One of the fastest growing teaching of postmodernism philosophy is pluralism. Ideally according to the Pluralists there is nothing as clear to them as absolute truth and exclusivity on matters religion. I am not talking about political and social democracy where the majority have the way but am talking of clear truth as is it comes to the way, the life and the truth towards getting a spiritual awakening that is of God and towards God. John Hick one of the minds behind the philosophy of pluralism as it comes to religion builds an argument which can be summarized in a simple way that the claims of Christ being the absolute truth and the only way to God is a sham and that we ought to be tolerant to other religions as all religions are products of time and culture and there is nothing as the only truth and nothing but the truth. Good for him and other post modernists and new age followers. Its not a new phenomenon or a new finding in the course of history and time. Before John Hick and the present pluralists we had the agnostics another banch of deprived mortals who have refused to yield to the knowledge of God but instead are propagating heresy.
Two things need to be clear here that there is no way the pluralists can accept all the teachings of Jesus and even have Him as a Divine teacher and yet refuse His saving act of the cross. And secondly they also need to know that the whole process of salvation is not anything of their own doing and so whether they are saved or not they have nothing they can do about their fate. Only God determines who is to be saved and who is not, He in His own sovereignty hardens the hearts of some people and saves others all for His Glory.
Let us first deal with the first category of pluralist’s who identify Jesus as only a Divine teacher who dares to get on the cross. Now these are the words of Mahatma Gandhi,” I could accept Jesus as a Martyr, and embodiment of sacrifice, and a Divine teacher. His death on the cross was a great example to the world, but that there was anything like a mysterious or miraculous virtue in it, my heart could not accept”
This is the mentality for those who also think they have reached to a given level of enlightenment as the teacher Gandhi. Many of them think like the philosophies of the eastern religions that morality is good and that Jesus had the highest standards which ought to be emulated and even so they claim that now that many world religions subscribe to this thoughts and teachings of Jesus then there is nothing as exclusivity. To them and other pluralists all are but the same. This is a clear representation of human ignorance and hubris. No man in his own natural deprived mind can receive and even know God Apostle Paul points this out as he says we all are dead in in the trespasses and unless we have come to life through Jesus our minds will never know God or even accept Him. And that is why many of us would want to bank on knowledge and enlightenment, there is no amount of knowledge that can make us know God not even theology. Knowledge puffs up and little of it is even dangerous. God looks at the knowledge of this word and see’s nothing but foolishness, no mind can carry the knowledge of God and that is why it is a mystery that is only revealed to the sons of God. The point here is no one can be able to have the knowledge of distinguishing Christ as a Divine teacher alone and stop at that and then think they are so enlightened for having come to such an awesome conclusion and they can now go ahead and convince others about it. The god of this age has surely blinded many from seeing the light, the light has come into the world and the world does not understand it and that’s why people like Gandhi groped in the dark and were eventually sucked into total darkness. Many still follow in his footsteps take up his claims and sure enough they are in the highway towards God’s judgement and the Glory is to God even in this.
Secondly let us deal with the truth, the way and the life the very truth about Christ,
Without Jesus no man shall see God, you see it is not about religion here but about who to trust. It is about a person the person for us. One ought to go for us and Jesus does this as he becomes the sacrificial lamb of God who takes a way the sins of men. Ever been to the morgue, seen the people lying there? Can they by any chance resurrect themselves? Don’t mean to be gross here but that is our exact state here and the biggest question now is:
How can a good and righteous God choose to save the most sinful and unrighteous men? Jesus comes into the world not because the world deserves Him but because God wanted to to reconcile us back to Himself. Now the cross is the only way He could do this as a price had to be paid. Somebody had to die but not just anybody but a righteous one and no one is righteous but Him, Christ, God. Then God dies on the cross and takes up the sins upon Himself on the cross to save the world. Simply a person who is without sin takes up sin and thus becomes the abhorrence and is also killed by a Holy and righteous God because upon taking the sin on Himself Jesus had clothed Himself with our unrighteousness. Now on the cross there was a legal transaction where a life was being taken and a price paid to purchase a new lease of life. The story ends with resurrection of Christ. This means He overcomes the weight of sins on the cross and is eventually given permanent authority over all. He is the creator and also the Head of all creation. No one has seen God but Him and still no one can see God except through Him.
A story is told of a young boy who witnessed the effects of a volcano as it swept down the valley that was adjacent to their house. As the boulders and other hot debris of the volcano were being shoved down the mountain, the boys mother was safely tucked at the basement of the house. It never occurred to her that her son had not joined her down. After a while the boy began to shout; Mummy it’s crumbling, the world is coming to an end!
When his mother heard the boy shouting she quickly ran towards the direction where the sound was coming from. Frightened, the mother hurriedly picked her son and began running towards the basement again. It did not take long before their house was covered by the boulders. The aftermath of the incidence left many people without homes as others lost their lives as well. All this time the mother and son were buried beneath the rocks and debris in the basement of what used to be their house.
Two weeks later, with the help of the relatives a rescue team was able to locate the position of their house and were able to start rescue operations. The operations took another one week before the mother and the son were able to see day light again. So many people were amazed at how the two were able to survive all this time. When asked the mother said all they did was to pray and trust God. They did not have enough supplies and the basement was also covered by the boulders. After a while the rescue team discovered that the house was over one hundred years old and had been built by a first family that was staying in that house. The findings pointed out that the foundation of this house was the best and strongest in the entire neighborhood and also had holes by the sides that were able to get oxygen to the mother and the son.
In the gospel of Mathew chapter seven and verse 24, our Lord Jesus Christ speaks of two builders, a wise builder and a foolish one. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose and the wind
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell with a great crash.”
In this last excerpt of this chapter, Jesus talks about a rock from which a wise man built his house. Jesus was speaking about the Kingdom of God and those who will enter into that Kingdom. A clear understanding of the rock in this regard is Jesus himself, and the wise man is he who has built his house, in this case his faith in Christ Jesus himself. Such a foundation is firm enough to withstand any force that would come against it.
The foolish builder is the one who has not put his faith in Jesus Christ or who is not grounded in the Lord. Such faith easily tumbles when there are shake ups that come over time.
These past few days I have been thinking about the events surrounding our country Kenya and the world at large. A lot is happening around the world right now that would easily leave one wondering where to find hope. Where is the firm and strong foundation that we can run to?
It is interesting that in the clamor for hope and refuge even believers have been left searching and wondering. It is not because they do not know or they have not heard yet. Like these people that Jesus was speaking to, believers have interacted with the scriptures. But still we all waiver and many are the times when we have found ourselves not fully looking up to Jesus. We all have had an experience with the Lord that we can testify about, but then we still feel troubled.
The biggest question we ought to ask ourselves is where is our foundation? If indeed it is in the Lord Jesus Christ as it ought to be then our hearts ought not to be troubled. As he ends his teaching in this chapter of Mathew the Lord speaks of those who hear his words and put them into practice. He compares them to a wise builder. Christ is our firm foundation, the chief corner stone that we can trust for our salvation and true eternal hope. As we focus on this eternal hope, he will continuously replenish us with grace enough to conquer the physical storms as well. Christ indeed is the firm foundation that we can run to.