The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 18, 2013

Your View: Fundamental faith

By Paul T. Butler
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — I have had sincere respect for Anson Burlingame’s guest columns in The Joplin Globe and have tried to read every one. However, I must reply to his “Great opportunity”  (Globe, March 12).

Yes, there are a few “agreements” in the holy book of Christians (the Bible) and that of Muslims (the Quran). I spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy sworn to uphold each American’s constitutional right to worship (or not) according to his or her own conscience. I would probably leave this country if that were ever rescinded. I also agree that we constantly need to “expand all of our horizons.”

It was when Burlingame wrote: “The remaining differences (between Christianity and Islam) are diminished ... at least in terms of fundamental faith in God and ways to understand and follow his will.”

My Christian Bible tells me in the words of Jesus about himself: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). That is explicit — categorical. It is the fundamental of the Christian faith. Often people will say, “It doesn’t make any difference what your religion is as long as you are sincere.” For Christians, “sincerity” does not trump the unequivocal statements of Jesus Christ.

Paul T. Butler

Joplin