Reaching people today with the gospel is often a battle against the false belief that there are “many paths up the mountain”. As part of an email exchange with a writerly friend with whom I was trying to bring to the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4), I decided to try a different approach and pen a parable that he could perhaps relate to. All that follows below is my email containing the parable.
The Bible is the true and reliable word of God. It tells us there’s only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. As I said, when so many prophecies have already come to pass — making the Bible a reliable witness — it’s either illogical or a willful rejection of those truths to not believe ALL that’s contained within its pages. Especially those words that were spoken by the man who fulfilled more than 300 prophecies of the Messiah.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
I realize that Subud folk believe the latihan to be the culmination of God’s revelations to mankind and, therefore, will reject Jesus as the only way to God — the many paths, one destination myth I spoke of. That said, I have a responsibility to share the gospel with those I know.
As followers of Christ, we know that Jesus is the ONLY way and that all these “alternative” paths were devised by Satan who has done a truly marvelous job of diverting man with all manner of lies and temptations, beginning the moment he sowed the seed of doubt by asking Eve, “Yea, hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1)
Using Genesis 3 as inspiration, here’s a fictional account of a man talking to Satan, that old serpent the Devil (Revelation 12:9), and to the Lord God. While I’ve followed the style of the word of God as it was translated into Early Modern English in the King James Bible, these are obviously not the words of God but my own, written as a parable.
The Crossroads and the Many Paths
A man was at the crossroads and Satan came to join him. He looked into the man’s eyes and said unto him, Yea, hath God said there is only one way?
The man said unto the serpent, God hath said of the many paths and religions of the world, Ye must not follow any path that goes forth from the crossroads, for if ye do ye shall surely die. But when ye see my Son walk a narrow path through the field, him ye will follow.
And the serpent said unto the man, Ye shall surely not die: for God knoweth in the day thereof that ye follow one of these paths, then your heart and mind shall be opened, knowing your own power, and ye shall be as gods.
And when the man saw that the paths going forth from the crossroads were good for walking, and that they were wide and paved with smooth stones, and that trees laden with all manner of precious stones lined the paths, ready to be collected as trophies and progress markers, he stepped onto one of the paths and did walk. And his heart and mind were opened, and he knew his own power; and so he girded his loins and lifted up his chest in pride, for he knew he would need to use all of his power, strength, and resolve to walk the path set before him.
And the man heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the field adjacent to the path, and the man hid himself. And the LORD God called unto the man and said unto him, Where art thou?
And he said, I heard thy voice in the field, and I was afraid, because I was walking but not following thy Son; and I hid myself. And the LORD God said, Who told thee that thou need not follow my Son? Hast thou embarked upon a path whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not embark? And the man said, Yea, LORD, I did walk upon a path that thou commandest me not to walk upon. And the LORD God said unto man, What is this that thou hast done? And the man said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did choose a path upon which to walk.
And the LORD God said unto man, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of the serpent, and hast taken a path upon which I commanded thee not to walk, saying, Thou shalt not follow any other path save that upon which my Son doth walk: cursed is the path for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou follow it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall the trees bring forth to thee; and thou shalt collect thorns and thistles as thou walkest along the path; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou strive to push forward, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
One Path, One Mountain
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
There is only one path up the mountain, the one that follows Jesus the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14), the great shepherd of the sheep (Hebrews 13:20), the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. (John 10:24-30)
And that mountain is mount Zion (Sion).
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)
Praise the Lord for he is good and his mercy endureth for ever (1 Chronicles 16:34).