“It doesn’t matter what you believe in as long as you believe in something.” I’ve heard far too many people say these naïve, thoughtless, completely ridiculous words. Think about that for a minute. What they’re saying is that what matters is that you believe, not what you believe. When my brother was a kid he jumped into a lake without any sort of flotation device. He believed something; he believed he could swim. And if I hadn’t been there to fish him out he and his belief would be sitting at the bottom of the lake today.
Then there are people who believe in everything. I’ve heard people tell me, “oh I believe in Jesus – but I also believe in Buddhism.” And I smile and nod while I wonder how they reconcile the fact that Jesus preached one God with the fact that Buddha preached no God. Believing in everything is really just a fancy way of believing in nothing.
The people who say and believe these things call the Gospel of Jesus Christ narrow-minded. Well, to be perfectly honest, they’re absolutely right!
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
That is probably the most narrow-minded statement anyone has made in history! Unless, of course, it happens to be true. As Christians we know that the Bible is the Word of God, and that Jesus is truly the only way to Heaven. With this realization it becomes abundantly clear that the gospel message is not narrow-minded, but in fact it is incredibly accepting; anyone can come to faith in Jesus regardless of age, race, gender, etc. What an open-minded guy this Jesus really was!
Some people will still be persuaded that Christianity is a narrow-minded view of the world. But let’s put it this way:
A man’s house caught fire. Before very long the entire building was going up in flames. When the firemen arrived, one of them raced into the house to see if anyone was inside, and found the man stuck in a room with one door and no windows. He quickly called to the man to follow him, that the door was the only way out of the house. The man shook his head. “That door is the only way? That seems like an awfully narrow-minded thing to say,” the man replied. “I think I’m going to find another way out. What really matters is that I’m looking for my own way.”
I know that’s an extreme comparison, but the principle is exactly the same. Nobody would call the fireman narrow-minded. He was simply telling the truth in order to save a life. The gospel is the same way. It’s not enough to believe just anything, and it’s not enough to be open to believing everything. Jesus is the only way! Anything else is driving the wrong way down a one way street.
People who think that there are many roads to salvation are only fooling themselves. The only road to Heaven leads through Calvary. And just like that fireman, bursting in through the flames to save someone, Jesus wants to save everyone so he can lead them down that road, so he can take them to see his Father.
Matthew Westacott, OWI Youth Leader