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Monday, September 4, 2023

Results of the Christianity Quiz

 


If your church failed the quiz in the previous column, congratulations! You are less likely to be on the ‘broad road’ to destruction.

Can we really say that, just because the majority of churches subscribe to the same core beliefs they must be on the broad road, weeds rather than wheat, goats rather than sheep?

Yes, we can. Take a look:

1.       1. The belief that Jesus is God.

Over 175 times in the Hebrew scriptures Jehovah said bluntly, ‘I am your God,’ ‘I am Jehovah’, or similar pronouncements. “I am Jehovah your God.” (Isaiah 42:8) Is there any scripture where Jesus said something similar, that he was God? No. Not a single instance; quite the contrary. Jesus told his followers he worshiped his father (John 20:17); he prayed to his father (Matthew 26:42). He was taught by his father (John 8:28), sent by his father (Luke 4:18), obeyed his father (John 8:29). He taught them to worship, obey, pray to and be taught by his father (John 5:30). He never told his followers to worship or pray to himself. 

Jesus called himself God’s son (John 10:36); His followers called him God’s son (Matthew 14:33); angels called him God’s son (Luke 1:35); His enemies called him God’s son (John 19:7); Satan and the demons called him God’s son (Matthew 8:29). If Jesus is God, surely Satan would have known. Yet he called him 'son of God'. (Matthew 4:3)

2.   Immortality of the soul.

Nowhere does the Bible say you have a soul that lives on when you die. It very clearly says the opposite: when you die you’re dead. (Ecclesiastes 9:5) Death is called sleep. (John 11:11) Jesus said he will resurrect the dead. (John 5:28) If your soul lives on after you die, how could he do that? Why would he need to?

3.       Punishment of bad people in hell.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say any such thing. In fact, it says the opposite - that dying, not hellfire, is the end result of sin. 'The wages of sin is death.' (Romans 6:23)

4.       God will save everyone.

(I refer you to my previous column on this subject.) The Bible says “the one that endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13), that only chosen ones will be saved (Matthew 24:22), only those on the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), squeezing through the narrow door (Luke 13:24), and obeying Jesus’ commands (John 15:13, 14), will be saved.

5.    God doesn't care what you do sexually, as long as you love one another.

The Bible clearly defines marriage as one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24) Sex outside of that arrangement is clearly condemned (1 Corinthians 6:9). Nor was Jesus silent on the subject of homosexuality: “On the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:29) Sodom wasn't destroyed for drunkenness, or gluttony, or running a stop sign.

6.       Jesus was all about peace and love and unconditional acceptance.  

Wrong. He condemned prejudice, but he encouraged us to have standards: “Stop judging by the outward appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) Any competent Bible scholar can tell you that the passage included in some Bibles about 'let he who is sinless cast the first stone' was added hundreds of years after Jesus died.

7.       Nationalism, 'my country right or wrong.'

 

“My Kingdom is no part of this world. If my Kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my Kingdom is not from this source.” (John 18:36)

8.       The clergy are especially holy and loved by Jesus.

 Jesus never condoned a clergy class with special garments and high-sounding titles. The clergy in his day had already developed those bad habits:  “[They] lengthen the fringes of their garments. They like the most prominent place at evening meals and the front seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called Rabbi by men. But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your Teacher, and all of you are brothers.” (Matthew 23:5-8) The clergy would like you to believe that command has been rescinded. Take the time to read Mathew 23 for yourself. And they especially hate the command Jesus gave preachers: “You received free, give free.”  (Matthew 10:8,9) All Jesus’ true followers, not any special clergy class, were told, ‘Go, make disciples of people of all nations.' (Matthew 28:19)

9.       The Bible is a mystery. Faith means blind trust.

Faith is not blindly trusting something you heard, even if you heard it from the pulpit. 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not apparent.' (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is based on evidence. “Let all things be tested; keep to what is good.” (1Thess. 5:21) The Bible is not a mystery. It was 'written for our instruction.' (Romans 15:4)

Perhaps you take issue with one or two of these points. But Jesus clearly said there would be a majority and a minority among Christians, and that the majority would be wrong. If your church teaches most of the above points, It is in the majority. If you personally disagree with this understanding of Jesus’ teachings, what is your explanation of the broad road? How do you explain all these so-called Christian denominations, making up the clear majority, holding so many teachings in common despite clear scriptures saying the opposite?

The Bible is only confusing if you try to read it while holding onto your own beliefs. 

Please leave a comment. To read the first column in this series, click here.

 Bill K. Underwood is the author of several novels and one non-fiction self-help book, all available at Amazon.com. You can help support this site by purchasing a book.

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