John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This very straightforward statement by Jesus is the banner under which all who follow Him stand in this age of ‘any god but God’. One of the most pernicious accommodations that the world demands of Christians is for them to deny this truth. This compromise has worked it’s way up into the very top of some so called ‘Christian’ assemblies; “In an Oct 18, 2006 radio interview Bishop Jefferts Schori stated, ‘Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. That is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through human experience – through human experience of the divine. . . . ‘” Another website on ‘Christian Pluralism’ states; “Christians thank God for religious diversity! We don’t claim that our religion is superior to all others. We recognize that other religions can be as good for others as ours is for us.”
At one time, I was confronted by this idea that Jesus, although a good way to God, was not the only way. It was at a meeting of church people and a member of the clergy. To my amazement they all agreed that as Christians we must not offend other people by mentioning that Jesus was the only way to God. I was accused of being a religious fundamentalist because I held to God’s Word. My rebuttal consisted of two points. I stated that people of other religions wouldn’t be offended or surprised by my adherence to what the Holy Bible states because they adhere to their sacred writings with the same tenacity. Rather than creating intolerance for our different positions, our convictions create mutual respect for the right people have to their beliefs. The Apostle Paul in speaking to the Athenians didn’t disrespect their pagan beliefs but rather spoke to them of his belief in what they called ‘an unknown God’; “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” (Acts 17:23) The true Christian stands for the right all people have to speak about and share their beliefs.
I asked this ‘inoffensive’ group of people why they called themselves Christians if they didn’t believe or wouldn’t speak the truth that Jesus gave us in His own words! ‘Every one of you have read the Bible but if you don’t believe it or adhere to what the Bible says about Jesus and what Jesus says about Himself, why would you call yourselves Christian? In reality these church goers and their clergyman were just well educated people who just happened to have read the Bible but had no conviction about His Word. They had no answer to that. Perhaps they, like many people today, liked the appearance of Christianity but not the demands of being a disciple of Jesus. Perhaps they viewed Christianity like people view getting new car; leasing is better than owning because you can trade up on a more fashionable model every few years.
I believe there are many roads to Jesus. Everyone will have an ‘encounter’ with Jesus in their life. Their attitude towards Jesus will determine their response. What decisions they make about Jesus as a result of their encounter is between them and God. The encounter that the thief had as he was dying on his cross beside Jesus is a scriptural instance of what I’m taking about (Luke 23:40-43). Since Jesus is God, some might argue that there is some accuracy in saying all roads lead to God. We must remember that Jesus said ‘no one comes to the Father except through me’! To substitute other gods as ‘stand ins’ for Jesus is wrong. Jesus said prior to His crucifixion; “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32) What other god would die for us as we are? “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) No other ‘god’ has such a qualification. No other ‘god’ has such a history.
The apostle Peter said it simply and profoundly; “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Praise the Lord!