Are All Religions Equally True?

     One of the better apologetically written books I have read is Dr. Timothy Keller’s book, The Reason for God. This is a must read book for both the believer and the non-believer alike. In it, he explores different avenues of objections to the Christian faith and then concluding the second half of the book with multiple reasons for faith in Jesus. As I read through this book, there was a section that stood out to me particularly because I have personally experienced several people throw out this objection towards Christianity. Basically, what people say is that Christianity is to exclusive and that all major world religions are equal and teach closely the same thing. This is also popularized by the phrase “all religions lead to God”. I have to ask myself, can this really be true? If in fact this is a true statement, then obviously this Jesus guy I am talking about is only one savior out of many who are worshiped every day, but if the claim is wrong, then we all had better get on the ball on deciding which god is real. I think you would all agree!

     First, lets deal with the question of, are all religions equally valid. Right away, I think that we should be able to conclude no. I say this because if you think about it there are religions that people are not thinking about when they make this claim. What about the ritualistic religions where sacrifices of children are still being committed? I hate to say it, but we have been plagued throughout history with strange cults and crazy religions that I would think no sane person would say is valid. When people say that all religions are equal, they must be talking about the major religions in the world. For example, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and others of the like are what people are primarily thinking of.

     When considering if these major world religions are all leading to the same place, I think it would be easy to see that they are not! If you would simply look into the theology of each of these religions, you would quickly see that there is not much similarity at the core of what they believe. It is to this claim about equal religions that I really like what Dr. Keller has to say. Keller, in his book states that,

“The problem with this position is its inconsistency. It insists that doctrine is unimportant, but at the same time assumes doctrinal beliefs about the nature of God that are at loggerheads with those of all the major faiths“. Pg. 8

     Basically what he says there is true. Even though you say that specific doctrine does not matter because it all leads to God, you in turn are making a doctrinal statement that is at odds with beliefs in all the other major faiths. Which is it? Is Jesus the true Son of the Living God who has died for His people as Christians claim, or was He simply just a good moral teacher who taught good ideas to live by and was not divine as others religions depict Him. Somewhere down the road, we have to come to a conclusion about the equality of religions, at least I would think.

     Now at this point in the argument, someone might bring up the old objection to this by talking about each religion only seeing partial truth of the whole picture. There is a story that comes with this claim and again Dr. Keller talks about it in his book, and I think that his explanation and telling of the story is satisfactory for this article.

“Several blind men were walking along and came upon an elephant that allowed them to touch and feel it. “This creature is long and flexible like a snake” said the first blind man, holding the elephant’s trunk. “Not at all-it is thick and round like a tree trunk,” said the second blind man, felling the elephant’s leg. “No, it is large and flat,” said the third blind man, touching the elephant’s side. Each blind man could feel only part of the elephant-none could envision the entire elephant.” Pg. 8

     This quote could be considered when talking about all the different religions. Does it make sense to say that this could be true? Well, even more, I think Dr. Keller provides us with a great objection to this notion.

“This illustration backfires on its users. The story is told from the point of view of someone who is not blind. How could you know that each blind man only sees part of the elephant unless you claim to be able to see the whole elephant?” Pg. 9

     Keller makes a great point here. No matter how you tell this story, there is someone who knows the full picture. With that said, it really puts a stain on this way of thought. Now, we are back to square one, if all religions are not equal, then which one is?

     In my studies, it has been my experience that there are two types of religions, one is that of works based theology. This basically is that we the humans have to perform great and good acts to be worthy before God. This is very much like that of the Mormon faith.

     The second type of religion is one that operated on the foundations of grace and mercy from God. This is what I am submitting to you in this article. It is the sole grace of God through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit that we are saved. Christianity teaches that we are a fallen people who willingly rebelled against God Himself (Gen. 3) throwing us into a whirlwind of sinful lifestyles that are not pleasing to God. Then God himself, making a covenant with sinful people promising a savior and making Himself accountable when the covenant would be broken resulting in death, took the punishment of sin all upon Himself on the cross (Gal. 3: 13).

     Essentially, even though we are sinful and deserve death, Christ took it upon Himself to be the blood offering on our behalf even when we broke covenant with God. If you ask me, Christianity offers hope and comfort that I would say no other form of religion can offer. After all, what god would die for his people? I do know that scripture testifies to the greatness of our heavenly Father who watches over us.

     As I consider the objection to Christianity that all we should not be exclusive and all religions are basically leading to same place, I just can not help but remember the words of Jesus Himself in John 14:6

“Jesus answered, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me.”

     Jesus Himself was making an exclusive claim to deity. Where does this leave us? If you have not considered who Jesus really is, then I would encourage you to do so now. Please by all means, ask questions and search scripture for answers. I am willing to bet that in your pursuit of Jesus, He will in fact find you! Praise and glory be to the God of the bible who sent His Son to die in our place. What an amazing God!


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