Do you remember how it’s like when you’re the new guy? All the world’s a stage and all it’s players are somehow similar yet foreign. Well, on the first day of my semester, it was exactly like that.
I got into class on that very day and looked around before proceeding to sit down at the last few vacant seats. Not knowing anyone in the class, and being an outgoing person, I began to chat with the girl who sat at my left in hopes to make a new friend. You see, my goal when making new friends, besides just getting to know them, has always been to share Jesus with whomever I talk to.
As the conversation began to flow and we each opened up, I asked her if she went to church anywhere in the area. Candidly she said no, but that she grew up in a Christian family. Following that, she made what seemed to me a peculiar statement: “I do believe in God, but there’s more than one way to the ceiling. Right?”
I stretched back in my chair to analyze her statement. I realized that she was telling me that all religions are somehow equal, un-contradictory, and essentially lead to the same place. Unfortunately, she is not the only one who holds this false view. George Bernard Shaw, a famous Irish playwright, once said, “There is only one religion, though there are hundred of versions of it.”
Even more discouraging, among the evangelical believers in the United States, a Pew Research Center survey found that 57% believe that many religions can lead to eternal life (U.S. Religious Landscape Survey).
While the popular consensus may believe that many religious paths lead to one ultimate avenue, the truth of the matter is that Christianity is exclusive in terms of the biblical perspective that Jesus Christ is the only viable path to Heaven. In other words, though the masses may believe something of this nature to be true, “error does not become truth because it is widely accepted; [and] truth does not become error, even when it stands alone” (John MacArthur).
Simply explained, a true understanding of pluralism, or the ideal that all religions are essentially equal, boils down to contradictory falsehoods when it stands against biblical truth. In the strictest sense, religions have minor similarities, but in reality differ on the majors.
Take Christianity for example. In Isaiah 45:21, God says, “There is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me.” Jesus Himself also added in John 14:6, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” These are two pivotal and literal statements made by God that must be accepted by everyone; there is no room for negotiation. There is no other way to God, except through the acceptance of Christ’s gift of salvation.
However pluralism purports Christianity as a viable option, that is equal to other religions. But the Bible specifically states otherwise, thus forming a contradiction within the pluralistic belief system. Pluralism says all religions lead to eternal life, but Christianity says, only through Christ will one be given the gift of eternal life. When we observed and studied the various religions to the core, they are not merely differentiating, but contradictory from one another in their deepest beliefs. Two contradictory beliefs cannot both be true.
To exemplify this further, let’s say that you and I are stuck in a room made of lead and various metals, fortified so that there would be no points of exit except through the door we came in which is locked from the outside in. We try our best to escape. Then you provide me with the wildest idea, “Chaz, we should think really hard for a power-drill, a sledge hammer and a pile-driver. And just by thinking and using them systematically in our heads, we would be able to pry open the door. Or we could just imagine for a skeleton key that can open every single door in the world and I’m sure it will open that door.”
What a silly and illogical statement to make! No matter how hard we try or how hard we think, there is absolutely no way to break down that door unless someone opens it for us. Likewise, we need to realize Christ is the only way to heaven. No matter how long we may argue of the equality of religions, time will show that they just simply won’t open that door. Christ has to open that door for us and He has done that by His death and resurrection.
Christianity is exclusive to its core, and as we progress in this study, we will continue to build a perspective and gain the understanding as to why Christ is the only way to eternal life.