By Nathan Jones
The most sacred virtue in the Western world today is tolerance. Like a weed perniciously overrunning the flower beds, tolerance has overgrown Christianity with its universalistic mindset that there are many different roads to God and that one is no better than the other. Since all religions are equal under this theology, all morality is equal. And, with all things equal, who are we to judge?
We'll go to Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries, for the biblical answer to this very sensitive question. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.
People today don't believe that a loving God should or would judge, and so neither should we. How do you respond to that?
Every time I mention something about what is right and wrong, somebody comes back with the only Scripture that the atheists seem to know — "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matt. 7:1). You know, I get it all the time.
The Scripture instead tell us that we must indeed judge. Anybody who tells you that we're not to judge does not know what the Scripture says. It is the only way we can know what truth is. Over and over the Bible says, "test this, test this, test this, test yourself." How could you possibly do that if you don't judge?
Now, Jesus was dealing with hypocrisy, so don't judge unjustly. Judge righteously, and that is what we must do, by using the Bible. I'm not perfect and we're not perfect, we know that. But, we are saying that Scripture is the truth and it is perfect. That doesn't mean you have to hit the person over the head with the Bible, or act like you are some self-righteous bigot, but you must at least confront them with the truth and that requires judgment.
Another scenario is if you ever say anything critical of someone in Christianity even though he may be totally off the wall, immediately you'll get the statement, "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm" (1 Chron. 16:22). But, of course, that is David speaking about Saul. If that was a New Testament edict then the book of Titus, both books of Timothy, both books of Thessalonians, well all those would have to be thrown out the window. The book of Titus is very clear that those who bring division, those who are preaching false doctrine, their mouths Paul said must be stopped. Paul even rebuked Peter.
If we don't mention the teachings of false doctrine and point those things out, we do an injustice to the Church and we do damage to what the Scripture tells us to do, and we abuse our calling.
In judging do we have to filter it through the Bible's teaching that there are indeed not many roads to God but only one?
There is only one path. I would love to tell people there is more then one way. I would love to announce that the Bible says there is more then one way. But, there is only one way according to the Bible. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6). Either that's true or the Bible is not true, which would make Jesus a liar.
Christianity is the most distinctive religion in all the world because it is the only one that teaches that you cannot earn salvation. Every other religion that I know of teaches salvation by works. Islam, for example, they are completely hung up on the idea of being good enough.
Now, we see this idea worming it's way into so-called Christian circles with liberalism telling us, "If you are just good enough, if you just get baptized, just join the church, join enough committees in your church, do a little good works here and there, read your Bible once and awhile, come to church on Sunday and make sure you give your tithe... As long as you do all that, everything is okay and God will sign off on you." That is not how you get to Heaven and that is not how you become a Christian.
I have said for so long the world doesn't like these ideas, but our mission is to try to cut them off before they run headlong off the cliff. Even if they don't like it when we tackle them, when we get them up and walk them to the edge to show them where they were about to go, they'll be eternally grateful for us. So, our mission isn't to see if they will like us or not.
Too many churches, people and philosophies out there say that you don't want to teach Jesus is the only way because it is negative to church growth and it will run people off. I instead say we have to preach the truth and God will then save whom He will save.
Who are we? We don't save anybody. We are God's glorified FedEx messengers as we bring the whole truth, and then the Holy Spirit can work and save them. By telling people there is more than one way or "you have your way and I've got mine," all that does is help damn souls.
For even more information on Universalism, check out Is Jesus The Only Way To Heaven?