One Way

By Not Known

Some say that there are many valid ways to God and that each can choose which to follow. Others teach that all ways to God are equally invalid, but that someone may as well believe what they want to believe anyway. (The first view is classic pluralism and the second is a post-modern view.)

Followers of both these views are apt to reject the following words of Peter: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Lest we think this is just Peter’s idea, consider the following texts: Jn 14:6 and 1 Tim 2:5.

This is the Bible’s teaching: there is a God and there is a reliable way back to fellowship with him and that way is only through Jesus.

Both the pluralist and the post-modern are offended by this and charge historic Christianity with intolerance and narrow-mindedness. In a sense, they are correct – but narrow mindedness is a virtue when it comes to ultimate truth.

Ironically, this apparent narrow-mindedness makes Christianity the most outward looking and missionary minded of all religions. Because Christians believe that only Jesus can save, they have been sacrificially active to ensure that others hear about him. Christ’s love compels us to tell others about Jesus. The pluralist and the post-modern really have no reason to reach out in love and tell anyone anything.

In today’s Bible passage (Acts 4) we see Peter taking a costly stand on this ‘one-way’ teaching. His insistence on telling this message led to a night in gaol, a police record and later was resulted in another arrest, charge sheet and a judicial beating (Acts 5:17-40).

Some are happy for us to talk about Jesus so long as we do not say that he is the ‘one-way’ or, that, in choosing for Jesus, they must choose against other religions. But talk we must! Of course, we will tell this message with respect and gentleness and never with coercion – our manner of talking about Jesus must be as loving as the message about Jesus.

Pray for grace that we will know how to talk about Jesus as the ‘one-way’ with clarity, sensitivity and love. Pray also for courage to talk, rather than take the comfortable way of not talking about Jesus at all or talking in a way that undermines the message of ‘one-way’.