Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Many Paths to God Theory

Before I was Christian I believed in The Many Paths to God Theory which states in one way or another that each religion is like a path up a hill but that all the paths lead to the same Supreme Being. We just call them different names. It made sense to me. I know better now.

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The Many Paths to God Theory

The book I’ve been reading, Reunion by Bruxy Cavey has something to say about this theory that put it into perspective for me.
This kind of thinking is fundamentally religious in the worst possible way. The “many paths up the mountain” theory is based on three faulty assumptions. (1) God is still up on the mountain. (2) it is our lot in life to climb up the mountain to get to God, and (3) the paths and the Person are separate. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Maybe it’s because I’m a newer Christian but those revelations really had me intrigued. I’m still learning who God is and these were ideas I hadn’t thought of.
First, the story of the incarnation, God becoming one of us, is the heartbeat of the gospel. God is not “up there” somewhere, but right here, with us and in us. Jesus said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20)
Oh yeah! I know that of course but I still tend to think of the idea that God is up there somewhere more than I remember the God is with us part since I’m new.
Second, the gospel is the message of grace […]: God has given us everything religion tries but fails to give. We don’t have to climb any path up any mountain to get to God. We don’t have to do anything. God has already done it all.
God brings himself to us, not the other way around. We aren’t journeying this life to GET to God. He is already here and he was here long before we were.
Third, if Jesus really is God come to us, then Jesus is not just one path to get to the person of God. Instead, the Path and the Person are one. This is the context for Christ’s statement in John 14:6 that he is the only way to God because Jesus is God (see John 14:7-9)
Jesus IS the path and he’s the ONLY path. God is clear what we must do to get to Him and it doesn’t involve other religious practices.

I’ve posted a lot about what I’ve learned from Reunion by Bruxy Cavey in the last few weeks and I have more to share. Even with all that, I still won’t have covered ALL the points the book covers.
This book has crammed the MOST faith based information into one book I’ve ever seen and he writes in such a different way from many other Christian books. He writes like a friend talking to you, without using big words or complicated ideas. He brings the teachings down to the level of the everyday person.

Remember: Jesus is the ONLY Path to God.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Jesus is Enough

While reading from Reunion by Bruxy Cavey there is a section titled Jesus. Period.

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In Reunion I read:
Julie loved Jesus, and because of her generous spirit, she was trying to bring every other faith system she appreciated into her love relationship with Jesus. Her spiritual thinking was a mixture of the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, stuff that sounded like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, a dash of Sufi poetry of Rumi, a drizzle of the environmental consciousness of Wicca, and a sprinkle of Hindu philosophy from her favourite yoga instructor […] Theologians call is syncretism: mashing together different faiths to get the one we like.
This part of the book grabbed my attention because I used to do the same thing. Taking the parts of the religions/belief systems that made sense to me and making my own.
I thought it made sense at the time but what the book continued to say puts it all into perspective.

Jesus is Enough

[…] she was relating to Jesus as though he were one of God’s messengers, one of God’s prophets, one of God’s self-revelations, and one of God’s ways for us to know his heart. But that isn’t what Jesus taught about himself.
The author continues a little later:
Julie was engaged to be married at the time. Ted asked her if she loved her fiancĂ©, and of course she affirmed that she did. He then asked her if she was planning on marrying any other men as well. […] I know Tom is the only man you want to marry, but how about boyfriends? How many men do you hope to date on the side over the years while you’re married to Tom? […] Why do you think it would be a dumb idea to plan on dating men on the side once you’re married to Tom? Ted asked. Because it would be deeply insulting to him and emotionally confusing to me, Julie answered. Tom is enough. Julie had just answered her own question.
When you put it like that, it makes perfect sense. Tom is enough for Julie. Jesus is enough for me. There are parts of religions I’ve been a part of in the past that I still like. But I can’t mix them with Jesus if I truly believe Jesus is the right path to God. Jesus is enough.

If You’ve Been Mixing Religions

If you’ve been doing what Julie was doing and mixing religions or beliefs to make your own path but you fully believe in Jesus and that he is the word of God please consider if Jesus is Enough.
Do you truly love Jesus? Do you believe he is the way to God? God’s only prophet and son? If so then tell yourself God is Enough. You are dishonouring God by incorporating other religions. Jesus is all you need.

I highly recommend Reunion by Bruxy Cavey. I did receive the book for review on another blog but I am blogging here about what I’ve learned because I love the book so much.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

We Are People of the Person

Are we People of the Book or People of the Person? I’m reading Reunion by Bruxy Cavey and I am finding so many good takeaways from the book I decided to blog about them to share. I highly recommend purchasing a copy of Reunion for yourself.

This post contains affiliate links. I will get a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. I also received an copy of the book Reunion for review purposes on my nonfiction book blog.

We Are People of the Person

I realize that sounds weird. First let me quote Reunion:
We read the Bible because it is the best God-given window through which we get a clear view of Jesus – who is God’s ultimate self-disclosure. The Bible is not a painting to be looked at, but a window to be looked through, and through that window we see Jesus. […] In other words, Christ-followers are not actually “People of the Book”, as the Qur’an calls Christians. WE are People of the Person. We don’t follow the Bible – we read the Bible so we can follow Jesus. – ch 4 of Reunion
The author goes on to explain the difference.
…if I follow the Bible, I can use its stories to justify all kinds of violence, from beating children to waging all-out holy war. But if I follow the Jesus whom I read about in the Bible, he won’t let me get away with anything short of active, other-centered, nonviolent, enemy-embracing love.

Misunderstanding the Bible

I never realized it before reading this chapter but that is so true. I used to not believe in the Bible because I couldn’t see how bad things could happen in the bible when God was supposed to be good. I’d think, “if we don’t stone people when they cheat why do we have to follow the other laws?” I thought the Bible was just a set of laws to follow. I hadn’t actually read the Bible let alone studied it so I didn’t understand.

The stories of the Bible took place over many, many years and the laws changed and Jesus came and so the Bible isn’t saying we should live the way every person in every story lived. It’s not a bunch of stories of perfect people it’s the stories of sinners.
This all might make perfect sense to some or make you think, “duh!” But let me tell you it wasn’t obvious to me so if someone you are reaching out to has trouble with the negative things that happen in the Bible please keep this in mind. We are not following the Bible, we are following Jesus.

The Bible isn’t the Center of Christianity, Jesus Is

Bruxy Cavey continues…
[…]”You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)
Herein lies the beautiful irony: we learn in the Bible that Jesus wants us to move beyond just learning the Bible. Sure from the outside in, we look like a People of the Book, reading and studying our Holy Scriptures like people of any other religion. But looks can be deceiving. From the inside out, we are a movement of people who follow Jesus, and that shapes how we read our own Bibles.
So Jesus himself told us to not just grip the Bible tightly but to come to know Jesus through the book. The Bible is a tool to get to Jesus. Jesus is the center of Christianity. Thank you to Bruxy Cavey for your book Reunion which helped me to understand that.