I Don’t Think That Verse Means What You Think It Means: John 14:6

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.

6 Responses

  1. Hrm…not all that controversial to me… šŸ˜‰

    Now, I think there is caution that must be used. We can say Jesus is the one true revelation. And we can say that others, like, say, Ghandi, while not Christian, may be Jesus followers, seeking him through the revelation…but we must be sure to note that such “non-Christian” folks must still be measured by the revelaton that is Jesus. People can easily say, “Well, Ghandi is a decent fellow…I like him…but Jesus? Nah..gonna give him a pass”. That is denying Jesus as the revelation in favor of another way…likewise with Buddha…or Muhammad..or anyone elses…Jesus is the revelation and, therefore, also the standard by which any other revelation should be considered.

    I think another important note…if once you find out who Jesus is (not what the church or Bible say) and you till opt out, that’s also denying Jesus as the revelation… We have to be careful, in otherwords, not to be too universalist…but at the same time not too restrictive…Jesus is Lord, and that should be the starting point…

  2. Greg Gamble says:

    well worded Ryan
    and a valuable reminder Robert.

    Id add that because the church is divided, and worse, falsely united in cultural imperatives, our collective
    picture of the kingdom makes it easy for even Christians with clean hands and a pure heart to not be caught up in diatribe and fault finding. As for the unsaved, their picture of Christ as He truly is in all His beauty of holiness and righteousness is largely blurred by our frenetic attempts to save them, and their ridicule of us as we fall into the myopic pit we have collectively dug.
    Our testimony collectively is what needs saving, before they do.
    1 Tim. 3:15 ….the church is the pillar and ground of the truth.

    The world, including much of the church, doesn’t read the bible.

    They read us.

    God intended the church to be the living documentation and validation of His Word, who is Jesus the Christ.

    But having co-opted the church, and by extension, the very word church itself, to reflect our pseudo pagan ways, we are

    unable to portray by example who God is, in Christ, and by default must rely on clever explanations and philosophy to do the work of convincing, rather than being conduits for the Holy Spirit to convert.

    There are few words in any language that can or have delivered a revelation of Christ to anyone, and the power of the witness of the gospel that He intends for us to use is unavailable to us because we cant even handle our words carefully.

    God help us to return to Him together, sitting at His feet, learning from Him, and quit all this pontificating.

    Many honest, truth seeking heathen will join us at His feet, but not in our churches where we have usurped His headship.

    They seems to be more honest than us in some respects.

    Blessings

    Greg

    • That’s definitely a handful to chew on, but I definitely agree. I’m a history-lover, focusing on that in my M.Div. time, and I think there’s a big historical factor here. With the Protestant Reformation, many had very justified reasons to be upset with the institutional church of the day, so they replaced institutional authority with biblical authority. Ironically, I think the Bible gives the church – the universal body of believers, not the institutional hierarchy – huge authority and responsibility as the ambassadors of Christ. We shouldn’t need to hammer people by quote-bombing John 14:6 or any others because we should be showing them Jesus all the time.

      I had a Pentecostal professor who put it this way. In theory, we all worship a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Western/Catholic Church essentially replaced the Holy Spirit with the institutional church hierarchy, so in theory they essentially worship Father-Son-Institution. Protestants came along, rejecting the institutional church, but instead of putting the Holy Spirit back in place they proclaimed that the Spirit almost exclusively works through the Bible. So in practice they often worship Father-Son-Bible. You could easily make the argument that the core of the problem is limiting the Holy Spirit.

      • Greg Gamble says:

        Again, well said. Forgive my insistence though please when I reply with this: Somebody, somewhere, sometime simply must begin to take the public relations risk to teach believers to obey all things whatsoever he commanded us. In the OT they were usually the prophets that did that job, and there were a few judges and priests. It isn’t a popular job description, certainly not a safe one like seminary professor or author or theologian.
        If somebody, especially if that somebody was a collective voice like a bible college, established church or even a local ad hock, non nondescript fellowship of believers were to begin to preach this like John Baptist did, among the general population of christians, it would be so radical and unusual that it would drag just about everyone back to a simple narrative of repentance and obedience, or a repudiation of that message. Either way, the false division of doctrine and personality worship would be challenged by a healthy division between those who claim Christ in word and those who follow thru with practical daily obedience. I project a mini revolution in a short time.

        Matthew 28:19-20

        19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

        20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

        There has been enough talking, discussing and theologizing, we need to get on with doing what we know we must do, so that he can reveal the stuff to us that we dont know to do. The point of doctrine and teaching is not to teach doctrine, hand out diplomas, create or heal quarreling communities around different interpretations of his commands. As an emerging theologian, along with anyone else among us who consider ourselves to have been invested with any leadership giftings, we have a basic duty to begin where he told us to begin, which is to teach obedience to all his commands. Everything else, eschatology, and all the other ‘ologies’ can be discussed after we have all returned to simple obedience to then KNOWN will of God.
        Those of us who understand this must have a holy intolerance for deviation and double speak that sets up straw men arguments, luring simpler folk and the proud away from simply doing what we were commanded.
        We must keep the main thing the main thing and not allow ourselves and others to get us off track from the foundation laying of obeying all he commands us. I dont let my kids move on to new learning experiences until they have a working ability in the basics we began with, and likewise, we as a collective christian body have allowed ourselves to be lost in the forest of theology and discussion while searching for the two trees forming a cross.
        Just Do It is a wonderful motto.
        Greg

  1. April 24, 2014

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