In today's pluralistic world, it is popular for many people to view the various world religions and cults as being basically one and the same. Liberal theologian, John Hick, often summarizes his position by quoting from the Bhagavad Gita, which states: "Howsoever men may approach me, even so do I accept them; for, on all sides, whatever path they may choose is mine." (Bhagavad Gita 4:11). Different religions, worshipping the same God? "There are many paths to God", say those who would adhere to this belief. Is this true? Although an attractive option for many, the main difficulty with this position is that the different religious leaders actually taught different and conflicting things. For example the following list gives a good example of the major differences on the teaching of the nature of God by some notable religious leaders in history:
Similarly, regarding the Person of Jesus Christ, there are significant differences between today's religions:
Christianity teaches that when a person dies, they are resurrected again as the same person. There is a resurrection of the saved and the lost. In contrast, Hinduism, and many modern New Age groups, believe in reincarnation, where a person dies and returns many times as different people.
There is also a major ethical problem with the belief that all religions basically teach the same thing. For example, why do most religions find the Hindu practice of "widow burning" to be barbaric? Why not involve Satanists into multi-faith celebrations? What is the difference between Mother Terasa and her Sisters of Mercy and David Koresh and his cult at Waco? The very fact that society abhors the practices and beliefs of some religions and applauds others clearly shows that they subconciously acknowledge that there are very real differences.
In contrast to society's false acceptance of all religions being basically the same, the Christian belief that Christ is the only way to God is becoming more and more frowned upon. Many people accuse Christians of being narrow minded bigots who are hostile to the multi-faith society in which we live. However, it should be noted that even though Christians do say that belief in Christ is the only way to have salvation, other religions also teach an exclusiveism themselves, except they are not as open about it as their Christian neighbours. For example: in the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu God, Krishna, states that he is the door through which salvation is found, the Lord, and the one true friend (Bhagavad Gita 9:17, 18).
Jehovah's Witnesses teach that their organisation alone is "the truth" in contrast to all other religions which are viewed as "pagan" or "evil". Jehovah's Witnesses believe that their organization, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, is God's "...sole visible channel, through whom alone spiritual instruction was to come..." (Watchtower, Oct, 1, 1967, p. 590).
The Mormon Church teach's that it is the one and only true church on the earth whereby full salvation is obtainable. This is seen in a quote by prominent Mormon leader, Bruce R. McConkie: "There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" [i.e. the Mormon Church]. (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Docrtrine, 2nd ed., p. 670).
"The No Name Fellowship" or "Cooneyites" give themselves the title of "The Truth", but so do the Christadelphians, and the Watchtower.
Christianity makes no secrets about its belief that salvation in Christ alone is the only way to God. Christians often cite the following biblical passages to support this truth:
Jesus said: "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved..." (John 10:9).
Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me." (John 14:6).
"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5).
Speaking of Christ, the early Christians said: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 5:12).
Event though we are living in an age which likes to think that all religions are more or less similar, under closer examination, it is clearly evident that each religion differs widely on important foundational beliefs, such as the nature of God and the Person of the Lord Jesus. In addition, most religions are secretly exclusive, viewing themselves as alone being the one true group who serve God correctly and the channel by which salvation is found. Christianity, on the other hand, makes no secrets about truth being found in one channel. But this is not found in a Church, but rather in a Person - Jesus Christ.
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