While reading an article published in the New York Times on 12/27/08 by Op-Ed Columnist Charles M. Blow titled “Heaven for the Godless?”
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a survey in June 2008 that some consider controversial. I believe it should be viewed as a religious report card.
The survey concluded that 70% of Americans believed that religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life. Now a majority of Americans proclaim Christianity as their Religion of choice, judging by the results of this research one could say that it seems many Americans only live the life of a Christian 30% of the time, but that’s another issue for another day.
The survey designed by the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape reports that 7 out of 10 people who claim a religious affiliation has an open view of salvation.
Now I could really start a big argument here, but I will not go there today. What I will say is that I believe it is good to be open-minded enough to listen and respect other religious beliefs. I do not believe you compromising your beliefs by learning, considering and respecting other religious beliefs. I believe it helps you to strengthen your beliefs.
As a Christian I believe I have a right to question The Church and those who claim to be apart of the Christian Church. You will not find me criticizing another religion on this blog or in my everyday life. I have often defended one’s right to believe what they want to believe, because as a Christian my God has given me Free Will. I’m a Christian, so I have no right to degrade another religion because it does not align with mine.
If you are a Christian, practicing or not you really have no authority speaking against another religion that isn’t Christianity. You may disagree, but do it in love because that’s what the head of your faith instructs you to do.
I think we all have something to learn from each other. Many people of faith regardless of that faith have fallen short. We are all human, subject to error. Now we could get technical regarding religion, but does that solve the prevailing issues of today?
Now I want to speak to those who proclaim Christianity as their faith. If you are not a Christian you can continue reading too, but I haven’t studied World Religions yet so some of what I say may not translate into your belief system. It is not my intentions to exclude, but I want you to understand why I am speaking to Christians now.
After the conclusions of this survey were released many evangelicals complained that people must not have understood the questions. Perhaps, but I want to take the side that many who took the survey was intelligent enough to understand the simplicity of the question. It’s a fundamental question in Christianity, so if you are a Christian you should have already answered this question.
Who Achieves Eternal Life?
a) My religion is the one, true faith leading to eternal life.
b) Many religions can lead to eternal life
c) Don’t know/Refuse
What determines eternal life?
a) One’s Belief
b) One’s actions
c) Combination of actions/belief
e) Don’t believe in eternal life
f) Don’t know/refuse
Now I cannot see how any Christian can misunderstand the question. You learn this in Sunday School. This is an easy one.
Now I have to guard myself, because I do not want to sound too “preachy”, but this is what immediately came into my mind when I read that the findings of this report threw evangelicals into a tizzy.
The only reason I see a Christian should be bothered by this survey is because it publicizes what the church isn’t accomplishing. As a Christian you should have read John 14. Don’t use it as a weapon against non-Christians, but as a tool for those curious about Christianity in some way. The answer to this question is John 14:6, but I suggest reading the entire chapter.
When reading the chapter you see that even the disciples asked a similar question of Jesus. You must excuse my enthusiasm and slang, but I love the way Jesus got gangsta on the disciples and basically told them to stop trippin’. This is how I see it. If you’re a Christian you should know the answer to this question, stop trippin’ and doubting yourself. Where’s Your Faith?
Now you may read this chapter a little more proper or conservative than I, but as a Christian you have to decide whether you are going to walk with by faith or walk by sight.References & Inspiration: The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life – 12/18/08 “Many Americans Say Other Faiths Can Lead to Eternal Life” New York Times – 12/26/08 “Heaven for the Godless?” The Holy Bible (International Version) “John 14” The Holy Bible (International Version) “II Corinthians 5:7”