All paths do not lead to Christ. But Christ can meet us on all paths. This is my irrevocable conviction. It also captures the spirit of historic Christian faith especially Reformed thinking. I am unapologetically Reformed in my theological leanings, even if I may disagree with it on certain points.
Many seekers both secular and Christian have strong interest in mystical paths especially those from Asia. Buddhist (variant forms), Daoist, Hindu (variant forms), Tantric, Yogic, Zen et cetera. There is a belief that mainstream religion has failed and such inner explorations instead can lead us to what we seek—happiness, self actualisation, enlightenment, liberation, union with God, cosmic consciousness, oneness with Dao, power of Now, whatever. For many of such people, Christ at best is but one of their many saints or enlightened beings or godmen equal to their respective personages of worship. They may adopt the view that all paths lead to the same goal—a so-called inclusive paradigm—and eschew any exclusive claim to truth. I refute this paradigm. All views are exclusive, even rhetorically “inclusive” ones.
After four decades of intensive dedicated practice in Buddhist and Tantric paths, having been a teacher of meditation and Asian religions for decades, it finally dawned on me like a gazillion ton of bricks that none of these paths fulfil their idealistic promise; none can liberate us, not even ourselves, especially not ourselves. Dharma, in whatever form, cannot and will not save. Meditatively speaking, there is at best a tendency to identify Christ with some mystical state of enlightened consciousness espoused within their respective systems. For example, in advaita or nondual traditions, there is this common error of at best equating Christ as a supreme state of non-differentiated non-qualified consciousness that they call the Self or Awareness or Supreme Consciousness or the like. Neo-Hindu revisionists are often quick to make such assertions, be they Indians or westerners. Often though, Christ is relegated to nothing more than a myth or a mere man. This is terribly wrong and unsupported by evidence.
Both caricatures share a fatal mistake. The problem of sin—self-centred, self-occupied, self-concocted separation and alienation from the true transcendent God— remains unaddressed and unresolved. Blinded, we fail to accurately and truthfully see the reality of God that is outside our limited human conceptions of the same. God cannot be known by our brains, unless He reveals Himself to us first. We are utterly dependent on Him in every respect. Salvation is in Him alone. For me, this absolute truth was made abundantly clear to me in my Buddhist meditation. I was then intensively engaged in the pinnacle practice of the Buddhist path—Dzogchen. Jesus broke through and set me free.
In my years of meditative practice, I have traversed much ground and explored paths to their end. Little did I expect to receive such earth-shattering revelation of God and from God in the person and work of Christ Jesus. All my meditation has borne fruit, but not in the way I expected!
Friends, hear my plea. Hear my story. Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life and no one comes to the Father save through Him and Him alone. Asian meditation systems—beneficial and therapeutic as they may be; ethically sensible and character forming as they may be; and true in part and in degree as they may be—cannot and will not lead you to true salvation, reconciliation, absolute liberation and enlightenment (beyond all eastern conceptions). Ultimately, only Christ fulfils all our longings for truth, goodness, beauty, virtue, freedom, peace, love, joy, life, and relationship, and much more.
Hear Him and come home before it is too late, friends. Come home. Now.