Marie (firstname.lastname@example.org) asked:
As Christians, what is your general opinion on other faiths? Do you have the attitude of *all paths lead to God*, or the more strict *Christianity is the only way* belief?
Religion is the only subject on earth where people hold such illogical and completely incompatible views. The reigning popular position is to say “pick a religion, any religion, as long as you are sincere, they are all equal”. By default however, this is no more truth than saying it’s okay to believe anything you want about the flavor of orange, it’s all equally valid. Orange is chocolate, orange has no taste, just be sincere and all beliefs are equal.”
This makes ALL religion worthless, and it’s not intellectually genuine. In fact, it is the suspension of logic and reason. Only with religion, or salvation, or eternity do we take such as absurd position as “all beliefs (or most) are equally valid” and consider the conviction that “there is only one way” to be intolerant or strict.
I believe the sun is cold. I believe the sun is hot. I believe the sun is made out of cotton candy. Doesn’t matter as long as you are sincere. Don’t be intolerant and believe there is only one correct answer.
I believe rape is wrong. I believe rape is okay. I believe rape is okay as long as it’s an adult woman. I believe rape is okay if it’s someone I hate. I believe is rape is okay because woman are less than men. Don’t be intolerant and judge my views. All views are equally valid.
I believe freedom is good. I believe freedom is evil. I believe my freedom is good but yours is not. I believe freedom should only be for white people. I believe freedom is deserved on by rich people. Doesn’t matter as long as you are sincere. Don’t have the more “strict” view that everyone deserves freedom.
If we know that “all views are not equally valid” about subjects less important than salvation, how can we then hold to this view on the most important topic: eternity?
I believe salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ. I believe salvation comes through being part of the [pick a Protestant denomination, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witness, Buddhists]. I believe salvation is achieved by being good. I believe God loves everyone and all will be saved. I believe we are all collectively “god” and will end up together. I believe there is no salvation and no life past this. I believe that peanut butter and jelly will save me.
I believe the sky is green. I believe the earth is square. I believe we came from monkeys. I believe we came from UFO’s. I believe that Mother Earth is god. I believe I am god.
You see how absurd it all is??? This whole idea that we are free to believe whatever we want to believe and all beliefs are equally valid IS ABSURD. It’s intellectually dishonest. It’s logically ridiculous. It lacks integrity and courage. It is absolutely devoid of compassion because we leave people without real hope.
The fact is, every religion or group, whoever they may be, BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE TRUTH, AND THAT ONLY THOSE WHO ADHERE TO THEIR TRUTH ARE “SAVED” even if that truth is "all roads lead to heaven". All major religions believe THEIR RELIGION is truth but our politically correct peer pressure humbles us into publicly avoiding any claim to exclusive truth. We all have to walk around appearing to be open, compassionate and loving… the proof of which is our badge of inclusiveness and tolerance.
In truth, this is the most UNLOVING thing we can do for other people because we avoid telling them what we believe is really the ONLY truth about our existence and future.
If we have a belief about TRUTH and do NOT claim to have an exclusive understanding of it, we don’t really believe what we say we believe. There cannot, but logic, by default, be more than one Truth when it comes to salvation, origins or afterlife. I cannot say that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone (as taught by the Christian Bible) and say with any real honesty “but you can believe in salvation by being a good person”. I’ve just denied my own faith, and patronized yours.
Truth by nature is intolerant and exclusive. That’s why it is called TRUTH. If we believe a “truth” about who created us, why we were created, and what is going to happen to us after this life, then we are by default being strict and intolerant. To say believe that all “truths” regarding origins, salvation and eternity are equally valid, is just plain old intellectual foolishness and in fact states categorically that we don’t believe in any TRUTH at all (which then becomes actual intolerant exclusive Truth). The TRUTH is, you cannot avoid having an “intolerant, exclusive” Truth because whatever you believe to be Truth, including a belief in “no Truth” becomes your definition of TRUTH, and everything else is false.
Ironically, it is typically only Westerners, Christians or otherwise, that “play around” with faith and try to take this high sounding road of “all paths to God are equally valid”. (Other religions believe and teach Universalism, but they don't toy around with it.)
It is common in the non-committed, politically-correct, Biblically-illiterate, “religion is a lifestyle choice”, “add church to my weekly social checklist” Western culture that you will find this idea that “tolerance” is the name of the game when it come to eternity.
Now, having laid out the preface, and being an intellectually honest, courageously truthful and genuinely committed Christian OF COURSE I BELIEVE THAT CHRISTIANITY IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN AND THE ONLY TRUTH. If I do NOT believe that, then I do not believe Christianity. And if I do not believe it, they I deserve no respect for calling myself Christian if I don't have the courage to stand by its claims without apology or compromise.
Christianity teaches that we are created by God, that we have sinned and separated ourselves from our Creator, and that reconciliation (salvation) comes only through obedient faithful response to God on HIS TERMS. If I truly believe that, I have NO CHOICE BUT TO BELIEVE IT IS THE SINGLE, EXCLUSIVE, INTOLERANT AND UNIQUE WAY TO HEAVEN.
To think otherwise betrays either a lack of understanding about the Bible, an illogical infatuation with political correctness, a successful indoctrination by pop culture religion, or a general lack of intellectual soundness and courage.
For all you “tolerant, loving and inclusive” folks…. You miss the point in understanding that YOUR belief in “inclusiveness” then becomes YOUR TRUTH, which by default is not intolerant and exclusive at all because you declare as “wrong” anyone who does not believe “all religion is equally valid” and “all roads lead to heaven.” You must then reject all major religions that teach exclusivity thereby becoming exclusive yourself.
That’s awfully intolerant and judgmental of you.
The fact is: TRUTH is, by default, intolerant and exclusive. If not, then Truth doesn’t exist at all because incompatible beliefs cannot be equally valid (“I believe the sun is hot, I believe the sun is ice”; “I believe a ball is round, I believe a ball can be any shape”; “I believe 2 plus 2 is four, I believe 2 plus 2 can be any amount”, “I believe the sun rises in the East, I believe there is no sun”.) No friends, in any realm of existence INCOMPATIBLE TRUTHS CANNOT BOTH BE EQUALLY VALID, and we label ourselves as IDIOTS when we pretend that religion is the exception.
Christianity, Islam and Universalism cannot all be equally valid truths because they make incompatible claims about salvation. Mormonism, Buddhism and Moralism cannot be equally valid truths because the make incompatible claims about origins and eternity.
Either one is right and the rest are wrong. Or they are all wrong. They cannot all be equally valid. In fact, not even TWO can be true because they all teaching wholly incompatible beliefs.
I believe the only valid, exclusive, intolerant TRUTH about man’s beginning and end is found in the teachings of Biblical Christianity. I have the courage, intellectual honesty and compassion to say that to you without apology or equivocation. Otherwise, you should dismiss me as a man with no convictions that cannot be trusted to stand firm in what he declares publicly.
YOU have a “truth” today that is intolerant and exclusive. The only question is whether or not you have the integrity and courage to admit it and stand by it. The only alternative is to have no belief and risk your eternity to chance.