I am always pleased to see someone write about their faith in the Bible and Jesus Christ, especially within the context of the high value and joy that faith delivers for them.
I do, however, beg to differ with Nick Metel (“A faith rooted in inclusiveness,” May 19) on his conclusion that Christianity is a religion of inclusiveness and that all faiths apparently are as good one to the other or as an individual finds it. It is an extremely popular and widespread concept in our culture in the United States and indeed in many countries in the world.
Not everyone shares this belief, as in Nigeria, where Christians are routinely murdered and persecuted by Muslims. China and Russia also persecute Christians, so religious intolerance is widespread in the face of inclusiveness' followers.
It is critical to understand and interpret the Bible correctly as a Christian and realize that Jesus himself dismissed any concept that he came to encourage inclusiveness. In fact, he clearly explained that faith in him would separate people and even in family units cause grave separation and destroy relationships.
Jesus came to call all men to repentance from their sins and assure us that eternity in Hell is the consequence of not repenting their sins and accepting Jesus Christ as the sole way to God the Father. The language in the Bible is clear and unequivocal. You cannot say you do not like this and want to believe something more comforting. You have to ignore wide swaths of the Bible to do so.
Jesus also did not come to teach us how to live good lives. He called us to repentance from sins so that we might live life eternally and live it more abundantly in proper relationship to God the Father through faith in his son, Jesus Christ. That is man's only option for salvation.
The Bible clearly states that man is evil and incapable of good and requires salvation and a savior who satisfies a righteous God's judgment of their sin. Jesus came to pay that price, but it is not automatic to any person; salvation is based on genuine repentance and belief in the sole savior of mankind.
Man is a created being living in the middle of a battlefield called creation wherein a battle between good (the historic God of the Bible) is fighting evil (Satan, the fallen angel of the Bible). We are not free to ignore this or invent alternative faiths. This is a glorious and exciting truth.
No lifestyle, philosophy or false religion rivals a joyous life in Jesus Christ, and I hope Metel and all men discover this hope in Jesus Christ, the only true savior.
A common reaction to this reality is to characterize it as hate speech, which is untrue. Withholding the truth of the Gospel would be a hateful thing. Believing in the historic God of the Bible and the message of one way to God is not hateful.
The Bible is true from beginning to end and the authoritative word of God. You do not have the option to pick scriptures out of context and build something you like and ignore the balance of the word.
Tom Reynolds is a Huntertown resident.