By Victor Ochieng
Whether Christianity is the only way to heaven is a question that has been hanging around for ages. Many Christians believe that those who are not part of the faith cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
However, Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner, pastor of the second largest Presbyterian Church congregation in the US, has a different view. According to her, Christianity isn’t the only way, but Jesus is. The 45-year-old leader of the 5,500-member congregation made the statement during an interview with Chicago Sun-Times after being asked the question: “Is Christianity the only way to heaven?” She answered, saying, “No!” then explained, “God’s not a Christian. I mean, we are … For me, the Christian tradition is the way to understand God and my relationship with the world and other humans and it’s the way for me to move into that relationship but I’m not about to say what God can and cannot do in other ways and with other spiritual experiences.”
Such a statement was unexpected from a pastor. It appeared more like the pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois didn’t quite understand what Christianity is about. As for her, anyone anywhere can use anything, including a podcast, to straighten his or her way with the LORD and have the privilege of entering heaven.
Kershner appears to be ignorant of the book of John 14:6, which says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Combining that with the definition of Christianity, it becomes quite obvious that there is no inheriting the Kingdom of God without being a Christian. You can be in any other religion and from any background, but to enter the Kingdom of God, you must first change your ways and become a Christian, meaning you must make a deliberate effort to follow Christ.
There are some selfish “Christians” who’re not ready to live according to the scriptures. They believe they can be anywhere and do anything and still remain true to their quest to inherit the Kingdom of heaven. Going to heaven isn’t just about not insulting others, not lying or stealing. On the contrary, it’s about living according to all the dictates of the holy scriptures, including giving yourself to the great commission of sharing the Word of God.
Kershner should at least say that not all who are not Christians now are doomed. This is simply because such people still have a chance to change their ways and return to Christ Jesus and become Christians.