It’s very politically correct nowadays to say that all ways lead to God. Your view, my view and their view are all equally true, and to say otherwise is extremely offensive.
This offends me.
This first and foremost offends my intellect because it simply doesn’t make sense. If I believe in Christianity, you believe in Islam, they believe in Buddhism, and then my next door neighbor decides that worshiping a candy cane will get them into a candy cane forest paradise for all eternity, there is no way that all of these things are simultaneously true. Why do we pretend like they are? “Oh it’s only the biggest and most important question you will face for your entire lifetime…let’s be so immature about it, not wanting to offend anyone, that we aren’t even able to talk logically, making comparisons and contrasts, and God forbid, disagree and still be cordial to one another!” How did we ever come to think that disagreeing was the most abominable thing in the world? Disagreement is seen as a way to sharpen, critique and pursue further study in almost every other educational field in the world, except for religion, where we must all pretend like everything we believe is the same, therefore go ahead and belief anything you want and if say otherwise, you are breaking the rules. This doesn’t make sense.
My concept of fairness is also offended by the idea that all ways lead to God. This idea (pluralism/universalism) states that “All views are valid. If you say only your view is valid (and others are wrong), you are being exclusive and being exclusive is the worst and most horrible thing in the world.” What this statement is actually doing is excluding anyone who holds a view they think is true in comparison to other views, which includes pluralists! Their own thesis incriminates themselves. If exclusion is the worst thing imaginable, pluralists have excluded anyone who holds a view as true (e.g. Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc.)–shame on those pluralists for being so exclusive!! Well, their own shame at least. You can’t dish out shame on people who are being exclusive without applying the same shame to yourself. “Only the non-exclusives are right, everyone else is wrong and bad and evil.” Stop excluding me with your exclusive view of non-exclusivity.
Beyond my concept of fairness and my intellect being offended (insulted) by the idea that all ways lead to God, my true offense goes much deeper and is much more painful than this. When you say this, you are telling the person that I love more than anything in the entire universe that everything they have done to show their love to me, all the pain they endured, all the great lengths they sacrificed for me so we could be in a relationship together, all of this was unneeded and worthless.
If all ways lead to God, why oh why oh why would Jesus have had to have come and die a brutal death on the cross and be raised from the dead three days later? Who would possibly invent a religion like this just for fun? Why would he, God, have had to come to earth at all, let alone be brutally killed on the cross? Like he had nothing better to do. If believing in a candy cane forest, or in the philosophies of Buddhism, or in pluralism all get us to same place, why did Jesus do what Jesus did?
Jesus is not a philosophy or a set of beliefs or a vision that appeared to someone. He is a person who loves me and who I love intensely. Telling me that all religions are the same is like telling me that my love for my wife and hers for me means nothing and that it’s just as valid as the way I feel toward any other woman in the world. Which means it has no value at all!
Jesus is actually the only God is the entire sphere of religion that offers unmerited forgiveness to those who will receive it. He’s the only God that took the punishment of sinners on himself, so that sinners could be reunited with a holy God.
But pluralists will tell you it’s all the same…
Jesus being God or Jesus not being God, those are the same.
Jesus raising from the dead or not raising from the dead, those are the same.
God offering you forgiveness because he already paid the punishment your sins deserve on the cross when he died an innocent death in your place or God expecting you to earn his favor by being good enough in your own efforts, those are the same.
Come on culture, can we please grow up? None of these things are the same. I have full respect for you if you disagree with me and you don’t believe Jesus is God and you don’t believe he resurrected from the dead, but do not tell me all of these things are the same.
If pluralism is true, you can do whatever you want with zero accountability to anyone. You can be your own god and make all of your own rules without worrying about what a holy God thinks while still having a cloak of “spirituality” over you to give you false senses of assurance. It’s as simple as that. Not making a choice has very little to do with intellectual or spiritual struggle and very much to do with the personal pride of loving our sin and wanting to do whatever we want, but still naively and foolishly thinking we will go to heaven nonetheless.
Something is going to happen to all of us when we die. It will not be a candy cane forest for one, heaven with Jesus for another, nirvana for another, and worm food for the other.
Make a choice.
Your eternal life depends on it.
- Ep. 92: Ken Wytsma on Chronic Pain, Compassion Fatigue, and a Theology of Suffering - February 5, 2024
- Ep. 91: Control & Hope Beyond Our Circumstances - December 13, 2023
- Ep. 90: Juanita Rasmus on Learning to Live in the Unmerited Love of God - November 10, 2023