AN HONEST QUESTION
“There are loads of religions in the world. And millions of people sincerely believe in them. So if any religion, like Christianity, says their way is right, and the others are wrong…isn’t that pretty arrogant? In the 21st century, shouldn’t we be more tolerant? Aren’t they all just different paths to heaven?”
Sounds great! But if we dig a little deeper, the idea that all religions lead to God means we are suggesting three things that don’t really make sense.
THAT RELIGIOUS PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN RELIGION
There are major contradictions between the major world religions. Christians believe in one God: Buddhists say there is no God. Muslims believe when you die everyone goes to heaven or hell; Hindus say you are reincarnated.
Committed followers of these religions know that what they believe contradicts what other religions are say. Strangely, if we say all religions are basically saying the same thing, we’re saying all these religious followers haven’t understood their own religious beliefs. We’re saying we know better about their religion than they do.
THAT WE KNOW BETTER THAN GOD
Ultimately, the only person who knows which path, or paths, through life lead to heaven (or even whether this is a heaven) is God.
And Jesus, having proved he was God’s Son through what he said and did, was crystal clear: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
If we think we can decide for ourselves that all religions lead to God, we’re putting ourselves in God’s position, and we’re telling God we know more about heaven than him.
THAT GOD IS STUPID
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). The heart of the Christian message is that God sent his Son, Jesus, to die on a cross so he could take our eternal death away and give us a place in eternal life, in heaven.
If there is another way for people to get to heaven, then Jesus didn’t need to die. So if there’s another religion that leads to God, then God’s pretty stupid – he sent his own Son to die when he didn’t need to.
This enables us to see why the message of the Bible is good news. It’s not that Jesus is one of many options humans can choose from to get to heaven. It’s that in Jesus, God has lovingly chosen to make a way, the only way, for humans to enter and enjoy eternal life.
“Maybe Jesus was wrong on this issue. Wasn’t he just a great teacher, who made a mistake?”
Thanks to the internet, we have an incredible number of resources at our fingertips. In an abundance of information, however, the challenge is often finding the right thing to study. With this in mind, we’ve curated this list of articles and videos for you as you continue your investigation into the topic explored in this article.
This material is taken from Good Question by Carl Laferton © The Good Book Company, 2011 and used by kind permission.