I have archived the original note I received, but I have quoted large chunks here:
I'll try to recover it and repost it
>Jesus said He was the way the truth and the life long before
>any 'Western' biblical interpretation. He also saifd that no
>one comes to the Father except through Him. The Bible teaches
>that Jesus is the Christ, that there is only one Christ and
>that salvation is only through a relationship with Jesus
>Christ. These are statements from God not interpretations of
I assume that by the way you dismiss the notion that your own "interpretation" of what Jesus meant is tainted by any kind of Western intrerpretation, that you are indeed operating on a Western interpretation. IN fact, mauch of what I believe is tainted by this.....some of Western understanding is good, some steers us wrong and in directions Jesus did not have in mind.
BUt ot say that what YOU believe is free of "interpretation" is just plain naive. When you say Jesus said that long before there was a "western interpretation" is obviously true, but what you miss is that what you are assuming he meant has been taught to you by a system of teaching that is a product of Western interpretation. To equate what our interpretation of what Jesus meant with absolute truth is a very dangerous, mind closing endeavor. It blocks us from discovering deeper implications of what was said, or what was ACTUALLY being commuinicated.
I feel it is very possible that Jesus recognizes human efforts to discover the transcendent in life, even though that person may not know much of anything about Jesus. I believe that Christ is truth, God incarnate. But it is also true that Jesus wants us to respond to the spirit which drives that kind of life lived in the pursuit of the truth about what life here is all about....mainly: how do we all live together and what responsibility do we have to make this life a kind of place that God intended it? I have seen many an example of people whose only exposure to "Christ" was a horrible misreprentation, and I applaud them for rejecting such a Christ. But yet, they live according to the idea of life that I believe comes from God, and that they truly believe in Christ even though they would deny this.
Yes, Jesus IS the way, but isn't it his life and spirit he wants us to incorporate and acknowledge rather than the vague, intellectual assent that many give to him, and yet live their lives just as bound by and slave to our culture's values and ways of relating to people as some who have nothing to do with either the name or the spirit of Christ.
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