I’d guess that we’ve all heard this claim; all paths lead to God. For we Universalists (I realize not all that partake here claim that moniker) how can we really disagree? If all will eventually be won over to freely worship and love God, isn’t it logical to say then that all paths do, (eventually anyway) lead to God?
Usually the ones who protest this statement loudest are conservative Christians who see in it a moral equivocation; a “truth-is-personal; so-all-truth-is-relative” dynamic; or maybe, see in this claim a diminution of the importance and identity of the Christ.
At the same time, often the ones who embrace this phrase do so in reaction to what they see as Christians “exclusivism”; or they really don’t see Jesus as such a big deal; or they don’t agree with the notion that there is but “one name given among men… whereby we must be saved…” and so on.
So, what about it?? Is this phrase defensible or is it corrupt and deeply flawed? If ever there was an expression that needed explanation and fleshing out before we answer, this one might be it.
Clearly, a distinction needs to be made between the logical destination of the path itself (ie there really ARE paths that lead to destruction – and not just destruction of the sinful self) and the reality that no matter WHERE we go, there God is also. Further, it seems entirely in the very nature of God to come and seek and search US out – in which case He will come to the path WE are on to be with us. (Immanuel!!) For example, if I were a Hindu or something and had never even heard the name of Jesus, it should not surprise one who knows God that He might speak in terms familiar to me as Hindu. God’s presence on my path need not necessarily mean that path logically leads to Him (does it??) (ie – God doesn’t magically just show up because I’m on the “right path” does He?)
The flip side might be that, while most of us here I suspect do believe that the “truest path” to God is told via the person of the Christ, we all surely know those who claim Christ’s name, yet appear on a path directly in opposition to God. So we find ourselves in the position of admitting that God is not the path itself, but that God is on the path of every sentient being. Maybe better then to say that while not all paths lead to God per se, all paths find God upon them. It’s not about the path, it’s about the God.
How do you all see this phrase??