Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12 (KJV)
Religious scholars can sometimes get very silly. I’ve been told that during the middle-ages, clergy spent considerable time debating the question, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” With an answer that is both unimportant and unverifiable, the question ought rightly be deposited in a big garbage dumpster marked “WHO CARES?” On the other hand, every Bible-believing Christian ought to care about a story that came out of the state of Washington last week.
Ann Holmes Redding, an Episcopal Priest from the great Northwest, has publicly professed her faith in both Christianity and Islam. Ann has been quoted as saying, “Why would I spend time to try to reconcile all of Christian belief with all of Islam? At the most basic level, I understand the two religions to be compatible. That's all I need.” There is one other thing Ann needs. She needs to realize they’re not compatible. Either Jesus is the Savior, or He is not. Either His is the only Name which saves, or it is not. You can’t have it both ways. At least, that’s what my Bible says.
Now, the purpose of this devotion is not to point an accusatory finger at this priest and her radical disagreement with Scripture. Far better for these words to encourage you. If you have a pastor who preaches the Scripture, who points sinful souls to the Savior and the forgiveness Christ has won on the cross and at the empty tomb, give thanks to God and speak encouraging words to him.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak at the 115th anniversary celebration of Historic First Lutheran in Pasadena, California. When I stepped into the pulpit, the members of this ethnically diverse congregation prayed for me, just as they pray for their pastor every Sunday. This is what they said:
Take him, Lord, this morning. Wash him with hyssop inside and out. Hang him up and drain him dry of sin. Pin his ear to the wisdom post and make his words sledge hammers of truth, beating on the iron heart of sin. Lord God, this morning put his eye to the telescope of eternity and let him look upon the paper walls of time. Lord, turpentine his imagination. Put perpetual motion in his arms. Fill him full of the dynamite of Thy power. Anoint him all over with the oil of Thy salvation and set his tongue on fire. (In Jesus’ Name) Amen.
If that prayer touches you as it touched me, I would encourage you to print it out and save it. Then, as your pastors steps into the pulpit every Sunday, pray that prayer, or one like it. Give thanks to God who has given you a preacher who knows there is only one Name which saves: the Name of Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send us faithful pastors, preachers, and teachers. Let them clearly see and cleanly share the Savior’s story of salvation for sinners. Let them point to Jesus who alone can save. In His Name, Amen.
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