There it is, right there, you guys.
The Way to the Father; to eternal life; to heaven.
I know that in society today, this is considered a very unpopular opinion. Actually, it’s probably considered “hate speech” more than it is, unpopular. With so many different religions and belief systems in place within our midst, it is considered in-tolerant to profess one Truth as absolute; as universal.
But still, there is only,
Tolerance has become predominate within our North American culture.
And it is good!
We live in very diverse nations, and with very differing, even contrasting, world views. We are a people of different races. We have diversified moral and spiritual views and we believe in different gods. We even have distinct, individual convictions within those specific beliefs. Within such a varied society, tolerance is absolutely necessary for us to co-exist together. Without tolerance, our nation would be ripped apart at the seams.
But I think tolerance is being taken out of context.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines tolerance as;
This definition would infer that we should have the ability to respect others for their differing beliefs without adopting them into our own.
“Tolerance means to tolerate or put up with differences. It means showing respect for the race, religion, age, gender, opinions, and ideologies of other people or groups. This concept means different things to different people, but it is when something is disagreeable that tolerance is expected.
There are many different ways to show tolerance. A person might fully disagree with others on any issue from religion to same sex marriage, while at the same time respecting those with different opinions and treating them with dignity and respect. Disagreement alone does not equal intolerance.”
But that’s the thing. Somewhere along the line, people have shifted their understanding of the word disagree, to equal intolerance. Tolerance it seems, is being confused with inclusivity. And I’m not just referring to this shift taking place within secular society. This view is becoming more and more conventional even inside some Christian organizations. Some believe that, if we disagree with another’s belief system; if we profess that there is only One Way to eternal life, we are being intolerant.
But this view is false. Especially within the Christian faith.
It has long been accepted in secular society, that there is more than one way to eternal life. And without the Bible as the plumb line for what is absolute Truth, this belief could be considered rational.
But as Christians, as children of the One, True God, our belief system is grounded, rooted, in the living, breathing Word of God. And according to that Word,
There is only one way.
Everything else is false.
Everything else is a lie.
For most of society, this view of Truth is considered very unloving.
But in actuality, the exact opposite is true.
You see, all other religions portray that we must earn our way into Heaven. If we’re good people, if we do good things, and if the good things we do outweigh the bad things we’ve done, we get to go to heaven. For some, this sounds appealing. It leads them to believe that they are the overseers of their own salvation. But not only is this a false belief, it is also a very heavy responsibility. How could we ever really know if the good things we’ve done outweigh the bad? What if we’ve done bad things we’ve forgotten about? And what if we haven’t done enough good things to off set the bad? There is no assurance of entry to heaven with that belief system.
By skewing the definition of tolerance to mean inclusivity, and in accepting this belief as an additional truth; agreeing that there are alternate ways into heaven, we are offering a false hope. We are virtually, deceiving people of the truth. “Christians” who, in the name of tolerance (some would even profess that it is in the name of love) are professing the feasibility that there are other roads that lead to eternal life, are doing a disservice to those who seek Truth.
This view of tolerance is not the answer.
It’s not even tolerance.
It’s a death sentence.
But if Jesus is the only way, well that changes everything.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” John 14:6
You see, Jesus offers the gift of salvation freely, to anyone who will receive it. He went to the cross to essentially wipe out all the bad things we’ve done.
.....no wondering if we’ll be able to do enough good things to warrant eternal life.
.....no wondering if the good will outweigh the bad.
If we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, and if we confess and turn from our sin, and if we choose to put our trust in Him, we get to go to Heaven. That’s it. We don’t have to earn our salvation.
By professing Jesus as the only way to salvation, we point people to the Truth. This my friends, is what real love looks like.
Tolerance is good.
It is essential even, to living amicably with one another here on this earth.
But tolerance is not the answer to giving people the hope of salvation.
The answer is Jesus.