the sound of "nature" between the Pyramids of Giza," Dr. Yale said, pausing, "it's a perfect F Sharp."
No one moved. She spoke slowly, "If you knew there was a place in the world where you could hear God, would you go?"
I always wanted to sleep on the Nile!"
~ from my Memoir, (click link—"From Hollywood to God" Kelly Granite Enck on Amazon books and Kindle.