That Don’t Make No Sense is a new series of mine wherein I will take one doctrine that is antithetical to the Christian faith and talk about what is wrong with it. On tap for today: Inclusivism.
Inclusivism is defined as “the practice of trying to incorporate diverse or unreconciled elements into a single system.” This plays itself out in the theological realm by saying that all religions lead to Christ. These people want a very good thing. They want it to be the case that all of those around the world, who’ve not had a chance to hear the gospel, are saved. They say things like, “God draws people to the religion they are around. If they do well in it, they’ll be added to Christ.”
Inclusivism is one step away from Universalism, the belief that everyone without exception is saved in the end. The only distinction between the two is the fact that the Inclusivist admits that rejection of Christ leads to Hell. If you reject Christ, you’ll go to Hell, but if you are ignorant of Christ, you’ll be saved. See a problem? If this is true, then we should retire every missionary in the world. Missions are the most evil thing we can do. Why would we give the unreached an opportunity for condemnation? Inclusivism cannot account for evangelism.
Further, let’s look to the Scriptures to see what God has to say on the matter.
Acts 4:12 (ESV)
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
There is no other name. Allegiance to Muhammed leads to death and destruction. Allegiance to Buddha leads to death and destruction. Allegiance to anyone and anything other than Christ is poison by which you will meet your end. Notice that the Scripture says “under heaven.” This means on earth. We have to be saved by the name of Christ on earth. We don’t get a pass because we didn’t know. The Bible says we know plenty enough to condemn us.
Romans 1:19–20 (ESV)
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
This passage refers to unbelievers and still says that God has revealed himself in Creation in such a way that they are “without excuse.” They are done. They have no alibi. They have no “ignorance clause” in the Law to appeal to.
Romans 1:21–23 (ESV)
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
See, the unbelievers of the world are not simply misled or misguided. They are enemies of God and by nature, children of wrath. They must be born again. This is why we evangelize. We don’t want to see people perish, and we remember that there is but one name given under heaven by which we must be saved. We won’t be Muslim in this life and Christian in the next. We won’t be secularist in this life and Christian in the next. We must go and make Christians. We must go and preach the gospel because if we don’t, these people will die.
Do not think that God, the Creator of all things, would send his Son to die on a cross and then not require of us obedience and allegiance to him.
Matthew 28:17–20 (ESV)
17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Soli Deo Gloria.