This is a pretty common question and it’s sometimes asked this way…”Don’t all paths lead to God”? Or sometimes people will say, “Each of us should be free to connect with God however we feel?” Now to that last one, yes we all have the freedom to choose our own religion but that doesn’t make them all the same or equally right.
Let’s start this conversation by acknowledging that in many of the major world religions there are some basic morality issues that all have in common. Things like, don’t lie, cheat, steal, murder, etc. are widely held beliefs even amongst people who choose to not follow or practice a religion. However, the argument that all religions are the same and that no matter which you choose will ultimately get you to God is simply false.
- Some claim there is no God, others that there is one true God and others believe that there are 1000’s of gods.
- Some say that we are made in the image of God, while others believe that one day we can become God.
- Some claim that at death we cease to exist, others that all go to be with God, others that heaven or hell await all, others that we will be reincarnated and still others that we will go to a place of utopia.
- Some say there is no such thing as sin, others that only God can forgive sin and still others that say we must do good deeds to overcome the bad that we’ve done.
The above is just 4 issues of many where it’s impossible to say, “Oh all religions teach the same thing”. Obviously they don’t, so now we get back to the issues we’ve talked about in previous weeks. If you haven’t already read my posts on intolerance and how Christianity can be mathematically proven. Please do so now…don’t worry…I’ll still be here when you get back.
Going back to 2+2. The only correct answer is 4. You can’t say that there are other correct answers or that if someone else gives a different answer that they are equally right. No!!! 2+2=4, it always has and always will. So when it comes to religions, all claim to be the truth, but as we have seen, all claim something different. So then it comes down to, can any of them be proven as correct?
The answer if yes! Now all will claim that they can, but only Christianity can back that up. And it’s done in 3 ways…
1. Personal stories of life change: Now this is actually not a great way because all religions can share stories of how people’s lives have been changed. This one is very subjective so it’s the least reliable way to prove anything. In fact, this one actually doesn’t prove anything at all but I wanted to throw this out because many people will try to use this as to why their religion is the correct one. The problem though is just because you are sincere about something doesn’t mean that you are not sincerely wrong. If you’ve been taught all your life that 2+2=5, it doesn’t matter how sincere you are in that belief the fact is you still have the wrong answer.
2. Archeology- This is where you begin separating Christianity from all the other religions (with the exception of Judaism, their Torah and our Old Testament are the same). For years the stories of the Old Testament and New Testament have been labeled by many as nothing more than fairy tales. But yet each year as more and more archeological work is done, the digs result in finds that back-up the times, places, people and events that the bible records. Many critics of the spiritual claims of the bible now readily admit that as a history book the bible is pretty accurate in what it records.
3. Predictive Prophecy- This goes back to my post about math and the astronomical odds of all those prophecies in the bible just merely being chance. Again if you haven’t read that post, please do so now. Ok, now that you’ve done that, let me point out that Christianity is the only world religion to have something like this, with the exception being Judaism and Islam.
Again the Jews Torah is the same as our Old Testament and there are other prophecies that were predicted and fulfilled in the Old Testament times that we both acknowledge was the handiwork of God. However, the Jews somehow take the hundreds of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled and say, “Nope He’s not the right man, someone else will need to fulfill them”. Now to be fair, most Jewish people have just been told by their leaders that Jesus isn’t the promised Messiah and haven’t been presented with the facts like I laid them out. In fact, I’ve helped led a couple of Jewish people into a relationship with Jesus just by simply reading some scriptures to them and then asking, “Who were they referring to?” They say, “Your Jesus.” I then ask, “How do you explain that?” Of course they ask, “Explain what?” I then say, “Well everything I just read to you was from your Torah”. All along they assumed I was reading from the New Testament, when in fact I was reading from the Old.
Islam also has a few predictive prophecies in the Qur’an. Muhammad on multiple occasions told his Muslim troops that they would have victory in battles, which they subsequently did. However, what good general doesn’t tell his troops that they will have victory? Also, Muhammad predicted that he would return to Mecca. However this is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. It would be like me saying, “I’m going to go to Florida for vacation this summer”. Now it’s possible that it might not happen, but largely the outcome of that is influenced by me. In any case, these types of prophecies that Muhammad made are not even close to the statistical improbability that we’ve seen that Jesus fulfilled.
So are all religions the same? No. Which means they all can’t be equally true. Is there a way for one of them to be proven true? Yes. But you still have freedom of choice. I pray that you choose wisely. For further study I suggest the book, “The Case for Christ” which details an investigative reporters own personal journey in determining if there is enough scientific and other data to prove the bible and the claims of Jesus.