Grace Emerges

Saturday, October 27, 2012

One God, Many Paths?

by Brad Duncan

Christians we have a problem. We are selfish and arrogant to keep God for ourselves. We feel justified in this selfishness because we believe it is a mystery why God elected some to receive grace (those that believe in Jesus), and for all others to receive rejection and destruction no matter what they do (because they don't believe in Jesus). We know that salvation of the elect few is contradictory with "God so loved the world" but we just credit God with making the universe this way. Oh well, too bad, lucky for me. I believe the right thing.

Arrogant? We get God, no matter what we do, and they don't get God no matter what they do (except become one of us).

Selfish? We're content as long as we get all the cookies and ice cream. Not enough for you. I'm sorry.

The choice to believe in Jesus or not, is not the choice between good and evil. Its a very different thing, caught up in tradition, ethnicity, culture, history. We are arrogant to think that our circumstances which give us our beliefs make us the elite elect. We are selfish to smugly accept that situation.  Doesn't it bother you to condemn the rest of the world?  Doesn't the pain eat you up at night?

God is everywhere in all things good. God calls me through all of life. Through experiences. Through love. Through joy. Through the majesty of nature, the cosmic and the microscopic.  Through the eyes of a child. As Jesus said, he can be found on the streets, as the poor, naked and hungry reaching out to be fed. God can reach to China or Timbuktu.  Even without Christian missionaries. God is. God seeks. God speaks. God prevails.

We are not the elect, the elite, the privileged. No, we are human. We are the object of an enormous unquenchable love that seeks us out. Yes God spoke through becoming the incarnation, the Messiah, the king, Jesus. But in the process Jesus did not doom the rest of the world. He came to seek and save. And that he did. Even those that don't see it the same way as we do. Why do we have to turn "the way, the truth and the life" into a death sentence?

Christians, the kingdom is bigger that you think. The scale is grander. The shepherd has sheep which are not of this fold. We can't keep God to ourselves. It's selfish and arrogant to try.

I'm a Christian because of my belief in Jesus and my love for God. But I'm not the only kind of God lover in this world.  Yes it's a slippery slope.  Yes that means I need to open my heart to Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, both of which believe in Jesus, but differently than I do. Yes that means I need to open my heart to Jews and Muslims, both of which share my love for the God of Abraham (and also believe in Jesus in their own way). Yes that means that people in the Orient, India, Africa, people of indigenous tribes, those that have distinctly non-Christian paths to see God, may be regarding with love the same God that I am, seeking him (or her :) ), and that God is answering back! And of course there are many Christians in those areas as well. 
If you were God, what would you do when your creation called out to you? 

What about atheists and agnostics? Well, these folks can embrace the good of humanity and creation just as well as any God-lover. I can't condemn or judge the condition of the heart of the atheist, nor can I excuse the cold heart of any God believer.  We just can't draw the lines since they only do harm.

One God.  Many Paths.  Join the FB discussion at The God Article.
The only sane answer is "One God.  Many Paths". What does that make me, a Christian or not?  A Universalist or not?  Maybe this: Christian Universalism on wikipedia.  You can decide for yourself whether people like me are "Christians" as you define it.  For me, I will continue to love God, love Jesus, love the Holy Spirit, and they will love me back.  And I will try to let go of the arrogance and selfishness that come from being the elite elect, the chosen few, in order to make room in my heart for the sheep that are "not of this fold".

Share the cookies and ice cream!

God loves us all.  
Coexist foundation


  1. Gravity is good but though if a person chooses to jump from the top of a building from 10th floor...IT WILL KILL TAT PERSON!!!What is wrong here?...Gravity??! Not really!!...the person who chose to jump off the building from 10th floor passed a judgement on himself!!!

    God provided Salvation for the whole mankind thru the death and Resurrection of Jesus out of his love for mankind. But some chose not to receive that wonderful love!!And chose to work against the nature jus like the man who jumped from the 10th floor.Is God wrong or cruel??...NO...Are Christians responsible??...NO...y?..Christians are jus saying u tat if u work against the law of gravity u will die.If dis is wat dey say are dey being selfish??!..NOPE...dey are saying the TRUTH!!!

    CONCLUSION: The person who chooses to reject God or the Salvation provided by God thru Jesus is simply passing a death sentence on himself!!!!

    1. Hi Samson, I appreciate your point of view but don't agree with it. If someone seeks God without Jesus or no knowledge of Jesus, I don't think God will reject him.

    2. He did indeed. For all mankind. Opening the door. Blowing it wide open. For everyone, everywhere, everywhen. Completing the circle. Breaking open the vat of grace to flow throughout the world to touch everyone wherever they are. :)

    3. Atheists don like God or anything related to lets say Jesus in his second coming takes everyone with him including the atheists.what wuld happen in heaven??....Atheists will be mocking God for not allowing dem to act by der free will.To dem to speak abt God is like living in Hell! So do u think God will do such a thing??like denying dem der free will??!..

      God doesn't force Grace into everyone!!! He has provided the provision for all, yes indeed he has provided Salvation for whole mankind including the atheists and so on....but to receive that Salvation one has to believe it and believing one receives Salvation. Faith pleases God!

      Jesus healed many but he healed dem bcoz dey believed in him.Matthew 13:58 Jesus wasn't able to perform miracles bcoz the people in tat place wer full of unbelief. God doesn't force his Grace on anyone without one's acceptance!! God respects man!! Radical but true! God doesn't see man as a robo...its every man's own choice!

    4. Good point, which I wasn't really addressing in my post.

      Let's agree that God is good, loving, and respectful of those he created, treating them like we would treat our children.

      So, yes, I never pictured heaven as a place where people that don't want to be with God were forced to do so. My personal opinion is that God will allow freedom of choice even in heaven.

      Honestly I think some (most?) atheists don't hate or dislike God. They just believe that the spiritual realm is a myth. If they meet God, they will obviously see otherwise, and maybe they will love God too!

      Anyway I trust God to know what to do..

  2. Thank you, GraceEmerges, for a lovely blog that really touched my heart. I tried to be an exclusive, fundamentalist for 20+ years, but thankfully was delivered from that mindset by GOD themself. Since I have come to walk in the beauty of Grace, I no longer feel the need to hold GOD inside a box, away from others. I am free to love them and accept them wherever they are with no pressure to change them one whit (which I cannot do anyway!!!). I love your blog and I loved this one especially much!!! Thanks again!!!

  3. Take heart,read GOD's true inspired LIVING Word.
    Then know you are anointed by the Holy One (I John 2:20) and say to Him, "Speak, Lord, for your servant hears."
    Be faithful, the Enemy roams about looking for those to devour.

  4. As a follower of Jesus...a Christian. I would love to believe that anyone seeking God will not be rejected by Him. But, also, as a Christian I have to accept that truth of what Jesus said and did...that He is the Only way to heaven. He did not say "but" or "if"...

  5. I have a theory -- as the Messiah, the Incarnation of God and the Only way, Jesus has the full authority to accept absolutely anyone he wants. Who is going to tell him otherwise? I'm not disputing the validity of the Savior - just that we have a limited view of who can be saved. Jesus said " I have sheep which are not of this fold ." And in the parable of the sheep and the goats he explained that he has full authority to judge people's hearts REGARDLESS of their faith. I say this because the goats had full faith in their Savior, but didn't act like it on Earth when given the opportunity.