Exclusivity– The teaching that Jesus is the only way to God.
“I am absolutely against any religion that says one faith is Superior to another. I don’t see how that is anything different than spiritual racism.”
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
“My position is that all great religions are fundamentally equal.”
“One of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe there’s only one way. Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to God.”
Atop the Mountain
- God is at the top of the mountain
- Many sides to the mountain –Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Buddhism
- Each side presents an equally legitimate path to the same destination
In contrast to this optimistic image, Christianity claims that the only true and valid way to God.
Exclusive Claims about what’s at the Peak
First problem, the God at the Top of the mountain picture is not as simple as it sounds. For starters, many religions are exclusive in their definitions of who the God atop of the mountain peak is.
Exclusive Claims about the Path
Second problem, is that religions are also exclusive when it comes to how people make their way up the mountain to God. The journeys to the peak are as diverse as the peaks themselves.
Exclusive Claims about Hiking Practices
A third problem comes from each religion’s specific teaching about God’s will for our lives.
Inclusivity verses Exclusivity
Inclusivism –all religions are true.
- In the world of science, this does not work.
- In the world of logic, this does not work –
- The Law of Non-contradiction- two opposite ideas cannot be true at the same time.
“We all agreed on the statement if Christians are right about Jesus being God, the Muslims and Jew fail in a serious way to love God as God really is, but if Muslims and Jews are right that Jesus is not God but rather a teacher or a prophet, then Christians fail in a serious way to love God as God really is.”
The Irony of Inclusivity
Which Path is Right?
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6