Friday, January 05, 2007

Christianity is Not the Only Exclusive Religion

In John 14:6, Jesus claimed to be the only way to a right relationship with God ("I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me"). Peter affirms the same thing in Acts 4:12 ("And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved"). The Bible's clear teaching regarding the exclusivity of the Christian faith is a common target for critics and skeptics of Christianity. It is not uncommon to hear them criticize Christians for saying a person must put their faith in Jesus in order to have their sins forgiven ("What about all the other religions? How can you Christians say that Jesus is the only way to heaven?"). Of course much could be said in response to this whole question, but in this short entry today I thought I'd share with you a quick thought by Ron Rhodes, author of the book Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics & Skeptics. He points out something that I think a lot of people overlook. He writes: "In the interest of fairness, it is important to recognize that Christianity is not the only religion that claims exclusivity. Muslims claim Allah is the only true God, that Muhammad is His ultimate prophet, and that the Koran is God's ultimate revelation to humankind. Hinduism is unbending in its commitment to the Vedas as scriptures, and reincarnation and the law of karma as the means of salvation. Atheism , for that matter, is exclusivist in its view that all religions that believe in God are wrong, and that atheism alone is the correct view. To chastise Christianity as being the only exclusivistic group is therefore unfair...While saying Jesus is the "only way" may seem narrow-minded, there are many "narrow options" in life that are not necessarily bad. For example, sometimes there is only one operation that can save your life. Sometimes there is only one road out of a forest. There is only one correct formula for Pepsi. When I take a flight to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, I desire the pilot to land only at that airport...All of these things are narrow, but that doesn't make them bad. So it is with the wonderful gift of salvation in Jesus Christ." For more help on this topic visit our online store and see our DVD or CD entitled, “All Roads Do Not Lead to God.”