Many Ways to God or Many Errors in the Name of Religion?
Many people in the west believe “there is something out there” while others affirm with conviction that they know there is no God.
Eastern religions teach that “everything” is God and through meditation we can come to realise our inherent divinity. Those in the Judaeo-Christian traditions believe that the creation is not part of God at all.
Islam teaches the oneness of God and denies the Trinity, while Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the majority of protestant churches affirm the doctrine of the trinity.
Buddhism teaches that the question of God’s existence is not very important – what counts is following the eightfold path for right living. It teaches that through earning merit in this life we will reincarnate to a better state.
Satanism and high-level freemasonry teach that Lucifer (Satan) is the true God we must worship, while to most people Satan is an evil enemy – not a friend. The New Age movement however, in its upper echelons embraces Lucifer as a friend, and teaches that every religion except evangelical Christianity (and possibly Judaism) must unite for world peace.
Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cults teach that man must work his way to acceptance with God, while evangelical Christianity teaches that salvation is a gift and can’t be earned.
So many fundamental contradictions exist between different religions on every major point, yet many want to believe that many if not all religions are all ultimately ways to God. But what kind of “God” would change his mind about who He is and what He wants from us? Only some kind of imaginary wishy-washy, confused, schizophrenic deity, unworthy of our worship, would think like that. So why should we? Away with this nonsense about the inherent unity of all religions. Any religious movement which claims this, such as the Bahai faith, has already separated itself from any other religious movement in order to maintain its distinctive doctrines anyway.
If you were in Sydney, Australia and wanted to catch a train to Gordon station you would not just hop on any train and see where it took you.Why do people use that kind of approach when it comes to the things of God and eternity? We hear so often that “there are many ways to God”, and that the many world religions are like different paths scaling the same mountain. But if that is so, then the God at the top of the mountain must be a liar – because He would be making a lot of paths which teach contradictory things about who He is, why we have problems, what the remedy is and what we should do about it.
Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6). These are not popular words in today’s pluralistic culture. But then again, Jesus Christ was not seeking to win a popularity contest. He said it because He knew it was true. He backed up his claims by many miracles and by rising from the dead.
Satan would have people believe that Christianity is a hate religion because it will not surrender its claim to be exclusively true. This may be true of religions which spread through physical violence and oppression, but it cannot be true of a religion that teaches us to love our enemies, and to do good to those who hate us (Matthew 5:44ff).
Christians are called to love those who disagree with us. We are not called to compromise our faith in Jesus Christ, or to deny His claims to be the only way to God (John 14:6), but we are called to love others. Love does no harm to a neighbour. Forms of religion which require violence, persecution, oppression and so on to survive are in contradiction with the spirit of Christ.
Just because the Bible claims something does not logically make it right. If we can find answers that make better sense elsewhere – answers that have historically valid roots and are existentially livable, then perhaps Christianity is not all it is claiming to be. But before we jump to that conclusion, let us check out some things.