Sword and Shield
a cup of apologetics with Israel Shrestha
The answer is: “Yes, Jesus is the only way to God.” And nothing generates more debate than this exclusive claim.
Many have heard about Jesus; they have read about Jesus being the “light of the world” and the figurehead of Christianity, like Buddha is the “light of Asia”, but most have not heard that Jesus is “the ONLY light of the world” and the only way to God. Cities today harbor hoards of religious beliefs – Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Mysticism, Naturalism, to a name a few. The presence of so many different religions in cities leads many people (even Christians) to the conclusion that all religious paths lead to God.
Let us look at two things: first the statement and it’s validity and second who Jesus is and is not.
A stern reply would be: “How could Jesus be the only way to God? It’s an exclusive claim. All religions are the same at the core and lead to God.” We call this ‘Religious Pluralism’ and it carries an air of arrogance. How? Religious pluralism asserts that its position – all ways lead to God – is true while all other religions are false in their exclusive teachings. While it’s claim might sound humble and right, it is one of the most exclusive claim anyone can make and it directly contradicts many religions like Islam, Buddhism and Christianity. Anyone who has studied major world religions would never dare to claim that they are all the same.
This might lead to a second reply: “But what I actually mean is that all religions are true. In the sense that every religion has part of the truth but not the whole truth.” This argument seems very convincing but it also doesn’t hold water. An old Hindu fable told in poetic form (John Godfrey Saxe) might help illustrate the problem. The poems goes like this: Six blind men come across an elephant which allows them to touch and feel it. “The Elephant is like a wall”, says the first blind man feeling its side. “An Elephant is very like a spear” the second argues grabbing the tusk. The third grabs the trunk and says, “I see, the Elephant is very like a snake!” and so on. Now, all the blind men are right but wrong at the same time because they have part of the Elephant but cannot envision the whole Elephant.
In the same way, it is argued that all religions grasp a part of the truth but cannot see the whole elephant or claim to have the entire truth. Unfortunately, this illustration backfires on it’s users. The only way you can say that “all the blind men have part of the truth but not the whole truth” is if you can see the whole elephant. The very thing that you say nobody can see. So, how can you know that no religion can see the whole truth unless you yourself see the whole truth you just claimed nobody can see?
Who Jesus Is and Is not
C.S Lewis says in Mere Christianity, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
In John 14:6 Jesus says that He is “the way, and the truth, and the life” and the only way to the Father. Either Jesus is the only way to God or he is not. It’s for you to decide. There is no middle road.
Find the full issue of ReIgnite here.