I recently discovered the blog of John Shore, and the first thing I read was a coffee shop conversation he listened to between an evangelizing Christian and a guy he described as “Wasn’t Having Any.” The discussion was over John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” W.H.A. asserted that Jesus was not saying that only Christians were going to heaven, and that many Christians have abused that verse to claim it means something Christ didn’t say. Click the link below to read the whole conversation; the responses are good too.
A few days later, W.H.A. responded to the post and comments left by readers. What he wrote in response is found here. Here is what I had to say:
As an evangelizing Christian, I do not dismiss every other faith system as being totally wrong and way off the mark. The three major world religions are Christianity, Islam and Judaism. These three are very closely related, and all contain a great deal of truth. Orthodox Jews believe a Messiah is promised in the Hebrew Scriptures, they just didn’t believe it was Jesus. All of the first Christians WERE IN FACT JEWS, a point that many Christians miss today. Muslims pretty much believe in the same Old Testament as Christians, with some difference in which son of Abraham is the son of promise. They hold Jesus in high regard as a prophet and teacher.
It is not in ignorance nor arrogance that I insist believers in Christ has exclusive rights to heaven. I believe the verse in John 14 means that those who come through Christ will enter heaven; he says anyone trying to enter another way is a thief and a robber. Colossians one describes Jesus as the “image of the invisible God,” and Jesus himself says that if you’ve seen him you’ve seen the father. Jesus is the revelation of God to mankind, and only those who accept Jesus as such will see Heaven. I represent Christianity as exclusive because Jesus Christ represents it as exclusive. It was a good point made earlier that every other major faith system sees itself as exclusive also.