Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Doctrine of Oprah vs. Biblical Doctrine



Oprah offers her doctrinal viewpoint that there are many ways to God - and is confronted by the truth.

Acts 4:12
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

...and also shows why it is important to be ready with a defense!

What about the native that has never heard the name of Christ?

A good response from ComeReason.org:

So, we realize that we don't measure up to perfection. This is universal. I know of no culture where people feel they have never erred. We even use the expression "You're only human" to show that perfection cannot be attained by the human race. What makes this so condemning is that all of mankind has the means necessary to know there is a God and that they fall short of His plan. Romans 1 states this when it says "that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so they are without excuse." Paul argues here that every person of the human race has the testimony of the creation and the testimony of their own shortcomings to inform them that they do not meet God's requirements for them. Further, Paul says that man should realize the creator of the universe would be larger than the created items we find in the world ("birds, and four-footed animals, and crawling creatures"), but he chooses to worship them rather than Him, so "man is without excuse."

So, because God testifies of Himself through His creation we are expected to understand that there are absolutes which we violate. However, we are not left to that attestation only. In Romans 2:12-15 it states,

"For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law unto themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts ultimately accusing or defending them."

This is a fascinating Scripture that explains how God has given each man a "natural law"; a general understanding of right and wrong. This is evident in the fact that all men are endowed with a conscience. Though the remote tribesman may have never heard of the Gospel or the Jewish Law, they all have a strong working knowledge that lying, stealing and murder of others in his tribe is wrong. Further, every person develops some type of a moral code that they judge others against. No one has ever been able to consistently keep even their own moral code without adjusting it or rationalizing their behavior. Thus God says that their thoughts will justify or condemn them.

When one understands each person's true position, then the objection falls beyond debate. A prisoner sentenced to die for a capital offence can be pardoned by the Governor of his state. However, for that criminal to claim the Governor is being "unfair" or "unjust" because he refuses to pardon the felon is ridiculous. A pardon is an action of grace and mercy. Carrying out the sentence given would be justice. This is why the writer to the Hebrews remarks, "How can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation(Heb. 2:3)?" This salvation that we're offered is great not only because of the tremendous sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf, but it is also great because of how much we deserve punishment, and how a God who is 100% just can rescue us from His judgment.

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