Friday, October 20, 2006
One Way or Many?
I have been doing a little bit of reading about whether or not religious truth is relative or whether there has to be one solid truth. I most definitely believe there is one truth (The only way to God is through Jesus Christ's death on the cross, burial and resurrection). Here is an article I found as to why there can only be one way not many.
Why Is Christian Doctrine Exclusivist?
by Daryl E. Witmer
Perhaps the simplest answer to the question above is: "Because Christian doctrine is true, and all truth is exclusivist." If something is true, then it's opposite must be 'excluded' as false.
Another answer: "For the same reason that all religions either directly or implicitly hold that their teaching and position is exclusively correct."
Hindus with whom I have met have claimed that their faith is really "open source" Â that any and all religions can be a valid way to God. But they have then explained that position to mean that the evangelical Christian view about Jesus being the only way to heaven is wrong and unacceptable.
I once served as pastor of a congregation meeting in a building owned by the Unitarian-Universalist Association (UUA). The UUA publicly made much of the fact that they were all-inclusive, welcoming everyone. But one day they went to court to seek the eviction of those of us who held that Christ alone is the way of salvation. It seems their inclusivism had limits.
Did you know that Islam is also exclusivist? The Qur'an (3:85) says: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost."
Kenneth Wapnick of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles recently disparaged the world of "absolute truth" and "seeming certainty" where 2+2 always equals 4 as being "wrong-minded." He denunciated a world that "follows specific laws and is regulated by adherence to form..." He rather advocated a change in our belief that there even is such a thing as a 1+1=2 reality. But one wonders if he is "absolutely" "certain" of that.
The reason that even those being critical of doctrinal exclusivity end up being exclusivist themselves is because truth itself is exclusive. No one can live consistently in a world where 1+1= anything that you want it to be. And any good student of comparative religion will tell you that every significant religious system, not just Christianity, assumes an exclusivist doctrinal stance to one extent or another. God is either one with creation as monists claim, or He is not. You can't have it both ways. Either Jesus was merely human as Jews claim or He was fully God. You can't have it both ways. Either Moroni was an angel of truth as the Mormons claim or he was not. You can't have it both ways. Either there is no such thing as objective moral sin as New Age thought suggests, or there is such a thing. You can't have that both ways. Either Christ really was historically crucified and raised from the dead as Christians teach, or He wasn't, as Muslims claim. You can't have that both ways.