GOD ON TRIAL : PART 2 ( The Uniqueness of God )
Last week I touched on the subject of God and the bible. Is the bible still true today? How can we tell if it is true etc? You can read it all here : The Bible…The Voice of God.. How true is it?
This week I will be looking at the topic of “Is there only one true religion?”
I mean face it, one of the biggest challenges we as Christians face in this Post Modern world is the fact that everyone is right, yet strangely enough, everyone else is wrong!
One of the “HOT” topics at the moment is : “There are many roads to God, no one is right.” No matter who you serve, you'll get into heaven, so don't stress. Well as nice as this sounds, it is as far from the truth as saying “there is no God”.
But before I get ahead of myself, lets take a look at what God thinks about sharing his glory.
God does not like too divide his glory.
Exodus 20 is a good place too start (it is after all God's commandments too us).
Exodus 20 : 2-3 are quite clear on where God stands in the whole business of sharing :
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
The entire book of Leviticus is filled with things the Israelite weren't allowed to do. Many of these rules were placed there because other religions of the day where doing these exact things, and God was basically saying “Hey, I don't want you to be worshiping me as if I'm some other God!”
What about Jesus? God in human form, who came down to earth and supposedly preached peace and unity?
Well first off, Jesus did not preach unity, he preached “repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is near.”
This same Jesus also said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Does that sound like a Free For All to you? Who comes to the farther? (The farther who will have no other gods before him) Those who put there trust in Jesus, and follow him, only those will come to know the farther.
And post Jesus? What did the apostles preach?
Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
1 Cor 6:19b-20 : “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
Right, so now that we got that all out the way, what about some of the tough questions people ask?
Questions like “exclusive religions are dangerous, it causes conflict!” or “there are too many good people who are not Christians”, or “all religions teach the same thing” and so on.
I'm going to tackle some of these question very briefly.
Exclusive religions are dangerous – cause conflict
Looking at the current situation in Gaza, people like to point fingers at religion and say that it is all religions fault, without religion this world would be a far better place! Well let me just point out the facts quickly.
In the 20th (Century which has also had more wars,and deaths by war than any century before it) the biggest wars have all been caused by Idealists who have wanted to get rid of religion. eg: Soviet Russia, Communist China, Nazi Germany, Khmer Rouge in Cambodia!
You think religion creates violence! Just look at what the parties above caused!
By the way, if you hold this view (the view that all religions are wrong and deadly) then you are being just as exclusive as the religions you criticize.
There are too many good people who are not Christians
Unfortunately this is sad but true. Luckily there is a simple answer for this. Christians are saved by grace, we do not need to earn our way into heaven. So being “good” is not going to save us (though it is expected). Other religions require Good deeds. Without good deeds you are useless and worthless, with good deeds you can feel superior to others.
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As Christians we boast in the cross alone! “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” Gal 6:11-18
All religions are equal in value!
If you hold this view point, you must include ALL religions. You can't just accept some, because then you would need to justify you exceptions. So if we have to accept that all religions are of equal value, we must agree that religions that sacrifice children are as intrinsically good in value as ones that don't!
All religions are different parts of the one great spiritual truth
This is also know as the blind men and elephant theory.
Basically what this is saying is that just like each blind man can only touch/experience the part of the elephant they are currently in front of, and will never be able to see the full picture, so each religion is but a part of the GREAT truth.
See, the problem with this view is quite simple. For the person to make this statement they must accept the fact they are but an observer who actually knows what the elephant looks like. In which case, you hold the key to enlightening all of us!
See, you can't claim that everyone knows a small portion of the big picture, if no one knows what the big picture looks like, or even exists! (especially when each of the portions are in no way related or even hint at a “bigger” picture)
Which brings me to my last objection.
All religions teach the same thing.
If you really believe this too be true, I suggest you study the table below.
Lets just look at Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as examples :
|Christianity||God is personal. He is Trinity, Farther Son and Spirit||Jesus is the son of God, fully human and fully devine who died, rose and ascended to heaven||Sin is independent rebellion against God. It makes you his enemy||Salvation is found in Jesus alone. He died for our sins to reconcile us to God|
|Islam||There is no God but Allah||Jesus is only a human prophet, less than Muhammad. He didn't die on the cross.||Sin is failure to do the will of Allah as outline in the 5 pillars of faith||Man must earn his own salvation. You can never know if you have done enough to please Allah|
|Hinduism||'God' is a formless abstract being. It takes the form of millions of lesser gods||Jesus is just one of the many forms of God, he is no more god than anyone else. He didn't die for sins.||Sin doesn't exist. Whatever helps is good, whatever hinders is bad. Reincarnation is your second change||You reach the 'infinite' through devotion, meditation, good works and self control|
|Buddhism||There is no personal god||Jesus was a good teach, but less than Buddha. He can not save you.||Sin is anything that hinders man's progress to achieve nirvana||To reach nirvana you must save yourself by the 'Eightfold Path'|
Wow, now that is what I call an incompatible list!
So if any of you had reserves about the fact that they might all teach the same thing, I hope this has helped you in that!
But what too make of all this evidence?
If religions of this world, do not say the same thing, and are all radically different(which they are). Then there is a choice to be made, and it is definitely important enough to investigate.
If the bible is right (which the first article helped to prove) then the wrong choice will have serious consequences!