Is Christianity Too Narrow?

Week Four

Giving Direction

If you urgently needed the most direct route to get to the hospital from our Keslinger campus, wouldn’t it be a kindness for me to give you those directions? If I knew the answer, and you needed to know the answer, wouldn’t it be helpful for me to give you the answer as clearly and as quickly as possible?

But what if, instead, I said something like: I don’t want to impose on you my own view of how to find the hospital. Who’s to say that my way is the best way? There are many ways you could get there, you really need to find your own way. If you were in need of getting to the hospital as quickly as possible, this kind of answer would not be tolerant, it would be terrible!

If someone has a need, and you have the ability to point them to the solution to their need, it is a kindness to do so.

Is Christianity Too Narrow?

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In this verse, Jesus stated clearly that he is the one, exclusive path to God.

Jesus’ claim to be the only path to God would be intolerant and narrow, if it weren’t true. If Jesus is the only way to God, it is a kindness to say so. In this week’s video, one of the speakers asked the question: Is narrow always intolerant? “Narrow,” he said, “can be clear, decisive, and attainable.” If you know what must be done in order to make humans right with God, wouldn’t it be good, loving, and gracious to share that information?

The God of the universe has the right to define the rules. You have to decide whether or not you believe Jesus is telling the truth, but you can’t contest his right to claim that he is the way to God.

To return to the analogy of giving directions: to get to hospital from our Keslinger campus, you’re going to want to head east on Keslinger and turn left just before you get to Randall Rd. You will need to determine whether or not you believe me, but either way, I have the right to claim that this is the way to get there.

What would be the best way to figure out if I’m telling the truth? Get in your car and try to follow the directions, you’ll know soon enough whether or not I’m telling the truth. In the same way, we can test Jesus’ truth claims by trying them out.

How do we try out the claim of Jesus to be the way the truth and the life? We try it out by examining the claims that Jesus made.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)

Jesus said that in order to have eternal life, to be saved, and to not be condemned: you must believe in Jesus, that he is the Son of God. This sort of belief is not just intellectual agreement, it is the sort of belief that changes your entire way of living. If Christianity is the truth, and if Jesus is the only way to God, it isn’t intolerant to say so. It is a kindness to point people to the information that could save them from condemnation.

 

Laura Tarro

Director of Chapelstreet Groups

ltarro@chapelstreetchurch.com