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This was downloaded from: http://www.rationalchristianity.net/only_way.html
The Bible quotes seemed to
be NIV and have been changed to the AV (KJV). Every thing else is as it
originally was except the other verses, which were cited and not quoted, have
been made available, including the Qur’an as well. This page was adjusted
"…there is no God else beside me; a just God and a
Saviour; there is none beside me."
"…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me."
How can Christians be so sure they're right and everyone else is wrong? Isn't that arrogant?
Logically, it's not possible for all the major world
religions to be valid ways to God. As seen in the verses above, Christianity
states that the God of the Bible is the only true God and salvation is only
possible by accepting Christ as Savior and Lord. Judaism states that the God of
the Torah/Old Testament is the only true God, but that Jesus is not the Messiah,
putting it directly at odds with Christianity. Jesus either is the Messiah, or
he is not. If he is, Judiasm is not a valid way to God; if he is not,
Christianity is not a valid way to God. The mutual exclusion only grows when
other religions are added: Islam says that Allah is the only true God, and that
anyone who says Christ is the Son of God will be condemned (Qur'an, 5:72,
YUSUFALI: They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.
PICKTHAL: They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.
SHAKIR: Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Marium; and the Messiah said: O Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust.
YUSUFALI: The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!
PICKTHAL: And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!
SHAKIR: And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!
Furthermore, if religions other than Christianity are valid
ways to God, then one of Christianity's basic principles is false; in that case,
can it still be said to be a valid, trustworthy religion? (See also 1
1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
No matter what belief system you adopt, you will be saying
that your system is right and that the billions of people who don't accept it
are wrong. If Islam is correct, the billions of non-Muslims are wrong; if
Orthodox Judiasm is correct, the billions of Gentiles are wrong. If it is
correct to approve of multiple belief systems because they're all valid ways of
acheiving spiritual enlightenment, the billions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and
others who belive in exclusive religions are intolerant and therefore wrong.
How can Christians be sure their religion is the right one?
Being born into a Christian family or growing up in a Christian community
doesn't make one a Christian; culture and ethnicity don't determine one's
relationship with God. Instead, people become Christians because they are
convinced of the truth of Christianity and/or have had experiences with God - in
short, they have good reasons for believing Christianity to be true. (See the testimonies
of people who have become Christians.) Also, Christians are not saying that
their personal ideas are true, but that the Christian God exists, and his
words are true.
Furthermore, Christianity is unique among religions because
it addresses the fact that we can never be good enough to be in the presence of
a perfect, holy God. In order to be perfectly good, we would have to be doing
good all the time. If we do something wrong, we can't undo it, and we can no
longer be considered perfect. Nor can we do more good to make up for our wrongs,
for perfection requires doing the most good possible at all times - we can't be
more than perfect to make up for when we're less than perfect. Other religions
teach that we can somehow do enough good to earn heaven or nirvana, but they
don't address the fact that we continually make mistakes. Christianity teaches
that our sins were paid for by Jesus' death on the cross, and that by accepting
his payment and believing in him we can be forgiven; we don't have to earn our
way into heaven, which is a good thing, because we can't do it. Christ is the
only way to God, because without the forgiveness that comes through his death
and resurrection, there's no way for us to be able to stand before a holy God.
Saying that Christianity is right does not mean that
Christians themselves are right about everything, or that they are innately
superior to non-Christians. What Christianity teaches is that both Christians
and non-Christians "have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom
3:23) and need salvation, which comes only by the grace of God, not the
individual's actions or merits (Eph
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not
many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the
wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things
which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and
things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to
bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should
glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,
who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and
redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that
glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Christianity is intolerant of other beliefs
Is refusing to call a belief false always the right thing
to do? For instance, is it right to say that racism and Nazism are simply
alternate belief systems that we shouldn't pass judgment on, or should we
condemn these beliefs as being morally wrong? If someone believes they have the
right to rape or kill whomever they please, should we accept their beliefs as an
alternate lifestyle, or denounce them? Tolerance is an admirable virtue in many
circumstances, but tolerating wrong by refusing to say it's wrong is in itself
wrong. If Christianity is true, then there is only one God and salvation comes
only through Him, and religions that deny this are not merely alternate forms of
spiritual expression, but systems of belief that prevent their adherents from
obtaining salvation. If Christ is in fact the only way to God, then to claim
that he's not is both false and dangerous. If someone has a fatal disease,
telling them that they don't need to seek medical treatment is wrong. If someone
can only have salvation by accepting Christ as their Savior, telling them they
don't need to accept Christ is even more wrong, no matter how tolerant or
well-meaning it may seem to be.
Christianity is exclusive - those outside the church aren't saved
First of all, would a religion that taught that everyone
goes to heaven be a good religion? We would all like to think that we and our
loved ones will go to heaven. Yet if everyone automatically goes to heaven, this
includes evil people as well as good people. Should an unrepentant killer go to
heaven? Should someone who enjoys torturing people, or who molests children and
feels no guilt, go to heaven? If not, then there are cases when it's morally
right for people to be excluded from heaven.
Christianity does not teach that only Christians deserve to
go to heaven. Rather, it teaches that no one deserves to go to heaven, because
we have all done wrong during our lives (Rom
3:23). We can gain admittance to heaven by repenting of our wrongs,
accepting Jesus Christ's death as payment for our wrongs and deciding to follow
and worship him as Lord. The principle is that Jesus is the only way to God, not
any particular church or denomination (Jn
6:40). Thus, salvation is accessible to everyone and is intended by God for
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and
believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last
Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
1 Timothy 2:1 ¶I exhort therefore, that, first of
all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for
all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority;
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of
the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a
ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
(See also Is
5:9). Indeed, there are people "from every nation, tribe, people and
language" who will be saved (Rev
7:9). Thus, far from being exclusive, Christianity is inclusive. Anyone who
chooses to accept Christ as Lord and Savior is a Christian and has equal
standing with all other Christians before God.
Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Isaiah 52:10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Revelation 7:9 After
this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all
nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and
before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
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