Summary: Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, God in the Spirit and God in the Word. I can not accept nor should you dear Christian that we dethrone Jesus Christ from His glorious position as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to become a member of an amalgam of lesser
Jesus the Love of God: John 15:1-17
How do we tell the world that Jesus is the full expression of Gods love?
This month in our Presbyterian Record we have an article entitled "Two Kinds of Knowledge" on pages 31 and 32 written by Dr. Rev. Joseph McLelland who is professor emeritus at McGill University and Presbyterian College, Montreal. It is one of a series of articles framed as Theology 101. The subheading of the article is "Religious and Scientific faiths.
Dr. Rev. McLelland is clearly a man of great respect and admiration within our denomination since he holds such high positions in academia. He is deserving of respect and his opinions are also deserving of respect.
It is in this attitude of respect that I wish to respectfully disagree with his position "so the new map of the universe of faiths must shift from a Christianity-centered to a God-centered picture. This makes God central and the religions like planets revolving around the Divine. Instead of assuming that Christianity is the center, with other religions moving around it as errors, what if we see them all as moving around God, with their own varieties of faith and truth?"
In the article Dr. Rev. McLelland cautions the reader "Dear reader, before you rush to judgment about false opinion (heresy), take a breath and think about this thesis."
Well I have taken a breath and now I wish to expel it along with Dr. Rev. McLellands thesis. Here we are in the middle of our Lenten celebrations and preparation for Easter and our national publication prints an article that is heresy.
Heresy means that the idea or opinion contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by religious authority. I believe that the Presbyterian Church of Canada still uses the Holy Bible as its final doctrinal authority?
What Dr. Rev. McLelland argues is that we Christians have been too dogmatic about the supremacy of Christ as the Son of God and as the full expression of God towards mankind. It is our unyielding opinion that all must come to Christ that alienates us and divides us from the family of religions. That much the professor has right.
Matthew 10:34-36 NIV
34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
" a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
36 a mans enemies will be the members of his own household.
Our Bible says, Acts 4:12 NIV
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
John 4:22 NIV
You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
Romans 1:16 NIV
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
John 1:1-4 NIV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Many of you whom I consider dear friends and fellow sinners now Saints of Jesus Christ cautioned me about the teachings that are prevalent in our theological schools of learning.
I took what you said to heart and with no small measure of trepidation I was able to enroll in entry courses of study at Knox College. To my great relief I did not encounter heresy in what I was taught at that prestigious institution.
I was successful in my studies but found it a significant drain on my time and energies that took me away from my calling as a Pastor rather than equip me for the calling. I have decided to leave the pursuit of formal theological study at this time in favor of practical theological study as I experience God in my daily living.
Jesus came into the world to put right what man made wrong in the Garden of Eden. We ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and we have borne the consequence of that sin ever since. Only through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can we be freed from the consequence of sin. The consequence is death, not just in this human existence but death to our eternal existence in the presence of the Living God.
Hell is a place the Bible tells us that it is so. It was created for eternal punishment for all who reject God. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is not just a teacher or a preacher or a miracle worker. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, God in the Spirit and God in the Word.