Whenever a fellow Christian brings up the “broad road of destruction” — that is, the single verse that implies most people are going to hell — I have to question this with, you know, the whole Bible.
Because Matthew 25 tells us a story about these ten bridesmaids preparing for the wedding, and half of them are ready. Which implies that probably half of us are going to make it.
Or in Matthew 3, we learn about the wheat getting separated from the chaff: which actually implies that the majority of us are going to make it.
So which one are we cherry-picking for our agenda?
Do we only use the narrow gate to scare the hell out of people? What about the bridesmaids, and the wheat, and the entire list of others issues besides sexuality, and the stuff about helping the orphans and the foreigners, and how about the criminal next to Jesus who made it in the last ten seconds of his life? What’s the theology that makes the church hate poor people?
Like my seminary professors used to say, There’s no content without context.
Maybe we could actually balance our faith with the same nuance that the Bible offers, because no single verse is meant to support a monopoly-theology. Probably we use these verses for power-plays and self-interest and political platforms, when really the Bible is not a polemical grenade but a story of a God who leaps every distance and breaks every obstacle to love His people. It’s why Jesus spoke in stories and not bullet points. It’s why Jesus didn’t draw charts, but he drew people.
There is plenty of hard straightforward truth in the Bible, but without the weaving silver thread of grace, then all our doctrine is a barrel of excuses to dominate each other — and this is exactly what Jesus came to kill and was killed for.
I don’t think Jesus wanted a narrow gate. He just knew we’re always tempted for the easiest path of least resistance, that broad road of incremental choices to nowhere. So he calls himself the Door. He is also a Shepherd, a Mother Hen, a Rock, the Greater Abraham, a Friend, a Fountain, and the King. Each of these pictures give weight and clues and glimpses to who he is: but by themselves, are incomplete. Together, they are just a blink of his glory and beauty. And I’m okay with breathing in the mystery of such infinite truth.