Champak Patel recently wrote a letter urging Augustans to "Forget divisions and pray together."
While he started off with the fallacious idea that the Christian God is the same as the Hindu god and Allah, he ended with a rather brilliant idea. He suggested "houses of worship in which people of different faiths can pray to God in their own ways."
I am here to tell him that that house exists.Jesus tells us to come as we are, to sit under His teaching, and to listen with open hearts. Many think that the problem is that Christians do not expose themselves to other faiths. However, the truth is that Christianity is made up of people from all kinds of religious backgrounds. Jesus was Himself a Jew.
All the first converts were some other religion first, or none at all. But to tell a Hindu, a Buddhist, or a Muslim that he can worship his god and be okay for all of eternity is to foster a lie. Only Christianity offers hope for all people. Only Christianity has the cross - that horrible, bloody, place of torture that divides the nations.
It was a point in history where God came to us. He took the punishment on the cross that we deserved. When He triumphed over the cross and the grave, Hegave all of humanity a choice: "This is the way, follow it ... No man comes to the Father but by Me."
So this place of reconciliation, this place of prayer for all faiths, goes through the cross. Once people accept Jesus' free offer of salvation based upon what He did, not what they do, they will finally be free to worship God in spirit and in truth.
So, all others of all faiths, come and hear what your God has done for you. Open the doors of any Christian church in Augusta and you will hear the message of the cross, of forgiveness, and of a life based on the power of the Holy Spirit. It is an offer you can refuse, but it comes with a very high price.
Gary Heffner, Augusta