Monday, August 14, 2006


Can two people who believe in two completely different things ever see eye to eye? Is it possible for them to both be correct in their own way?

Consider Christianity...a 'religion' that has as many different denominations as there as stars in the sky. These denominations differ from one another on the basis of doctrine, traditions and beliefs. Can all of them be correct in their understanding of the Bible or is there just one denomination that has found the absolute truth while the others are living a lie...

If religion by definition is a means of finding God more than just a way of life than Christianity is by no means a religion...coz a Christian with the slightest Biblical knowledge would know that there is no way for a sinful human to ever come to know a Holy God without God sovereignly revealing himself.

So if God is the One who does the revealing, how is it that He reveals Himself to people in different ways? The answer is...He doesn’t. He reveals himself through his created works, which all can see, sense, touch and experience. But much more clearly than that, He reveals Himself through the Bible and through His son Jesus Christ.

So if there is only one inspired Bible (Apocrypha aside...) and only one Christ...then where does the difference of opinion arise? People belonging to different denominations don’t believe in different Christs do they?

It arises through the differences in interpretation of the Bible...Some verses are taken literally, some contextually and some are regarded as mere poetic phrases.
But is this the way God intended His word to be interpreted…in so many different ways? And if He is omnipotent and omniscient then how didn’t he foresee that people would misinterpret his perfect word? If believing a false doctrine can keep you captive to your sins and if it’s only the truth that can set you free then why didn’t God come up with a more foolproof plan of revealing himself?

The answer is Grace! God knows that we are human and far from perfect. He also knows that by our own means and relying on our own efforts we won’t be able to do diddly-squat! His word is perfect…it is we who in our imperfection misinterpret the word and create divisions in the universal church of God.
The Bible provides us everything we could ever need while on this earth, but if we could know Him only through His word then we would never know Him completely. In other words we cannot ever expect to know God completely while on this earth.
As the hymn says…”Were with ink the ocean filled or the sky of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.”
If only the love of God itself were so incomprehensible then comprehending all his attributes (His holiness, His righteousness, His wrath..) would certainly take more than an eternity!

The Bible says that you have to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength; to repent for your sins and trust that Christ alone is an all sufficient sacrifice…this is the gospel, that Christ had mercy on us, died for our sins and saved us by His Grace!

There are many other doctrines like speaking in tongues; the in-depth knowledge of which isn’t essential to attain salvation, though they are extremely important because it is on the basis of these doctrines that the denominations differ.I know believers who speak in tongues and I also know believers who dont.
Any ‘church’ that doesn’t believe in the core gospel is in fact not a church at all! I’m not claiming that it’s ok to believe in something that’s wrong. Its just that God is merciful regardless of who we are or what are beliefs are on certain matters.

God knew that there would be several denominations and He displays His Grace in that salvation belongs to Him alone and there can be believers in the Presbyterian church, the Charismatic church, the Methodist church or the Baptist church…all touched by One God who chose to reveal Himself to whomever He chooses.
The correct knowledge of His word is the difference between a mature believer and an immature one but God knows that not all of us can be Masters of Theology even though we are expected to learn His word and memorise it.
There is an absolute truth in the Bible, but we can only know God completely and absolutely when we stand before Him, face-to-face, and worship Him for the rest of Eternity.