Don’t All Religions Lead to the Same God?
Question in Response:
Who do you think Jesus Christ was?
Have you ever compared founders of different religions? If you did you would find that Jesus Christ is totally different.
One Minute Response:
1. Is there anything that sets Christianity apart from all other religions?
Christianity is not unique in its moral teaching. All religions seem to have some moral code which is a rough form of the Golden Rule. I can see why people think that all religions are the same. But, there is one major difference between Christianity and all other religions–Jesus Christ the founder.
Unlike Mohammed, Buddha, Abraham, Jesus Christ claimed to be God. Abundant evidence supports that claim: Jesus is the only one whose life was preceded by 300 plus prophecies, who died to pay the penalty for what separates us from God, who rose from the dead showing that He was God.
The real question seems to be, “Is Jesus who He claimed to be?” If He is, then Christianity is the one true religion.
2. If all religions lead to the same God then how do you explain the fact that they are contradictory in their most basic claims of the nature of God? Some say God is personal; others, impersonal. Which is it? Some say Jesus was just a man, another says He is God, which is it? Some say you are reincarnated, others say you die once and after this comes a judgment that determines your destiny forever. Everyone except the Judeo Christian tradition says you are able on your own to reach God or experience oneness with “Ultimate reality,” but Christianity says we need a Savior.
1. It is possible to have wrong beliefs–to be sincerely wrong.
Illustration: A guy who drank Drano thinking it was snow cone syrup. He was sincere all right, but, he was sincerely wrong. He had a wrong belief. He drank the Drano and it killed him.
It is not your faith, but the object of your faith that matters.
2. Different religions make different truth claims.
- Hinduism believes in an impersonal God (pantheistic). Christianity believes in a personal God.
- Muslims believe Jesus Christ was a prophet and not God. Christians believe he was God in flesh.
- Buddhism says the universe is closed and God (ultimate reality) is within time. Christianity says God existed before there was time and a universe. He transcends time and the universe.
The laws of logic (specifically the law of excluded middle) tell us that both cannot be true. God is either personal or impersonal, inside or outside of time, incarnate in Christ or not. Thus, religions are not the same.
The real question ought to be, “Which religion/world view is most coherent and makes the most sense of reality?
3. What makes Christianity unique?
The most popular religion in the world, with over 2 billion who consider themselves Christian.
What is not unique about Christianity: Christianity is not unique in its ethic. Christianity can make sense of the fact that non-Christian religions would arrive at similar ethical teaching. According to Christianity God has revealed himself to every man through creation and a moral conscience.
What makes Christianity unique is that rather than being focused on a philosophical ideal or ethic, Christianity is focused on a person and on an event. The news that spread throughout the Roman empire after Jesus Christ’s death was not, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Rather it was, “Jesus Christ died on a cross and raised from the dead.”
The unique thing about Christianity is its founder and what he did, more what he taught. Let me share four unique things about Jesus Christ.
- His birth: The life of Jesus Christ was preceded by 300+ prophecies. Isaiah 53, Psalm 19.
- His claims: Unlike any other religious founder, Jesus claimed to be God.
- His death: Unlike any other religious founder, Jesus suffered and died in our place to pay the penalty for man’s sin.
- His resurrection: Unlike any other religious founder Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
Objection: We are blinded by our own finite limitations and individual and cultural concepts. Thus, any attempt to understand God is like three different blind men understanding an elephant. One feels the tusks and describes him as a genie in a polished lamp, another feels a leg and describes him as a strong immovable pillar, a third encounters the tail and describes him as a rope to heaven. All are right, but, all are incomplete. They are limited by the phenomena, what they experience, rather than comprehending the noumena, the elephant as it is in itself.
Response: One is equally justified in saying that the lesson from the analogy is that none of the blind men were correct.
The puzzle itself asserts the very thing it attempts to deny. It attempts to deny the possibility of comprehending the ultimate reality of the elephant. But, in so doing it asserts that there is some ultimate (an elephant) that we can know something about. Our task is to find out which religion or world-view does the best job of explaining ultimate reality.