September 8, 2011
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
Here's a quiz. It's an easy one.
True or False: You remember where you were when the jets flew into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center? ___ True ___ False
True or False: You said a prayer for all the people who were trapped, for those whose loved ones had died, and for those who were involved in the clean-up? ___ True ___ False
True or False: You were shocked at the extent that terrorists hated innocent strangers? ___ True ___ False
True or False: You believe clergy should have been able to participate in the 10th Anniversary Memorial Service? ___ True ___ False
So, did you answer true to all of the questions? How about that last one? Did that cause some hesitation? Me, I was torn by that question. Now I could answer true if I were allowed to pick the clergy who would be participating, and if I could provide the guidelines defining what they would say, and if I had the authority to review the content of their messages and prayers.
Of course, nobody asked me to do those things.
And quite frankly, I'm not overly eager to see a parade of preachers get up on the stage, stand before the microphones, and promote their own deity. Even worse, I don't think America needs to hear a bunch of clergy implying that all gods are the same, and all faiths are the same, all beliefs are the same, all heavens are the same.
They're not all the same.
The apostle Peter was right when he boldly declared to an international audience: "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
How could Jesus' prime spokesman do any differently? Jesus had been pretty clear when He said ... "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6b). No matter how you work at it, Jesus doesn't give much in the way of "wiggle room."
In fact, Jesus doesn't give any wiggle room.
Jesus alone can save and Jesus alone can provide hope. That is the message I would have been eager to hear at Ground Zero. It is the message God's people will continue to share to a world that is constantly reminded that life is filled with hatred and heroism, death and deliverance.
And only Jesus can make a difference.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, no other faith can say that God's Son has come to rescue sinful humanity. Since I believe that Jesus has done that for me and all the world, may I be equally bold in sharing the Christ's story with sinful and lost humankind. In my Savior's Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries