Just because Christians believe that there is only one way to God doesn’t automatically mean that they are arrogant or intolerant (although there have been many times that Christians haven’t communicated their message graciously). Tolerance means respecting and loving somebody who thinks and acts differently from you, not because you agree with them but because you value them as a human. You don’t have to agree with somebody to respect and love them. It was Jesus himself that taught us to love all people despite our differences, even when they hate us. Matthew 5:43-48
Some of these ideas come from the 'Exclusive Faith' episode in the Towards Belief series by Olive Tree Media. Click here to rent or buy the related video or get in touch to see if there's a free series running near you.
Everybody thinks they are right. Atheists believe that there is no God, and think that anyone who believes in God is wrong. Universalists believe that there are many ways to God, and think that religions that claim only one way to God (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) are wrong. However, stating that a religion is wrong because it makes exclusive claims is itself an exclusive claim.
If something really is true, then anything that contradicts that must be false. All the world religions can’t be completely right, since they say different things about history, morality, salvation and the character of God. Some religions believe that there is an impersonal spiritual force or many gods. Other belief systems claim that there is no god and everything exists by chance. Muslim, Jewish and Christian people believe that there is one infinite and personal God – but how God relates to people differs between those faiths.
Jesus clearly set himself apart from all other religions when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 There are similarities and shared values between religions, but no other faith claims that God became one of us and made a way to give us full acceptance from God. In other religions, people must earn peace with God. In Christianity, we are freely and generously given peace with God when we trust in Jesus. Erwin McManus describes it this way: “Every other religion was me chasing after God; the message of Jesus was God chasing after me.”