On Monday, Pastor Jeremiah Wright had the following exchange with the moderator at the National Press Club (transcript):
MODERATOR: “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but through me.’ Do you believe this? And do you think Islam is a way to salvation?”
WRIGHT: “Jesus also said, ‘Other sheep have I who are not of this fold.’”
To which Baptist commentator Denny Burk replies as follows:
Wright’s response clearly implies that Muslims are among the “other sheep” to which Jesus refers in John 10:16. Thus Wright affirms that people who do not have conscious faith in Christ can nevertheless have the hope of salvation — an inclusivist position that argues there are many paths to God…
Here’s the real import of what Wright said. Many people who hear Jeremiah Wright are likely to get the impression that Jesus is one of many paths that people might take to get to God. Jesus never taught any such thing. In fact, he always challenged His hearers with a stark choice. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). Jesus would brook no rivals, and He only made salvation available to those who would “honor the son” (John 5:23).
The Jeremiah Wrights of the world mislead people into thinking that Jesus Christ is one path among many that people might take to get to God. Jesus taught just the opposite. There is only one path that leads people to salvation, and it’s Jesus. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). To miss that path means forfeiting eternal life. The stakes couldn’t get any higher than that.
That’s unsurprising considering the denomination that Wright is in (United Church of Christ.) But, as always, eternity is still what matters.