There are 7 billion of us on the planet. And most of us believe there’s some kind of higher power. A God, a life force, an organizing principle, something beyond the ordinary that gives our lives meaning and purpose. We just disagree about what “it” is. That’s why we have over 4,000 religions. So how could Christians say that theirs just happens to be the one true religion? After all, Christianity is not the only religion that says “treat others the way you want them to treat you.” Most religions teach this same idea. So maybe, despite small differences, all religions teach the same thing. So they’re all true.
Let’s test this idea by comparing two worldviews. Buddhists and Christians agree that we should be kind to one another. But they disagree about God, Jesus, the universe, man’s origin, human nature, sin, salvation, life, death, destiny, meaning, and purpose.
In fact, no two religions agree about these very big ideas. So it’s not that most religions are basically the same with just a few small differences. It’s the opposite of that. The world’s religions have a few superficial similarities with many deep fundamental irreconcilable differences on core issues. It’s not logically possible for all religions to be true. However, it is possible that one of them gets it right. But if only one view is correct, that means all the other world religions are mistaken. This creates an awkward problem.
When Christians claim that theirs is that one religion that gets it right and all the others are wrong, aren’t they being non-inclusive and arrogant? The answer might surprise you. Whenever you say you believe something, you’re excluding something else. You’re being non-inclusive. Because you don’t believe the opposite of what you do believe. So, if you believe the Earth is a sphere, you’ve just excluded the idea that the Earth is flat. And if you believe that all people have equal dignity and worth, you’ve excluded the idea that there is just one supreme master race.
In the same way, Christians are exclusive about an idea. They believe Jesus Christ is the only door to eternal life. But notice, they’re not exclusive about people. On the contrary, they believe God loves every single one of us. Everyone is invited to enter through the door and be saved. Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved. Everyone who believes in me shall never die. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. God desires all people to be saved. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. You just can’t get anymore inclusive than that!
But are Christians being arrogant? Not at all. Suppose I think the matter over, consider the objections as carefully as I can, realize that I am finite, and furthermore a sinner, certainly no better than those with whom I disagree, and indeed inferior both morally and intellectually to many who do not believe what I do. But suppose it still seems clear to me that the proposition in question is still true. Can it be arrogant or morally wrong to continue to believe it? No.
Christians aren’t saying they’re better than other people. No, they’re simply saying that what they believe about Jesus is true. And notice this. Those that disagree think that what they believe is true, and that Christianity is not. Does this make them arrogant? No. All people have equal value. But all ideas do not. Some ideas are better than others. So, what do you believe is true?