Is Christianity arrogant?

by Matt Slick

Is Christianity an arrogant religion?  No it is not.  Arrogance is a kind of conceited, overbearing attitude where a person thinks he is more important or smarter than he really is.  Arrogance is one of the things Christianity opposes because we are not more important, or smarter, or better than other people.  We are sinners saved by grace, and because of that we are to have an attitude of love and humility.

  • Romans 12:10, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor."
  • Ephesians 4:1-2, "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love..."
  • Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself."
  • Colossians 3:12, "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Christianity is exclusive

Some people complain about the exclusivity of Christianity.  They will say we are arrogant because we believe Jesus is the only way and that only those who trust in Christ will be saved (John 3:16; 14:6).  But, this is not arrogance.  It is the claim of Christ and we are repeating what he said - was he arrogant?  Is it arrogant to depend upon the wisdom, truth, and work of someone else, particularly when it is Jesus, who claimed to be God in flesh (John 8:24, 58), who walked on water (Matt. 14:25), calmed a storm with a command (Mark 4:39), and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4)? 

Exclusivity is not arrogance any more than it is arrogant to say that I have exclusive sexual rights to my wife, or that a police officer has exclusive rights of wearing a police uniform, or that only one person can hold the office of the President of the United States at a time, etc.  Just because something is exclusive does not mean it is morally wrong.  Therefore, it is not arrogant to repeat the words of Christ, whom we follow, when he says he is the only way to salvation (John 14:6).

Arrogance is...

Arrogance would be to deny who Jesus said he was, to deny what he did, to deny what he proclaimed, and say that he is wrong about being the only way.  How is that not risking arrogance by judging Jesus?  Nevertheless, arrogance is condemned by scripture.  Please consider the following verses.

  • 1 Cor. 13:4-5, "Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered."
  • 2 Tim. 3:1-4, "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."
  • James 3:14, "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth."
  • James 4:16, "But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil."
  • Jude 16, "These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage."

Conclusion

Christianity is not arrogant.  It teaches humility and love towards others.  It denies having even the intention of any arrogance.  Saying that Jesus is the only way does not mean it is arrogance.  We are simply repeating and proclaiming what Christ himself has said.  So, anyone who would say Christianity is arrogant is saying that Jesus is arrogant, and in the process denying who he claimed to be.

 

 

 

 
 
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