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In our pluralistic society today, we often hear people say that what someone believes in isn’t as important as that they believe in something. This come from a well-intentioned, but misguided, view that all religions lead to God.
It sounds so restrictive to claim that there’s only one way enter the kingdom of God. People say, “if being a Christian works for you, that’s great; I’ve got my own religion that works for me,” or “I’m not into religion,” or similar remarks.
There is a law of logic called the law of non-contradiction which states, in the words of Aristotle, that “one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.”
We understand that this music stand cannot both be a music stand and not be a music stand. A thing can not be something and also not be it. So a religion that claims Jesus is God is not the same as a religion that says Jesus is not God. Both cannot be correct. One of them has to be wrong.
The notion of “what’s true for you may not be true for me” is as wrongheaded today as it was in A.D. 49 when the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the churches in Galatia.
He begins the letter admonishing them for accepting other rules and stories besides the Gospel of Jesus Christ that he delivered to them. They knew the truth, but felt inclined to accept other ideas as also being true. Sound familiar?
So Paul let them know, in very definite terms, that there is one Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we are to follow if we are truly obeying God.
This week, an article in the Seattle Times detailed the new-found spiritual dysfunction of an Episcopal Priest in Seattle:
The Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church said, “I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I’m both an American of African descent and a woman. I’m 100 percent both.”
She has been a priest for more than 20 years, and was director of faith formation at St. Mark’s. Now, she’s telling the world about her adherence to Islam, causing confusion for both Christians and Muslims.
Christians believe Jesus is God and Muslims believe he was merely a prophet. Christians believe Jesus died on the cross and Muslims believe Jesus did not die on the cross. The law of non-contradiction clearly an issue in comparing Christianity and Islam, and the core beliefs are not compatible.
Redding has a Ph.D. in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and master’s degrees from two seminaries. She plans to begin teaching the New Testament this fall as a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University, a Catholic school.
According to the Seattle Times article, she was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1984 but has always challenged her church, calling Christianity the “world religion of privilege.” She believes that Jesus is the son of God insofar as all humans are the children of God, and that Jesus is divine, just as all humans are divine — because God dwells in all humans.
So to avoid the law of non-contradiction, Redding merely discards the core beliefs of both faiths in her effort to be accepting and inclusive of both religions. The saddest part of this is that her bishop,
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