Exclusivity: excluding or not admitting other things-unable to exist to be true if something else is true.
With this definition in mind, which of the following statements is considered exclusive?
A. Christianity is the only true path to God.
B. There is no God.
C. There is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is his prophet.
D. All paths lead to God. Choose one.
Some time ago I was engaged in conversation with a couple of people in a deli during lunch. I don’t remember how the subject of faith came up, but the other two challenged me in my belief that Jesus is exclusively the way to God.
Without hesitation, I referred to John 14:6 – Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
My friends could not believe how narrow-minded I am on the subject! Otherwise, I may be considered rational and competent, but how can I be so small minded and rigid? Our conversation continued and in the end I made my point, but did I really do anything but reinforce a stereotype of the Know-it-All, Bible-thumping person I am?
What if I had responded with a question like the one above? If you look carefully at each of the statements, the truth is that each represents an exclusive point of view. If there is no God, the other three are untrue. If all paths lead to God, then the other three are false. Christianity and Islam? Each contradicts the other.
As a philosophical term, Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias(www.rzim.org), refers to this as the Law of Non-Contradiction.
The point is that we all hold beliefs and make judgments. If I had been able to find agreement there in our conversation, then maybe I could have been more effective in making the case for Christ over lunch.