Is Christianity Closed-Minded? (Acts 4:10-11)

Acts 4:11-12

 

11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 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.”

 

            With the rise of the media brouhaha over Brit Hume’s comments calling Tiger Woods to turn to the Christian faith, many have again begun thinking about whether or not it is appropriate for Christians to  present Christianity as a superior alternative to other religions.  The common media position in this issue is that it is arrogant for any religious group to assume that their religion of choice is in any way superior to the religious choices of others.  (Do not confuse the discussion between denominations and religions here.  Baptist and Presbyterian are denominations of Christianity, not separate religions as long as they point to salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ.)

 

            The fact is, however, that the idea of an exclusivistic view of religion is both logical and biblical.  On the logical front, simply think this through:  If I thought that another religion was superior to my own, ought I not convert to that religion instead of continuing to hold to a religion that I believe to be inferior?  (Trevin Wax also makes this argument in a nice post).  Christians, stop being embarrassed by a person who says something like, “You think your religion is better than theirs.”  Of course you think your religion is better.  Anyone who believes his position to be the weaker position, but who for some reason continues to hold that admittedly weaker position is a fool. 

 

            Besides, the claim that we should believe all religions to be equal is itself an exclusivistic claim.  The faulty logic goes like this: 

 

P:  All claims to religious superiority are evil.

P:  My religious choice is to believe all religions equal.

C:  My religious choice is superior to those that claim theirs to be superior.

    

 

Um, when we look at the argument from this point of view, we see that those who claim to be the most open-minded are really only open to those whose minds are open in the same way that theirs are open.  Everyone believes that their particular point of view is superior, even those who claim that there is no superiority, as they are claiming that the view that there is no religious superiority is superior.

 

            But the fact is, Christians, we do not take our view of our faith from philosophy anyway.  Regardless of how logical is the point that there is an exclusivity to what is right, the question for the Christian is:  Does the Bible make an exclusive case for Christianity as opposed to other faiths?  The answer is a resounding affirmative.  Look simply at Peter’s words to the people in Acts 4.  His words simply cannot be misconstrued, can they?  There is no other name than the name of Jesus in which people can find salvation.  There is no other belief system, no other philosophical structure, no other faith strategy that someone can use through which they can find genuine peace with God.  The claim is as black and white as it can possibly be.  There is only one path to forgiveness, and that path is faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

 

            Christians, let’s stop allowing the world to call us arrogant for believing that we have the only right way to God.  Our position is logical and biblical.  And just in case you are afraid that the supposedly open-minded news media are somehow more progressive and better thinkers than we are, let’s remember that they are claiming the same superiority that they condemn us for claiming.  We all think we’re right, even those who say that nobody knows who is right or that nobody is right.  So, let’s be honest and biblical, and let’s keep pointing people to Jesus, the only way that anyone will ever find salvation.

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