John 14:6 reminds us of this quote from Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Engaging in the Bible and reading that Scripture seems to point us in a very specific direction: toward Jesus to then reach God and His kingdom. Multitudes of people already know this Word, and even among different denominations and interpretations, this statement stands.
However, is Christianity the only “right” religion? So often, I find Christians very set in their ways. Perhaps they’re open-minded and want to learn about other world religions, but ultimately, their fate is questionable if not through Jesus…right?
People near and far connect with forms of spirituality, questioning the unknown and finding what truth resonates with them. But if that truth isn’t Christianity, what then? How do we respond?
Simply put, if we say Christianity is the only right religion, then we’re discrediting entire cultures and peoples. We’re practically condemning them to Hell unless they convert. We’re overlooking why other religions exist in the first place and why people continue to resonate with them.
Is Christianity the only right religion? Perhaps controversial, but I believe there’s truth in all religions. Regardless of which way you go, a genuine spiritual connection will all lead to the same God, now and forever.
what the Bible says.
Go to the Bible, and it has a clear answer to the question, is Christianity the only right religion? “Of course we’re the most correct ones!”
The Bible as far more examples of religious intolerance and exclusiveness than it does tolerance. In Acts 4:10-12, apostle Peter makes the dynamic between Christians and other spirituals quite clear: “then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
At any point in history, there has been religious diversity. The Bible’s Old Testament tends to paint that as the “pure” obedience to God of Israel, or the “tainted” practices of Baal worship and idolatry. Even if an Israelite deviated from God’s commandments, the punishment was brutal. Entire books detail David’s genocide and oppression of non-Jews.
The response to asking if Christianity is the only right religion then leads to evangelism. We go on mission trips, enter foreign communities and schools, and preach our Gospel. We do it out of love, but even the best intentions have negative consequences.
This mentality is also prevalent in the Bible: purporting Christianity to everyone so they believe, and we can save them all from a fiery demise. Paul expressed similar concerns in Galatians 4:8: “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.” Essentially, the Christian embodiment of God is the only guarantee of righteousness. Any other gods are false.
Therein lies where things turn pushy. This isn’t to devalue the important work missionaries can do in supporting underdeveloped communities. Instead, the issue resides in an attitude that whoever you’re teaching your religion to is misguided. Their ways are lacking. You should rebel against the life you already know. The missionary position thus turns into a haughty game of “us versus them.”
what’s true religious tolerance?
What does true religious tolerance look like? The definition of “tolerance” has evolved into more than simply acknowledging other beliefs than your own. It’s now also seeing other religions as truths.
Religions explore varying ideas and gravitate toward foreign-seeming concepts. Inevitably, there’s contradiction. As if Christianity and its many interpretations don’t already exhibit contradictory beliefs…
By examining Jesus’ words and actions, we can see His example of religious tolerance. In response to His disciples shaming a healer outside their group, Jesus said in Luke 9:50, “‘Do not stop him…for whoever is not against you is for you.'” If someone else’s beliefs aren’t causing harm, what’s the problem? They deserve the same respect as another Christian.
If anyone rejected Jesus’ teaching when He traveled among nearby villages, He refused to inflict violence. He simply moved on. He let them live their lives as they pleased. It’s okay to converse with, help, and love others of different faiths. To not only examine those beliefs from the outside, but to also experience them from an immersive perspective.
so…is Christianity the only right religion?
Believe what you may, but I think all religions inevitably lead to the same truth and connection to God. Some find their way through Jesus. Others, Muhammad. Others, Shiva and Ganesha. The list goes on. The most important aspect is to realize the power of spirituality and embody it through love and compassion for others.
There’s a reason why we’re drawn to certain ideas over others. In our hearts, we know what rings true for us and what fulfills that spiritual void we each possess. By respecting our innate purpose and calling, we will find salvation. We will embrace what’s right for us, even if it extends outside structured doctrine of one religion. A patchwork quilt of spirituality is okay.
The best way to describe this is “omnism“: the recognition and respect of all religions. Truth exists in each one. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to believe. Religion evolves throughout history to best represent those people in that generation. We can all coexist without pointing fingers and shunning one another.
Micah prophesied this future. While his people follow the Jewish manifestation of God, everyone else follows the other forms of God in peace and harmony: “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:4-5)
Maybe you’re not hopping on the omnist train. Most importantly, love one another. Respect other religions. Let them exist. Don’t force away other cultures and condemn their ways. Truly walk like Jesus in His treatment of other faiths.
Spirituality might take on various forms, but the language of love is universal.
What are your thoughts on Christianity as the only path to righteousness? Do you think other religions have truth? I’d love to discuss these ideas in the comments below.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie