Recently I posted something on my personal Facebook page about an opening prayer at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo being to Allah. My post actually had nothing to do with the Muslim faith, but at the surprise of Texas, as country and right wing, Bible and gun lovin’ as we are, allowing it at a rodeo. However one of my family members commented with a question. “Why is it that your god is better than someone else’s god?” she asked.
Some saw it as a challenge, but I have been in sales a long time. To me, a question like that is a buying question. It’s an opportunity to show someone a benefit, and position them to think about “what you’re selling.” And those that know me know I love to talk about “My God.” (Big G) His love is so extravagant. He is so amazing and has been so good to me that I should tons of reasons why, however, I imagine most who claim Christ would have a hard time giving genuine answers.
So “Why” is my God so much better? Well the most personal reason is given to me every time I look into the mirror. Years ago what I saw was completely different. Before my life was impacted by an encounter much like Paul had at Damascus, I was a worthless, shame ridden, shell of a man on my way to prison or an early death. I was a wanted fugitive in several Texas counties. My mom had even had the DEA at her job trying to locate me. There was a list a mile long of lives I had personally destroyed. A life of crime had left me addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, and pornography. I was diseased from sexual exploits. I hit rock bottom with a pocket full of money but no real friends, a two year old daughter with no father or mother, drinking and smoking myself into oblivion while I wondered constantly… would this life kill me before I finally had the courage to do it myself. Then Jesus literally showed up. He called me to “come home,” told me he “had plans for me to preach the gospel”, and told me “he loved me” in a hotel room in Austin, TX. Although I couldn’t imagine God loving someone like me, and fought it for two weeks, the encounter was real. When I yielded to him he cleansed me from all of the shame, guilt, and self-destructiveness. In an instant I was set free from all of my addictions and was completely healed from all diseases. God showed up and held me like a child, loved on me, and began a life of passion for him that will never end. He even made a way for me through the legal system. Later I would spend a total of 12 days in jail (10 of that was simply waiting for extradition), time served with NO conviction on things I was running from in 7 different Texas courts, and what was in my pocket covered my fines. I had a blank slate in my heart and in life.
I grew up being told I would never amount to anything. I have tried to kill myself several times. I threw myself in the garbage one time as a child and had to be pulled from the container as the trash truck was about to lift me, and hopefully crush me. I have been homeless, beaten and abused, addicted, and through things no child should ever have to suffer… yet here I sit. Successful, a nice home, a beautiful family, a striving ministry… Still a “nobody” but I have had the honor to minister alongside giants in the faith, be prayed over by personal heroes, have prayed for dignitaries from other countries, have opportunities coming to me beyond my credentials, work running the business development department for a multi-million dollar corporation with no schooling and my past, and God continues to stretch me and bless me every day. It wasn’t Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Shiva, or any other demonic god that did this for me. It was Jesus. No one but Jesus. And like that experience so many years ago where he came in to my life supernaturally, he continues to show up, to speak to me, and guide me through life. I’ve met thousands of people, and heard many experiences similar, but never once have I heard a story of redemption and deliverance that didn’t involve Jesus. This brings me to my next point… deliverance.
You could say my own experience is subjective. My own imagination, my own perception of events, so let’s get less subjective. If my God is better, then he must be more powerful, correct? There are countless stories in the Bible of God utterly destroying false prophets, false gods, etc. But even today God is still trumping other gods. I’ve had the opportunity to see many get born again, including those from other religions. Often, especially when they are from an eastern religion, wiccan, humanist/atheist, and even Muslim, a byproduct of, or precursor to, is deliverance. That is, a demonic presence will manifest and be sent out of the person. I’ve seen it in not just churches and crusades, but malls, park benches, my own office… and every time it is the name of Jesus, and the authority given by Holy Spirit that brings freedom. Every other god, demon, and spirit has to bow at the name of Jesus. Conversely, I have not once ever heard of a Muslim casting out the Holy Spirit. I have never seen a wiccan with the authority to make Jesus leave someone’s heart. My God is better because all other gods are subject to him. Not only other gods, but sickness, sin, disease, addiction, depression, etc… and even the weather. He says it himself in his word, and he proves it in our daily lives.
Which brings me to my next point, the Holy Spirit and his empowering us. I have studied many religions, some briefly, some exhaustively. There’s a common thread in most. You are left alone to your own devices. You have a set of guidelines, a religious philosophy to go by, but their god says “good luck, hope you make it.” Jesus literally walked with men on earth and lived a blameless life as a man to show us how to live, and when he rose again to Heaven it was with a promise. I will never leave you or forsake you, and that he would send the Holy Spirit to empower us to be a witness, to comfort us, and so that we can experience and encounter God while here on earth. And he fulfilled his promise. He sent the Holy Spirit and baptized believers in fire. This empowerment was evident in the lives of the early church and even today those that believe, as scriptures say “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” I can’t count the number of people just in January I saw miraculously healed. I have seen demons cast out. I have seen people supernaturally protected. I have seen blind eyes opened, deaf ears opened… It is normal life for the believer. Again, only my God promised that, because only my God could deliver on that promise. And how amazing a promise. While all other gods place themselves on an unreachable pedestal, my God longs to empower us to be like him, and co-labor with us, to use us to show him to the world.
(Unfortunately this is an area in contradiction even in the Western church. The world has not seen the power of God truly at work for a while in America, even though in other countries it is the norm, due to a lot of religious mindsets and inner bickering among denominations… and a lot of those denominations that claim Christ are full of people that don’t know him, have never encountered him, and are taught a dead religion as opposed to the truth of the gospel. They read good history as opposed to good news and it keeps them in bondage and tradition,, if they don’t simply fall away.)
And that empowerment was paid for by Jesus, which is another reason my God is better. God loved the world so much he sent his only son to pay the price for our sin. He was rejected; he was beaten, and then murdered because of my sin and yours. HE paid the price for us. And he rose again to destroy death forever. What amazing love. In my research on other religions, there is another common theme. Their god, energy, or spiritual construct is either an angry being, or neutral benefactor, or contains all good and all evil equally… and is not the least bit concerned enough with you to be a part of your daily life, much less love you… especially not to the point of actually dying for you. Why are there such amazing love songs written to Jesus? Because love responds to love, and oh how he loves us. I have found the easiest way to witness to a Muslim is to share with them the love of the Father. It’s quite remarkable to see an angry Muslim man in a mall who minutes ago was trashing your God and correcting you about Isa (Jesus) begin to weep because he begins to understand how loved we are by the father. The whole identity of the Muslim culture is an orphan spirit. (Remember Ishmael being sent out by Abraham to become an orphan.) There is really only one scripture in the Quran, Surah 3:31, where it mentions Allah loving the Muslim, and then it is conditional on the Muslim. But my God, “died for the sins of the whole world.” He loved everyone regardless, and paid the price even for those that would reject the payment. His love is always unconditional, and his love cost him a great price. The death of his only son, so that I could become a son as well… no longer an orphan like my Muslim brother. There’s more. In Thailand, you have an entire culture now based on the sex trade. I wondered how you could subject an entire culture to something so hideous as the practice of buying and selling little girls to strangers for sex. One of the biggest reasons I found is their Hindu belief. They are taught that what they are dealt is what they deserve and they aren’t to fight it. So a young girl is sent to be a sex slave and knows this is her lot in life. And where this is illegal in the US, in Thailand a police officer knows that is that little girl’s position in life. She’ll never be more or less than that. The parents have no problem selling their 8 year old daughter for sex, because that’s their caste in life. The same goes for the children in India looting garbage dumps, or quarrying stone during the day even though education is offered. My God is better because no other God loves me… or you… like he can. And he reaches down from Heaven to pull you up, to make you into a brand new creation with unlimited potential and created value through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Speaking of Jesus, my God is better because there is salvation in no other. One of the arguments on that post of mine that sparked all of this was that it was pretty hateful to say that. It was judgmental and we are not called to judge. Well, unfortunately my God is not Politically Correct, but he is truth. Jesus said , “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and NO man may come to the Father but through me.” Jesus said in 1st Corinthians that the pagan gods were in fact demons… and we have already discussed demons being subject to Jesus and his authority. That means that Allah, Shiva, mother earth, Krishna, and on and on are not gods, but demons. Those following them are serving Satan. That doesn’t mean these people are evil. It means they are deceived, they are in bondage, and God loves them and has already purchased their freedom. It’s not hate speech to share the truth with someone. It’s hate to let them go to Hell while you sit there in your comfy church pew and don’t give a flip about their lives. There’s a great video by Penn Jillette, a very vocal atheist, discussing this very thing. I travel all over the country, and do you know how many people have approached me in the last year to share the gospel with me? One. One person. That’s what happens when a dead church goes Politically Correct for people complaining sharing the gospel is hate speech. Millions are dying and going to Hell, and no one is standing up in the face of judgment to proclaim the truth. When I get to heaven I don’t want to see the faces of those that crossed my path asking me why I didn’t love them enough to share the truth with them as they are carried off to eternity apart from God. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through him. My God is better because he’s the only way.
And since God is love and God is truth, all I would need to know he is better is his own word. He said that there are to be no other Gods before him. I don’t even feel that needs to be expounded upon.
I could probably sit and think of a thousand other reasons, both from the Bible and from my own personal experience. Everyday God shows up in my life and does something that blows my mind. Every day I watch him bless people and get to share his love for people and watch people encounter his love.
The person who asked me the question is not a bad person, on the contrary even though we disagree on most everything, she is quite a remarkable person. She’s remarkable because she was made in the image of the God I have been describing. She’s loved by him; she’s just never really experienced him. My hope is that one day she will have a Damascus road experience like I had, that Jesus would be revealed to her, and that she would experience his amazing love and presence in her life… and that one day someone would ask her, hey so what makes your God so great… and she could say, Oh let me tell ya!