Matthew 7:14, the Strait Gate

Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

//Here is another of those verses that help religions draw lines in the sand. If a denomination grows, that’s proof that God is welcoming people to His one and only way. If instead it is rejected by others, well, that’s equal proof that it’s right, for strait is the gate and narrow is the way. Your pews not filling as they used to? What more proof do you need that God is with you, for the Bible promises a “falling away.” Your constituents having trouble believing what you say? Not your problem, since the Bible promises to reward believers, though it seem like “foolishness.”

Religion encourages self-assurance, and when we feel the presence of God, that bolsters our opinion that we have found the one “right” way. Preach it, brother! If others embrace your teaching, glory be to God! If others despise or disagree with you, well, that’s to be expected! It’s a no-lose situation.

What never seems to cross anyone’s mind is that other types of believers—those deceived by other religions and denominations—also experience God, and have just as much evidence for their opinion that you are the one who is wrong. As Karen Armstrong says…

Where is the fun in religion, if you can’t disapprove of other people! There are some people, I suspect, who would be outraged if, when they finally arrived in heaven, they found everybody else there as well. Heaven would not be heaven unless you could peer over the celestial parapets and watch the unfortunates roasting below.


  1. Well someday, when we step into eternity, we will know the Truth because there has to be one. Everything can’t be true (especially if they contradict each other), so certain truth claims will be proved as the “right” ones. Religion may (and does) cause self-assurance but thats can be a false assurance. The Holy Spirit gives us the assurance that we are on the right path, and even then as fallen beings we still don’t always get it right.”But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

  2. Interesting post Lee, I have to hope that what you express so well is at least a little tongue in check.
    Nice comment Richard, amen.

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