“Reverend” Shannon Kershner of the second largest congregation in the Presbytarian church recented stated that Christianity is “not the only way to Heaven” according to a recent report:\
Leader of the second largest congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner has declared that Christianity is not the only way to heaven.
Kershner, 45, who leads the 5,500-member Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois, expressed her belief in a podcast with the Chicago Sun-Times after she was asked the question “Is Christianity the only way to heaven?”
“No,” Kershner replied bluntly.
“God’s not a Christian. I mean, we are … For me, the Christian tradition is the way to understand God and my relationship with the world and other humans and it’s for the way for me to move into that relationship but I’m not about to say what God can and cannot do in other ways and with other spiritual experiences,” she explained.
The Christian Post reached out to Kershner’s office for further comment Friday but she did not respond by press time.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) preaches “the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers.”
“Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ,” the church declares. (source)
There is an idea that has existed particularly in American society that all people indeed make it to Heaven without question. It is the understanding that it does not matter what a person believes, but as long as he is “good” then there will be no issue.
However, that is not what the Bible states. As the Bible clearly notes, Jesus says “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and nobody comes to the Father except through me.” If that were not enough, He then adds more harrowing words in 3:17-20
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
These words are hard, but if Jesus is really God, who can deny them? Yet this brings up another issue, which is that how many Christians truly believe that Jesus really is God?
During the fourth century, a great part of the ancient world had embraced the Christian Faith. However, as it was soon exposed at the Council of Nicaea, the majority of people -75% or more- were infected with the heresy of Arianism. This heresy denied the divinity of Christ, yet it was so common that the average Christian person did not believe that Jesus is truly God. Why would it be then, that they continued to call themselves Christians? Keep in mind too this is just one heresy, as there were many thousands more existing and that would emerge.
The problems of ages past still are present today. They may assume different forms, but their essences remain the same. However, divinely revealed truth does not change either. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, because He is Truth.
God came to Earth as a man in order to repair the damage done by original sin, so that in so lowering Himself to our despair and misery we might be raised up to His divinity. All that is needed is for man to choose to follow Christ as He commands to be followed.
This is likewise why it is incredibly important to read John 3:16 in its full capacity, because the message is not just one of salvation, but as God is mercy, and love involves both mercy and justice, it is also a message of justice against those who would reject Him. This is the reason why at mass, speaking the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, he said that the cup of His blood that He offered would be poured out for many, and also the reason why Jesus Himself told Judas Iscariot that if would have been better for the one who betrayed the Son of Man that he had not have ever been born.
These are the words of Sacred Scripture, spoken from the mouth of God Himself. You can be uncomfortable with them. You can reject them. You can pretend they do not have any relevance. But nobody can change them because God Himself said them, and the only way to make such a ridiculous denial would be to say that the entire New Testament corpus was a fraud that is teaching lies, in which case to do so would mean that the person is no longer a Christian.
This “Reverend” is teaching something that is not even Christianity. It is a form of universalism, closer to paganism than Christ. Whether she believes genuinely or maliciously is another issue, but it does not change the essence of her message, and yet she is not the first to do so. Like Arius, Marcion, Valentine, Luther, Calvin, and many other heretics of the past, she is but one in a long line of persons who are spreading dangerous errors that potentially jeopardize the salvation of those who hear them.
The reason why Christ said that those who teach will be judged more harshly is because those who do teach have a moral responsibility to ensure that which they teach is accurate, for in their hands is the potential for the formation unto eternal life or damnation of the students they receive. Just as all students are a reflection of their teachers, even minor errors can be passed on for a long with with enduring effects if they are not caught.
So always pray for those who teach, and remember that the words of no man, regardless of who he is or what others think of him, is ever a substitute for the words of sacred scripture read in the context of Sacred Tradition given by Christ to His Church.