By Jarrod Belcher
Nearly 2000 years ago the first Christians were called followers of the Way before they were actually called Christians. The reason would have been that they were repeating the claim of Jesus to be the way, the truth, and the life. Such a claim is a statement of exclusivity which asserts that he alone is the only Savior of mankind and the only pathway to God. In a pluralistic society which focuses on fairness and the legitimacy of all religions this is not a popular position to take. The accepted way of looking at things is to say that all religions have some part of the truth in them and they are therefore a way to reach God or heaven or whatever it is that constitutes the afterlife. This position has even infiltrated Christianity as some polling firms have shown that over a third of evangelicals believe that other religions may also be a pathway to reach God.
But this position is an absolute contradiction because the world religions are so fundamentally different. We would do well to ask ourselves this question: What is it that separates Christianity from all other religions. Ultimately it is the gospel. While Christianity has a great moral ethic in it as other religions do, it is not centered on people being good boys and girls so that God will approve of us. Actually Christianity’s core message is that Jesus is the only Savior of a world imprisoned by sin. Christians believe in the unique supremacy of Christ above all things because without Jesus mankind is cutoff from God. This is a major distinction from every other religion and a point of contention that cannot be reconciled. So we would find that the world’s religions are actually so different that we can say for certain that they can’t all be right and it is downright foolish to assert that they are. And if Christianity is right the claim of Jesus is a claim that excludes all other claims.
Over the next few weeks we’ll deal with five stages of the Biblical storyline as we consider the extraordinary claim of Christ. If he is all that he has claimed to be we must look to him as the only way of salvation.