There are many paths to the same destination; unfortunately, that destination is hell. There is one God, one truth, one way, and one life, and no matter how inclusive we want to be or pretend to be, the veracity of this statement is undeniable. No man comes to the Father but through Christ!
But Oprah! I’ll see your Oprah and raise you a Jesus! Jesus
said! That should end the conversation without further protestation, but that
would make things too simple, and when things are simple, the unscrupulous
can’t take advantage of the innocent.
Given the self-importance some men attribute to themselves, I
often wonder if Jesus sent His disciples out two by two to keep any of them
from thinking they were the one. Not that it did any good. They still argued
among themselves as to who would be the greatest, but Jesus sorted them out
with a few words and a little child.
The difference between the disciples of old, and the men of
today, is that the disciples did it out of spiritual immaturity, while the men
of today do it for a far more nefarious reason. Any time anyone tells you they,
rather than Jesus, are the truth, and no man can attain salvation save by
following their teachings, run. Run as fast as your legs and McDonald’s rich
diet will allow because you’re in danger.
It takes a certain kind of hubris to stand in front of a
crowd or in front of a camera and declare that you alone possess the keys to
biblical knowledge. Everyone else is either ignorant of the truth or leading
you astray intentionally.
There have been enough real-world examples of men with
messiah complexes and the havoc they wreak to make you weary of anyone pointing
to themselves rather than Christ. The fallout is always spectacular, and the
best-case scenario for those in close proximity is that they get out alive. They
are both physically and psychologically scarred, shattered, broken, suffering
from the spiritual version of post-traumatic stress, but alive.
It’s not hyperbole. I wish it were. If you don’t believe me,
ask the survivors of the Koresh compound. That’s right, all you get is glassy
eyes and far-off stares, that’s if you can get one of the handfuls who survived
to come out of hiding. Spiritual betrayal is one of the most difficult things
to get over. Just ask any former cult member who somehow got away.
These men are so starved for attention that even though Jesus
had twelve disciples, they refuse to allow anyone within the warmth and glow of
the limelight. Never mind that there are a few billion more people walking
around than in Christ’s time, no, these new Messiahs know what they’re doing,
and all they need is an audience.
The disciples weren’t asking who would replace Jesus; they
were asking who would be the greatest. Childish, perhaps, but not dangerous as
the modern-day messiahs turn out to be.
Throughout the Word, every time those in leadership were
referenced, it was always in the plural sense. There wasn’t one man to rule
them all; there was a plurality of shepherds to guide the sheep. That alone
should cause discerning people to question the entirety of the papal system.
Still, discernment is painful sometimes, and they would rather not have to deal
with the uncertainty of admitting they were wrong to follow a guy in a goofy
hat who allows for things the Bible never did.
That’s not to say the evangelical churches get a pass when it
comes to faux messiahs. There are plenty who would pretend to be the one given
half a chance, and some already are but are so pitiful in their delivery that
three old ladies in summer hats are the extent of their reach.
Men gifted by God don’t chase after titles or the esteem of
men. The former is worthless, the latter fickle, so rather than waste time
pursuing either, they hunger after God and live lives of obedience and service.
I’ve known a handful of such men, men the world thought unremarkable but that God used in remarkable ways.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.