This article looks at Christianity and religious freedom and religious equality. Acts 4:12 and grace in religion are also discussed.

Source: Clarion, 1995. 2 pages.

No Other Name

And there is no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12

Read Acts 4:1-12

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ to be the only name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. The true church of Christ has continued to insist upon the uniqueness of Christ. He is the only Savior. Besides Him, there is no Redeemer.

The Christian religion is condemned as being exclusivistic. We live in a religiously pluralistic society. Our universities offer degrees in comparative religions. They teach that the five great religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, are equally valid. They are all different roads to the same Divine Mind.

Our communities are dotted with temples, mosques, and synagogues, as well as churches. The prairie town I live in has two big Mormon churches and a small Buddhist church.

What do we say about these people of other religions who live, work and worship in our towns and cities? They are our neighbors and colleagues. Have they found God their way while we have found God our way? Are the Five Pillars of Islam the way to God for the Muslim just as the Eight Fold Path is the way for the Buddhist while Jesus Christ is our way to the Father?

Many liberal churches say that each religion is a genuine expression of man's longing for the eternal. A Hindu praying to his favorite god, a Muslim praying to Allah, a Buddhist pinning his petition on a prayer wheel, a Christian praying to the Father through Jesus Christ – it makes no difference. Liberal churches tell us that we have no right to evangelize Jews and Muslims. They accuse traditional missionaries of conceit and bigotry for saying that one must believe in Jesus Christ to be saved from the wrath of God. We must, we are told, enter into dialogue with these "brothers and sisters" and learn from one another's traditions.

In the "Prayer for all the needs of Christendom," (pp. 642-644, Book of Praise) we pray "… for the mission among Jews, Moslems, and heathen, who live without hope and without Thee in the world."

We make special reference to Jews and Muslims. They, like we, are children of Abraham. The Muslims are children of Abraham through Ishmael; the Jews through Isaac; we are children of Abraham through Jesus Christ. Are we not revealing an intolerable narrow-mindedness when we say that Jews and Muslims live with hope and without God in the world? Are we not guilty of prejudice when we pray for the conversion of the heathen?

What did Peter say? He said that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. His is the only name given by God by which we must be saved. The Lord said in John 14:6:

"I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."

Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:5:

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Those who are children of Abraham only through Ishmael or Isaac and not through faith in Jesus Christ are without God. The heathen haven't a hope. Christ is the only way. As Paul said in Galatians 3:29,

"And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise."

Let us not be swept away by the relativism of our age which seeks some common denominator in all the religions of the world. The Christian faith has nothing in common with any other religion. Every other religion is an attempt of man to reach up to God to be saved. The Christian religion is the only one which confesses that God has reached down to man and given the Savior. Let us embrace the only Savior. Let us rejoice in His name. The Eight Fold path of Buddhism is an eternal circle leading nowhere. But there is a One Fold path. It is Jesus Christ the only Way to the Father. The Five Pillars of Islam hold up nothing. There is only one Pillar, one Foundation. It is Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone. Many have rejected Him, but He is the Head of the corner. Be built into His house. Establish your life on Him.

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