In the late ‘90s, when I was the associate pastor here at BRBC ->WOGF, we took the whole church through an intensive gifts discovery program. During that process my primary gift was identified as “faith” rather than teaching, and that conclusion was buttressed by the fact that my faith was actually strengthened and sharpened throughout my public school and public university experience. Of course, that’s all to God’s glory; I have nothing about which to boast!
I bring it up because I keep seeing articles about how we as churches aren’t equipping our kids to deal with the stuff they see on the internet and hear in college. (Upwards of 80% are walking away during those years.) And it’s true I didn’t have the internet when I was in college, but I did hear all the same arguments against Christianity, the same assumptions that we would put away fairy-tales now that we were at university. And yes, my faith never wavered…. But I wonder now if it was not as much a spiritual gift so much as that I came from an era when we were taught to think. Beloved, belief in Jesus is a matter of faith. The exclusivity of our belief in Jesus, which is the primary line of attack the enemy uses, is only logical. Consider this overview of the argument from a Giesler lecture:
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (by Christian Post reporter Jessica Martinez) – Evangelical scholar and Southern Evangelical Seminary co-founder Norman Geisler spoke on the pluralistic aspect of Christianity at the school’s 20th annual Christian Apologetics Conference last weekend and answered the question of whether there are several ways to God.
Religious pluralism is the belief that all religions are true and that all faith-based roads lead to heaven. Geisler focused his message on the Biblical passage of Acts 4:12, which states that salvation is only found in Jesus Christ and no one else.
“Jesus is the only way because the Bible says it to be true,” said Geisler. “Why? Because only He can bridge the gap between God and man; there’s no other way.”
He said that, although it seems narrow to suggest that Jesus is the only way, the notion holds true while adding that it is logically possible, historically probable, biblically necessary and morally justifiable that He is the only way to heaven.
“All views can’t be true because all views are opposite; this is the logical aspect. For example, Islam says we are good in nature; Christianity says we are born in sin. Islam says God is a man; Christianity says He is more than a man, He is God, all truths can’t be the same,” said Geisler.
Historically speaking, Geisler said Jesus is proven to be the only way to God because Christianity is a form of exclusivism, meaning the belief that only one religion is true and others opposed to it are false. He emphasized that the Bible has been the world’s bestselling book, and that Jesus has the most followers in the world compared to other religious figures. In addition, he noted that Jesus’ principles have been admired by people, including non-Christians, for many years.
“Only Jesus has prophecies made hundreds of years in advance made literally true. Only He did miracles. Only His immediate followers claimed He died and rose from the dead, so in comparison, He comes out superior to other great religious leaders,” said Geisler.
The SES co-founder also said that any person who believes in the Bible needs to believe that Jesus is the only way because the Bible itself mandates all of God’s followers to uphold its teachings.
Regarding moralism, he said there are several moral objections that exist regarding Jesus as the only way to God, including the view that Christianity as an exclusive religion is unjust. However, Giesler said everyone has the light of God, the general revelation in nature and in conscience, to know that His truth is morally righteous.
“Pluralism is denied logically, inclusivism is denied scripturally, and that leaves us with exclusivism… You have to know that Jesus died and believe in it in order to be saved,” said Giesler.
Beloved, we have to teach our kids (and ourselves) to think logically and then we have to teach them this type of logic. Yes, it’s important that they love Jesus and it’s important that they know Scripture but, if they can’t think, don’t send them to college or even let them surf that web unsupervised. I’m dead serious!
Feelings are fine for love songs and poetry, but they are too easily manipulated to be in the driver’s seat of our lives. – Jeremiah 17:9
Pastor Scott – post-pandemic thoughts