For the past couple of weeks our church has been in a series called, “Breaking the Mold” based on Romans 12:2
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. “
It has been a great series and has caused much discussion in our LifeTeam Study Groups. We have looked at not being conformed to, individualism, consumerism, relative truth and this week the topic was religious pluralism. The idea that all religions lead to the same God. This is a very popular idea with celebrities like Oprah to religious leaders like the Dali Lama who said:
“Religion is important for humanity, but it should evolve with humanity. The first priority is to establish and develop the principle of pluralism in all religious traditions… The next step is to accept that the idea of propagating religion is outdated. It no longer suits the times.” (Dalai Lama)
If you will allow me I would like to challenge the idea that all religions lead to the same God. Let me put out what I believe and then simply back it up.
“It is inconsistent to believe that all religions lead to the same God.”
- Lacking consistency
- Not compatible with another fact or claim
- Containing incompatible elements
When you take a look at World Religions they are not compatible in what they believe. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
- A Muslim believes God is Allah and he is not knowable
- A Hindu believes there are many gods (300 million)
- A Christian believes God is Triune – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and that you can know Him.
When it comes to Jesus:
- A Muslim believes Jesus was a prophet but not as important as Mohammed.
- A Hindu believes Jesus was a good teacher.
- A Christian believes Jesus is God.
When it comes to Salvation:
- A Muslim believes salvation is earned by deeds.
- A Hindu believes salvation comes with self-realization.
- A Christian believes salvation is a gift from God that you accept but cannot work to attain.
When it some to the Afterlife:
- A Muslim believes that you can only be assured of salvation at death when you find out if your good deeds in life have outweighed your bad deeds.
- A Hindu believes in reincarnation.
- A Christian believes that heaven is assured the moment you surrender your life to Jesus on earth and that Jesus is preparing a home in heaven for those who believe in Him.
I could go on but I will stop there.
Now I realize that there are many who may read this post and not believe in Jesus the way that I do but putting that aside I think that after examining the major World Religions that it is inconsistent to say they all lead to the same God. God cannot be unknowable and knowable at the same time. That’s not consistent.
I know the argument will be made that we are all climbing up the same mountain but from different sides but we will all find God at the top. Ok let’s examine that for a minute. When I was a kid I hiked up a place called “The Man in the Mountain” this is not my video but here is a view from on top of the mountain.
Every time I have been on the mountain I have seen the same view. I have pictures from the 80’s with the same view, I see pictures on Facebook with the same view. If all religions lead to the same God shouldn’t the view on to of the mountain be the same??????
An apple, a banana and an orange are similar they are fruit, they are good for you and they grow on trees. But they are not the same. Hockey, baseball and basketball are similar, they are sports they have rules and they are played on field or court. But they are not the same. Religions are similar, they have some form of worship, they have an idea of sin and a solution. But they are not the same.
Therefore, I stand by my contention that, it is inconsistent to believe that all religions lead to the same God.
So the question needs to be asked, “Why should I believe in Jesus?” That’s a very fair question to ask and let me give you a couple of reasons why I believe in Him.
- Only religious leader to claim to be God. (John 20:28. Mark 14:61-62)
- Only religious leader to rise from the dead. (Acts 4:2, Acts 25:19)
- Only religious leader to claim to give eternal life. (John 5:24, John 6:47)
- Only religious leader who came down the mountain and helped us up. (John 3:16)
Enjoy your day.