In a recent blog post Albert Mohler discussed a book by R. Kirby Godsey called Is God a Christian? Let me say that I have not read the book and I am only going on what Mr. Mohler said about it and quoted from it—but even if it is not an accurate picture of Mr. Godsey’s arguments, it certainly is of others we will come across.
In his post, Mr. Mohler quotes Mr. Godsey as writing, “Most Christians assume that Christianity is the one and only religion that is God-inspired and that carries the imprimatur of God’s blessing.” Mr. Mohler then says how Godsey opposes that assumption and argues that, “the stakes for mankind have grown too high for any of us to engage our faith as if our understanding of God represents the only way God’s presence may be known in the world.”
On the surface this argument which Mr. Godsey purportedly puts forth sounds so comforting for those who know and love non-Christians. It sounds kind and “tolerant.” It sounds humble, “Yeah, who are we to claim we have the only way?” But, it is a devastating path for a Christian to go on—and one we MUST recognize and be able to teach our children to recognize.
Fundamentally, as with evolution, the justification of homosexuality as a pleasing lifestyle before God, or any other thing we have created contrary to the Bible, the argument reportedly put forth by Mr. Godsey is one more attack on the Bible as the written and inspired and accurate record of God’s words to us. And, when we start to lose that place of authority in our own heart that the Bible is God’s word to us, from Genesis 1:1 to the end of Revelation, we lose the very foundation of our faith. This is why I am such a supporter of defenses of the Creation account—because the devil doesn’t care where he begins to cast doubt in our heart about the Bible . . . he will eventually take that doubt and move it to the gospel. We can not take these things lightly as Christians, and as those commissioned to pass the baton on to the next generation.
Let me first say that Romans makes it clear that God is known to all men through Creation. So much so that men are without excuse for denying God. Rom 1:19-20 says: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. So, in that sense, our faith is not the only way God’s presence may be known in the world. With that I don’t argue. That is why, I believe, so many religions carry the same themes, the same types of stories in their heritage, etc.—because, at their core, they are “God-inspired” by our innate knowledge that He is real and our seeking to give Him shape and definition.
So, I do believe that many religions have a true sense of God’s reality and presence . . . but, from that point, Christianity makes a unique claim, and it is based on the words of the Bible. In it Jesus says that He is the way—that no one comes to the Father except through Him. The parable of the minas makes it clear that at His return those who didn’t want Him as their King will be cast out. On and on we could go, quoting verses that make it clear that if we don’t come to God through the cross then we are not going to stand before Him. All of these claims come from a common origin—the Bible. And the Bible makes it pretty clear that there is only one way. So, there really isn’t room, if we believe the Bible to the accurate word from God, to accept multiple paths to God.
Of course, and here’s the rub, if we don’t believe the Bible to be the word of God then each can define their own path and what “feels right” to them and come up with their own brand of faith and religion that “resonates” with them. Of course, the slippery slope of that, is that there are no absolutes and such a relativism is a catastrophic place for a society to fall in to. There are many people who assert they are Christians who don’t believe that Jesus is the only way. I must ask, “If there was another way then what Father, who loved His Son, would subject Him to the cross?” If there was another way, than do we have multiple, alternative “Saviors”? Often it is these same Christians who will define right and wrong in society totally contrary to the Bible’s words . . . and I have to ask, how do they define the faith? Where do they derive their doctrine?
No, Christianity is based upon the Bible as the doctrinal foundation of our faith. It is one of the most primary ways God reveals Himself and His ways and His path to us. And it is clear that, in what God has chosen to reveal to us, Jesus is the only way. To reject that is to reject the Bible. To reject the Bible is to reject the faith—or to create a faith based on one’s own feelings or ideas and call it “Christianity”. That is arrogance, I believe.
It strikes me that, beyond the inspired recognition that there is a God, if Christianity is not the only God-inspired religion then it isn’t God-inspired at all because it can’t be God-inspired and be wrong, and if it is right it doesn’t leave room for other ways. I don’t see how the two can be reconciled.
Note: It is not arrogant for us to claim we have the only way. We aren't claiming it like we are some super brains who "figured it out." It is actually a very humble claim which says, in faith, "I don't have a way on my own, I trust God and His Bible to have shown me this." It is simply faith in what we believe God says. He makes the claim, we don't. We just repeat it.