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Why church abusers don't like John 14:6

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'”  – John 14:6
I’ve heard this verse taken all out of context and used to abuse folks of other religions, populations, and life sojourns.  The church has used this verse to say that only by saying The Sinner’s Prayer can a relationship with Jesus be built and developed.  That there are some magic words that fling us into the realm of God’s glory.  But that’s just not the case.
See, when Jesus said these words, he was speaking against the religious abusers of the day.  The Pharisees were telling the common folk that they were the gatekeepers to the Kingdom of God.  They would be the ones to tell you when you had done enough praying, paying, and performing to reach heaven’s gates.  Heaven was the proverbial carrot dangling in front of the nose.  No one could reach it.  Imagine trying to win a ticket to heaven by obeying every letter of the law, no matter how minute.  If you ever drive over the speed limit or accidentally jay-walk or allow your trash to blow into a neighbor’s yard… you’re done for.
Jesus said #enoughisenough.  In this verse, he was saying:
Okay, stop listening to those fools.  I am the gatekeeper.  I will decide who’s “in” (and you’re all in).  This is the truth.  I will give you a life that doesn’t depend on rigid legalism.
And then he showed the Pharisees who he deemed “in” by hanging out with the very people that were “out” for generations–the #exvangelical, the prostitute, the drunk, the un-Christian, the Muslim, etc.
Oh dang, the church abusers didn’t like those words.  Jesus was pulling their power right out from under their dusty feet.  Jesus was changing the paradigm, changing the religious lie.  If Jesus was saying that these sinners were already “in,” it meant that the abusers could no longer demand that people attend church.  No people, no money, no power.
So, this is really good news.  Jesus made God accessible.  No more paying your way to heaven.  No more anxiety about laws you did or did not break.  No more fear about church attendance, bad thoughts, back-sliding, your calling…
Jesus says you’re in.  You’re loved, you’re human, and you’re in.
He’s the gatekeeper. 
until soon,
b.

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