Paul and Colin found themselves next to each other on a flight from Denver to Boston. Their conversation quickly got to the “so what do you do?” question. Colin was fascinated to meet Paul, a real-life pastor in a Bible-believing church. Soon they started talking about truth.
Colin assumed that all religions are equally valid and that contradictions between the different belief systems are fully acceptable, because to him absolute truth does not exist. To him, exclusive truth about Jesus was a result of a rationalistic Western worldview. In contrast, Paul pointed out that the idea of one God and exclusive truth came from Middle Eastern thinking:
- God will not tolerate other gods (Exodus 20:3)
- God will not share his glory with another (not because God is egomaniacal, but because he is Truth, and giving glory to anything or anyone other than the one true God would be a lie (Isaiah 42:8)
- Apart from him there is no savior (Isaiah 43:11)
Colin’s view reflects the pluralism of this age, which holds that any belief system is valid-except a belief system that affirms anything as absolute truth.
“But isn’t believing in Jesus as the only truth a little belligerent-or at least arrogant? Doesn’t it promote a type of cultural imperialism?” Colin asked. Paul agreed that it could and added that Christians have abused this truth, taking it as liberty to mistreat other cultures and ridicule other religions. He explained that our belief in Jesus as the only Savior should never be a license to repeat these mistakes. But Christians are committed to a person who said: “I am the way and the truth an the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s truth! He made this statement coming into the culture of the Greco-Roman world, which was tolerant and accepting of any number of beliefs.
Later the Apostles affirmed that: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”. (Acts 4:12) For there is one God and only one, and one mediator between God and us-Jesus who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free”. (1 Timothy 2:5-6a)
As the saying goes: “There are many ways to get to Rome”-but there is only one way to God! Who do You say Jesus is?
© 1997 Volkhard Graf, YWAM Native Ministries
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