Salvation in religious teachings is a curious thing. Yeshua (Jesus) never addressed salvation, not in the way the church teaches. The church teaches to be invited through the pearly gates and avoid the fires of hell we must be saved by speaking the words of the Prayer of Salvation, church attendance, baptism or whatever other means to salvation mankind has decided will work. Yeshua did say, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 The Complete Jewish Bible) Yeshua was the teacher, in the New Testament at least, the example of finding our way back to Divine Love from whence we came. But it doesn’t appear Yeshua defined ‘the way’, not as specifically as the church would have us believe.
According to the Bible, one of God’s names is “I AM”; in other words, God has always existed, there was no beginning and will be no end. Yeshua defined Himself as “I AM”, as God in the clothes of humanity. Yeshua also said He and the Father were one, and since God identified Himself as “I Am” in the Old Testament they are one and the same. The ‘way’ is the journey, the path we take back to our beginning, our essence, our connection to “I AM”. If the words of Yeshua in John 14 haven’t been manipulated by various authors through the centuries and were reported straight from the mouth of Yeshua – neither of which can be said – the closest the scripture comes to defining ‘the way’ is to obey the commandments and trust in God. The commandments are specific, granted, but in a nutshell, they are the roadmap to being a decent human and journeying with God. So, to say ‘the way’ is the church’s way or the highway is incorrect.
The church is one way to journey with God. Many find fellowship with others satisfying, church attendance keeps them focused, and they glean some understanding of the scriptures from the pulpit. New research, however, has shown church-goers report not understanding much more than the very basics learned in Sunday School as children. The deeper wisdom, depth of relationship with God just isn’t part of the church-going experience. One cannot rely on an hour or two inside the church walls listening to the pastor’s interpretation of the Bible to increase one’s knowledge or wisdom regarding all things spiritual. The journey is ours to walk, individual journeys outside the walls of the church and unique to the one journeying with God.
Yeshua didn’t have a ‘church’, He taught ‘the way’ by living His life in front of others. Yeshua, fully human, fully God, demonstrated what is possible when one taps into their Divine nature, the one we all share. He loved, healed, broke ‘rules’ set forth by religious leaders (Yeshua was chastised for working on the Sabbath as well as other so-called violations of religious life), and He taught people how to pray when He taught what has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer”; a prayer of gratitude and acknowledging God and our journey with Him. Yeshua taught our heart motivations define us, not that we were born sinners in need of salvation lest we suffer the fires of hell for eternity…..