Aug 112014 5 Responses

Don’t Tell Me Every Religion Is the Same

It sounds good. It seemingly puts everyone on the same plane and gives us all the peaceful belief that our current thoughts do not have lasting consequences.

“Every religion is the same,” they say. No need to discuss it. No need to look at the propositional truths behind each belief system. No need to take any idea too seriously.

Every religion is the same,” so I can believe whatever I wish and you can believe whatever you wish. There is no need to debate it or bother with it. Everything is just the same.” (See: Three Lies Christians Tell Themselves)

But then I read the headlines:

  • Eight Christians crucified by a Muslim terrorist group because they will not denounce Christ.
  • Children beheaded in the name of God.
  • Cars burned and a city in upheaval because a Koran is burned.

All of these happen because of religion, but that’s not the same as my religion. Those aren’t actions I find acceptable. Those do not bring glory to the God I know.

Don’t tell me every religion is the same. They aren’t. What one believes has drastic consequences in their lives, both this one and the next. They aren’t the same. When one person’s religion causes them to kill others while the other person’s religion calls them to sacrifice themselves to protect others, that’s not the same. When one headline is about the slaughter of innocent people in the name of God and the other is about a doctor risking his life to save helpless people, those two belief systems are not the same.

Don’t tell me every religion is the same. (See: The Most Confident Christians)

How can every religion be the same when:

Buddhism teaches nothing is permanent. Reincarnation is a way we can pursue toward enlightenment.

Islam teaches there is a God and we must submit to Allah to experience paradise.

Christianity teaches we have been separated from God by our sin, but God has made a way through Jesus for us to know him.

Mormonism teaches there is a God and we can know him through faith and good works.

Atheism teaches there is no God or afterlife.

Judaism teaches there is a God and one day he will send his Messiah to rescue his people.

Agnosticism teaches there is a God but we cannot know him.

Those aren’t the same. Those are radically different ways to understand the world. They have drastic consequences regarding the meaning of life, humanity, and the surrounding world. They aren’t just isolated beliefs, but instead they are the foundations upon which everything rests. And they are not the same. (See: Why I Am a Christian)

Obviously they aren’t the same so stop saying they are.

Stop cowering behind this false belief that every idea is equal.

Face it, the only reason you say every religion is the same is so you don’t have to think about it. So you don’t have to decide. So you don’t have to risk your life based on an idea. (See: Jesus Isn’t as Conservative, or Liberal, as You Think)

That’s the real issue. If one religion is right and the others are wrong, that would demand something from us. For me, if atheism is right, it would demand that I admit I have been wrong for all these years. I would have to re-evaluate every idea in my life. If Mormonism is right, it means much of what I have taught and believed is wrong.

That is why people say every religion is the same. Because if each one is the same, nothing is required of them. It doesn’t matter what anyone does.

But believing every religion is the same doesn’t make logical sense. Either there is a God or there isn’t. Atheism is either right or wrong; it can’t be in between. If it is wrong, and there is a God, then either we can know him or we can’t. Agnosticism is either right or wrong. If we can’t know him, then all other religions are wrong. But if we can know him, then agnosticism is wrong. If there is a God and we can know him, how can we know him? Either Islam is right or it’s wrong. Either we can purify ourselves enough to be accepted by God or we can’t. If we can, then Christianity is wrong. We have no need of grace if we are good enough to make ourselves right with God.

Christianity is either right or wrong. Either we need God’s grace or we don’t. (See: What I Mean When I Say ‘You Are a Sinner’)

Every religion cannot be the same.

Because of this, we must investigate, debate, and make a decision about each perspective on life. We cannot excuse them by saying they are all the same. They aren’t.

And we can’t say that every person who claims a certain religion is actually living out that religion. As a Christian, I’m very aware that people can do evil things in the name of Christ. While they claim the name of Christianity, their actions do not resemble the teaching of Jesus. The same is true with every other religion.

Consider the precepts, compare them with what you experience in life, and decide if an idea is right or wrong.

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