The whole world knows about Mother Theresa and her amazing work of showing love and mercy to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. This was an amazing humanitarian work for which she was honored all over the world. Mother Theresa of course was a Roman Catholic nun. She was praised by Catholics, Protestants and Agnostics alike for her life's example. But I wonder, based on the things she wrote and apparently said, if she believed the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here are some quotes:
If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are. … What God is in your mind you must accept.
Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work, by Desmond Doig, (Harper & Row, 1976), p.156. Dated: 1976
So is it true that any God or god will do? That an encounter with Krishna or Shiva or Buddha will do the same for you as an encounter with Jesus Christ? Can a true Christian say such a thing?
Is God's agenda (whichever god that may be) one of making people better people? Better humanitarians? Kinder hearted? Is that the core of what God is about? Is religious belief a side issue when compared with the really important issue of learning how to treat people with kindness?
While I think it is vital that we learn to treat others with compassion, dignity, respect and kindness, I do not share the same sentiment as Mother Theresa expresses here.
I do not believe that we should accept the God in our mind, or of our parents tradition, whatever that is. Our conception of God may be utterly false, or it may be a conception of a false God.
The gospel is not PRIMARILY about making us better human beings. It is about restoring us to a genuine relationship with the Creator God through Jesus Christ. And this could ONLY happen through the sacrificial atoning death of Jesus Christ.
Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. They are hoping that they can keep Allah's rules well enough to enter paradise when they die.
Hindus believe at the same time in a kind of Universal Brahman as well as a multitude of secondary gods and goddesses that spring from this oneness.
Catholics GENERALLY believe that Jesus died on the cross. But they also believe that salvation comes by means of sacraments, and not without them (unless of course it is Buddhist monks or something else like that, where people were not exposed to Roman Catholicism).
These conceptions of God are poles apart from each other and from the Biblical idea revealed in Scripture.
If the real God doesn't care which god we believe in, then whoever it was who gave Moses the Ten Commandments was a LIAR, because that God told the people that He was a jealous God, and the first commandment was to have NO OTHER GODS besides Him. So THAT God (the God of the Bible) doesn't agree with what Mother Theresa was saying.
If God only cares about us being better people in the sense of being more humane and caring to others, then it follows He doesn't really care too much about our past sins, as long as our future behavior is improving.
But this is not the picture the Bible gives us. The Bible gives us a picture of a God who demanded animal sacrifices as atonement for sin until that momentous Day when He allowed His own Son to be offered as a perfect sacrifice sufficient for the sins of the world.
If Mother Theresa believed that all will be well for the souls of those she cared for regardless of their faith in Jesus Christ, then she may have been many things but she was not a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Come on now, don't these people study at all when they become Nuns or devote themself to a life of service to the Catholic Church? Don't they understand that it is more than a little important for humanity what Jesus did on the cross? I don't know what they learn – probably a bunch of liturgical stuff, traditions and mortification of the flesh – but this is NOT what the Bible is teaching. What the BIBLE teaches on the vital issue of salvation has become ignored by people who think like Mother Theresa.
Am I writing these things to gain the approval of man? I know that this kind of article can easily attract the condemnation of men. I am not claiming to know if Mother Theresa believed in Jesus herself with saving faith. That matter I will leave with God. All I am saying is that at best, her quotes reveal a DANGEROUS ignorance or DENIAL of the basic facts of the Christian gospel.
Just so you know that the above quote is not an isolated exception, I will quote two more sources from Mother Theresa.
I love all religions. … If people become better Hindus, better Muslims, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there.” She upheld that there are many ways to God': “All is God–Buddists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God.”
Time pp 11, 13. Dated: 4th December 1989
Whether you are a Hindu, a Moslem or a Christian, how you live your life is the proof that you are fully his or not. We must not condemn or judge or pass words that will hurt people. Maybe a person has never heard of Christianity. We do not know what way God is appearing to that soul and what way God is drawing that soul, and therefore who are we to condemn anybody? It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life — his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation. This is the way God comes into his life. Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers
Book: by Mother Teresa entitled: Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers. p82 Published: July 1983.
The world will applaud religionists who show acts of mercy and who speak against the uttering of words against another religion. The world says there are many roads to God, if there is a God.
The Bible says something different. The Bible says that all idolaters will end up in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 21:8.
The Bible records examples of God striking people dead who thought to approach God in their own way. For example, two of the sons of Aaron were struck dead for offering strange fire to God.
The Bible makes it clear that only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can sinful men have any hope of coming before the Throne of Almighty God and being received with favor.
Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, but by me."
No one is qualified to correct Jesus on this matter. No one.