If you believe that Jesus is THE TRUTH, the source of all truth, are you racist?
I have heard it for years on college campuses from students and faculty alike: “I am totally against any one faith system that claims to be superior to another.” Others argued with me that saying something like that sounded like the person was saying that they are closer to God than others, and that leads to arguments, fighting, even violence.
Read John 14:6 and Acts 3:11-20.
These passages are often cited by some as texts that reflect arrogant, narrow-minded thinking, even bigotry. This century is supposed to be one of religious pluralism and tolerance, so any claims of exclusivity are deemed dangerous and politically incorrect. One chaplain I served with called any truth claims “arrogant religious chauvinism.” Another one of my colleagues said that sort of thinking is dangerous because it fosters a cocky and superior attitude that can lead to hatred and violence at people who believe differently.
For centuries, followers of Jesus have affirmed the historicity of the New Testament. Included is the belief that the words of Jesus are accurately translated from 1st century documents into the translations of the Bible available. Here are three reasons that have been passed down from antiquity.
First, Jesus is unique in His qualifications. Luke, a physician who wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts, recorded Peter’s words that Jesus is the “Holy and Righteous one (Acts 3:14), the “Author of Life” (3:15), the “One the prophets foretold” (3:18), and the “Christ” (3:20). He is the One the early Church worshipped and followed as God.
Second, Jesus is unique is His work. Jesus is the only one who brings salvation. Other religious leaders throughout history are considered teachers, wise sages, even a prophet. But Jesus is called the “Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.” Jesus alone saves us from our guilt, frees us from the addictive power of sin, substitutes Himself in our place so we avoid the judgment we all deserve, and empowers us to live life the way he intended us to. Remember Peter’s words in Acts 4:12?
Third, Jesus is unique in His resurrection. Peter described Jesus as the one “whom God raised from the dead,” (Acts 4:10). The resurrection of Jesus is the basis for the Christian faith. Jesus is alive today. Truth is knowable, and it is a Person.
All truth is by definition, exclusive. If truth does not exclude, no assertion of truth can be made. When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” the implication of his statement is that anything said in opposition would be false.
Believing in something should not make you smug or condescending. If you believe Jesus is the source of all truth, then you have an obligation to learn and follow His teachings. That will involve showing His love to others as you proclaim His words.
Think theologically. Who will hear from you about Jesus this week? Live truth.
Love is a verb,