Objection #1: Exclusivity Is Intolerant

Objection #1: Exclusivity Is Intolerant

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
–John 14:6

Why do people object to the idea that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved? Here is the first objection to the exclusivity of Christ: if you claim that Jesus is the only way to be saved, you are being intolerant. In today’s culture, the greatest virtue seems to be tolerance. But the term “tolerance” has undergone a radical transformation. Years ago, tolerance was simply respect for another person’s right to believe what they want to believe. Nobody would argue with that idea. We ought to respect people’s right to believe whatever they want to believe. People have the right to be wrong. In fact, our nation was founded on that principle because it reflects the nature of God. God gives us the freedom to believe whatever we want to believe. But today the word “tolerance” refers to this idea that all beliefs are equally valid. Thomas A. Helmbock, the executive vice president of the national Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, once wrote, “The definition of new . . . tolerance is that every individual’s beliefs, values, lifestyle, and perception of truth claims are equal. . . . There is no hierarchy of truth. Your beliefs and my beliefs are equal, and all truth is relative.”

Let me give you an illustration: A teacher is returning geography tests to her students, and one student notices that he missed only one question: What is the capital of New York? He had written, “New York City.” He raises his hand and says, “Teacher, I think you made a mistake. You counted my answer as wrong.” She says, “It is wrong. The capital of New York is Albany.” The student says, “That is your opinion, not mine.” Then he turns to the class and says, “How many of you thought New York City was the capital of New York?” Half of the class raises their hands. So he turns back to the teacher and says, “Why do you think your opinion is more important than our opinion?” A little bit later, the same student raises his hand again. He says, “Teacher, it’s too hot in here. Would you turn down the thermostat?” The teacher says, “That is your opinion, but I think the temperature is just right.” Who is right about the temperature? Obviously, no one is right, because there is no objective standard for what the right temperature is–that is subjective. But there is an objective standard for what the capital of New York is.

All major religions answer the question, What must I do to be right with God? But our culture has taken the answer to that question and moved it from the realm of objective truth to the realm of subjective truth. There is not one correct answer; instead, everyone’s opinion is equally valid. But in John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” The Bible is clear: not all beliefs are equally valid. There is only one way to be right with God, and that is through Jesus Christ.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Why Every Other Religion Is Wrong” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Thomas A. Helmbock, as quoted in Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, “The New Tolerance” (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1998), 19.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.