Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

assumptions

7/7/11

Jesus’ words in John 14:6 are routinely used as an indictment of other religions by various adherents of orthodox Christianity. In this verse Jesus speaks of one way, one truth, and one life emanating from the Father. Obviously, those pointing out this verse as justification for denigrating another man’s faith believe that their understanding of the way, the truth, and the life is the one referred to by Jesus. Of course, we all know that within so called Christianity there are numerous interpretations of what being a Christian means, which implies different opinions about the way and the truth.

The use of scripture to defend one’s religious position always, without exception, involves assumptions. First and foremost it involves the assumption that the Bible is God inspired and has been scrupulously maintained, properly assembled from separate writings, and then adequately translated. But even beyond these assumed facts, any interpretation of the Bible happens within a cultural context in which the institutional church formulated its own official position centuries before many individuals had any opportunity to assess the Bible message for themselves. The associated preconditioning, indoctrination if you like, in which the church engaged for so many years makes an unbiased approach to biblical understanding largely impossible. That is precisely where western societies find themselves religiously, greatly influenced by oft repeated assumptions.

Now, many find this natural attachment to Christian theology to be a virtue or even a sure sign of God’s blessings and special love for our nation. This again is an assumption. We have undeniably been very blessed as a nation relative to many other countries. One explanation is that God favors or has favored America because of our theology. There are other explanations which don’t involve an assumed religious superiority over the rest of the world.

So people can point to John 14:7 and claim it as proof that they as Christians are exclusively deserving of God’s acceptance, but in so doing they must assume that the word “way” references some God ordained process for gaining His acceptance, that the "truth" means church sanctioned doctrine, and that the "life" in question is that enjoyed in heaven after one’s demise. These are all comfortable assumptions for those claiming acceptance, but don't be shocked when those outside Christianity assume differently. 

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