Archive for Saturday, May 29, 2004

Faith forum

May 29, 2004

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Could there be many saviors of humankind?

Jesus is the way, truth and life

The Rev. Darrell Brazell, pastor, New Hope Fellowship, 1449 Kasold Drive:

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

No one in history makes a bolder or more controversial claim. Jesus states unequivocally he is the only way to God. If he said, "I am a way and a truth and a life," there wouldn't be controversy. Yet his words remain. "I am the way, the truth and the life."

Therefore, we have three options. First, we can dismiss him as an egomaniac, liar and/or lunatic. However, dismissing him requires explaining many things: how his disciples (a band of uneducated farmers, fishermen, a tax collector and other social rejects) turned the world upside down; the simplicity and power of his teachings; his servant life; his miracles, etc.

Second, we can reject his controversial statements by assuming they are not his but later additions of the church. However, does our inability to understand automatically require us to dismiss? After all, who am I to go to Scripture and "pick and choose" what is and isn't of God? Who are the "scholars" who are wise enough to decipher and remove the mystery? I would rather embrace mystery than explain it away.

Third, we can investigate Jesus' claims with open hearts and minds. Did he live a life worthy of a savior? Did he live a life without sin and therefore meet the requirements of the law? Did he pay the ultimate price for our salvation? Could anyone else pay that price? If they could, would they?

Read his story. Investigate for yourself. If his words are true, there can only be one savior. If they are false, there could be many or none.

Personally, I believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.




Send e-mail to the Rev. Darrell Brazell at newhope@prodigy.net.

Saviors are merciful, compassionate

Steve Ritz, a Baldwin resident, is a practicing devotee of Krishna Consciousness:

Saviors, or pure devotees, are perfect representatives (sons) of God who descend from the spiritual world at the request of the Supreme Lord to deliver us fallen souls who are bound by ignorance to this material world.

They have come again and again in various ages and circumstances to dispel the darkness of our forgetfulness with the light of knowledge of God and how to glorify him. They are merciful and compassionate to every living entity, knowing well from whom all things emanate. Their contagious love for God is so empowered it can pull our attention away from temporary, binding engagements and return it to the real attraction of our heart-of-hearts: Krishna or God. If we perfectly hear from such a perfect source, we become convinced about the all-pervading Personality of Godhead and again become lovers of the lord ourselves.

This freeing of our hearts and souls is that supreme benefit all saviors bring, but it has a price. Fortunately, they are willing to risk taking on the sinful reactions for our past misdeeds, clearing our debt. This great sacrifice can involve much suffering and sometimes even torture and death; but a pure devotee, feeling responsibility, will tolerate these pains for our sake. Unfortunately, this does not induce us to stop all these sins. Actually, the disciple also has a duty to not even commit a pinch of sin again, for he knows it will cause more suffering for his beloved savior.

Once purified by contact with a savior, we are encouraged to be representatives in turn, and thereby deliver all souls back to God's home of eternal peace, ever glorifying the Supreme Savior and his holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.




Send e-mail to Stteve Ritz at sritz@glpma.com.

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