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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: When the God of the Bible Is Rejected

Don Stewart :: Don't All Religions Ultimately Teach the Same Thing?

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Don’t All Religions Ultimately Teach the Same Thing?

When the God of the Bible Is Rejected – Question 2

People often ask the question about certain common features which are found in all religions. It has often been said that they all seem to be saying the same thing but saying it in different ways. Doesn’t this mean they all eventually lead to the same place? Several points should be made about this common question:

1. Religions Have Things in Common

Yes, most religions do have things in common. They all attempt to meet a deeply felt need that all human beings have to worship something and to experience ultimate reality. Many have similar codes of ethics. Furthermore, it is generally believed by all religions that such things as murder and stealing are wrong and loving our fellow humans and doing good to others is right. Therefore, we find that there is indeed some common ground between all faiths.

When this truth is established people often assume that all religions are basically the same.

2. Many People Claim All Religions Are Ultimately Saying the Same Things

This leads us to our next point. Since religions have many things in common, is it possible that all major religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc.) are ultimately saying the same thing? Are they telling us the same truths but in slightly different ways? If this is the case, then it does not really matter which one of these religions a person embraces.

Often we hear the question asked in this manner, “Why make such a big issue about Jesus Christ and Christianity? All religions ultimately teach the same thing. Was not Jesus basically saying the same thing as Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, and the other founders of great religions? They all teach that God is love, we are to love our fellow human beings, and that we should give of ourselves for others, do they not? If this is the case, then why single out Christianity for special attention?” There is no reason for doing this if they are all saying the same thing.

3. The Major Religions Are Contradictory to Each Other in Their Main Beliefs

While it is popular to view as all religions as saying basically the same thing, such a claim is just not true. The Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and all other religious groups cannot all be experiencing the same God. Why? It is because the way they define God contradicts each other.

For example, Buddhism believes in an impersonal God; they do not separate God from the creation. Indeed, they are one-in-the same. God has no separate existence apart from the creation. In fact, some forms of Buddhism are actually atheistic in their view of God for they reject the idea that such a being as God exists.

Christianity, on the other hand, believes and teaches that God is personal. He is not the same essence as His creation but has a separate existence from it. In fact, the very first verse of the Bible makes this clear:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NKJV)

The personal infinite God of the Bible existed before the universe came into being. Then at a certain point in time He brought something into existence which didn’t exist previously, the universe.

Therefore, at its core, Christianity and a religion such as Buddhism cannot be reconciled.

There are countless such examples of major differences between the religions of the world. In many instances, it is at the very core of their teachings.

4. All Religions Cannot All Be True at the Same Time

Since the various religions teach different and contradictory things about the nature of God, and how a person can get to know Him, they cannot all be true at the same time. They can all be wrong, but they cannot all be true. Indeed, it is impossible for God to be personal and impersonal at the same time. Hence, to say that all religions are ultimately the same shows a lack of understanding of these religions and what they are teaching.

The main question that needs to be addressed concerning the various religions is not, “Do they contain some truth?” The real issue is, “Can they save?” It is the Christian faith alone that is able to save humanity from their sinful state. The Bible makes this clear. Simon Peter said salvation is found in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. He said,

Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone. (Acts 4:12 CEV)

This is the claim of Christianity. It is the only way that the one God has made to reach Him. As stated, the claim must be either true or false. If it is false, then it is possible that some other religion has the ultimate truth about God and how He can be approached.

However if the claims of Christianity are true, then, by definition, all other ways to reach God are false and should be rejected. This is where the issue stands. Consequently, the claims made by Jesus Christ must be evaluated to see if they are indeed true. An examination of the evidence will discover that this is the case.

Summary – Question 2
Don’t All Religions Ultimately Teach the Same Thing?

Religions have many things in common. No one disputes this. This had led many people to assume that they all ultimately teach the same thing. If this is true, then nobody should attempt to lift up any one religion above another. They are all basically equal. So goes the argument.

Although it is true that religions have a number of things in common, all religions do not ultimately teach the same thing. Indeed, they teach different things about such crucial matters as the nature of God, if He can be known, and what He expects from humanity.

Therefore they cannot all be true at the same time. They can all be wrong, but it is impossible for all of them to be true. The key question is not, “Do religions teach some truth?” Almost all of them teach things that are true. The real question is, “Can they save lost humanity?”

Only the Christian faith can do this. It not only claims to be the one truth, it provides evidence to back up its claims. Therefore, when someone embraces the Christian faith they can do so on the basis or reasonable or intelligent faith, not blind faith. When the facts are investigated one will find that Christianity lives up to it claim.

Thus, we should never fall into the trap of believing that all religions teach the same thing. They do not. However, one faith, the Christian faith, provides humanity with ultimate truth about God.

Does Any One Religion Have "The" Answer about God? ← Prior Section
In What Sense Is Christianity Unique among the World's Religions? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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