Is Christianity Exclusive?

Separate Paths!One of the most common challenges I hear from people who are critical of Christianity is the idea that it is "exclusive." While I have already written about Jesus being the "only way" to heaven, today I want to address a somewhat different angle of this challenge.

In addition to many people feeling as though it is arrogant to claim the Jesus is "the only way," I have also heard it said that not only is this claim arrogant, but that it is arrogant to claim that Christians actually have the truth in such matters.

Is it really arrogant for a Christian to claim to know the Truth about salvation (or eternal life)? In fact, I think it is exactly the opposite. It seems to me that it is the other religious belief systems which are arrogant and Christianity is far more humble. Let's take a look at that a bit more closely.

When it comes to other religious systems, whether Buddhism or Mormonism or Islam or what have you, a key component of these other systems is that the adherent must "do" certain things in order to "earn" whatever the highest goal of their faith is. These other systems require that, to some degree, a person must do "works" in order to earn (at least to some degree) salvation or nirvana, etc.

On the other hand, when it comes to Christianity, nobody is claiming to have the exclusive Truth in and of themselves. What we claim is that we have a Truth that has been passed down through the centuries. How is it arrogant to claim that the Truth has been passed down from others to billions of people all over the world? I don't claim to have Truth exclusive from all other people at all other times all over the world. That probably would be arrogant.

Not only is the knowledge we have from someone else, but our salvation is from someone else as well. Unlike other faiths, Christianity is the only one that realizes that salvation has nothing to do with us, what we can do, what we can earn or what we deserve. Recognizing that fact is, if anything, motivation for humility rather than arrogance.

It is an extremely humbling thing to realize that we deserve a fate of eternal separation from God, that there is nothing we can possibly do to change that fate, but that the God of the universe loves us so much that He takes the initiative to change that fate for us. We do nothing. God does everything. Unless I am missing something, I cannot imagine how this could be viewed as arrogant in any way.

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