It’s a hot day. You’re tired and sweaty. Nothing would be better than a nice tall glass of some ice cold sweet tea. So you stop at your favorite restaurant and order a glass. Its brought to your table and just before you pick it up to drink it, the waitress adds a teaspoon of a dark liquid to it. A bit surprised, you ask what she put in your tea. She tells you it was a teaspoon of raw sewage. The tea is pretty sweet she tells you–you shouldn’t notice.
So you drink the tea?
I think not.
Outraged, you leave and go to another restaurant and order a tall glass of ice-cold sweet tea. The waitress brings you a glass of some dark liquid and adds what appears to be a teaspoon of iced tea to it.
You’ve had it—you leave. You go home and make your own.
Whether it’s a teaspoon of sewage in a glass of tea, or a teaspoon of tea in a glass of sewage, neither one is worth anything to you. A little bit of the bad stuff ruins the batch, and no matter how good the good stuff is, it can’t make that glass any better.
Fact is that a teaspoon of raw sewage added to a swimming pool full of water would make most people decide to get out! And no amount of fresh water being added to a pool full of sewage would temp the average person to jump in.
So why is it that when it comes to our religious beliefs, we’re willing to compromise and accept pollution?
A family member visited a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church recently. As I looked into what the church stands for, I was not surprised to find a doctrine of universal acceptance of religious and world views—a hodgepodge of beliefs that are not espoused by the church, but are condoned for the individual in his or her search for spiritual value. The church holds to a belief that no one church or religion has a monopoly on the truth. If that’s true, then the UU church must fall under that same statement.
The problem is that there is a truth out there. And I believe that truth is what is in the Bible.
Paul, in his letter to the Believers in Rome, said “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
What I believe is that man has been aware of the existence of a creator since man set foot on the Earth. In his rebellion against God, man has found other things to worship and looked for other things to explain the world. Anything but God!
Whether it’s Zeus and his followers, Jupiter if you prefer—or Odin—or a Great Spirit—man has attributed the creation to false creators. Man has looked at the evidence Paul speaks of and has made his own gods to explain the world. Man has worshipped the creation rather than the creator. And churches along the way have been adding their teaspoon of sewage to the glass.
I don’t believe God would set His mark in nature and a yearning for a significance beyond ourselves in us unless He also was going to give us some way to put it all together and come up with the right answers. But just in case, a couple thousand years ago, He sent someone to help confirm and finish the story. His name was Jesus and he told us that no-one comes to the Father except through him.
Jesus did not say we could get there through Brigham Young, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Sun Myun Moon, Bhudda, Hare Krishna, the Dalai Lama, Muhammad—the list of pretenders could go on and on.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
So here’s a challenge to you if you seek the truth. If you really are seeking the truth, it is found in Jesus.
If you are seeking the truth anywhere else, you are looking for that teaspoon of water in a pool of sewage—you’re not going to find it.
If the UU church values the teachings of Jesus, then they cannot ignore his statement in John 14:6. They are hypocrites to accept any other teaching.
If they do not accept what Jesus said about himself in John 14:6, then they are fools to allow what they believe to be a false teaching in a church that wants its faithful to find spiritual truth. They would be allowing what they may consider a teaspoon of sewage in their swimming pool.
They can’t have it both ways and have any credibility.
True religion is typically not taught by any church. Once a Christian denomination gets you to the point of accepting that we are all sinners and need the saving blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins—they add in all the other garbage that has come along with centuries of man making his own rules based on his own views on what the Bible says—or doesn’t say.
But the Bible itself says that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
As for what we should do, it tells us that too: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
In simpler terms, as if the Bible needs to be explained any better, the Christian faith is (or should be) about our relationship to God through His son, Jesus, and our relationship to others through Jesus. It’s that simple.
It’s not about where you go to church, if or how much you give, or whether you sing a hymn or recite a prayer when prompted. It’s about having the right relationships with those around us based on the guidelines given by the One who created us and knows what is best for us.
Of course, so many of us think we know what’s best and what’s right…
Read Full Post »