This week’s post brings me to a third question that is either asked or implied on a frequent basis. That is, why are Christians so exclusive in their beliefs? It could be reworded something along the lines of ‘What’s wrong with pluralism?’ or ‘Why so narrow minded?’
“It’s like you Christians have decided what you think and now, that’s that.”
Actually, it’s not really just Christians who are like that.
Try walking up to someone who claims to be very open minded and asking them if you can talk to them about Christianity. You could get a door shut in your face, a slightly superior smirk before rejection or even a ‘talk to the hand’ gesture.
Perhaps not so open minded after all.
But back to the Christians. What’s wrong with pluralism? Why not a bunch of gods? Well, because of the Jesus guy. He said so.
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Which loosely translated means that Jesus is the only one who gives you access to God. This makes perfect sense when you realise that Christians believe Jesus is God. Every other religion has someone who is just a human being. How can they gain access?
This doesn’t mean that Christians always disagree with everything that is a part of other religions. It’s just that we view it through the ‘Jesus lens’ and try to follow his example… for example:
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Some people accuse Christians these days of not being “open minded” in the way that Jesus was when he was on earth. In this, they appear to mean that Christians are to agree with everything going on around them because apparently that is what Jesus was like – he loved everyone and agreed with them all.
Jesus is actually pretty blunt throughout the gospels. You knew when he didn’t agree with what you were doing. And he actually talked about hell an awful lot.
Gentle Jesus meek and mild at times, for sure. Jesus with a whip driving people out of the temple at other times too.
Christians are following Jesus. He accepts and forgives all, but he’s not open minded in the sense that he doesn’t know what he thinks or just agrees with everything. He is clear in what he believes and what his focus is when on earth.
“Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me.”
Yours in following him,