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Sunday, October 18, 2009


I have been doing proof-reading working for some Saudi Arabian Masters and PhD students and am having some really interesting chats about their home, culture and religion. I have given the issue of religion a lot of thought and I have realised that I can't do it. I can't tell them that their religious views are wrong and that if they don't "give their heart" to Jesus then they won't be spending eternity with God in heaven. I just don't believe that any more.

What also concerns me is that I don't think many Christians believe this deep down because, if they do, they aren't going very far out of their way to tell anyone. If Christians really believe that non-believers go to hell (whatever that is) then they don't seem to be very concerned. There are a large number of Saudi and Sudanese Muslims in Newcastle and they are not difficult to find. They are very friendly; I have had coffee and meals with a number of them now and, yet, I don't see the local Evangelicals going out of their way or making any effort at all to tell these people about their faith in Jesus.

In fact, I think much of the evangelical talk is simply pious rhetoric. All over Newcastle are lovely posters saying "Jesus. All about Life" but I don't see anyone sharing that message with any urgency.

I simply don't believe, any longer, that the Christian message is correct. I don't believe that only those who have made the evangelical commitment to Jesus will spend eternal life with God. I am not sure what heaven is but, whatever it might be, it's not a bigger version of an evangelical church.

Ask the average Christian how many people they REALLY share the gospel with. Ask the average Christian how many people they have personally "converted" or "led to the Lord" and you will find a lot of embarassed silence. There is a lot of talk in the church and little action. I, for one, want to live with integrity so I will love and support my Muslim friends and affirm their beliefs and devotion.


Anonymous said...

oh les dont you remember the times we spent on the floor praying and feeling His presence. stop looking at the failing church. its full of failures like us! and seek Him again, face to face. He will turn up!

john b hereford

Meg said...

The church has failed, and is failing in many ways. I agree with you that heaven is probably bigger and broader and able to encompass far more than we, in our human frailty can imagine.

I am careful though that when I reject the failings of the church, I don't lump God in there too. I think that there is room in heaven for Muslims and Christians. That view might get me shot down. *shrugs* I do believe it, though. And Hindus, and whoever else is doing their best to live a life of reverence and faith.

Les said...

Thanks for the comments. I agree Meg that God's love must be large enough to encompass other faiths. The arrogance of Christians to assume that somehow we have been given this specific revelation frustrates me.

Anonymous said...

Guys, this is heresy. Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, He is the one who died and was resurrected, and it was He himself who said he is the only way to the Father and eternal life... Can it be any clearer than that?

I agree it is difficult to find it in ourselves to witness to this reality - that's why we are given the Holy Spirit when we become believers... He witnesses through us in testimony to Jesus with and for us.