The other day I had a customer (RV Sales) who I engaged in a long conversation with regarding spiritual things. This happens frequently instead of selling a product (I sidetrack easily). She came from an Adventist perspective but not necessarily hardcore. She shared of a recent conversation with a Mormon friend in which they had agreed to leave their personal ‘Prophets’ out of the discussion and focus only on scripture. She said it was interesting to say the least as the Mormon lady couldn’t converse without lacing the discussion with quotes from ‘the book of Mormon’ shaping her viewpoints. More on this but first.
For a long time now I have been wanting to write on this subject ideally in a book form, just not sure I have the talent to do so, especially in a world flooded with Christian books. So as for now I’ll stick to this condensed submission.
In Acts 4:12 we have this quote: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (NASB) There are many other scriptures that are similar in thought but I’ll use this particular one as the basis for my writing. Here is the principle that I find at the core of Christian thought: Any teaching or rule or law added to the redemptive work of Christ that churches, organizations, denominations and religions require as validating the truth of their faith is bogus, made up by man and not God. In other words, based on this premise what Jesus accomplished on the cross is not quite enough. We have to add something else to it in order for His work to be complete. Wow! How arrogant and how self-righteous and worse, how misleading.
The fact that both of these ladies give credence to ‘their prophet’ at all is scary to me. I’m not going to pick on Adventist teachings or Mormon teachings other than to say that if Salvation requires me to honor Saturday sabbath, then Jesus isn’t enough. If I have to be a member of the LDS church to be saved, then Jesus isn’t enough. Whatever the rules are that one comes up with that somehow get entangled with the redemptive process really is such a waste of human effort and so counter-productive to the good news of Jesus.
It’s not just Mormons or Adventists that have these unnecessary rules. I grew up with the understanding that as a Christian, I was not allowed to dance, go to movies, drink any alcohol, smoke, play cards, participate in mixed swimming, certainly not cuss, and I had to go to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Now this wasn’t in a doctrinal statement, but to break any of these rules was pretty much a landslide opening to hell. I’m not endorsing activities which you may find offensive, I’m only saying that my salvation isn’t dependant on following these rules. It’s only dependant on the work Jesus did and my acceptance of that work for my own redemption.
If we could just get past religion and focus on Jesus, it would really clear a lot of fog for so many who are bound by rules and doctrines of men. But for some reason man just has a hard time not interfering with God’s plan. Not that we deal with pride, or selfishness, or control, or anything like that mind you. But if you dig into what ‘distinguishes’ all the different religious organizations out there you will too often find alternative salvation clauses. It’s no wonder Christianity is seen by so many as just another religion because that’s exactly how it’s portrayed. How sad!
The ‘good news’ left to itself is still the greatest news on earth!