Friday, September 19, 2008

Scriptures may be copyrighted,
and church logos trademarked,
but patents on God are all pending

COUNTLESS CHRISTIANS affirm today, as they have for centuries, that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Others are less certain; it seems inconsistent with society’s impulse toward fairness and equality of opportunity. Surely, they say, God loves everyone and does not exclude non-Christians and non-conforming Christians, does not convict millions on a technicality.

Christians cherish the Bible as God’s inspired word. Belief is a gift from God.

Some who believe that God is the creator of everything, and all-powerful, are in touch
with God fairly often, through prayer. Some believe that God has never stopped inspiring Scripture.

Thus, early teachings about eating the other white meat or paying interest on a mortgage have
been recast.

Christians have long been encouraged to look for Christ in other persons. Jesus, the light
of the world, dissolves the shadows.

Christ is the way to salvation wherever he is, in the face of an American child, a Japanese
sage, an African cleric or a Tibetan monk. Fingering our computer keyboards, we celebrate
scientists and theologians who, using the tools of earlier times, advanced human life and purpose.
The first scripture scholars could not conceive of the many versions of the Bible to come, or of
copies produced by the millions, in scores of languages.

The tools of scholarly imagination are becoming as precise as the computer chip, as swift as light and as endless as space.

Thousands of churches and religions have been tempted to fence off their claims, posting
signs that say Private Property or No Trespassing. But one sun shines on everyone, felt one way
at the North Pole, another at the equator. Salvation is everywhere. Christ is already there.

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