Salvation’s Long and Narrow Way

Shades of wavy grass

Trampled by a chosen few

Forms a narrow path

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

This has always been one of those passages that made me think about how one is saved. A lot of Christians tell me that “all you have to do is believe.” But, what if Jesus is right when he told his followers that you must do all of these things (commands) and then he throws out a verse that says, “… only a few will find it.” He dies on the cross to pay for our sins! Then he’ll come back to judge the sinless, the living, and the dead. And only a “few” of the sinless will travel down the path to eternal life. Of course, not all Christians are on board with this teaching. Or they have an entirely different interpretation of this Bible verse. The Bible is one mysterious and confusing book.

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Clerical Celibacy Up In White Smoke

Priests cannot marry

Catholics rock with Peter

Peter was married

When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.

Matthew 8:14 NRSV

The Pope of the Catholic Church is based on Peter being appointed the first pope by Jesus, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church,” Matthew 16:18. There is, of course, much debate about the context of this passage. I am not a Greek, Aramaic, or even an English linguistic scholar so I am not about to enter into the debate. Greek was the lingua franca of the Mediterranean world back then. However, Jesus spoke Aramaic. Petros and petra were supposedly synonyms and meant either a “small stone” or a “large rock.” The Koine Greek, which is what Matthew was written in, translates to just “rock.” Anyway, do see what I’m getting at? How can the average person, like me, know this stuff? I’m just a layperson trying to tell you how complicated this religion is. That’s all!

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Finding God’s Pearly Gates

Only a few will

Find the narrow path to life

Blisters on my feet

Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 CEB

The “narrow gate” that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 7:13-14 has always been a mystery to me. He says that only a “few” will find it. There are all sorts of commentary from people who will basically say that he didn’t really mean what he said. But, what if Jesus really meant what he said? After all, the Bible says that we may be chosen, that we must believe, we’ve got to follow a slew of commands, etc. Then when we think that we’ve done enough, believed enough, prayed, and worshipped enough, he’s going to come back and judge us! I’m beginning to believe that Jesus meant what he said: that only a few make it to the narrow gate that leads us through the myriad of paths to eternal life.

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Playing Chess With An Ape

Mysterious ways

Theists favorite phrase when

God doesn’t answer

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain.

William Cowper

The phrase “God works in mysterious ways” is not found in the Bible.

God, if there is one, is unknowable. We humans cannot know God. We will never know God’s will. Praying is one of those rituals that has never worked for me. A prayer for my dying child went unanswered even though the entire congregation prayed for him. My pastor, who was an intelligent man, had a set of cliched answers such as, “God works in mysterious ways,” or “God has other plans that we just don’t know about.” Jesus says that as long as we believe, our prayers will be answered. No qualifications, except to believe (and maybe locking yourself in your room and not babbling). Maybe I didn’t believe correctly. Maybe God didn’t want to answer my prayer, which makes him a cruel God in my mind. Unanswered questions. Unanswered prayers. He is indeed mysterious.

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Gold, Frankincense, and Toys

Christmas is the most

Secular time of the year

An ironic twist

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

Bob Hope

The Washington Post Poll

The Pew Research Center in a recent poll says that self-identified Christians make up 63% of the U.S. population in 2021, which is down from 75% ten years ago.

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Eternal Life Is Better In Flip-Flops

Hope heaven is fun

Eternity is forever

Can I wear flip flops

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalms 23:6 KJV

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die…

1 Corinthians 15:54 NLT

Have you ever wondered what we’re going to do in heaven, assuming that we get there? Surely it’s not just singing and praising God 24 hours a day and forever, is it? The Apostle Paul says that we’ll have “bodies that have been transformed into bodies that will never die.” I’m hoping that I can bring my favorite flip-flops so that I can at least be comfortable in my new body. Maybe a couple of my comfy t-shirts would be nice, too.

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