For our second look into what biblical Christianity looks like from a theological standpoint (aka, straight from the Bible) we’ll look at one of the most controversial statements ever made in history. By who? You guessed it, Jesus Christ.
I know we’ve all heard it before, “Jesus is just another way to god!” or “He was just another good prophet”.
As we’ve seen in previous study, the latter doesn’t hold any water. The argument for Christ being another “good” prophet (and not God) doesn’t work according to Christ’s words himself. (More on that here: http://wp.me/p3UQi7-4x)
One argument posed by most theists in regards to Christ and “tolerance” (yes, I said the “T” word) is the claim that Christ never claimed to be exclusively the way. They say Christ is “just another way to God” or “spirituality is like a mountain, we all start in different places and eventually reach the top”. Or even Gandhi saying “God has no religion.” .
Now, I have a very strong opposition to these claims due to the bible, and frankly, logic.
One opposition is logic. Many who call for religions to not be exclusive (basically telling only Christians to shut up) have a serious problem with objective truth. Basically claiming that all religions are a way, and none are the way.
My biggest problem is this, if all religions are a way, then why are they so different? Buddhists say one thing, Hindu’s say another, Muslims say something different. It really doesn’t make sense that contradicting worldviews would be compatible. (because they’re not!)
A quote I recently heard that I thought was very timely was from Mark Driscoll saying,
“Everyone is intolerant, the question is, Who’s right?”
I love that quote because it sums things up rather nicely. Many call for inclusivity in religion, but that’s not the question. We need to ask, “which is truth?” you’ll find contradictions in almost every religion when compared to another. So we need to know, who’s right?
As I’ve mentioned before in this Core Doctrine series I’m not trying to convince an atheist here, though i may write more apologetically in forthcoming posts. I’m writing to help solidify what Christians like myself already believe.
So what did Jesus really say about himself? Anything exclusive? What about other places in the Bible?
Well, there are answers. And the first, (and as I’ve said one of the most controversial statement ever said) is found in John 14:6 which says,
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
If that’s not exclusive, i don’t know what is. Jesus first claimed to be God, now He’s letting people know that Him, and Him alone, is the only way to the Father. (Jesus being God in the flesh, the mediator. But more on that in other posts)
Another claim, found in Acts 4:12, which says,
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
There are a couple of things that stick out to me, first being the words “in no one else” and “no other name”. Those clearly indicate Christ’s exclusivity.
A last verse we’ll look at will be in John 3:16, arguably the most popular verse of all time which says,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
This is by far one of the most all-encompassing verses in Scripture. It captures God’s care for our lives, the fact that He willingly gave, and that whoever believes will be saved. Key word, whoever. Meaning, only those who believe in Him will be saved. That pretty well seals the deal in regards to Christ’s exclusivity. I honestly don’t know how anyone would ever draw from Scripture anything else. This may be controversial in today’s day and age, but as Christians we’re called to be faithful to the Truth of Scripture. (Psalm 86:11)
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