Give me ‘Just a Piece of Jesus’, please.
The truth is always one, never two; always objective, never subjective. Truth is always absolute, and never relative! True, people have different views of the truth. That does not mean truth itself varies. You may try standing in front of a speeding truck and believe that trucks don’t exist. Your belief will neither take the truck away nor save you from certain death. If you are asked to look at things through a pair of shattered lenses, will you not see things in a distorted manner? Many today see through the lens of distortion. What is this ‘lens of distortion’? And what corrective lenses are needed? What then is the truth?John Hick was a well known English philosopher who represents a distortion of the truth about God. Hick likens God to an elephant. One religion is feeling the trunk; one the tail; one feels the tusks; and yet another feels the ears. They are all seeing and feeling various parts of the same being, but no one knows, or can know the entire being. In short, this view proposes that God is too large to know fully, and so we can only know Him part by part. Further, since every one sees a different part, God is essentially the same being, expressed in different forms. This is religious pluralism, a distortion of the truth! Why? – Because if God is large and unknowable through one single religion, how did one man, John Hick, on his own, ascertain that God is large and unknowable? How did he come to know the “largeness” of the “unknowable God”? As you can see, this is a self-refuting argument, and so is any claim that “all gods are one”, or that “all paths lead to heaven”.
How and why this distortion? The Bible records for us, the fall of perfect man in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, they sinned. This resulted in a genetic transfer of sin to every human being, because they are our first parents, from whom all the nations of the world come. As their descendants, sin courses through our veins, in our blood. This sin distances all human beings from a Holy God. As human beings, we are sinful, meaning flawed and hence separated from perfect God. Because we are flawed, we distort the truth. Sin is the shattered lens that distorts the truth. That’s why Jesus came: to correct our distorted views, and give us the absolute truth, thus forgiving us from our sins.
Briefly consider this person, Jesus, from the view point of some religions. Mind you, almost every religion claims Jesus in some way, or form. Hinduism says Jesus is a ‘good man’, ‘teacher’, even an ‘avatar’ of Vishnu. Buddhism calls Jesus a ‘bodhisattva’, a figure of great compassion who stepped out of nirvana to enlighten humans. According to the Qur’an, Jesus was a prophet, just like Muhammad. However, the Qur’an also says, consistent with the Bible, that Jesus was born of a virgin, worked miracles, and was called “the Word of God”. Inconsistent with the Bible, the Qur’an says that He was carried to heaven, never tasted death, He was not divine, and He will return before the Final Judgment to tell everyone that Islam is the truth. Every religion wants ‘just a piece of Jesus’ (consider Hick’s opinion!), but only biblical Christianity acknowledges Him fully as Lord and God.
What makes Jesus worth mentioning in all religions? The fact is, the truth is inescapable and undeniable, even though people think otherwise. Though many know the truth, they choose to ignore, reject, or couple it with something else that makes life ‘happy’ for the here and now.
Having considered this Jesus, please consider that He did not say, “All ways lead to God”. In fact, Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life.” My friend, there are no two ways, nor truths. There is only one way and truth. He is a person. His name is Jesus. He alone is God and only He can set us free; free from sin, distortion, and ultimately from death. Yes, with Jesus the curse of sin and death is lifted and we are given eternal life. Would you ignore unending life for the fleeting lies of this life? The truth is we cannot have ‘just a piece of Jesus’. Neither can we give him just a piece of our selves. He is to be accepted fully, coupled with none else. And He must have us fully: body, mind, and spirit. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). May you know this Truth, and may He set you free.