Recently I heard two men talking about how they were the only two Christians that they knew in their little community. As I heard these remarks I wondered if they considered the implications of their contention. To claim to be the only Christians, in accordance with their theology, meant that they were accepted by God while everyone else they knew was rejected. By making such a statement they were appropriating to themselves the exclusive sanction of the Creator, while relegating all others to a horrible fate.
I am confident that these men did see their comments as being so self exalting and dismissive of everyone else; but the fact is that their proclaimed theology speaks for them, loudly and clearly. In asserting that they were the only true believers, they indicted everyone else around them. It was a preposterous contention, one which should not be seen as somehow noble. Laying claim to a position of moral, religious superiority is never a sign of respect for Christ and His message. It is in fact a mark of exactly what Jesus condemned most vociferously, pretentious piety and the associated self righteousness.