One of the questions people often ask me has to do with what theologians call the “exclusivity” of Jesus Christ. Christians throughout the centuries have faithfully proclaimed that Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection are the only means by which humankind can be reconciled and put into a right relationship with God.
To modern ears, that sounds incredibly narrow-minded. What about all the people who grew up in different cultures with different religions – how can Christians arrogantly assume those other people are wrong simply because they do not use the same language when talking about God?
Many mainline denominations also reject the exclusivity of Christ. Instead, they view Christ as one way among many for people to be in a relationship with God. This is seen clearly in the way some mainline denominations talk about the Bible, salvation, and eternity.
So, what does Renovation Church (and by extension – I – Tyler Ramsbey) believe?
We believe and affirm the historical Christian teaching that there is no other name under heaven by which humankind can be saved (Acts 4:12).
How can we possibly hold to that narrow-minded, bigoted, and anti-Western truth?
Simple: The suffering of Jesus Christ.
Before being crucified, Jesus was brutally beaten beyond human recognition by a Roman scourge. This was a whip that would have shagged bone, piercing nails, and sharp metals attached to the ends of it. Jesus was beaten 39 times times by the Roman scourge – a beating that would cause most people to pass out from the pain. His flesh was literally ripped from his body.
After being scourged, Jesus is forced to carry His cross to a place of execution called Golgotha (lit. Place of the Skull). There he is stretched out while Roman Soldiers fasten him to the cross by hammering 6 – 9 inch nails through his wrists and his feet. He would then be hoisted up as onlookers jeered and mocked him. Crucifixion was invented by the Persians but perfected by Rome – it was such a horrifying way to die that Roman citizens could not be sentenced to crucifixion; it was a sentence reserved for foreign enemies and slaves.
Jesus endured all of this willingly. He is not a victim – He was in full control the entire time. Yet He endured the cross, drinking the full cup of God’s wrath that we deserve for our sin, in order to reconcile us back to the Father.
Friends, if it was possible to be reconciled back to God through the teachings of Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, New-age spirituality, or trying to be a “good person” – Jesus was the biggest fool and idiot for submitting himself to crucifixion. IF there was another way for humankind to be made right with God, the cross becomes divine child abuse at the hands of a sadistic deity who crushes His Son for no reason.
That’s why we believe Jesus is the only way to be made right with God. What say you? Do you disagree or agree? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!