Here is what Jesus said:
“Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22)
And elsewhere, it is written:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Nowhere in the Bible do we see Jesus saying: “Let’s go and study/experience the religions of the Samaritans, the Greeks, and the Romans because the Jews don’t have the exclusivity of the truth”.
In fact, Jesus didn’t have any problem saying that people in other religions didn’t know what they were worshiping.
And He didn’t have any problem saying that salvation came from the Jews and through Him only.
If these are not claims of exclusivity and superiority, I don’t know what they are!!!
So, yes, Jesus was saying that there was something better.
The salvation that was of the Jews was better.
Jesus was better.
And if we consider ourselves as followers of Christ we’d better believe it. If not, what do we have to give to the world!!!
Now, is there a danger to see our egos becoming over developed? Sure! It was what happened to the Jews who considered any non Jew as a dog.
But Christians have to understand that it is Jesus who is better… not them. And this is the beauty of the Gospel because “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
This is THE message that we have to tell the world to give hope to people (along with the message of His resurrection and of His return).
This being said, it is always good to try to know the other cultures and religions of the people around us, above all if we want to serve and minister to them. But let’s not make the mistake to think that Christianity is just a religion with some truths in it among other religions which have some truths in them also.
Nothing is more erroneous.
The followers of Christ have THE truth: Jesus (which, again, doesn’t mean that we are better than anybody else).
Religious diversity is not new. It has always been there. We like to think that diversity is good and generally it is. But in the domain of religion, diversity has another name: Babylon, confusion. And sure, studying other beliefs can be fascinating but it is also dangerous. In a previous article, the author asked: “What would be the difference between reading about a dog or cat compared to getting to play with one?”. Well, playing with a dog can be a very enjoyable experience but we can never forget that there is also the risk of being bitten. The history of Israel as told in Scripture shows us how the people of God were seduced when confronted to a very diverse religious world.
God doesn’t ask us to “experience” other religions (after all, would we want to experience the Church of Satan which is a real church?).
He asked us to come out of Babylon.
Because while we are not better we surely have something better.