Monday, December 3, 2018
I have just finished listening to a bishop from the Episcopal Church, being interviewed by one of the networks, claim that hell was invented by the church to control its membership. He went on to explain that all religions are just fallible human systems seeking to control others with a reward and punishment teaching.
His logic is lacking. He claims the Bible isn’t true because it was written by men, making it a human effort to control others. He can’t see that his argumentation negates his own thesis because his efforts are based upon the same thing that he ridicules. He wants others to accept his views at truth!
He stated that every church claims it is the true church because each seeks to control its membership. He is seeking to control others by getting us to swallow his claim that his truth is the only one that is correct. Apparently, he believes he has discovered what all others have failed to understand. He wants us to believe he, not Jesus, is our rightful savior!
There is a small kernel of truth hidden among his remarks. Perhaps that “kernel” isn’t the “truth” he wanted his listeners to understand. It is true that we all think we have some “truth” that others need but have failed to discover. Isn’t it true that we want others to believe what we know so they will discover what we have and be just as free as we are? Would the world be better off if Jesus had stayed home to work with wood? Even the Episcopal bishop thought his “truth” was far better than the truth taught by Jesus.
People can find agreement over some subject, but where the majority agrees is not our standard. People have been wrong. Our problem begins when two people disagree, but each believes his position is eternal truth. Disagreement has produced division and wars. A nation may pass a law that seems right to them, but it clashes with a higher truth that is not human. It was lawful for German Nazi officials to imprison and murder six million Jesus between 1939 to 1945. In the Nuremberg Trials in 1946, judges argued that there was a higher law of truth that negated Nazi Germany law. Was that court mistaken about the existence of universal law and truth?
If we follow the logic of that clergyman there is no absolute truth in our world. The logical conclusion of his view is found in scripture where everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). How do we know the clergyman’s assumptions are truth since they are generated to gain control over others? He was claiming that his system of thought was the true one while all others were false! Why should we believe his say so? What elevates his belief above the “truths” held dear by the rest of mankind? Doesn’t his belief also indict him? Isn’t he just as fallible as he thinks everyone else is?
His reasoning makes a circular journey and ends up with the same question asked by a Roman governor long ago, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Pilate’s truth was to wash his hands and let someone else take the fall. Jesus took the past, present, and future sins of mankind upon himself, by enduring man’s violence. Jesus stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He was God in the flesh telling mankind “I love you. I want you to have fellowship with me, forever.” Apparently, that bishop believes Jesus was the most misguided individual that ever walked on the earth. There are a lot of people that would rather stand with the bishop. Whose truth do you accept as your teacher? Your choice.