John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Acts 4:12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
In America the above verses are deemed to be offensive, judgmental and too exclusionary. We may ask, “how can anybody say that there is only one way, only one path when there are so many sincere people following other ways?” Today for us to believe in “one way” is the height of arrogance and unenlightenment. Oprah doesn’t believe that. Ellen doesn’t believe that. Dr. Phil doesn’t believe that. Dr. Oz doesn’t believe that. Stephen Colbert doesn’t believe it either so must not be true.
It is very fashionable to believe that all paths lead to heaven. Of course we don’t believe that all paths lead to healing when we go to the doctor. We don’t believe any fuel will make our car run. We don’t believe that all roads end up at Myrtle Beach but somehow we have figured out that there is one God behind all of these different religions and that all paths lead to heaven.
If that’s true then God must be a schizophrenic because he’s telling the Middle East about an Islamic path, it’s telling Asia about a Buddhist path, others he’s telling a Hindu path at his telling America a Christian path. I guess God just couldn’t make up his mind!
If every path leads to heaven then Jesus died for nothing. In fact his cruel and torturous death was really just a waste of time because we didn’t need it. When Jesus prayed in the garden before his death and ask for a way out of the cross if there was one, why didn’t his father just say, “oh, you don’t have to do this because I have another path!” If there was another way God was brutal to do that to his son.
Some are offended that Jesus would proclaim that he’s the only way; Mohammed claims the same thing, so does Buddha, so do the Hindus, and the Jews and every other world religion. They can’t all be the only way can they? So that makes Jesus either the only way or a liar and we are not prepared to call him a liar!
I am glad that there is only one way. God makes it simple for all of us. We all have the same way and same requirements to get in and we don’t have to wander around searching the thousands of religions trying to figure out on our own.
What separates Jesus from every other religion is grace; instead of you working harder and making yourself better Jesus does all the work. He did not come the make bad people better but the make dead people live. Jesus allows us to stop trying to validate ourselves and work ourselves into heaven. The cross does all of that for us. All we have to do is receive it. That can’t be bad news can it?