Jesus The Only Way?
“How incredibly arrogant of you Christians to say that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ!”
This objection is raised most often against Jesus’ statement: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father (God) except through me” (John 14:6) Critics have called it: “Absurd religious chauvinism”, “spiritual dictatorship”, and “an insufferable presumption of the Bible”. In our current culture of relativism, where no fact is considered universally true at all times, for all people and in all cultures, the exclusivity claim of Jesus is among the biggest obstacles to spiritual seekers.
Ravi Zacharias, one of today’s leading Christian thinkers points out that Christianity is NOT the only religion that claims exclusivity. For instance: Muslim’s radically claim exclusivity. Buddhism was born when Gautama Buddha rejected two fundamental assertions of Hinduism, the ultimate authority of the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) and the caste system. Hinduism is absolutely uncompromising on the Law of Karma (Law of moral cause and effect), the Vedas and reincarnation. Atheism rejects the viewpoint of those who believe in God. Even Baha’ism, which claims to be a cosmic embrace of all religions, ends up excluding the exclusivists.
Since other religions claim exclusivity as well-to say that Christians are arrogant in their claim is not a logical attack!
The nature of truth is by definition exclusive! Any time one makes a truth claim; one effectively says something contrary to it is false. Truth excludes the opposite!
Where critics are sometimes right is when they point out that we Christians don’t proclaim the truth the right way. Truth needs to be under girded by Love. One cannot communicate the Love of Christ in non-loving terms. However, it is possible to lovingly claim exclusive truth, just as a scientist can gently say: “This is the law of gravity” without adding, now, can we vote on how many can support that truth or not.
How can we believe Jesus spoke the truth about himself? Every religion seeks to answer four fundamental questions: Origin, Meaning, Morality and Destiny. Only Christianity can provide consistency to all four of those:
Origin: We are not identical with God; we are distinct, creature vs. Creator. But we are created in His image, which accounts for us having a moral point of reference.
Meaning: Only something greater than pleasure can provide meaning. It comes to be in the experience of worship.
Morality: Is not culturally based but grows out of the very character of God. Morality is found in an eternal, moral, all powerful, infinite God
Destiny: Based on the resurrection of Jesus, the historical event that proved the divinity of Jesus and opened the door for everyone to heaven who will follow him.
Jesus Christ didn’t come into this world to make bad people good-he came to make dead people alive. Our sins rendered us spiritually dead but through Jesus’ death on the cross we can receive forgiveness and through his resurrection we can receive new life. Accept His gift!
© 2001 Volkhard Graf, YWAM Native Ministries
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