In many ways this is a post I never thought I would write. It’s not that my beliefs have changed at all over the last several months, but for most of my Christian life I’ve been the kind of guy who defends what I like to call “absolute truth.” Relativism – the idea that absolute truth does not exist – is a worldview entirely incompatible with Christianity, but one that seems to be common even among some professing Christians. With that said, exclusivity is not a bad word; in fact, it’s Biblical to some extent.
“Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.”
Within every person is a desire to know truth. Not everyone likes the truth once they find it, but nobody intentionally lives for a lie. Whether you’re a devout Christian or a loyal atheist, your commitment comes from the underlying belief that you are right. I’ve seen evolutionists invent evidence to support their worldview, and I’ve known Christians who misquote Scripture or use it out of context as “proof” that their beliefs are accurate. They could just as easily decide to believe what they want independently of the facts, but human nature means we all hate the idea of being wrong.
In a world and culture saturated by evil and false doctrine, some level of exclusivity among Christians is healthy. For example, we must assert that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to heaven (John 14:6), that the virgin birth is a reality, and that His death and resurrection really occurred. Certain issues like these are simply not up for debate, as John indicated in his second epistle. According to verse 10, if any person “abideth not in the doctrine of Christ”, especially by denying the reality of His first coming, they should not even be welcomed into our homes.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Too many Christians, however, extend this principle to every aspect of their spiritual lives. They leave churches or look down on fellow believers over things like predestination and Sabbath keeping. They argue about whether the rapture will be pre-, mid-, or post-millennial. Your time reading the Bible each day doesn’t even count unless you’re using their favorite translation. I understand there are definite truths at stake in each of these debates, but at some point all but excommunicating fellow believers for their differing beliefs does more harm than good – both to their walks with God and ours.
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…”
We understand that apostasy is and will continue to be prevalent in the last days (II Tim. 4:3). It is for this reason that we must “watch and pray” lest we enter into temptation ourselves (Matt. 26:41). But since God’s ultimate desire for His saints is that they experience unity, we must be careful not to undermine His divine work by looking down on everyone who’s understanding of Scripture is slightly different than ours. Why? Because such an attitude is devastating to the individual Christian’s spiritual life: not only will it discourage those who “aren’t good enough”, but it typically isolates the supposed “elite” Christian from the fellowship of other believers. Let us instead learn to live by the words of Paul in Romans 14:
 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.