the narrow gate

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  MATTHEW 7:13-14

Many theologians and religionists have attempted to kill the message of Jesus for motives of profit and power.  For the most part they have been successful.  By attributing our character defects to the realm of sin they have brought countless repentant followers to the confessional booths or the altar railing seeking a reprieve from a condemning God.  For some parishioners there is an implied monetary or physical penance.

Imagine the freedom we can achieve if we view Jesus, the man and the teacher, as he truly was.  He was not an ascetic punishing himself daily for being human.  He thoroughly enjoyed life.  He thrived upon being another human amongst a brotherhood of men and women struggling to survive under Roman and Judaic bureaucratic control.  He loved a good party.  But most importantly, he did not pass judgment based upon the defects inherent in all of mankind.  He urged a better way, a self-less way, a way which would lead to personal freedom coming from within.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  JOHN 14:6

Within the powers of reasoning and logic which are God-given, what if we translate this ambiguous verse as follows:

I am the way: I am the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through truth and life.

Religionists and theologians who base the exclusiveness of Christianity as the only “true faith” on John 14:6 obviously will shudder with horror and will refute this translation which would subsequently force them to question the literalism and inerrancy of their scriptures.  We all are faced with a personal choice to either accept the teachings and preachings of the church fathers as written in stone or to embrace the freedoms with which our Father endowed us to THINK.

Perhaps we need to visualize the “narrow gate” as a:

life of simple living, altruism, non-violence, and peacemaking.”   https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/

and not a moralistic, ego-based attitude of religious asceticism.

 

 

 

 

9 Replies to “the narrow gate”

  1. I’m not sure why anyone would shudder at your translation of the texts. It’s really only a less concise version of the one with which we’re accustomed. As for Christ’s path being exclusive of all others, that’s what the verse you quoted means, no matter how you parse it. No man comes to the Father except through… Whatever follows that statement excludes everything else.

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    1. Sorry, literalism, infallibility, and inerrancy simply do not work for me. The great faiths (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) point to the same universal God. To say Christianity is the only path is the height of arrogance.

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      1. If I were the one claiming that Christianity is the one true path, that would be pride. The claim was made by Christ himself, though. He told us how to have eternal life and become citizens of God’s kingdom. He said there’s one way, which is his. Now, whether you come to him by Judaism, Islam, or what have you is a different question. What happens once you come to Jesus is what we’re talking about.

        What you’re saying, though, is like a person who, when asked for directions to Toledo, responds by saying just head out any whichaway and you’ll get there. It only sounds like good advice if you’re not really interested in getting where you’re going.

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  2. If I were the one claiming that Christianity is the one true path, that would be pride. The claim was made by Christ himself, though. He told us how to have eternal life and become citizens of God’s kingdom. He said there’s one way, which is his. Now, whether you come to him by Judaism, Islam, or what have you is a different question. What happens once you come to Jesus is what we’re talking about.

    What you’re saying, though, is like a person who, when asked for directions to Toledo, responds by saying just head out any whichaway and you’ll get there. It only sounds like good advice if you’re not really interested in getting where you’re going.

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    1. Unfortunately, we can not assume that what was presented as truth by the compilers of the NT is accurate. So many legitimate writings by others of Jesus’ time were omitted or falsified. Eternity is now and the Kingdom is now if we search within and claim it. Thank you for you interest. I hope that your eternity and Kingdom awaits you.

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  3. It is the smugness of those who think they “know” the Bible that annoys me the most. Jesus would have been horrified at the perversion of the words he spoke. They have been mistranslated from language to language..perverted through the morality of the times in which they were translated (turning Mary of Magdala into a whore for pete’s sake!)..it is a wonder ANY of it outside the original Aramaic and Greek can be trusted as anything to do with God, much less the infallible words of God.

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