[NOTE: Through-out the text you will bracketed purple text insertions that begin with the word “Discussion”. These are suggested discussion questions for small group leaders, who would like to go through these topics in an interactive group setting.]
In today’s world, Christianity truth-claims shock many, especially those living in western societies. Uncertainty and doubt are regarded as virtues, where-as claiming to know any truth, especially in religious matters, may be regarded as arrogant or even hateful. With this in mind, what does one make of Christianity’s claim that it is the only right religion and every other religion is wrong? Below are 6 common objections to Christianity’s exclusive truth claims:
From our previous topic “Is Everyone Religious” , we remember that everyone is religious.
Everyone who thinks that there is right and wrong, who wants to make any sort of moral reasoning, must be religious. Everyone who says “You should to do this” or “You shouldn’t do that” reason out of their implicit or explicit moral and religious positions. Even the Nihilists who say there is no right and wrong are religious in that they have faith in their unprovable position that ethics and morality do not matter.
[Discussion: Does anyone have any thoughts on this?]
Ask most people in non-Western countries and they will reply “why not”?
For example, more than half the world’s population believes in Christianity, Islam or Judaism.
[Discussion: From what you know, do these religions say that they are right and others are wrong?]
Let’s look at Jesus for example. Islam, Judaism and Christianity all accept Jesus existed. But their view about him differs significantly. The opinion with-in Judaism varies from Jesus being a crazy person to him being a moral teacher. The holy book of Islam, the Koran, claims Jesus was a prophet sent by God. Christianity claims Jesus is God, part of the Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
[Discussion: What’s the problem here?]
If Christians are right about Jesus being God, then Jews and Muslims are dishonoring God.
If Muslims and Jews are right about Jesus being a teacher or prophet, then Christians are guilty of worshipping a man as God. So clearly, if one of these religions is right, then the others are wrong.
[Discussion: There are some fundamental problems with this statement, do you know what?]
First off, would anyone really say that religions requiring child-sacrifice or suicide is fundamentally the same as other religions? Of course not. Most people who say: “All religions are equal or pretty much the same”, have not studied all religions in the world. However, if they were to start studying various religions, they would discover that many religions themselves claim that they are superficially the same but fundamentally different. (Interesting video on the topic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWY-6xBA0Pk)
For example, as we already mentioned, Christianity differs with Judaism and Islam about Jesus being God. If we’re being honest, this is a fundamental difference. This is something all cults and false religions have in common by the way. Mormons, Jehovah’s witnesses, Judaism, and Islam all agree that Jesus was a powerful moral teacher, but that he was not God. Interestingly though, the only way humans can be saved is if Jesus was God. Because Jesus was God in the flesh, He alone could pay the debt we owed to God. His victory over death and the grave won the victory for everyone who puts their trust in Him (John 1:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 17).
[Discussion: Can you think of one BIG self-defeating problem with this objection?]
Most non-Western cultures have no problem saying that their culture and religion is best. The idea that it is wrong to do so is deeply rooted in Western traditions of self-criticism and individualism. Furthermore, when the westerner says to someone that they’re being arrogant for saying their religion is the best or right one, really the westerner is saying that his own western viewpoint on other religions and cultures is the right one. The westerner becomes guilty of the very thing he’s accusing others of.
Stay tuned for the part 2 where we’ll be presenting the other 3 common objections to Christianity.
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