A cornerstone of the Christian faith – and explicitly laid out in Scripture – is the belief that Jesus Christ is quite literally “the way, the truth, and the life,” and therefore He is the way to God in the afterlife. That naturally would mean being in God’s presence would depend on belief in Jesus yet according to a poll by Probe Ministries, 70% of Christians believe other religions can lead to heaven, too.
That belief may be well-meaning but it is deeply illogical, as Christian apologist Frank Turek has pointed out, because religions that claim they are true can’t all be true at the same time.
Reacting to the poll, Christian apologist Alex McFarland says self-described Christians need to open their Bible.
“What we have in our country among professed believers is, for one thing, a biblical illiteracy problem,” he tells American Family News. “The Bible is unequivocally clear: The one and only way to go to Heaven is through a personal relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ.
McFarland, who regularly speaks to teenage audiences, says the biblical disconnect is especially true among so-called Millennials. Citing the poll, he said 94% of them agree a relationship with Jesus is the best decision a person can make.
“But almost that same amount of Millennials,” he points out, “said it would be ‘wrong’ to try to persuade someone of a different religion out of that religion and into Christianity.”
'They cannot all be true'
The philosophy behind that belief is known as pluralism, McFarland advises, which he warns has seeped into Americanized Christianity as evidenced by the lopsided poll.
In academia, pluralism is a popular avenue of thought since it concludes there is not one conclusion, or correct answer, to a question or a dilemma. The idea of pluralism is discussed in a university class about logic, for example, and is often linked with the post-modern idea of moral relativism.
Dr. John Lennox, the genial Oxford professor and Christian apologist, has pointed out the resurrection of Jesus is a fundamental belief of Christianity but the other two major monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam, conclude that Jesus did not rise from the dead.
“They cannot all be true,” he once told an audience at Harvard University when discussing the topic “What Makes Christianity Unique?”
Using the example of Harvard's entrance exam, Lennox told the 2012 audience there is a belief among many that everyone will face a "great assessment" in the afterlife in which their bad deeds are weighed against their good deeds. They hope the good deeds are accepted.
"It's what many people believe. It's what many Christians actually believe," he concluded. "Now I do not believe that at all because, ladies and gentlemen, the unique thing --- it seems to me --- about Christian faith is it's not based on merit."
“Pluralism has meant that everybody's free to believe whatever they want to believe,” McFarland says. “Nowadays pluralism has been morphed to insist that all perspectives are equally valid and equally true. That's just not possible.”