“One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing that there is only one way…there are many paths to what you call God.” And elsewhere, “I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity.” Oprah Winfrey.
There are many paths to God, other than Christianity to God, but to which god? Today we’ll be looking at the question posed in the State of Theology report, “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.” According the report, 51% of people would agree to this, while another 14% are not sure or somewhere disagree. With 65% of people interviewed it is easy to see how Oprah can make the above statement and get away with it. Many people are unsure of the statements that the Bible makes on the exclusivity of Christianity. Jesus tells us in John 14:6, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” So, either Jesus is lying, or He truly is the only way. This verse is used often by Christians as a stance against the New Age movement, that claims there are unlimited ways to God. The issue we encounter though is, which god?
Many religions point to multiple gods, or even a single god in the case of Judaism and Islam. While Judaism claims to worship Yahweh, they do not recognize Jesus as being their Savior, and by rejecting the Son, they end up rejecting the Father (John 5:23). Islam acknowledges Jesus as a prophet but points to law-keeping as their hope. New Age Spirituality points man back at himself and makes himself divine. All of these have a deep history that is interwoven through time, but can they all be true? Can there really be multiple roads to God? Let’s take a look at what the Bible claims about Jesus. In verse 14, He makes another amazingly exclusive statement. Jesus claims to be The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Many may misread this as His way being one of the ways. Referring to His way of living, of loving and treating others. Yet, Jesus makes Himself clear as day. He is The (definite article) Way. Its only through Christ that we can come to the Father. This kind of exclusivity doesn’t usually please people because they want to have the power, they want to choose, or they themselves want to become a deity.
To make Christianity even more exclusive, we find this statement in John Chapter 6:44, that no one came come to Him (Jesus) unless the Father who sent Me (Jesus) draws them. This is another claim that demolishes other religious claims that tell their followers they must do these works, or this action and then, maybe, you can enter eternity. Christianity says only God has the power to choose, and only God draws people to Christ. This is done not by any work from us, but only by the Father.
With thousands of religions advocating for attention around the world, it is easy to get crossed messages or beliefs to blend into each other. The wonderful aspect of being a follower of Jesus is that we know that He is indeed the only way to the Father, and that these other religions are not recognized by God. We have comfort knowing that God sent His Son into the world, and to make these controversial claims to ensure that only His chosen children will respond to them. While Oprah and many millions of other people try to break down the claims of Jesus, we hold true that what was said almost two thousand years ago remans true today. Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
Written by Alex Zenk, @reformed_lifestyle