How to answer: ‘What about other religions?’

On Sundays at the moment we are focusing on and exploring ‘The Questions of Faith that People Ask.’ Here is the conclusion for the second question. Here are some ideas for answering the question ‘How can you claim there’s only one true religion?’ if it comes up in conversation.

1. If people tell the story of the blind men and the elephant, ask them: ‘How do you know it’s an elephant?’

2. People may say: ‘If you were born in, you’d be a Muslim not a Christian.’ But the same goes for the pluralist. ‘If you’d been born in Iran you wouldn’t be a pluralist.’ In other words, your belief that all religions are equal (or misguided) is as culturally and social conditioned as my belief in Jesus (more so since going to church is now a minority activity in our society).

3. Jesus claimed that he was the only way to God (John 14:6). If all religious roads lead to God then Jesus was a liar and Christianity is false. In which case, not all religions lead to God.

4. People sometimes ask if you fully investigated all religions before deciding to follow Christ. Two responses: (1) You don’t need comprehensive knowledge before you can be confident something is true. You don’t read every newspaper and interview multiple eye-witnesses before believing a sports result. (2) I didn’t decide Christianity was the best religion; Jesus laid claim to my life.

5. Ask people to define religion. Jesus is not another religious figure, but the end or opposite of all religion. Religion is about an upwards movement of humanity towards God. Jesus represents of downward movement of God towards humanity.

6. Because Jesus is God’s initiative towards humanity, the message of Jesus is a message of grace. It is not dependant on human achievement, but upon God’s gracious and completed work. So Jesus alone gives assurance of salvation.