"This animal is like the pillar of a house," said the first man after touching one of the legs of the elephant.
"No, it's more like a rope," said the second, who was grasping the tail.
"I'd say the elephant is like a thick tree branch," argued the third blind man, who had encountered the trunk.
"You're all confused," proclaimed the fourth, touching the elephant's ear, "An elephant is like a fan."
"A fan?" said the fifth, "I should say not! This animal feels like a wall." He was, of course, touching the animal's belly.
The sixth man, with a hand on a tusk, could hardly contain himself. "You must be fools!" he cried. "The elephant is just like a spear."
This story is often told to describe how our own experience limits how we view things. People with different perspectives can look at the same evidence and draw different conclusions.
But I think there's something that we need to remember as we listen to this story. The elephant never stopped being an elephant. Despite what these men said, it wasn't a pillar or a rope or a branch or a fan or a wall or a spear. It was an elephant.
When it comes to God, there's also a lot of confusion. Some would argue that all viewpoints are valid, that the different religions in this world are just different understandings of the basic concepts.
The Bible doesn't see it that way. The apostle Paul wrote:
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
There are many opinions, many theories, and many philosophies. But there is an absolute truth: there is only one God and the only way to Him is through Jesus Christ.
"The Elephant Is Still an Elephant" by Tim Archer is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Heartlight encourages you to share this material with others in church bulletins, personal emails, and other non-commercial uses. Please see our Usage Guidelines for more information.