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Summary: A Critical look at ’slogans’ like ,"It is intolerant to claim Jesus is the only way" and "All major religions basically say the same thing" compared with Jesus words in JN 14:6

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Harrison Christian Church March 21, 2004 IS Jesus the only way to God? Robbie Phillips

Introduction:

¡§Jesus answered, ¡§I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ¡§JN 14:6

¡§Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me¡¨. That little children¡¦s saying breaks down as soon as you examine it¡K

There are a couple of other sayings that keep many of us from the liberating, yes liberating, truth I read in John 14:6. And they break down when you examine them.

Here¡¦s the first one

It is intolerant to claim Jesus is the only way

¡§This whole notion of tolerance. They say, "Well, you Christians are narrow-minded. You say Jesus is the only way. You’re not tolerant of other religions." Well ¡K other religions are not tolerant of us, I’m not putting down their faith system; it’s just not what I believe. And I don’t accept their way as truth. They don’t accept my way. That’s fine. But don’t ask me to believe that their way to God is a valid way. I don’t believe that. ¡VFranklin Graham

¡§¡Kunder our Constitution, all religious viewpoints are equally protected. People can believe whatever they want. But some people jump to the erroneous conclusion that because different philosophies are equally protected, they must be equally valid. And that¡¦s just not the case. The concept behind what the Supreme Court has called our ¡§marketplace of ideas¡¨ is that truth and falsehood will grapple in unhindered debate so that, in the end, truth will prevail. So even though all religious are equally protected under our Constitution, that has nothing to do with whether they¡¦re based on truth.¡¨ -Lee Strobel

The question is not, ¡§Are their conflicting claims in the world?¡¨ of course there are!

And the question is not, ¡§Should conflicting claims be allowed?¡¨ of course that should!

The challenge is, ¡§How do the different claims compare?¡¨

This is where we come to a second slogan, that like the first, is simply an attempt to avoid the question altogether.

All major religions basically say the same thing [sometimes worded, ¡§All roads lead to God¡¨, ¡§Jesus is just like all religious leaders¡¨ or ¡§It doesn¡¦t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere¡¨]

The truth is religions do ask similar questions:

„Q Who is God?

„Q Why is the world such a mess?

„Q How do we solve this problem?

They do not, however, come up with the same answers.

As religious scholar, Ravi Zacharias, has said, ¡§Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.¡¨

So what¡¦s the difference?

¡§This uniqueness of Christianity is rooted in the uniqueness of Jesus Himself.

¡§Jesus answered, ¡§I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ¡§JN 14:6

Other religious leaders say, ¡§Follow me and I¡¦ll show you how to find truth,¡¨ but Jesus says, ¡§I am the truth.¡¨

Other religious leaders say, ¡§Follow me and I¡¦ll show you the way to salvation,¡¨ but Jesus says, ¡§I am the way to eternal life.¡¨

Other religious leaders say, ¡§Follow me and I¡¦ll show you how to become enlightened,¡¨ but Jesus says, ¡§I am the light of the world.¡¨

Other religious leaders say, ¡§Follow me and I¡¦ll show you many doors that lead to God,¡¨ but Jesus says, ¡§I am the door.¡¨ ¡K

I¡¦m getting ahead of myself¡K

Christianity and Jesus stand apart, not only in their answer to the question, ¡§Who is God?¡¨, but also in their answers to the other basic questions, I mentioned like ¡§Why is world is such a mess?¡¨

Malcolm Muggeridge observed that ¡§the depravity or sinfulness of man is at once the most unpopular of all dogmas or teachings, yet the most empirically verifiable.¡¨ [Just watch the news]

Muggeridge tells of a time when he was a journalist in India, and left his residence one evening to go for a swim. As he entered the water, across the river he saw a woman bathing. Muggeridge impulsively felt the allure and temptation of the moment. He had often felt this kind of struggle but had resisted because he was a married man. On this occasion, however, he wondered if he could cross the line of his conscience, and swam furiously toward the woman. His mind fed him the fantasy that stolen waters would be sweet. Finally only a few feet away from her, he emerged from the water and looked at the woman. At once he realized that he was looking into the eyes of a leper¡Xa toothless old woman was grinning at him. He was gripped with disgust and thought, "What a dirty lecherous woman!" when suddenly the rude shock of it dawned upon him. It was not the woman who was lecherous; it was his own heart.

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