Don’t all religions teach the same thing?

Wednesday night at Merge, Journey’s take on a weeknight Bible study, we tackled the notion that most of the world religions basically teach the same thing. It’s a growing idea in our world today that most of the religions out there are all about the same basic things: being good/a good person, loving people and being faithful. While that might seem to be a true statement at first glance, when you get right down to it, all other religions have core beliefs that are contradictory to the central beliefs of Christianity. We took a look at 10 different religions and compared them to Christianity to see where they lined up. Each table got to be a different religion and learn a little about their beliefs.

While we couldn’t look at them all, we hit some of the major and most popular ones:

  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Mormonism
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Hindu
  • Buddhism
  • New Age/Misc “Spirituality”
  • Scientology
  • Agnosticism/Atheism/Secularism
  • Wicca

It was an enlightening evening as we took a glance at some of the things other religions believe.

We filled out a chart with some of their belief’s or ideas about some important aspects of our faith. You can check it out here. Some of the information might not make sense without a bit of explanation that was found in the handouts for each religion. If you’d like copies of those, stop by Guest Services this weekend and there will be extras there. Not going to be at Journey this week? Email me and I’ll get you a copy.

This was a really interesting topic to put together and I really enjoyed the discussion. As usual, we ran out of time to cover everything that I wanted to get to, but it was still great. If you’re interested in learning more, a couple of great resources that I found were Christianity, Cults & Religions & The Indispensable Guide to Practically Everything: World Religions and What People Believe. Both these books sum up the various religions in easy to understand and fun to read ways. Not to mention they’ve both got some great practical tools for witnessing and responding to different religions with respect and love.

The most difficult part of the whole thing is realizing that none of these religions have it right. It sounds so narrow minded and arrogant to say that we’re the only ones who are right, but if we believe God’s word to be true and Jesus to be the authority, then we have to choice but to believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. It’s a sobering thought to think that all of those millions of people who believe different religions are heading toward an eternity apart from God.

Is it really loving to be tolerant and accepting of other religions when it means that those people – maybe even people we love – are going to hell? It’s time to step up and look for ways to share our faith and help others take that step into a relationship with Jesus.

About Matthew Starner

Matthew Starner is pastor of Journey of Faith Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they help people take their next step on their journey with Jesus.

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