Shouldn’t there be other ways for God to save the world? John recently asked if there were Too few means to salvation?
One common complaint against Christianity is the doctrine of exclusivism. The teaching that there is only one true God and only one true religion is something some people just find objectionable. Whether they find this to be arrogant, narrow-minded, elitist, or worse; they think the idea that there is only one way to God in order to be saved is distasteful. But what if Jesus wasn’t the only way and there were more than one way to salvation? How many would be sufficient?
It is a logical question to ask, especially in our culture. Even many of those filling church pews each week sit in judgment of God and his word and think that the truth that Jesus is the only way to salvation is too restrictive (because there are “only” 100+ passages affirming that truth). They are ironically exclusive in demanding that others be inclusive.
And of course, if Jesus isn’t the only way then He isn’t a way at all. If Christianity — and Jesus himself — claimed that He was the exclusive way to salvation, then if even one other religion is correct then Christianity is false. Those who claim the name of Christ while saying that other paths can lead to salvation should reconsider their views.
It is hard to imagine something more obvious than this: You must meet the creator of the universe on his terms, not yours. He starts off perfectly fair, giving all what they deserve. Then He becomes extremely unfair by offering grace to those who accept the sacrifice made on their behalf.
God is completely inclusive in the sense of offering salvation and forgiveness to all who come to him on his terms. Any type of sinner, any age, any culture, any gender, etc. is welcomed.
God is completely exclusive in that if you reject his terms then He will reject you.
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Complaining that there is only one way to salvation is the height of ingratitude and another symptom of Romans 1-style rebellion and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. If God offered two ways, then people would complain that there aren’t three, and so on.
Just get on your knees and thank him that there is a way at all!
One of the commenters at the link said this:
Of course, it is difficult enough to exonerate god for the behavior of god (such as described in the Bible).
He expressed the typically incoherent thoughts of atheists. They insist on the fantasy that the universe came into being without a cause, that life came from non-life, that life evolved to caterpillar/butterflies, elephants, humans, etc. and that there is no ultimate accountability for your actions. And then they can’t go three sentences without making moral judgments! If they were slightly consistent with their worldview they’d “know” that Darwinian evolution was the sole cause for all religions, including Christianity and my conversion from atheism to the belief in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. So why are they critical of the products of evolution? Why do they make moral judgments when they would “know” that there is no such thing as universal morality that and that we would agree with or even care about their standards? These Romans 1 poster children tip their hands at every turn.
Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
More bad news: You’ll be judged on the standard of Jesus, not by comparing your best traits to your neighbor’s worst traits. All your deepest, darkest secrets will be brought to light and judged by a holy and perfect God.
Romans 2:15-16 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
It is foolish and rebellious to think that you get to define whether God exists and what He must be like. Repent and believe while you still have time. Eternity is a mighty long time to suffer for your foolish pride. Seek God on his incredibly gracious terms and not only will your past, present and future sins be completely forgiven, but you will have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you.
Jesus — fully human and fully divine — came to live the perfect life in your place and to die for your sins. That is worth celebrating.
2 thoughts on “Is Christianity too narrow?”
Absolutely true. The One with whom we need to seek at-one-ment is the One who gets to set the standards and means and conditions.
There is another angle to consider. If it is true that there are lots of ways to heaven, then there is one other certainty — Christianity is not one of them. The exclusive claims of the Christ of Christianity would make Him a liar and nullify any reason to believe Him.
Great point – He is the only way or He is no way at all.