Is Christianity the Only Way to God ?
Other ways of asking this are: Isn’t Christianity too narrow, too exclusive? Or, if 75% of the world are not Christians, can they all be wrong?
In Larry Moody’s book on apologetics he rightly says that there are only 3 options or possibilities: 1. Christianity is not narrow or exclusive 2. Christianity is exclusive and wrong, or, 3. Christianity is exclusive and true
Let’s Consider These Three Possibilities
- Adherents argue that Christianity is broad and accepting and eliminates no one. Since all religions are the same, it doesn’t matter what you call yours. It is like God is sitting on top of a huge mountain and there are many paths to the top.
The problem is that this is obviously unbiblical. The claims of Christ and all His disciples are clearly very exclusive. The concept that Christ is the only path to God originates with Christ Himself. Just read Jn.3:18, you must believe in the “only” begotten Son of God, or Jn.8:24 “unless you believe that I am He you shall die in your sins” or Jn.14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me”
All other religions are also exclusive in their teachings and way to God, but Christ alone promoted Himself as the only way to God. Jesus’ disciples also taught this as in Acts 4:12 “there is salvation in no one else”. Jesus’ enemies also understood His claims and each time they heard Him claiming to be God they took up rocks to stone Him or arrest Him. Therefore, both Jesus’ friends and enemies were clear on Jesus’ claims of deity and exclusivity. THERFORE THE QUESTION IS NOT WHETHER OR NOT CHRISTIANITY IS NARROW BUT WHETHER IT IS CORRECT.
- Adherents of this view that the Bible is wrong, say it is intolerant. They say the majority of the human race disagrees, and they say truth is relative. They would say truth is determined by one’s own beliefs so even if Christ is right for us, it doesn’t mean He is right for everyone.
The problem with this view is that a person’s sincerity, religiosity, or zealousness does not determine what is true. The people who followed Jim Jones to Guyana and drank the poison cool aid were sincere but wrong. The suicide bombers in the Middle East who are promised 70 virgins in heaven are sincere but wrong. Truth is determined apart from sincerity or religious works.
People who claim there is no set truth, treat truth as if it were determined by your tastes—I like blue better than green, Pepsi better than Coke, Aggies better than Longhorns. Something is not objectively true just because someone believes or doesn’t believe in it. Two plus two always equals 4. Two thousand years ago many believed the world was flat, but it has always been spherical. That is objective truth, and spiritual realities are not a matter of taste, but of objective truth.
What about intolerance? A truth can be narrow and right, and an untruth can be broad and wrong. Truth is always intolerant of error. Examples of objective truth being narrow and intolerant are endless. Do you want your airplane to land on that narrow little strip or just anywhere, like some field or hill or lake? When you go to the doctor, do you want the exact medicine for what ails you or just any medicine in the closet?
I won’t take the time to discuss the views of the four major world religions except to say they are all exclusive in their teachings. What makes them all similar and all diametrically opposed to Christianity is that they all seek salvation through human effort, human merit. Only in biblical Christianity does God do all the salvific work. In all world religions, man is reaching out to God, but in Christianity God is reaching out to man through the atoning work of His Son Jesus Christ.
The Law of noncontradiction makes it certain that two contradictory statements can’t both be true. Either one is right and the rest are wrong or they are all wrong. Therefore, the real question about Christianity is not whether it is narrow, but whether it is true.
- If Jesus is who He said he was, then this third alternative is correct—Christianity is narrow and true. C. S. Lewis made a wonderful argument for the claims of Christ by saying there are only 3 possibilities—Jesus was either Lord, Liar, or Lunatic. In making His claims of deity and the only way to heaven He was telling the truth and in fact he was the Lord or, He was lying and thus a vile despicable deceptive person (which no one of any religion believes), or He thought He was the Lord and was not and thus a lunatic out of touch with reality. The interesting thing is that virtually no unbeliever or adherent to other religions believes Jesus is a liar or a lunatic.
Jesus’ works, teachings, miracles, and fulfillment of prophecy all authenticate that He was exactly who He said He was-our Lord and Savior. Jesus had very unique claims and credentials. He claimed to have the power to forgive sins. He claimed to be sinless. He claimed to be the exclusive way to salvation. He claimed that He would rise from the dead. The Bible says He led a sinless life, He did miracles that only God could do, He taught with the authority of God, He fulfilled hundreds of Messianic prophecies, He rose from the dead, and He had the power to change the lives of His disciples.
We must discard the politically correct notion that while Christianity is true, we must be tolerant of all religions and allow for everyone to choose their own path to heaven. Christianity is narrow, it is exclusive, and at the same time it is right because it alone is true. As Peter said in Acts 4:12, THERE IS NO OTHER SOLUTION GIVEN BY GOD FOR MAN’S SIN PROBLEM. Only Jesus offers a substitutionary sacrifice which is acceptable to God and capable of atoning for our sins.