Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are There Other Ways To Heaven If You Reject Christianity?

One of our readers named "Travis" really went out of his way to compose a very long comment on our recent article entitled "Why Do Christians Say Jesus Is The Only Way To Heaven?" and we thought that it was so interesting that we thought we would share it in a post.

The following is what Travis wrote.....


Ben - here you go...

Point 1) Your analysis - The argument is basically "our religion is the one true religion because our religion says it is." - this is a false assumption.

Here you assume that Christians are saying our religion is true because we say it is (similar to Islam or other religions, etc). This is not the case. Christians believe that Christianity is true because Jesus Christ DIED on a cross and was RESURRECTED from the grave 3 days later (and appeared to the apostles, 500 believers, Paul, and others). If THIS can be proven false - then Christianity would be useless and our faith in vain. While believing this does require faith, it is not a blind faith as there is more evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ than you could even begin to imagine. (If you truly seek to understand Christianity and the evidence for the resurrection read Lee Strobel "The Case for Christ" or C.S. Lewis "Mere Christianity). If you don't want to seek truth and just like to bring up objections - it is your free choice.

Point 2)You argue "It is very silly to think that any God would force people to enter into a game of Russian roulette over their eternal souls."

God does not force anything. He gives evidence to His children (in the form of biblical prophecy fulfilled), gives them His word, reveals Himself in the form of man in Jesus Christ who dies and is resurrected, and allows people to choose for themselves. If God did not give us this free choice, there would not be the opportunity for us to choose and love God (which is the greatest commandment). It isn't a game of russian roulette. If one does not examine evidence for themselves, blindly chooses a religion based on what makes them "feel good" or because their parents had a certain religion, and does not seek truth, then that is their choice. God gave us the evidence, we have to want to seek truth.

Point 3) Your argument "Every religion claims real "evidence" and yet every religion also claims that you don't need evidence and should just have faith."

These generalizations come about from a lack of study of religions. The majority of religions claim evidence based on your current life's results (happiness in this life, increased wealth, inner peace, prosperity, etc) - think Eastern religions here. When it comes to evidence for Islam the claim is that Mohammed transcribed the Koran as was read to him by an Angel and it was perfect in grammar and substance. He performed no miracles. Christianity, however, does not necessarily promise great wealth or riches or prosperity in this life, it promises eternal life in the presence of God. The evidence for Christianity is in the miracles that Christ performed, the prophecies that were fulfilled in him in the Old Testament, and the ultimate evidence of His resurrection. Christians have evidence, AND faith. They are not mutually exclusive.

Point 4) Your argument "No intelligent God would punish people for picking the wrong religion"

This is an interesting position. To claim to know God's intentions and what He would or would not do is a little arrogant don't you think? Anyways, you trivialize the importance of the actual issue. People were not put on this Earth to just pick a decent religion and then "live a good life". What is the greatest sin in your opinion? While many would say murder or rape, etc (and no doubt these are quite bad) the greatest sin is to deny one's creator and live your entire life as though you don't need him and could care less what His plan is for your life. Your analogy is similar to a judge releasing Jeff Dahmer with no prison sentence. If our greatest point in life is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, then it is more than a matter of just "picking the wrong religion" and to not punish those who choose to snub their nose at God their entire lives for themselves instead of God would be morally unjustifiable for a perfect God.

Point 5) Your argument "There is nothing wrong with questioning the basic beliefs about life. This questioning is how we advanced as a species."

I agree. This is how many people are led to Christ. When we realize that we are guilty of sinning against God's law and realize that their is no way we could "earn our way" into his good graces, and we understand that Christ came to die for our sins and bridge the gap between us and God, so that we may spend eternity with Him is quite a blessing. Read the Gospels of Mark then John and tell me it doesn't move you at all.

Point 7) Your argument "It makes Christians believe they are better than others. I know all the responses with Jesus saying we are all equals, but it's a two-faced line. People who pick the wrong God or choose to be agnostic are not equal, they will suffer for eternity in hell."

Christians do not think they are better than others. (and if they do so they are not following the teachings of Christ) The Lord told us to serve others. He told us to spread the Gospel. He said that any of his believers who assist anyone in need is similarly assisting Him. There is an internal happiness that Christians may have because of their relationship with God. We desire to share this happiness with others. On a separate note, being agnostic is fine if you are truly examining evidence for a religion, and are postponing your decsion while gathering facts. If you are really seeking truth than the Lord will open your heart. The reality, however, is that many people maintain agnosticism because it is the "intelligent thing" to do according to the world. Skepticism and doubt is easy; having faith in something greater than yourself is the real challenge. Many people use the agnosticism to justify living sinful lives while convincing themselves that they are only doing it because there isn't enough evidence. To these people I ask - what piece or amount of evidence would convince you of the truth? If they can't give a reasonable answer that says more about their choices and their life than anything else I think. Choose to research and examine the evidence, pray for God to show you His truth (without putting your own restrictions on God) and wait to see His glory in action. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.

God bless.


Hopefully the comments by Travis were very helpful for Ben.

If Ben or anyone else wants to investigate the evidence for Christianity further, we would suggest the following article as a good place to get started: "8 Really Good Reasons Christianity Is True?"

1 comment:

  1. I think about my old Church life all the time. I had been a Christian since I was a child. It wasn't until I was about 24 yrs old when things started to change and I awoke to find truth.

    Light itself was leading me out of the mental prison I had been in since I was a child. My whole life I was told 'just believe'. This is not where truth is.

    This is the sort of conversation best left to face to face. If i could I would talk to anyone and everyone who is currently in a church and share my journey to where I am now.

    If I wrote down on a bit of paper the following:

    'Seek Love, not Hate.'

    Then we should all be able to agree that what I wrote is truth. Think about that for a minute. No doubt you have been told that the Bible (and ONLY the Bible) IS the word of God. This is not the case. The Bible has truth in it, or course! The words of Jesus have real power in them. But my example above should show you - truth is not contained in one book only. Truth lies outside all books - it is eternal.

    What I'm trying to share with you is that what you are being taught is keeping you from your true journey. Other books have truth in them as well.

    I won't be able to explain to you what one day you will see in this reply. But what I do want to do is open the door for you. Read books other than the Bible. In the same way your mind reacts when music is out of tune, your inner being will do when it reads something that is not truth. Likewise, when you read something that has truth it will be confirmed to you.

    'It is not what goes into a man that makes him unclean, it is what comes out of him.' So read other material it will start to open doors to you that you never knew were there. Trust me.