Early in my spiritual journey, this was one of the more difficult concepts to wrestle with. Before I became a Christian, I felt that the dogma that “Jesus is the only way” was narrow minded. Even if I was going to accept Jesus as my savior, I wasn’t prepared to dismiss other religions. Surely, they are worshiping the same God as I and their interpretations of Him (even if wrong) will not land them in hell. Right?
Here are some thoughts that have shaped my thinking:
- If other religions provide an easier pathway to heaven without the shedding of Jesus’ blood, then why would God send His son to die on the cross? This seems illogical (and cruel) if there are other acceptable ways to forgive sin.
- Since the other world religions deny Jesus as the son of God…and since I have concluded that he really is the son of God, then can their pathway be trusted? If they got that part wrong, what else have they gotten wrong?
- When I look at the lifestyle of those who claim “all paths lead to heaven”, I do not find them devoted to a non-christian spiritual journey. Instead, I discover they are living for themselves and doing whatever they think in right in their own eyes.
Romans 2:12-15 seems to tell us that no matter what faith (a.k.a. law) we follow, we have no excuse – because God’s law has been written on our hearts. “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”
The very next verse then reminds me that we still need Jesus: “This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”
Thanks for listening.