It is a troubling reality that many evangelicals today seem to hold contradictory beliefs when it comes to the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ. According to the 2022 Lifeway Research State of Theology report, a surprising 67% of Americans with evangelical beliefs either agree or are uncertain about the statement that God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

This raises a fundamental question: How can these individuals claim to believe in exclusive salvation through Jesus Christ while also entertaining the idea that all religions are accepted by God?

The answer lies in the influence of society’s religious pluralism. In our desire to be polite and avoid controversy, we often adopt the default position of accepting all religions as equally valid paths to salvation. This is a dangerous compromise that undermines the core beliefs of evangelical Christianity.

Religious pluralism is gaining popularity not only in the US but in the global scope. It is broadly construed as response to the diversity of religious beliefs, practices, and traditions that exist both in the contemporary world. Our aim to co-exist peacefully in this diverse realm is leading religious traditions to not be reactive in anyone’s belief.

However, as pastors, we have a responsibility to address this problem head-on. We must educate our congregations about the origins and implications of religious pluralism. One way to approach this is by explaining Immanuel Kant’s separation of faith from knowledge. Kant argued that God is unknowable, which creates room for individuals to believe whatever they want about Him.

It is also crucial to emphasize that pluralism is not a superior or all-encompassing religious view. In fact, it is just another belief system among many. We should not be striving to become more like other religious belief but to become Christians and holding firm to the distinct teachings of Christianity.

To overcome the confusion caused by religious pluralism, we need to enrich the soil of our church’s gospel with sound biblical teaching. We cannot shy away from preaching the exclusive message of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. By doing so, we can help our congregations understand the dangers of compromising with pluralism and ensure that the weeds of false beliefs do not take root.

By Roge Sison

An ordained clergy of The United Methodist Church.

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