“Please do not take this as insulting but I have always been confused as to why certain religions believe that their path is the ONLY path. Will someone tell me why, if the basic principals are the same….and people are living “right” then why does it matter if they follow Jesus or not?”
I knew this mom was truly seeking to understand Christians, and I believe God led me to explain why, as a Christian, I have to believe He is the only way. After reading it and some other responses from other moms, she really understood, and said she could see why Christians have to believe Jesus is the only way. That was a HUGE step in understanding, so I thought I’d share.
You see, before someone can accept Jesus, they have to see that He is different.
This is a great discussion to have, because many people are confused as to what Christianity really is about. Some say that Christianity is about love and being a good person, but that is not quite it. Here is a crash course, not that I am the expert, but have been learning for the past 14 years, and continue to learn. Here is the basis of what Christians believe, and it may shed some light on why we think it is the only way. (I really only can speak for myself, but these are pretty foundational doctrine in most Christian sects)
The foundation belief of Christianity is that God is purely good, and that we (humanity) can never become good enough on our own to be in the presence of a Holy God. This is as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. I can attest that I have moments every day that I am not quite measuring up to God’s goodness. Hell is simply an eternal place outside the presence of God, which is in itself tormenting and hopeless.
This was also the basis for the sacrificial system God gave the Jews, although the law would not accomplish true atonement, and they had to keep offering sacrifices on a regular basis.
God simply cannot be in the presence of sin (in other words, our shortcomings to His purity) So in His mercy, he sent Jesus, His son, and also God himself, to be the final sacrifice for our atonement. Jesus actually fulfilled the law of the Jews, and that is why we call him “the lamb of God.”
He suffered a horrible death, and had the sin of all humanity put upon Him at the moment of the crucifixion. Then, He conquered death by the Resurrection. All we need to do is accept that sacrifice and confess that we need Jesus to be put back into right relationship with God.
Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” There are countless other times in Scripture (and the Jewish/Secular historians of the day) where Jesus claims to be God, claims to be the Messiah, and claims to be the only way to the Father.
This exclusivity is directly contradictory to every other religion. So if I say I’m a Christian, and believe in Jesus, I must believe He is the only way, since He said so Himself. If He is not the only way, and God in the flesh, He must either be a great liar, or a complete lunatic. He cannot be a great teacher, because He said he WAS the Jews’ Messiah (and the Savior for the Gentiles), the only way for true atonement. Actually, I believe the Jews are God’s chosen people, and worthy of respect and admiration.
Also, if there were another way for mankind to be in right relationship with God, then why did Jesus die such a horrible death and be separated from His Father in those moments on the cross? If we didn’t need that, then why do it? Since He did, as supported by Scripture and other secular historical writings of the day, I believe He did it for me. And that is what makes me a Christian.
Hopefully, out of that relationship with Jesus, will come more ability to love, and be a better person, but I can’t do those things without Jesus.
So, when Christians say that Christianity is the only way, it’s not really an arrogant or judgmental thing, because what they are saying is that they themselves cannot attain holiness in themselves, and they need Jesus’ sacrifice.
Does that make sense?
I respect the right of others to believe however they wish, but personally, I couldn’t be a follower of Jesus if I didn’t think He was the only way for true atonement.
Have you ever had to explain to a person of another faith why you believe? This question is not just for Christians!