Christianity’s Exclusivity Problem
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Probably the most common objection I hear to my faith is regarding the exclusivity of Christianity. There are those who don’t believe in God at all, but many who believe in some God, reject Christianity specifically because of its claim to be the only way. They believe that all roads lead to God and that it’s arrogant for Christianity to claim to be The Way.
Part of me wants to believe that all roads lead to God. It would be easier if that were true. I don’t want to be a Christian snob. Sometimes, it’s tempting to embrace the belief that everyone finds authentic life in the end.
I know this not to be true though. In AA, we teach that to find recovery, the alcoholic must admit he has a problem and turn his life over to God. This is an exclusive claim with which many struggle. There are those who reject the idea of God, while still following the other steps outlined by AA. They may still find sobriety, just as they can follow a map without ever believing in the mapmaker. They can become sober, without ever finding God.
The fact remains, if I want to find authentic faith and recovery, I must abandon my way and follow a much higher power. AA doesn’t back down on this claim, despite the pressure from those who reject God to do so. They know the path to recovery and they’re not apologetic about it because they believe that alcoholics need this truth.
As Christians, neither should we feel apologetic about Jesus. In today’s passage, Christ said he was the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to know God, except through Jesus. If we truly believe that, then we cannot and should not pretend that we don’t. If it’s true, then we have a responsibility to share this with others. They may reject it. That’s not our responsibility. Our only concern is to be obedient to share Christ’s message with those who need it.
We don’t have to be know-it-all, arrogant, jerks. We can be caring, loving, and humble and still share our faith. The alcoholic in recovery can be kind and gentle, while still insisting upon the truths that have transformed him. We too, must be willing to humbly share the authentic life we’ve found in Christ with those who desperately need it.