Exploring the Bible / Faith / New Testament

Are We WRONG about John 14:6?

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also… – John 14:6

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I’ve heard many a pastor/ Christian speaker make an argument for why Christianity is NOT just one of many world religions. They equally denounce the idea of religious inclusivism, which can be interpreted in two ways;

  • Traditional Inclusivism: believer’s own views are absolutely true, and believers of other religions are correct insofar as they agree with that believer.
  • Relativistic Inclusivism: an unknown set of assertions are Absolutely True, that no human being currently living has yet ascertained Absolute Truth, but that all human beings have partially ascertained Absolute Truth.

There are many ways that Christians directly and indirectly discount inclusivism. (Side note: I am not agreeing with inclusivism but am “testing everything that is said and holding on to what is good” 1Thessalonians 5:21)

Over and over, I have heard John 14:6 used to assert that Christianity is the ONE true way. “The Bible says Jesus is THE WAY AND THE TRUTH,” one pastor recently preached, “if Jesus is THE WAY, there is no other way”.

But Christians aren’t the only ones who believe in Jesus. Muslims believe him to be a great messenger.  Muslims don’t, however, believe in Christ’s deity or crucifixtion. I am only addressing John 14:6 here and pointing to the fact that the Muslim view of Christ does not preclude them believing that Christ is “the way and the truth”. So the argument that we believe in Jesus does not make us the “right religion”.

That same preacher used “no one comes through the Father except through me” as reasoning that people who do not believe in Jesus are not going to heaven. This is a problem. God is all powerful. Does God have the power to be with someone who has not completed the prerequisite of believing in him or believing correctly in him? Yes, he has that power. But wait, can he do thajohn146_2t while we maintain our free will? If we truly believe he is all powerful then yes, he can do that too.

Despite other feelings you may have about whether or not Christianity is the “right religion” and how our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors during our time on earth effect our eternity, I simply postulate that John 14:6 is not adequate justification to discredit any other religion or support the sole rightness of Christianity.

Further, far be it for us to use this Bible verse to assert the eternal fate of those whose view of Christ is not the same as our own. For all I know, someone whose never believed in Jesus may die, meet Christ, have a chat with him, and then be green lighted to meet the father regardless of anything that happened in that person’s human life.

7 thoughts on “Are We WRONG about John 14:6?

  1. You are a thinker! That is a gift! I had to work through many obstacles before I arrived at some of the insights you named here. Blessings!

  2. Like a blog I wrote earlier, I totally agree with you on this. We in no way are to judge anyone. Our job is to show love. I often gravitate towards the lost souls that do not know Christ instead of ones who may know Christ but be of a different religion than I.

  3. Good questions, I think you need to go a click further. For example, when Muslims say that Christ is not deity, nor was he crucified, then by what means can they believe the resurrection? Yet, Paul stated that if the resurrection is false, then we are most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). Also, lets entertain the idea that God allows someone like Ghandi to enter heaven. Good person, right? What happens when the man who said, “I love your Christ, but not your Christians” is surrounded by Christians? Would that be heaven for him? Or what about the Muslim that claims Jesus is a prophet, but not the Son of God? If they get to heaven to find that Jesus is the Son of God, is that going to be something they can bear for eternity? Or, would the fact that they devoted their lives to something not true cause for heaven to be hell for them? This, of course, would mean that we take for granted the “truth” of Jesus’ deity. Ultimately, I think that these questions need to be taken a lot more seriously, and I think that we need people who are willing to wrestle with the difficult questions like “If I rebel against a certain God all my life, and then have to stand before Him, will I honestly find being in His presence to be Heaven? Or will it be hell?” Hope this helps you to keep thinking it through.
    Grace and peace.

    • I totally understand what you’re saying. It makes a lot of sense. In this article I’m really just trying to assert why the “Jesus is the way, truth .. Etc” can’t justify Christianity as “right” or other religions as “wrong”. Furthermore, I get what you’re saying about someone surrounded by a God they denounced or Christians feeling like its hell but I think that’s a very human idea of heaven and hell. Part of what I’m so excited for after this life is that I know my brain is not currently capable of understanding the wonders of heaven so it will truly be beyond anything imaginable. That being said, Jesus himself was not a Christian, has unfathomable mercy and grace, and God is all powerful so whose to say that a Muslim won’t be experiencing perfect joy in heaven. My mind is definitely far too inferior to know but I know God can make it happen if he wants to. Also, whose to say whether there’s a huge difference in Gods eyes whether we repent on earth and acknowledge Jesus as his son and that he was crucified for our salvation or we do it at the gates of heaven (so to speak, not sure if they have gates there). Furthermore, as we know the bible is good for interpreting and the interpretations will be built on and developed. There’s a high likelihood I’ve interpreted something wrong over the years. Though not as “catastrophic” as lacking faith in christs deity, I’m still prepared to kneel before God and hear what I was wrong about and say “yes, God, you’re right. I’m wrong and you’re right.”

      • By that I mean that having to admit I’m wrong and Gods right won’t make heaven feel hellish. I look forward to worshipping God by willingly accepting that I’ve often been wrong and he is right, all knowing, and all amazing.

  4. Yes we are wrong. If we truly understand Jesus, we understand that he thought of himself as a teacher first. The last thing he wanted is to be worshiped. He wanted to straighten us out, teach us about how to love and evolve through his teachings. We would honor him by loving others regardless if they worship him or not. Judging people through whether they believe that he is God incarnate is completely against his own teachings. Let it go. Be more Christ-like.
    Peace be with you.

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