Tolerance used to mean that you could still accept people who disagreed with you, treating them with respect & love, but today it seems to mean that we should accept all viewpoints as equally true & good. No one wants to appear narrow-minded or religiously prejudiced, but this has meant sacrificing truth for the sake of tolerance. True tolerance doesn’t mean that all religions should be acknowledged as equally good. There’s something more important than tolerance. Truth. It’s not tolerance that sets you free, it’s truth.
Most Americans don’t view their faith as the only true faith. They like to think of themselves as open-minded & inclusive to all religious points of view. But the world’s religions make very different claims about the nature of God, reality, the purpose of life, & the afterlife. They cannot all be true at the same time. Those worldviews lead down some very different paths, & it should be noted that societies that have been strongly influenced by the Bible & Christianity are radically different than other societies.
We do not worship the same God because the God of Christianity is Jesus. All the world’s religions may look at Him as a prophet or one of the great religious masters, but Jesus claimed that He was the Son of God which is what got Him crucified in the first place. There can be no unity between Christianity & other religions because they do not believe that Jesus is the truth & the only way to be reconciled to God. Is it bigoted and divisively narrow to claim that? If so, then your issue is with Jesus who made exclusive claims to be “the way, the truth and the life” & that no one can come to God the Father except through Him (John 14:6, Matthew 7:14, John 3:36). Scripture makes other exclusive claims about the road to eternal life being narrow & few find it (Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:15).
So is it being bigoted for Bible-believing Christians to quote Jesus’ words & share them as He commanded? The message of Christ has been offensive from the very beginning (though we do not need to be offensive in the way we communicate it). Jesus is not one of many ways. Not all roads lead to heaven. There’s only one way. It’s absolutely exclusive because that means heaven is only open to Christians. Yet it’s absolutely inclusive. The offer is made to all regardless of ethnicity, nationality, age or stage of life, class of society or previous religious affiliation. All are welcome & anyone can become a Christian!
Christians believe that no one is separated from God & lost because they didn’t know about Jesus or the Bible, but because of sin. It’s not about what people don’t know, but about what they do know, but fail to respond to. No matter what their level of knowledge of God, they fall short through disbelief & disobedience.
That’s why we need a Savior. If there were other ways to God and heaven, Jesus died in vain. Christ is the only hope for the people of the world. We share this truth in love not because we’re smarter or better than anyone else, but because God has revealed it to us in the Scriptures, & been gracious enough to allow us to hear it. Christianity is not just another religion teaching rules and principles to live by. It is a relationship with the one person whom God sent to provide forgiveness.