Summary: A message detailing the dangers of pluralism.
"Is There Only One Way?"
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Introduction: Have you heard the news? Everyone's talking about it! You say, "What news pastor Steve?" Oh, the news that the culture and even some in the church have decided that there is more than one way to God! I know that it's hard to believe, but it's true nonetheless. It's now official; even the Pope has agreed that there is more than one way; and the conventional wisdom is that a man can reach God by more than one approach, that there are now alternatives to the traditional view that there is only one way to God. You see, folks have decided that the old thinking that Christians have advocated for 2,000 years is archaic, intolerant and unloving. That it is narrow-minded and discriminatory. The Christian proclamation has always taken place in a pluralist world, in competition with rival religious and intellectual convictions but what is happening today goes far beyond this traditional idea of pluralism. Today's new emphasis on pluralism declares that to defend Christianity is to belittle non-Christian religions, which is unacceptable in a multicultural society and it goes hand in hand with diversity and pluralism. How pervasive is this idea that there is more than one way to God? It would not be a surprise to learn that a majority of those outside the church accept this idea but would you believe that between 30 to 60 percent of evangelical Christian now do as well! John MacArther writes: "Religious pluralism is one of the greatest challenges facing Christianity in today's world. Is Jesus Christ just one way among many valid paths to God? In the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and '70s, the "One Way" sign -- the index finger held high -- became a popular icon. "One Way" bumper stickers and lapel pins were everywhere, and the "One Way" slogan for a time became the identifying catchphrase of all evangelicalism.
Evangelicalism in those days was an extremely diverse movement. (In some ways it was even more eclectic than it is today.) It encompassed everything from Jesus People, who were an integral part of that era's youth culture, to straight-line fundamentalists, who scorned everything contemporary. But all of them had at least one important thing in common: They knew that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. "One Way" seemed an unshakable belief that all evangelicals held in common.
That is no longer the case. The evangelical movement of today is no longer unified on this issue. Some who call themselves evangelicals are openly insisting that faith alone in Jesus is not the only way to heaven. They are now convinced that people of all faiths will be in heaven. Others are simply cowardly, embarrassed, or hesitant to affirm the exclusivity of the gospel in an era when inclusivity, pluralism, and tolerance are deemed supreme virtues by the secular world. They imagine it would be a tremendous cultural faux pas to declare that Christianity is the truth and all other faiths are wrong. Apparently, the evangelical movement's biggest fear today is that Christians will be seen as out of harmony with the world." Adapted from Why One Way? © 2002 by John MacArthur.