(Photo by Sean Thomas on Unsplash)
Now all of us can come to the Father through the same
Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
Ephesians 2:18 (NLT)
I am using the Cold-Case Christianity podcast, It's Narrow-Minded to Think Jesus is the Only Way to God, to write this post. Cold-case Christianity teaches Christians how to respond to skeptics and atheists. Suppose you are talking to a person about Jesus and they say, "It's wrong to say Jesus is the only way to God. Do you know how many religions don't believe that? Are they all wrong?" What will you say? Our culture today is more pluralistic and places a high value on tolerance, so don't be surprised if someone challenges your beliefs. It's important to be able to defend your faith in a way that is logical and will cause the other person to think about the validity of what they are saying. J. Warner Wallace gives three possible ways to answer this objection:
QUICK ANSWER #1
Jesus is the one who claims He is the only way to God. Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." He is making a bold claim, but what if it's true? Consider other bold claims: Isoniazid is the only cure for tuberculosis or Elizabeth Warren's tweet, "Back when I was a kid, a minimum wage job could support a family of three." Do you think these claims are narrow-minded? Wouldn't it be more important to investigate the claim than outright reject it? Have you investigated what Jesus said about being the only way to God?
QUICK ANSWER #2
What is the alternative? That all ways lead to God? How is that possible, since different religions and faiths contradict one another? Some religions deny that God even exists, and those that do believe there is a God have different beliefs about how to get to Him. Hindus think there are many gods. Every religion or faith that says there is a God also claims that you can't get to Him unless you believe as they do. Given the many contradictions between different faith systems, they can't all be right. Either they are all wrong, or only one is correct. It's an inevitable consequence given the contradictory claims. Wouldn't it be better to investigate the different religions to see if one of them is true rather than make a statement that might be wrong? Have you done that?
QUICK ANSWER #3
If claiming that Jesus is the only way to God is narrow-minded because not everyone agrees, then aren't you doing the same thing when you state that there are other ways to God too? Not everyone agrees with what you say either. Are you being narrow-minded? Everyone thinks what they believe is right; otherwise, they wouldn't believe it! But when there are two or more contradictory beliefs, wouldn't it be wiser to investigate which view is true rather than argue that others are being narrow-minded for believing what they believe? Have you looked into Jesus enough to know if He is or isn't the only way to God?
These three answers are just the beginning and not an end in itself. Your goal is to challenge them to think about what they are saying. They, too, need to be able to defend their belief. If you are successful in getting them to consider that their claim could be wrong, you have to be then willing to take it further should they have questions or other concerns. You will want to follow through with them if they would like you to talk to them more about investigating the claims of Christianity. If you cannot tell if you were successful, or it seems as if you weren't, you can still know that you have done what you could do, and then leave it in God's hands. Who knows? You may have prepared them for a future conversation with another person, or they may later hear or read what someone else is saying that builds on what you started. Defending your faith is never a waste of time! It is God who draws people to Himself and causes them to seek after Him. Only He can reveal truth to them. But we can join God in what He is doing.