"We all worship the same God...There are many different ways to heaven..." Have you heard those kind of statements recently? Are such statements true?
This morning someone directed me to an article in the most recent Macleans magazine. It was an interview with Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, an Anglican bishop in northern Nigeria. The interview focused on the conflict between Christians and Muslims. In the article Idowu-Fearon is referred to as having "...dedicated himself to promoting reconciliation between followers of the two faiths." He was in Toronto this spring to teach a course on Islam in the 21st century at Wycliffe College.
In the interview, this respected Christian leader made some alarming statements. He said, "...because we all descend from Adam and Eve, there is a need for us to see each other in that light, even though we have different races, different tribes, different cultures. The good thing is, in my situation, I use the Quran and the Bible. The Bible does not tell us why some are Canadians, others are Americans, why some are Africans and, in Africa, you have different tribes. The Bible just says we are one body as Christians."
In response to a later questions, he went on to say, "I do not see the Muslim as a non-believer. I see the Muslim as a human being who understands God, the same god I understand, albeit we worship Him differently." Idowu-Fearon makes it clear that he does not see a Muslim as someone who needs to be converted, but simply someone to love and care for. After all, he worships the same God.
To read the entire interview, click here...
If what Bishop Iduwo-Fearon says is true, then we are wasting our time trying to reach out to those of other religions and cultures with the gospel. But what is alarming is the number of people who would agree with him. Even among those who claim to be evangelicals there are many who believe that we all worship the same God and it doesn't really matter what you believe, all faith systems lead to heaven,
The Bible says that there is only one way to heaven, and that is through being born again. Jesus made it very clear that there was no other way. He said to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). And in John 14, as he prepared his disciples for the time when he would leave them to return to his Father in heaven, they expressed concern about how they could join him in heaven. Thomas said what they were probably all thinking, "How can we know the way to heaven?" His answer was clear. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
No, whether you are "Muslim" or "Christian," "Bhuddist" or "Hindu" or any other religion, there is only one true God, the God of the Bible, and there is only one way to God and that is through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, his Son.
Gordon Rowland has been a Missionary-Pastor with Village Missions of Canada for over 35 years. Gordon and his wife Val have lived and served in Clive since 2001. They have four children and nine wonderful grandchildren.