In the Lodi News-Sentinel's article about the retirement of Pastor Alan Kimber from First United Methodist it said the following: "Kimber is disappointed, however, that Lodi has what he calls a 'theological divide,' where some pastors and churches aren't tolerant of differing religious views, even in the Christian community. One example is some conservative pastors' focus on having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to achieve salvation. 'I've chosen not to take on those ideological battles,' Kimber said."
Well, I'm one of those "conservative pastors" who still believes the Bible and who still believes that Jesus is the only way to eternal life.
An ideological battle? No, it's theological truth. Jesus said in John 14:6: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." His words are very clear and not a matter of interpretation. So that leaves us with two options: Either He is the only way or He isn't. There is no middle ground. If He isn't then He is mankind's biggest fraud and the instigator of the cruelest hoax the world has ever seen. If He is, however, then we must all bow before Him and acknowledge Him as the true Savior and Lord.
I am an unashamed Bible-believing Christian, and am not afraid to say that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. I can say this because I have proven it to be true. If it weren't true I wouldn't be a Christian.
Is saying Jesus is the only way being narrow-minded, arrogant, hateful or intolerant? No, it's not. I know that many don't agree with me, and that's their right. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. The truth is the truth regardless of whether people choose to believe it or not.
In Romans 1:16 the Apostle Paul said: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes ..." Will you stand up unashamedly for Jesus, even if you are ridiculed or hated?
Pastor Frank Nolton
New Hope Community Church