You know what you don’t see every day (thankfully)? A minister suggesting Jesus was insane. But today is going to be one of those days.
Last year it was Shannon Kershner, minister of the nearly 6,000 member Fourth Presbyterian mega-church in Chicago who declared that whole, “No man comes to the Father except by me” comment of Jesus a bit kooky.
This year, it’s Michael Walrond, Jr., minister of the nearly 10,000 member First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem doing the same thing. In a now viral clip of the mega-church minister speaking to his congregation, Worland proclaims:
"There was a time when you would see people in the pulpit say, 'well, if you don't believe in Jesus you going to Hell. That's insanity in many ways because that is not what Jesus even believes. And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally I celebrate that," he said to a smattering of applause. "Again, we have enough in this world that divides us we need to find those things that bring us together. And if God cannot bring us closer together then something is wrong, not with God but in how we think we know God and understand God."
Precisely how do you know and understand God, Pastor? It seems there are two approaches:
- Trust what God has revealed about Himself in the Holy Bible
- Trust what you feel should be true about Him
One is built largely on an unchanging, fixed point of reference (understanding that human interpretation of Scripture will cause some discrepancy in our approach). The other is predicated upon personal preferences, necessarily affected greatly by cultural fads and societal pressures.
If you trust the first, the notion of salvation through any path except Christ is what is “insane.” It requires you to discount the actual statements of Jesus, as well as the authoritative writing of Luke who affirms that there is but one name under heaven by which we can be saved.
But if you trust the second, as Pastor Worland appears to do, a few questions arise.
- You clearly believe Jesus was wrong about being the only way to the Father, so why trust Him on anything else?
- You clearly believe that Jesus is threatening non-followers with Hell and making false statements about being the only path the Heaven, but this would be sinful correct?
- And if He is a sinner, why follow Him as a Savior?
- And if you don’t really buy into the Jesus as Savior aspect of Christianity, who exactly is Jesus and why do you bother to pretend you worship Him?
Of course this all prompts the real dilemma: if you’re not going to really trust or worship Him at your meetings, why wouldn’t you just exhibit the honesty to stop calling the church the First Corinthian Baptist and call it what it is – First Church of Worland.