Other Kjos Articles:
The UN Plan for Global Migration, Part 1
The UN Plan for Global Migration, Part 2
DEEDS, CREEDS AND MOTHER TERESA'S DESPAIR
By Berit Kjos
September 30, 2007
”We all belong to the same family. Hindus, Muslims and all peoples are our brothers and sisters. They too are the children of God."[1, p.35] Mother Teresa
"We are supposed to preach without preaching not by words, but by our example, by our actions."[1, p.72] Mother Teresa
"The first Reformation... was about creeds; this one's going to be about our deeds. The first one divided the church; this time it will unify the church." Rick Warren
"What do I labor for? If there be no God — there can be no soul — if there is no Soul then Jesus — You also are not true." One of Teresa's many agonizing prayers.
It seems so good! Who could question such sacrificial love? From the world's perspective, few have deserved the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize more than Mother Teresa. Ministering to the "poorest of the poor," she and her "sisters" -- the devoted Missionaries of Charity -- renounced all Western comforts to give themselves fully to the poor, sick and dying.
Yet Mother Teresa's amazing ministry brings a sobering warning, for it illustrates the Church's growing tolerance -- even appreciation -- for interfaith compromise. Her compassionate pluralism fits both the "emerging church" movement and the UN vision for spiritual oneness. In fact, her work provides a perfect model for UNESCO's 1994 Declaration on the Role of Religion. Compare its standards with today's drive for deeds rather than creeds:
The true Gospel clashes with this world system. That's why Chinese and Burmese Christians are persecuted for their faith. That's why Pakistani and Indian converts may reap torture or death -- never a Nobel Peace Price -- for their loving service to the poor! We are fast approaching a time when caring Christian missions will be equated with "intolerance" and "hate."
A new ecumenical project to create a "common code for religious conversions" would speed this transformation. The World Evangelical Alliance, the Vatican, and the World Council of Churches have joined together to establish a code of conduct that would "ease tensions with Muslims, Hindus and other religious groups that fear losing adherents...." Some participating leaders call for “dialogical evangelism” and want "preachers... to be told that no religion has a monopoly on the truth... there are many ways to find salvation.”
Would obedience to such a code pacify Hindu and Muslim radicals? Would it end the persecution of faithful Christians? Not unless these collaborating church leaders could muzzle missionaries, modify the gospel, and follow Mother Teresa's guidelines:
Unlike evangelism, humanitarian service (good deeds without Christian creeds) is welcome everywhere. "Christians, Muslims, Hindus, believers and nonbelievers have the opportunity with us to do works of love," wrote Mother Teresa in "Words to Love By." Thus "Hindus become better Hindus...." [1, p. 359]
Mother Teresa was born in Yugoslavia in 1910. At eighteen, she joined the Loreto nuns in Ireland. A year later she was sent to India for her novitiate. For the next two decades, she taught at a Catholic school in Calcutta. Then, she "heard the call to give up all," she wrote, "and to follow him into the slums and to serve among the poorest of the poor." The introduction to "Words to Love By" describes the start of her selfless ministry:
In 1978, Mother Teresa wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai. It included this strange reference to an interfaith deity:
Did Teresa really believe that Ishwar -- a Hindu term for a universal "God" (incorporating Brahman, Shiva, bloodthirsty Kali, Divine Mother...) -- could be linked to our holy God? Was Allah simply another name for our Lord to her?
It's not surprising that Teresa would recommend such a retreat. Her writings are peppered with unbiblical references to universalism, pantheism, monism, and salvation by human effort rather than through the cross:
Another biographer, Naveen Chawla, asked her bluntly, “Do you convert?”
“Of course I convert," she replied. "I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant.”
That's not what Jesus taught us. He said,
But Mother Teresa apparently didn't see Jesus as the only "door" to God's Kingdom. Nor did she acknowledge the need for the cross or the gospel. Their own religions were adequate. Her own efforts could do the rest:
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
In 1979, Mother Teresa traveled to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. A recent Time Magazine article compares her joyful acceptance speech with her inner darkness:
This disturbing contrast was exposed through a book titled "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light." It consists of letters between Teresa and her confessors. As the editor indicated, she felt no presence of God whatsoever, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist." Time magazine explains,
While her ministry grew, "Teresa progressed from confessor to confessor the way some patients move through their psychoanalysts." One confessor encouraged her to explore her despair by addressing Jesus in prayer. She wrote:
Teresa had heard "God" back in 1946. "Come," he supposedly said during a train ride from Calcutta to a Catholic retreat in the Himalayan foothills. "Come be My light."
She had visions. She conversed with Christ on the Cross. And one of her early confessors assured her that these "mystical experiences were genuine." Soon after that, she started her ministry to the poor, and "Jesus took himself away...."
"Why did Teresa's communication with Jesus... evaporate so suddenly?" asks Time. One of it's hollow answers comes from the atheist Christopher Hitchens. He simply denied the reality of God.
Could Teresa's heart-breaking emptiness be the tragic result of trusting forbidden "gods." Remember, our Biblical God allows no pluralistic compromise. As the first commandment tells us, "You shall have no other gods...." Exodus 20:3.
God calls us to love and surrender to Him alone. Then, by His life in us, we can serve each other -- giving Him all the credit! Such service includes sharing the gospel, for without God's saving Word there can't be lasting fruit.
SEND I YOU to take to souls in bondage
Mother Teresa, Words to Live By (Ave Maria Press, 1983).
© 2007 Berit Kjos - All Rights Reserved
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Berit Kjos is a widely respected researcher, writer and conference speaker. A frequent guest on national radio and television programs, Kjos has been interviewed on Point of View (Marlin Maddoux), The 700 Club, Bible Answer Man, Beverly LaHaye Live, Crosstalk and Family Radio Network. She has also been a guest on "Talk Back Live" (CNN) and other secular radio and TV networks. Her last two books are A Twist of Faith and Brave New Schools. Kjos Ministries Web Site: http://www.crossroad.to/index.html
Mother Teresa was born in Yugoslavia in 1910. At eighteen, she joined the Loreto nuns in Ireland. A year later she was sent to India for her novitiate. For the next two decades, she taught at a Catholic school in Calcutta.