1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Is the only path to salvation/heaven through Jesus?

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by kateyes, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. kateyes

    kateyes Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    541
    Ratings:
    +71
    I stumbled across an interesting article on the Religious Tolerence Website-

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_savj1.htm


    -and thought I would post it to see what others thought. Several people on the forum have posted thier beliefs that accepting Jesus as your savior and beliving in the resurrection is the only path to heaven. Interestingly enough according to this article the Bible only mentions these specific ideas in Gospel of John-and in the different epistles of St. Paul. This article stresses that in Matthew, Mark and Luke-

    [FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif]quote:[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif]Jesus talked extensively about individuals being saved and inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. The main path to salvation that he described is based on good works and attitudes. Salvation is dependent on what people do and how they behave towards others - particularly the poor. Repentance, belief in Jesus or the act of baptism are irrelevant. Actions and attitudes only matter. This path is described very clearly in two passages:

    Matthew 25:31-46: This is an important passage, because it describes the exact criteria which Matthew believed will be used at the Final Judgment when Jesus separates all the people of the world into two groups: those who will enter heaven and those who will spend eternity in hell. Addressing those on his right, Jesus says that they will "inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." He orders those on his left hand to "depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his [fallen] angels." where they will go away into eternal punishment." The sole criteria for routing individuals to heaven or hell is whether the person gave food, drink or clothing to the destitute, and welcomed strangers and visited the sick or persons in prison. That is, salvation is totally dependent upon one's treatment of one's fellow humans while on earth...........
    Other supporting passages are: Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." . The Amplified Bible defines "poor in spirit" as being humble and rating themselves as insignificant.
    Matthew 5:10: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The Amplified Bible defines "righteousness" as being and doing right.
    Matthew 5:20: "...unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven" The Rheims New Testament translates the Greek as "unless your justice abound more...".
    Matthew 7:12: "...do onto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." One might assume that by following this "Golden rule", one meets all of the requirements of the Hebrew scriptures, and thus might be saved.
    Matthew 16:27: "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." (NKJ)
    Matthew 19:16-17 "Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, 'Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?'...Jesus replied...If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." Jesus then repeated 5 as being of particular importance (Commandments 5 to 9 inclusive from Exodus 20:12-16) and added a new commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself" 4 of the 6 involve actions to avoid; the remaining two list who one is to love. Jesus then goes further and urges the man to sell his possessions, and give the money to the poor, so that he would have "treasure in heaven."
    Matthew 24:45-50: In this passage, Jesus tells a parable about an evil overseer who beats his fellow slaves. His master comes back at an unexpected time and "and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth." (ASV) This implies that when Christ returns, individuals who treat others with consideration will be rewarded (presumably with access to the Kingdom of God). An evil person who treats others poorly or is a drunk will be punished (presumably by denying them access).
    Mark 9:42-48: Jesus recommends that if one's hand or foot or eye cause them to commit a sinful act, then they should cut off the offending member. Verse 47 says: "...It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell..."
    Mark 10:17-25: This is essentially identical to Luke 18, which is described below
    Mark 12:32-34: A man said that to love God and one's neighbor is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. Jesus replied in Verse 34 "...You are not far from the kingdom of God." This implies that if one loves God and humanity, then they are close to salvation.
    Luke 7:44-50: Jesus described to Simon Peter how a woman who had lived a sinful life had treated him with loving care. She washed his feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair; she continually kissed his feet and she anointed them with oil. Jesus said in verse 47-48: "Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, (the same) loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven." The implication is that because of her kind acts, her sins are forgiven; she will attain the Kingdom of God. But then an obvious addition was made to the story in Luke 7:50: "And he said unto the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." This verse appears to be an afterthought, added after the original gospel was written. It contradicts the previous verses that based her treatment on her kind acts, not her faith. Perhaps the intent was to bring the story into line with the developing Christian theology, which had begun to emphasize faith over works.
    Luke 13:27 "Away from me, all you evildoers" The Amplified Bible renders this word as wrongdoers. The verse describes how people will be turned away from the Kingdom of God, because of their evil behavior and wrongdoing.
    Luke 18:18-22 This is similar to Matthew 19, except that the advice to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor is not an optional add-on but a requirement.
    Luke 19:8-9: "And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, To-day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham." (ASV) Zacchaeus cares about others, giving half of his possession to the poor. And he is honest: if he shortchanges anyone, he returns the shortage four times over. Jesus indicates that because of these two acts of kindness and generosity, he has been saved.
    [/FONT]​
    [FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif]So if these three say to achieve salvation one must do good deeds and live a good life--why do John and Paul add all the other contingencies about salvation only coming through Jesus? Why are so many conservative Christians so convinced--you must accept Jesus as your savior to achieve Heaven?

    [/FONT]
     
  2. !Fluffy!

    !Fluffy! Lacking Common Sense

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,215
    Ratings:
    +331
    Well, it's an interesting theory, well worth exploring.

    Seems like the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and Zaccheus both displayed a personal, and penitent, response to Jesus, and that is why he accepted and blessed them.

    And it would make sense that any who are meek, humble, or persecuted for righteousness' sake would certainly respond and be attracted to Jesus if in His presence.

    I have no way of knowing if it's true, but I want to believe all will have the opportunity to see Him face to face and will either love him and want to stay with him for eternity, or reject him. I also believe that those who had an opportunity to 'meet' him and rejected him while in this life, will be judged on that basis as well.
     
  3. kateyes

    kateyes Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    541
    Ratings:
    +71

    The point I was trying to make is that in 3 of the 4 principle gospels--Jesus does not say he is the ONLY way to salvation--he says good works and treating others as you would wish to be treated will get you into the kingdom of heaven. That would imply it is not about accepting or rejecting Jesus in this life or the next, but about how you live your life.
     
  4. Paul Maxwell

    Paul Maxwell New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Ratings:
    +0
    In terms of salvation and heaven, by default, yes, belief in Jesus is required.

    However, if one is not interested in such a limited view of reality then belief in the authenticity/authority of the Christ is optional and by no means required.

    Imho, there are as many ways to "god" as there are people to think of those ways. Religion hardly has a strangle hold on what some may consider to be "the truth". If anything those dearly beloved religions hold people back far more than they free the follower. The simple fact is that at a certain point, one has to get off one's "spiritual butt" and tackle some "spiritual heavy lifting" themselves. At that point, the little beloved books with be of little help to you. Sad, but true, as it would be so much simpler to have a "Nirvana for Dummies" book. Sorry, it doesn't exist, although many would insist that THEIR book is perhaps just that.

    YmirGF (on holidays in Lotusland)
     
  5. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,081
    Ratings:
    +2,193
    Religion:
    Non-Denominational Christian



    I'm a Christian who believes that Christ is THE way to salvation and I believe this because He said so within the Word.

    John 3:16-18

    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to concemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." NKJV

    When one has accepted Christ...good deeds and works follow. How else will a Christian let their light shine if they aren't doing as Christ did...LOVING others, caring for others and living according to the spirit not according to the world.

    However, it is not the works that one does that saves them...it is Christ through his sacrifice on the cross which saves us. We are graced because of HIS sacrifice.

    When one has received Christ into their lives...good works naturally follow and one is rewarded according to their works...however, Christ is the only one capable of saving their soul.

    "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26 NKJV
     
  6. !Fluffy!

    !Fluffy! Lacking Common Sense

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,215
    Ratings:
    +331
    Welll... that would put you in rather an awkward position, Christianity-wise, of rejecting big chunks of the NT such as John and the works of Paul, while accepting Matthew, Mark, and Luke "as gospel".
     
  7. kateyes

    kateyes Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    541
    Ratings:
    +71
    Actually I do not accept any of them as "Gospel"--it is generally viewed that John was the last of the gospels to be written--that tends to make me think his might be the most embellished--John's gospel has most of its focus on Jesus divinity--far more so than the earlier gospels. Paul--in fact--bases his teachings on a Revelation he had on the road and disappeared for 3 years afterward--before beginning to teach the word of Jesus--he seems to have been perpetually at odds with the Church in Jerusalem (as maintained by James at Jesus behest)--so one has to question how true to Jesus intentions Paul's teachings actually were. Paul chose to preach to and convert Gentiles-and it was at his behest that Judaic beliefs(such as circumcision) were forsaken to make Gentiles more likely to convert. It is at his behest that we seem to see pagan holidays, and rituals incorportated into the church. That leads one to wonder if the Christian Church as it exists today is Jesus Church or Paul's.
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    36,323
    Ratings:
    +5,271
    Religion:
    Christian/Shamanic
    I actually don't think salvation theology today bears much resemblance to the ancient and proto-Church. But...should it? As we grow and develop, our understanding of what it means to be one of the "chosen" and what it means to be in right relationship with God should change, too. As our world view changes, our theological stances will necessarily have to change. We have to remember that the Body is an organic creature. It will either grow or stagnate.

    While the Xy of the Jerusalem Church tended to be provincial in theology, Paul had to stretch that to a larger world view, in order to include Gentiles. Today, Xy needs to stretch past its human-imposed boundaries to include at least a tolerance for other perspectives, and at least a nod to other expressions of truth. As Christians, we have a unique perspective on how life in God works, and that perspective calls us to a certain praxis in this life. But that doesn't deny the expression of truth in other forms. I think we have to be very careful whenever we make absolute statements about a God that is too big for us to stuff in a box.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Damien Sid Malery

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    36
    Ratings:
    +1
    I know there are huge paragraphs that I didn't read and I might be repeating someone but no. Remember when jesus said he didn't come to change (Overthrow? There is a word there I am missing) the scriptures but to fulfill them? Jesus didn't come to be the new god or even to be worshiped he never said he was and he isn't. I know he also said that no one gets to the father except through me but isn't he talking about re-opening the gates of heaven? I have the biggest problem with catholics in this regaurd who have a tendency to pray to mary, jesus, and the saints, but they have nearly completely left out god. WAKE UP PEOPLE! WE WORSHIP *GOD*!
     
  10. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,259
    Ratings:
    +638
    I reject the premise of this statement completely. Especially this sentence:

    The path to salvation is ONLY through the grace and atonement of Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with our good works and attitudes. This is not to say that good works and attitudes don't play an important role in this life, but the role they play isn't associated with our salvation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,259
    Ratings:
    +638
    The reason that John and Paul preached salvation through Jesus is because that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of the people who they were preaching to came from a Jewish background that was fixated on "the law." Salvation is not achieved by keeping a checklist of commandments. Salvation is achieved though only one mean - Jesus Christ. Without Christ there it is impossible for us to achieve salvation - no matter how many good works we do.

    If what you are saying is true, then our worth in God's eyes is defined by our works. If we are bad, we are of no worth to God. That is a lie. Our worth in the eyes of God isn't defined on what WE do. It is defined by what HE did. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Christ's life and infinite and eternal atonement are what we are worth to God.
     
  12. Arben

    Arben Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Messages:
    23
    Ratings:
    +5
  13. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,956
    Ratings:
    +871
    I realise why you feel this way, but to be honest this seems without practical sense.
     
  14. Sasa

    Sasa Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    116
    Ratings:
    +10
    I believe that the meaning behind what is said about the path to salvation being through Jesus Christ is that if you believe in him, you should also walk in his footsteps. If you walk in his footsteps, you're doing the "good works" and having the "attitude" necessary for Salvation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    30,335
    Ratings:
    +6,020
    Religion:
    LDS Christian
    In my opinion, there are many paths that lead to Heaven, but only one gate by which we can ultimately enter into the presence of God.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. A4B4

    A4B4 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Ratings:
    +6
    When I first read the Gospels, in order, by the end of Luke I felt I had a very solid and realistic notion of Jesus' character. Matthew, Mark and Luke "spoke to me" and seemed very alive as I read them--like God was actively speaking to me.

    When I read John, that "liveness" faded and the character John portrayed Jesus as seemed to contradict the Jesus I had come to understand. After that, I realized that John is not one of the synoptic gospels, and it probably came later. And I have come across more and more controversy about John that I, too, have come to doubt it's authenticity.

    Anyways, I love this discussion and will certainly post more once I get home.
     
Loading...