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COLUMN: Diversity and the Christian
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COLUMN: Diversity and the Christian

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Mike Ruffin

Mike Ruffin

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

When we lived in Georgia, there was an article in the “Faith and Values” section of Atlanta Journal-Constitution that I read in sheer astonishment.

Here’s what a Zen Buddhist had to say in the newspaper-sponsored column that appeared in that edition:

“I don’t think it makes much difference what spiritual practice we choose, and there are certainly a wide variety to choose from these days. But whatever our choice, our expression of spirituality must be based on trust - trust in something very great, something that we cannot see.

“It makes little difference what name we assign it or how we address it: God, Allah, Buddha, Great Spirit, Ground of Being, or True Nature. What does make a difference is learning to put trust in True Nature because it exists everywhere and is expressed everywhere by everyone.”

Even though so many of their readers are Christian, it often seems like anything that remotely embraces fundamental Christian principles is perceived by many in the print media as stepping over the line. Interestingly, they have no problem embracing other religions, all in the name of diversity.

During that time, I had submitted some of my columns to editor of the newspaper. I received a nice note back from him. He politely told me that he really liked my devotions, but just didn’t think that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a place for them. So I took the opportunity to share my thoughts about the only column that had a place in their religion section:

“I find it surprising that you can find a home for a Zen Buddhist, but you cannot find a place for a column that seeks to develop Christian character, especially when over half of your audience is Christian. Thanks for letting me vent.”

Sometimes, Christians have to take a stand even at the expense of appearing to stand in opposition to diversity. I knew that my note to the editor might be misunderstood. After all, he just turned my column down and I was disappointed. But God convicted me all week about their column. So, in spite of what he might have thought about my motives, I had to let him know that at that time most residents in the Atlanta metropolitan area didn’t believe what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was printing. I decided to move over and let God handle it.

The Bible tells us a story much different story than the author who wrote that column. If makes a big difference what spiritual practice we choose. In fact, God himself in the Person of Jesus Christ told us, “I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.” (John 10:9)

The truth is the author of that column (and anyone else who believes what he wrote) is going to hell because Jesus also said, "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way.” (Matthew 7:13)

I am glad that we live in a country that celebrates diversity. But be sure that what you believe about the Lord doesn’t get all clouded up in the name of diversity. Yes, diversity gives us an opportunity to learn to appreciate and respect the differences among us, but it also brings unbelievers right to our front doors. And there couldn’t be a better time to set the record straight during the events in the world today.

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