Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”     -John 14:6 (NASB)

His name was Yohei.  It was the year 2000 in Tokyo, Japan.  He told our mission team that Jesus, Allah, or anybody else who claimed to be God was probably correct.  They all led to the same place, and we had everything inside of us that we needed to reach God.  Upon questioning him gently (1 Pt. 3:15) concerning Jesus, Yohei claimed that He was one of the greatest teachers who ever walked on earth.

Agreeing with him, I stated that since He is a great teacher, then His teachings must be true.  So I asked Yohei what did Jesus mean by “no one comes to the Father except through Me”?  Yohei’s reply?  “Jesus only meant part of that verse.”

The world says that Christians are intolerant.  It is expected that we respect what anyone believes without issuing judgment.

Let me ask you this: are we being respectful if we know the truth, but we refuse to share it for the sake of being tolerant?

In Acts 17, Paul got provoked as he watched the people of Athens follow false gods (17:16).  Paul didn’t rush in to condemn the people of Athens, but he did address this “Unknown God.”  He explained Him to them.  His name is Jesus.

But the world says as long as you are religious, you are fine.  “All roads lead to the same spot anyway.  A truly, loving God wouldn’t allow anyone to go to hell.”  The Athenians were very religious, but Paul thought it was necessary to tell them that their religion wasn’t enough to save them, it had to be Jesus alone.

Many Christians, even Baptists, say that Jesus is Lord, but that He wouldn’t condemn anyone if they were religious.  But Jesus said that He was the only way.  If He only meant part of that verse, how do we know if He really meant anything He ever said?

C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that “I am trying to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God’…A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of Hell…Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.”

His name was David.  It was the year 2003 in Greenwood, South Carolina.  He was of the Bahá’í faith, and he told me that Jesus, Allah, and Bahá’u’lláh were all different manifestations of the same god.  He said that Christians, Muslims, or anyone who is religious are all following the same god.

Upon questioning him gently about the Qu’ran, the Muslim holy book, David did admit that Muhammad wrote “kill the infidels” which meant kill anyone who was not Muslim.  I asked if that presented a problem to him.  He said it did and left me to go and get a flier.

I then asked if John 14:6 posed a problem.  He got me a flier.

Then I asked him why Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins if any god would do.  He told me he had no idea.

So is Jesus really the only way?  If He is, our mission must be urgent.  We can’t delay.  People are dying today without Him.  So is Jesus who He says He is?

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.

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15 Comments

  1. Dear Friends,

    As an agnostic, humanist, and naturalist, I am sure that you view me as the enemy. But I am actually a friend; a friend trying to rescue you; a friend trying to rescue you from a false belief system; a friend trying to rescue you from a cult.

    Imagine that I am a friend or family member and imagine that I have joined a new belief system, a belief system that believes in black magic, witches, wizards, and evil goblins that have the power to control one’s brain. In this belief system I am taught that “the movement” is right, and everyone else is wrong, and not only wrong, but evil. I am told that all my friends and family who are not members of this belief system are incapable of seeing the truth because evil goblins control their minds and blind them to the “hidden” truth that only members can see. I am told not to listen to my non-member friends and family. I am told to obey and follow, without question, the teachings of our “error-free” holy book. I am told that the leaders of the movement have special, advanced training in “the truth” and therefore I should trust that they understand the truth better than I as a layperson ever can.

    So what would you do if you really cared about me? Would you leave me in this cult without lifting a finger to rescue me? Would you refrain from criticizing my new belief system for fear of insulting me? I hope not.

    What I hope you would do is this: You would try to expose me to information that would open my eyes to the delusion that my cult has convinced me to believe as absolute, unquestioned truth. You would ask me to read information that counters the supernatural claims of my cult. You would not let me live my entire life in this false, delusional belief system without making an effort to rescue me.

    That is what I am attempting to do for you, friends. I am attempting to rescue you from a false belief system; a false belief system based on the powers of the supernatural; on the powers of MAGIC. You have been convinced that the world is controlled by magic.

    Your magical belief system tells you that witches exist and have the power to call up the dead (I Samuel chapter 28). Your magical belief system teaches you that wizards can turn walking sticks into snakes (Exodus chapter 7). Your magical belief system teaches you that goblins (demons) can enter and possess large herds of pigs (Mark chapter 5) driving them to commit mass suicide. Your magical belief system tells you that blindness can be healed by rubbing mud and spit into someone’s eye sockets (John chapter 9).

    This is not a rational, informed, belief system, friends. This is an ancient, scientifically ignorant, superstition. It is magic.

    I once was a member of your cult. I know how you think. I know how your magical beliefs seem so real. But it is a delusion my friends. It isn’t real. If it were real we would still witness these fantastic, magical events occurring today…but we don’t, do we? Think about that: so many magical events allegedly occurred several thousand years ago, but you have never seen one single magical event occur in your lifetime, have you? And neither has any other rational, educated human being living today.

    It is odd how magic never happens when there are television cameras, video recorders, cell phone cameras, tape recorders, or scientific observers to verify the claim. Think about that, friends.

    Your “movement” has had 2,000 years to come up with every imaginable excuse and harmonization to explain why these alleged, ancient, supernatural events really did occur. But Hindus, Muslims, and Mormons can do the exact same thing for their supernatural claims. You may think that their excuses and harmonizations are nonsensical and easily falsifiable, but they think the same about yours!

    Bottom line, friends: Magic is not real.

    I strongly encourage you to do this:

    1. Allow for the possibility that your belief system is wrong.

    2. Read information that challenges your belief system.

    —I recommend the following websites: Bart Ehrman’s blog, Debunking Christianity, and The Secular Web.

    I am available for questions anytime.

    • Gary, thank you for your courteous response. I really do appreciate your concern and your demeanor. It is rare in this social media age!

      One thing I would gently challenge you on is the difference in prescriptive portions of the Bible and descriptive portions of the Bible. All the instances you mentioned were descriptive portions of Scripture. They described what happened. They are not prescribing what others should necessarily do.

      The prescriptive portions of Scripture concerning magic are clear and provide us with the true belief of Christianity:

      Leviticus 19:31
      1 John 4:1
      Revelation 21:8
      Colossians 2:8
      Isaiah 8:19
      Deuteronomy 18:10-12

      • Hi Travis,

        I looked at the passages you listed. The problem I see is this: The Bible reinforces the superstition that witches and wizards exist and have real powers. That is the problem. Magic, including black magic, is not real. Witches and mediums CANNOT call up the dead. You can go on the internet and see the evidence against such con artists as the “Long Island Medium” and see that their “powers” are simply old fashioned slight of hand and deceit.

        An omniscient God would not make the mistake of reinforcing the idea that these hucksters have real powers. This is just one of many proofs that the Christian god is not real. He too is a superstition.

  2. I have a question for you, Travis. In the Bible, the powers of witches, wizards, and mediums are described as real. Saul sought out a medium because he obviously believed that mediums could contact the dead. He desperately wanted to speak to the dead prophet Samuel. According to the Bible, the witch of Indora had the power to call up the dead prophet as Saul requested.

    Do you believe that if I wanted to speak to someone who is dead today that I could find a medium or witch who would have this power?

    • Great question, Gary. My belief is that there is no such thing as magic. When people seem to practice these arts, they are actually dealing with demonic forces. I believe there is a devil and demons. I believe they have powers (yet not to rival God’s). So when someone is thinking they are doing magic of sorts it is a demonic activity.

      • So you do believe it is possible for a witch or medium to call up the dead?

        • I do not believe it is possible for a witch or a medium to call up the dead. If he had an encounter, I do not believe it was Samuel he encountered but demonic forces impersonating Samuel.

          In 1 Samuel 28, the narrative of a wayward king is being portrayed. He is at a breaking point, and gets weak and makes a fatal error in approaching a medium. In fact, 1 Chronicles retells this part of the narrative and says, “So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the LORD” (1 Chron. 10:13-14). He knew the Law forbid such practices (Lev. 19:31; Lev. 20:6; Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:10-12; 1 Sam. 15:23). This scene shows how desperate someone gets when walking away from the LORD’s guidance.

          • That isn’t what the passage says. You are reading your conservative Christian beliefs into an ancient religion that believed that witches could practice black magic and call up the dead.

            The plain, simple reading of the text says that witches/mediums can call up the dead. It is odd how often Christians have to turn themselves into pretzels to deny the plain, simple interpretation of their holy book when it contradicts reason and modern science.

          • No pretzels here. Did you read the 1 Chronicles 10 passage?

  3. Yes, I read it. God punished Saul with death for consulting a medium and for his sin of not killing all the Amalekites’ goats.

    This does not prove that the witch of Endor did not have the power (of black magic from Satan) to call up the dead.

    • So, you then believe that there is something like black magic? Is that what you are saying?

      • No. I don’t believe in black magic.

        But I do believe that the author of the Book of Samuel believed in black magic; I believe he believed that the witch had the power to call up the dead, just as pharaoh’s wizards had the power to turn staffs into snakes. The Bible authors believed a lot of things that we know today, by scientific evidence, are not true:

        -no flat earth
        -no firmament
        -no Great Flood
        -no pillars holding up the earth
        -the sun does not revolve around the earth
        -the earth was not created in six literal days
        -the earth is billions of years old
        -and…black magic isn’t real. Witches and wizards do not have supernatural powers (and neither do invisible, imaginary gods).

        • Gary, I thank you so much for your comments. But your beginning problem with a post about Christ’s deity was intellectually halted by an isolated passage concerning a necromancer which I am telling you, as a student of the Bible, you are not interpreting in the same manner as scholars who have studied this passage for years. Even with that, I feel like your focusing in on this passage with complete disregard to what the post talks about shows a mentality that looks for holes where I believer there to be none. In desire to reject Christianity, people will look for the trivial to avoid the pivotal. In light of your list, some of these items are not what they mean in the Bible and some are theories. None of us were there to prove one way or not. I understand you don’t believe. I get that. But I have known people who looked for certain things because they wanted to reject Christ. I know that people of faith are often characterized as people who have not used their minds. You don’t know me, but I am not one of those. I have had intellectual hurdles to cross, and I have studied both sides of the argument and come at a more secure place in my mind and my heart than ever before. I pray you can do that one day too.

          • You have been deceived and brainwashed by an ancient cult, Travis. If you have questions or need support, contact me anytime.

            Gary

          • Thanks for your opinion, Gary. Someone could say the same about you and your beliefs. I appreciate your willingness to help me. Know that the offer is on my side of the table as well! Eph. 1:18!

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