God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Monday, January 4, 2021

Is It Arrogant To Claim That Jesus Is The Only Way?

Is Christianity arrogant to claim that Jesus Christ is the only way to God?

Jesus is the only way to God- Meme credit: Knights of the Light
An Arrogant Claim or An Arrogant Christian?

One of the most common concerns about Christianity is its claim of exclusivity. In today's world it is considered evil to not be inclusive of everyone and everything. To show such intolerance is the epitome of arrogance. Many people use the presence of such intolerance and arrogance as a defeater for Christianity, meaning that they reject its truth claims because along with those truth claims comes the claim to be the exclusive way to God. There are a few things to consider when examining this challenge, though.

Arrogance is a characteristic of a person not a claim.

The first thing to consider is that the character of a presenter has no bearings on the truth of the claim he or she is making. The claim is either true or false, and that must be judged based upon how that claim matches up against the evidence provided by reality. A person can be arrogant, but their claim cannot. We must be able to separate a person's claim from their character, and test each accordingly. A person's claims need to be tested against reality, and a person's character needs to be tested against an objective standard of morality (impossible, if God does not exist, by the way).

A person can make false claims and be arrogant. They can make false claims and be humble. They can make true claims and be humble, and they can even make true claims and be arrogant. A person's character can, indeed, be a powerful distraction, but we want to reject the false claims regardless of the person's character, and we want to accept the true claims regardless of their character. So we must focus on testing the claim. We should allow our minds to accept what is true because it accurately reflects reality, and we should allow our minds to reject what is false because it does not accurately reflect reality.


Arrogance is mistakenly confused with falsehood.

The second thing to consider is that this challenge tends to come from an assumption that is not often at the forefront: that multiple ways to God do, in fact, exist. If multiple ways to God exist, then to claim that the other ways do not get to God would not necessarily be arrogant (see above), but they would definitely be false. In the context of multiple ways to God, then it could be accurately said that the Christian is making a false claim.

But, Christianity does not grant that multiple ways to God exist. And if Christianity accurately reflects reality, then multiple ways to God do not exist. Since it can be evidentially demonstrated that Christianity accurately reflects reality, then by necessary implication, reality does not permit multiple ways to God. This is not an arrogant claim; it is simply a true claim. A true claim that is true for everybody even if nobody believes it, regardless of the character of those who claim it.

Arrogant Christians exist and humble Christians exist. Some Christians can and do present the exclusivity of our worldview in an arrogant way, but if their character is too much of an emotional distraction, look for a Christian who will present the evidence humbly. Do not let a Christian's obnoxious attitude deter your search for truth.

The distraction of an arrogant Christian could be a cover for our own arrogance.

The third thing to consider is that perhaps it is not the arrogance of the Christian or the alleged arrogance of the Christian worldview that is the distraction from investigating the claims of Christianity. Perhaps it is the arrogance of the person raising the challenge that is preventing them from being committed to truth. If we are arrogant in our rejection of God's one option, then we will gladly use a Christian's arrogant presentation of that one option as an excuse to reject that one option. Our rejection of the Christian's claim based on their arrogance serves to distract ourselves and others from our own arrogance. However, if we are humble and committed to discovering the truth no matter the cost, then even a Christian's arrogance will not prevent us from investigating their claims despite their character flaw. 

God is neither intolerant nor arrogant for providing a way to Him.

A fourth thing to consider is that there is a problem with humans in general that undergirds this challenge: no matter how many options we have, we always want more. If God had given us ten ways to Him, we'd want eleven; if He'd given us one million ways, we'd demand one million and one. This is evident by the continuous invention of new religions throughout history. New religions wouldn't be concocted if the available options were satisfactory to us. So, I am inclined to think that no matter what option was provided to a person who makes this complaint, it would never satisfy them. At that point they may then complain that God has made Himself impossible to reach, when the truth is that they have made God impossible to reach by not being satisfied with the options provided.

Conclusion

When a person raises this challenge, they need to consider the real possibility that they are not concerned with restoring a relationship with their Creator for eternity, but that they are concerned with their own desires for the few decades of this life only, many of which are likely contradictory to God's moral nature. If a person is most concerned with restoring their relationship with God for eternity, they will gladly do so on God's terms even if those terms do not align with their own short-sighted desires. It is only necessary that God provides one option for those who truly seek Him because that one option will be sufficient and embraced no matter the cost to a few short decades in this imperfect world. If God did not provide any way to Him, that would be intolerant and arrogant.

However, He has provided one way to Him: Jesus Christ. The facts that one way is available and that we can choose to accept it or reject it means that God has given us two options. It is time for us to deny ourselves (including any possible arrogance that we have), take up our cross and follow Christ- we must surrender our desires to the commitment to truth.

We are blessed that a way of restoration to God has been provided, even if there is only one way, there is still a way. This way is available to all who wish to be humble and not arrogant (the very claim they are complaining about) and accept their brokenness and the way that was provided by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you are willing to judge the claims of Christianity by how its claims are supported by the evidence that is provided by our world, I encourage you to start with this post: Did The Historical Jesus Rise From The Dead? Be sure to check the links below to several scholars who have researched the evidence.


Follow Faithful Thinkers On Social Media

For even more articles, books, podcasts, videos, and other resources on Jesus' Resurrection, there are several websites that I highly recommend:

1 comment:

  1. I found this article to be well written, insightful, and most importantly, TRUE! I'll be saving it for future reference. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

****Please read my UPDATED post Comments Now Open before posting a comment.****