By Steve Greene
Some believe the religions of the world are the same.
But if you look closely, nothing could be further from the truth.
For instance, Christianity says there’s one eternal God who created the universe. Hinduism says everything is God — you’re God, I’m God and anything else I choose can be God. Islam denies Jesus was God or that he died for our sins. Buddha may not even have believed in God.
These beliefs cannot all be true because they stand in such stark contrast to one another, so all religions are not the same. And while other religious leaders can offer wise sayings and helpful insights, only Jesus Christ — because he is the sinless son of God — is qualified to offer himself as payment for our sin.
Another myth of the religions of the world is that even though Christianity might be different, it’s still just one philosophy among many and that it’s no more valid than any other religion.
In other words, even if there are differences between religions, they all have equal claims on the truth. It is like saying you can have your truth and I can have mine.
This myth has a certain amount of appeal because on the surface, it reflects the pluralistic attitudes of our culture. We have been conditioned to be tolerant of the views of others.
The Bible tells us we should be loving and accepting and respectful toward all people, regardless of their faith. That is a good thing. From a constitutional perspective, all religious viewpoints are equally protected. People are free to believe whatever they want.
But some people jump to the erroneous conclusion that because different philosophies are equally protected, they must be equally valid, and that’s just not the case.
In this country, people have the right to believe whatever they want. Under the Constitution of the United States, the church of stupidity would be protected as much as any other. But the fact that it is protected doesn’t mean its teachings are true.
Anybody can make the claim, as Jesus did, that they are the way, the truth and the life. Anybody can say that nobody can come to God except through them, but that doesn’t mean it is true.
So the question is how do we know Jesus was telling the truth? We’ll dig deeper into this question and more as we continue to explore the popular myths of religion next time.