Is Christianity Arrogant and Exclusive?

Hello, Michelle, would like to hear you speak on most all this list but for others sake could you share on this topic please. Most do not comprehend freedom when the have no choice.

Thank you for taking the time.
Mike

5 Likes

Hi Mike,

I like how you linked the topic of Arrogance and Exclusivity to freedom and choice. Usually when I speak on this topic these days I title it “How could there be only one way to God?”

You are right! We live in a consumer culture, especially in the states, so many of us experience “FOMO” fear of missing out. We want to know all of the options, and we want to keep our options open right until the last moment incase we find something better at the last minute! When people hear Jesus words “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me.” It seems shocking when there are so many different religions.

Usually people’s main objections to the claim that Jesus is the only way to God is that it sounds exclusive, arrogant, or simply unfair. There are a couple things I like to encourage people to think about.

Religious claims are by nature mutually exclusive.

Most of our struggles with Jesus’ claim comes from the popular assumption that most if not all religions are superficially different, but fundamentally the same. But when you line up the major world religions what we actually find is that many religions are superficially the same but fundamentally different. I like the way that Ravi puts it "At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not and accordingly, of defining life’s purpose.” The more we learn about various religions the easier it is to move past the popular assumption that Christianity is the only or most exclusive religion.

The popular claim that all paths lead to God, is actually quite a dismissive and carless thing to say of the majority of the world’s population. Take a look at even just the 4 most popular world religions and you’ll find they disagree on whether THE GOD they lead to is

1 GOD: if you’re a muslim

1 GOD in 3 Persons: or “The Trinity” if you’re christian

MANY GODS: potentially numbering up to 330 million if you are Hindu or

NO GOD at all: if you are Buddhist!

To fully understand and respect each other we must be willing to explore, name and compare our differences and disagreements not minimize or intentionally avoid them.

The claim Jesus makes isn’t arrogant if it’s true.

When Jesus claims he is the only way he is saying something that makes the Message of Christianity fundamentally different from all other religions. Hypothetically, you can take out the founder of every major religion and still end up with the religion in tack. They all point to someone or something else. Jesus didn’t point to another way he pointed to himself. When Jesus claims that he is the one true God-it’s a claim that must be investigated. Christians trust that Jesus is God because we have investigated His Claim to be God and believed it to be true.

What about everyone else?

-This brings us to the root of the main objection people often have about the Christian faith. For many who work through flawed assumptions about exclusivity or arrogance, these answers still leave serious doubt about the character and nature of a God who seems to leave such a narrow path to Him.

The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. As Christians we cling to and defend the Biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to God, but also passionately trust that, based on God’s great love and desire for humanity, there are as many different ways to Jesus as the people who come. Paul put it this way when when he was sharing the gospel in Athens. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. Acts 17:25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. Acts 17:26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. Acts 17:27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:28” (Acts 17:24–28 NIV11)

The good news of Christianity is that God came to us. His coming proves that He is God and that He has made himself known and continues to make himself known so that whoever believes in him will have everlasting life.

There are lots of great resources on RZIM.org if you would like to hear talks from our team on this topic or read other articles.

Bless you,

Michelle

6 Likes

Michelle, thank you, thank you for this great answer.

Exactly, many see freedom as a choice, and Christianity as bound to one way, one thought.

I tell people and have screen printed a homemade Tee shirt to speak that truth, it simply says,
"Can there be more than one Truth?"

You have added a valuable addition to my tool box to build my case for that statement! I will also check out RZIM.org as you suggested.
Mike

2 Likes