McGoran, Jenna (2010)
Facebook and faith: Christianity on the web looked at the problem of religion on facebook, addressing the problem that Best Places has shown on their web-site, which is that there are way more people in Fort Smith who claim to be religious, than those who would hold their faith exclusively in any one individual, let alone in God or the person of Jesus Christ. Likely the problem is not specific to Fort Smith!
Perhaps one of the clearest places to see this problem addressed for Christians comes from the book of Acts, a book that Christians should take seriously, to the point of eternity!
Here is the break down:
There is no salvation, “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12)
- There is no salvation in religion! You may say: that is the most exclusive, closed-minded, ridiculous claim ever made. You're absolutely right, and it is absolutely the claim of the Gospel. The claim of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is absolute, there is one way and one way alone. This absolute truth claim smacks directly in the face anyone who would claim 'I believe that all paths lead to salvation', or 'I'm a Christian, but I'm o.k with others following Buddha, or anyone else for that matter... whatever is right, for them.'
- No. There is one way according to the Gospel, and one name, that name is Jesus Christ: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
There is salvation in no one else. By no other name, but there is salvation in Jesus. “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12.)
- If you read the entire context of this passage (Acts 4:1-12) you will see that Peter and John were being persecuted for being Christians, and when pressed, Peter responded with the Gospel, and an exclusive claim of Jesus Christ as the only One whereby anyone must receive salvation- which by the way necessarily implied that those who were persecuting him were not saved!
- For Christians who would claim their religion as anything other than Christian, or I follow Christ, calling on the name of protestantism or any particular denomination, there is a problem of religion. This writer honestly would challenge you. Even if you feel the need to place another name after Christ... on facebook, military identification tags, or application forms, whatever! You will often see some form of Christian- ______ with a denomination of choice filling in a blank after the dash! Why? Has this denomination cornered the market on grace?
Some final thoughts for those of you that are Christians who honestly desire to see others come to Christ, not to mention, a desire to obey the Great Commission! Two brief points that might be painful, but perfectly true!
Samuel Davies has said it well:
Religion, and placing any denomination or particular church body ahead of Christ is a hinderance to the move of the Holy Spirit in reviving the Church, and the highest form of bigotry, faction, and party-spirit! To glory in any of these before Christ, is completely contrary to the spirit of Christianity. Rest assured, God will not be mocked, and Jesus will not play second fiddle to anyone! This party spirit deserves the condemnation of both God and man.1
- Christians are commanded to preach the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20). This truth has been preached often from pulpits across the world, yet cannot be said enough! But, do you know what else is often preached around the world, perhaps a dangerously misapplied statement regarding the Gospel? St. Francis of Assisi (A Catholic Monk) is often remembered for saying that you should preach the Gospel at all- times and when necessary, use words. There is a problem with that in application. The Gospel is made up of what? Recorded with what? Words. One of those words is the totally exclusive, unavoidable name and person of Jesus Christ, and the Apostle Paul makes it clear, Christians must preach the Gospel (Romans 10:13-17).
So Christian, in whom do you place your faith?
Do you share your faith on facebook, or anywhere else for that matter?! If so, would someone who has never heard the Gospel see and hear the Gospel from your witness, or your facebook, page that Christ is the only way to salvation? Could they pursue and pray for faith in Christ from the truth of the Gospel they've heard form your lips, read from your page, or would they seek and pursue religion?
Here is the challenge:
If you or someone you know has perhaps unaware, placed party or religion before Jesus, repent, and ask God to give you the grace and strength to be true to the Gospel. If you know someone else who is dangerously misleading others- or worse, actually placed their trust in religion over Christ- share this Gospel truth with them.