Wow: Pastor Michael A. Walrond Jr. says believing Jesus is the only way to heaven is ‘insanity’

Photo Credit: Cassandra Giraldo/NY Times

Photo Credit: Cassandra Giraldo/NY Times

Article By Empowering Everyday Women // Faith // Controversy

Heresy, in the Christian faith, is a dissenting teaching, theology, or perspective, rooted in personal opinion that does not emanate from God. 2 Peter 2:1 warns against heretics.

Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr., leader of the 10,000+ congregants at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, is being accused of spreading heretical teaching by classifying the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith as “insanity.”

In a clip viewed by thousands online, the popular leader said, "There was a time when you would see people in the pulpit say, 'well, if you don't believe in Jesus you’re going to hell.’ That's insanity in many ways, because that is not what Jesus even believes.”

Walrond’s claims did not sit well with those who point to Jesus’s words in John 14:6 NIV, where the Savior said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."

Walrond also told congregants, “And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally, I celebrate that.”

After receiving some light applause, he continued, “Again, we have enough in this world that divides us. We need to find those things that bring us together. And if God cannot bring us closer together then something is wrong, not with God, but in how we think we know God and understand God."  

That perspective, though great for Kumbaya speeches, is scripturally inaccurate.

Scripture tells us, bringing people closer was not Christ’s goal. In fact, He made His disciples aware that following Him would cause division, controversy and separation—even within families. In Matthew 10:34 NIV, Jesus Himself said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

In verse 38, he taught His followers, despite all the division and tension discipleship brings, this is not an excuse to backpedal. “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me,” Jesus said.

Walrond, who interestingly compared his preaching style to Miles Davis and Coltrane in a 2016 New York Times interview, told the publication, he improvises his sermons, because he’s knowledgeable about scriptures. He goes off the cuff. There’s no manuscript. He just flows.

We can tell.

Too bad he flowed in the wrong direction by characterizing what the Gospel is built on as craziness.

Walrond's statements offended many Christians, and for some, are reminiscent of the recent assertions of The View co-host. Joy Behar, who also says she is a Christian. She suggested that Christians that believe God speaks to them are mentally ill.

She has since apologize and recanted those bogus statements.

Although it is hurtful to some believers to hear their faith being stomped on by Walrond and Behar, particularly because they both purport to be Christians, think it not strange when the Gospel is labeled crazy.

1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The Christian faith is insanity to the world; it is crazy to the carnal. But to spiritually-minded, blood-bought, redeemed, converted believers, it is powerful and life-saving. 1 Corinthians 1:19, says, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

The Gospel frustrates the intelligence of many. Thus, you get theories, ideologies, perspectives and sermons not rooted in God’s word, but in man’s opinion, which always leads to error.

Individuals of other faiths value the teachings of Christ, but reject Him as the only way to Heaven. They view Him as a prophet or great teacher, but not the son of God.

That’s what sets Christians apart.

We believe: Jesus is the son of God; He died and rose to save humanity; His blood washes away our sin; and we will go to Heaven when we die only if we have placed our hope in Him.

Those who do not wish to embrace this doctrine as truth are well within their rights to deny it. However, they cannot be called Christian if they do not accept Jesus as the only way.

It is the very foundation of the faith.