Christianity - The Only Way?
There is no doubt that there are a great number and variety of religions in the world. It appears that humans are incurably religious; even if not following one of the major religions of the world, many people will have things that they follow and participate in that are done in a religious way (just look at football fans!). We have a God-shaped void in our lives and religion is an attempt to fill up that hole.
So, how can Christianity arrogantly assume to be the only road to God? Why can't all religions be equally correct? Surely that is the fairest way?
Why Christianity is distinct among the other religions
of the world?
Obviously, Christians believe that Jesus is the only true God and Saviour of our souls; but don't all other major religions teach roughly the same things but just about different people (Buddha, Mohammed, etc?). Most, if not all religions believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, with whom they hope to make contact either in this world, or the world to come. Religion is the attempt to reach God. It is the belief that somehow we can do something that will put us in contact with God. However, the Bible, unlike almost all the teachings of other religions, states that there is NOTHING man can do by himself to reach God. Our efforts are in vain, so no amount of effort or works can enable us to climb up and reach God. Most other faiths teach that a man can reach God by following their teachings, doing good works, attending their meetings, etc., etc. Christianity says that none of these things are good enough.
Our only hope is that God would somehow come down, forgive our sins and inability to reach Him, and pull us up to Himself. And this is exactly what Christianity teaches! This is what makes it distinct among the other religions of the world. It is not a system to be followed but more like a rescue plan to save us; not man in search of God, but God willingly coming down to our level in order to rescue us and restore the relationship we can have with Him. It is not about our works, but trusting in the work God has already done - it's not about DOING something, but about something already DONE for us. (There is more discussion on the uniqueness of Christianity in the other section).
Some people will say that despite the uniqueness of Christianity, it is maybe only ONE way of understanding the truth; perhaps all religions possess truth but just understand it in different ways. Well, if all religions are as true as each other and eventually all lead people to God, then Christianity is as true and correct as any other religion. If that is the case, then all that Jesus says about Himself is also true and correct. But if THIS is true, then all the other religions and beliefs in the world must be wrong because Jesus said, "I am THE way, THE truth and THE life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14v6, emphasises mine; see also 1 Timothy 2v5). If all religions are true, then it follows logically that if one says it is the ONLY true one , it either is, or NO religion is true - it's one or none. So some people believe that all religions are equal because none of them have ANY truth. They believe that there is no ultimate truth to be found, everything is relative so Christianity is okay for some people but not for everyone. However, this belief actually contradicts itself; if a person believes that there is no ultimate truth in the world then what they are saying is that the only thing that is true is that there are no truths! Effectively, the ultimate truth is that there is no ultimate truth - a self-refuting claim, from which we can assume that there must actually be some truth, somewhere. For example, many years ago some people believed the earth was flat and others that it was round. Unpleasant as it sounds, someone had to be wrong - the earth couldn't be flat AND round at the same time. It couldn't be round for some people and flat for others, and they were okay to both believe their own truths.
Of course there are some other issues involved and some of these are discussed in the next section but an analogy will perhaps illustrate best why Christians believe Jesus is the only way. Imagine a man drowning at sea; on the shore are many religious leaders and groups all shouting instructions at him to try and help him out of his predicament. Despite all the good advice the man is incapable of rescuing himself and swimming to shore. However, Jesus out of love, dives in and rescues the man but in so doing, He has to give up His own life. This is a very good illustration of how Jesus rescues us - but of course, in real life Jesus didn't stay dead but was resurrected, proving Himself to be the true Son of God! Romans 5v6-8 says, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, but for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
We hope you have benefited from reading this and will read some more of what is written. If you have any questions, criticisms or comments at this point or after, or you would like to discuss some of these things a bit more with someone, please feel free to e-mail the following address which is totally confidential.