The Only Way
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6, NIV 1984).
We were seated in a closed circle, mostly Albanian students, a few followers of Christ and many who were not. We had been discussing healing and the nature of healing by God. The conversation was sporadic. And then a red headed medical student turned to my daughter, a nurse, and said to her, “You Americans don’t understand. You grew up with Christianity and became Christians because your families were Christian. We in Albania had no religion; it was illegal for over 50 years. Now, everywhere we look, we have someone telling us that theirs is the only way to God. Who are we to believe? I would rather just believe in God and not divide everyone by different labels of religion.”
We Americans need to take these words seriously, “You Americans don’t understand.” As Christians raised in the United States, we have grown up within a culture that may not take Jesus seriously, but one in which we have a heritage that makes our faith the most reasonable in the world. Though we are inundated with secular humanism, few of us have been confronted with people from Islam, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, or non-biblical Christian cults who are pushing us toward their faith. This is changing.
In this changing world of multiple faiths, we need to be ready with answers that clearly define the validity of our faith in Christ. But rarely is this best done through argument. On this same trip to Albania, a devoted Albanian servant for Christ told us, “I have many great arguments for the defense of Christianity and can list many reasons that Islam and other religions are bad. My wife uses no such arguments. She simply tells her friends the truth in the Bible and she loves them. She has won many more people to Christ than I have.”
Though Jesus is the way and no one comes to the Father except through His sacrifice, we will likely do a better job of bringing people to Christ if we are clear in our own biblical truth and share this truth within loving relationships than we will by first insisting that we have the only way to God and listing the ways we can prove this.
Let me hold out Jesus as the only way, and let me do so with love and understanding.