Jun 28, 2022
Tribes usually think a lot of themselves. Exclusive groups are sometimes arrogant. Even whole nations can be this way. In the 19th century, several European countries felt they were the descendants of the first people in the world.
With religion, this can be infinitely worse. With Christianity, critics often say the exclusive nature of it is just unfair. They cite the Christian view that the only way to be reconciled to God is through Jesus Christ, and say that's degrading to people of other faiths, or those with no faith. Other worldviews claim to have truth and a few claim a superior view of the world, but none are quite like the Christian faith.
Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." All meaning all. That's the meaning of the verse, and this is offensive to a lot of people. Christianity though, doesn't force itself on anyone, at least not in the modern world. It's been said that the holy spirit is a gentleman, meaning he won't force a person to yield to God. Instead, God offers grace to all who want it.
Paul made it clear in particular that in order to be born again, one must believe in Jesus Christ. Rather than see this as exclusive, maybe we should change our perspective just a little and see how inclusive it really is. Many religions claim truth, but not absolute truth. Along with that, many believe all religions lead to God, but the totality of scripture tells us clearly that it is in Jesus that we find the truth, and satisfy the longing in our souls.
In John 8:31–32, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." So you see, far from being a hateful dominant view, the Christian faith shows people everywhere how to be free from sin. Not a work-spaced religion, but one that makes the very most of God's grace and that is true truth.
Let's pray. Father God, your Word is truth. In it, we discover who we are and what our relationship with you can be. Thank you that you haven't left us in the dark about our world and the world beyond. In Jesus' name. Amen.