Since the attacks on September 11, we as a nation have been given, whether we like it or don't, a lesson in comparative religions. Since that terrible day, we have seen an attempt to equalize all of the world’s religions. I guess it's the "one fits all” notion, with no one religion being better than that of the next, because the reasoning is, "one God, represented in all religions." One God, yes; but represented all of the world religions? No way.
First, in the far eastern religions, they tend to be pantheistic; God is in all things including yourself, and you just have to look for it. There is no judgment in god, which means no accountability; you just go through different life spans, learning what you can, till you acquire Nirvana or some higher level of consciousness. Religions worshipping nature follow closely to the pantheistic religions of the Far East. For example: Wicca and some of the Native American religions call on the power of creation and worship "mother" earth.
Now, if all of these pantheistic religions along with the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all represent one God, and all are equal, then there is a big problem. Namely, one of these religions doesn't fit that mold.
Christianity. The Christian faith flies in the face of all these other religions that are supposed to represent an all loving, and non-judgmental God, simply because of what its founder said about himself, not necessarily what he taught.
On the surface, Christianity is probably the most peaceful religion in the western world. The critics often remind us that Jesus taught tolerance and love. We are reminded that we shouldn't "judge" our neighbor because their lives are just as good as ours. Jesus is forever quoted, "Blessed are the..." On these statements there is no threat. It is quoting who He said he was that brings in the controversy. In addition, this is where the "all religions are equal" argument falls apart, because the critic hasn't done his homework.
You cannot rest on a religion simply because it has good morals. You need to know what the founder said about himself and then test it. What I'm driving at is that while Christianity is one of the world’s most peaceful religions and its founder was the most loving person to walk the face of the earth, it is who Jesus said he was that brings problems.
If the claims he made about himself are not true, then the whole of Christianity is rotten to the core and our faith is useless. Jesus claimed that he was God, not a messenger of God, not a prophet of God, not a higher conscience of some unattainable deity, but God in the Highest, I AM (Jn 8:58*). He not only revealed it to his followers (Mt 16, Mk, 8, Lk 9*), he said it to his opponents as well (Mt 27:62-65*). He said it to a group of people who picked up stones to kill him for making such claims (Jn 8:58*). He said it to a gentile woman (Jn 4: 25-26*) and to a blind man (Jn 9: 35-38*). He even accepted praise that was intended for God (Mt 21, Mk, 11, Lk 20, Jn 12, Heb 1*) - even the demons he confronted called him God (Mk5, Mt 8, Lk, 8*).
If this is not true, then why are we following the teachings of a liar? For the betterment of mankind? Why? All hope died for mankind on a cross two thousands years ago and we are just waiting for the earth to be swallowed up by the sun. As the apostle Paul said, “eat and drink, for tomorrow, we die.”
Jesus claimed that he was God and he proved it by rising from the dead (1 Cor. 15:12-20*). No other religion makes this claim. Moses and Abraham would have rejoiced to see God's promise to them come to fruition in the embodiment of a risen Savior, while Mohammed, who never claimed to be a savior, is still in the grave. All other religions worship a thing, or a person made up to be a god, not a deity that transposes time and space to come to save a dying, lost world. That said, there is hope, there is peace, there is something better than what you have right here, right now.
If Jesus is a liar, then let's trash Christianity and run to all of the other religions, because then it will be a true statement, "all religions are equal."
* Scriptures references are from “Good News Study Bible”
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Well put. Hits the nail right on the head. Either Jesus is a lunatic, a liar, or the Lamb of God who erases your sin debt. Depends on what you think of the Word of God. I've bet my eternal existence on Him being the Lamb of God.
Good article Jim. You some wonderful insight and I liked the way you presented the Gospel.
Brother Jim, a great discourse with the truth so clearly presented! - Jay Cookingham