The Rev. Chuck Currie wrote a piece called, “John 14:6 – Is Jesus the only path to God?“ He is a pastor with the highly theologically liberal United Church of Christ denomination. Here’s most of the post with some of my comments.
Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6 (NRSV)
Tonight at church we had another session of our Remedial Christianity course. Part of the discussion centered on the widely accepted Christian notion that the only path to God is through Jesus. But are there other paths to God?
Speaking for many (myself [Rev. Currie] included), The Center for Progressive Christianity has said:
By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.
As I’ve pointed out before, there are 100 verses in the Bible referencing how Jesus is the only way to salvation. How someone could go through seminary and not catch onto the fact that many passages besides John 14:6 make this point is beyond me.
Of course, the existence of 100 verses isn’t what makes it true. I believe it is true because I find the Bible to be authoritative. But the massive amount of verses does prove that this is a fundamental Christian doctrine and not up for debate.
Mr. Currie holds to the view that whatever you believe can be true (“their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us”). As I’ve pointed out before, religious pluralism is intellectually bankrupt. Religions and cults make mutually exclusive truth claims. More than one can’t be true. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. Gutless pastors who say that all religions are paths to God should find new jobs.
Most Biblical scholars don’t believe that Jesus said what he is quoted to have said in John 14.
By “most Biblical scholars” he means “most theologically liberal scholars, especially the kind they trot out on PBS religious specials.” This is the same band of apostates the media tries to present as mainstream Christianity.
You can see what a low view of scripture he has. That is his prerogative, of course, but seems like an odd thing to say for someone who is devoting his life to leading a Christian church.
Again, they have to rationalize away many more verses than just John 14:6. They can’t even keep John 3:16 & 17 (“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”).
The Gospel of John was written some hundred years after the death of Jesus and none of the earlier Gospel accounts suggest the kind of exclusive theology that John does here. It is highly likely that this passage is simply a theological reflection of the early Christian community rather then something that Jesus himself believed.
The notion that the Gospel of John was written around 130 A.D. is grossly untrue. See When was the New Testament written for more. How he determined that it was “highly likely” that someone lied about what Jesus said was not mentioned.
I’m not picking on Rev. Currie personally. It is his theology I have a problem with. As best I can tell he is a good family man and supports some good causes like better support for returning veterans. But his theology is par for the course for countless apostate pastors.
By the way, when I commented on his blog with some of these points he dodged the real issues and attacked the source of the pamphlet listing the 100 verses (Stand to Reason). He actually criticized the fact that their leaders were white guys from the U.S., as if that made their work less valid (By the way, Chuck is a white guy from the U.S.). I reminded him that most African churches are far more orthodox than his church is.
People get offended by the notion that Jesus is the only way to salvation as if that is a bad thing. But they are missing the whole point: We are dead in our sins without him. We should be rejoicing that there is a way back to God at all – any way. Praise God for that!