Have you ever had one of those REALLY awkward moments?
I had one last week. I was in the local coffee shop having coffee with a couple from the church. Our conversation turned to faith and religion – specifically difference between Christianity and other faiths. I talked about Islam and Christianity and some of the difference between them.
Then the awkward moment came.
Apparently the dude in the booth behind us was a Muslim.
He came up, said a couple words in Arabic, then sarcastically said, “Brother, it’s good to hear your views on Islam.” Then he walked away. He was clearly unhappy with me.
But that doesn’t change my mind. I have a problem with Islam. Islam has a problem with me. Please don’t turn this into a race or patriotic issue. This is a biblical issue.
It’s really quite simple and can be summed up in one word:
The distinction between Christianity and all other faith groups is the idea that our path to God is found through Christ. There is no other road walk.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26)
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
This is my problem with Islam – it’s an attempt to find God apart from Jesus. Some claim that everyone will find God in their own way as long as they are faithful to their beliefs. This is contrary to Christian belief. The idea that everyone will get there on their own is called Universalism.
I’ve been accused of being a Universalist.
In my post You’re Not Really Saved I talked about how Christian behavior is not as rigid as some would like to believe. There is a wide variety of behavior people engage in and can still be Christian.
People accused me of being a Universalist, of throwing Christian morality out the window. Not so. Universalism says that everyone will get to God on their own. My view is that there is only one way to God – through Jesus. We come to Jesus with all sorts of brokenness. It is when we begin our spiritual journey with Jesus that we start living out a new life. We don’t always come to the same conclusions about what is “proper Christian behavior” but we have the same foundation – Jesus Christ.
After reading my post about Christian behavior an atheist asked me if Hitler was then saved. In the sense described above (the exclusivity of Jesus) Hitler, who was not a believer in Jesus as the only way, will not spend eternity in the presence of God. The same is true for Muslims, Hindus, Jedi, or any other faith group.
This is the fundamental problem that authentic, biblical Christianity will always have with the world. And the world will have a problem with biblical Christianity. It’s that exclusivity that bugs people.
But I didn’t make it up.