Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Great Opportunity-- Are All Religions the Same

As I wrote earlier, I was given the opportunity to write three short blurbs for the Smart Faith Apologetics conference.  I had an amazing time writing these, and have said I would post them here.  The first one is on the question Are All Religions the Same?  Here is my response to that question:

Are All Religions the Same?

Are all religions the same?  The short answer is no.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some obvious similarities between many religions such as loving one another, and belief in some kind of god, but religions often differ in their most important aspects.  Even in religions which seem to be very similar at first glance, there are big differences that are very important.  It really is the differences that define the religion.
Let me explain.  Most people assume all religions believe in God.   However, the existence of God is where a lot of differences occur. For example, there are three major monotheistic (one God) religions in the world: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Although all three agree about the existence of only one God, who they say God is differs. Christians say Jesus is God, Jews and Muslims say he isn’t. Either Jesus is God and Christianity is right, or Jesus isn’t God and the other religions are right. There is no way all three of these religions are correct about who and what Jesus is, and they certainly are not the same.
In the same way there are major differences among other religions as well.  Whereas Christianity believes in one God, Hinduism and Mormonism believe in many gods, and traditional Buddhism is atheistic (no God).  So, there are religions that believe in only one God, some that believe in many gods, and some that don’t believe a God exists.  How can they be the same?  These types of differences distinguish each religion as unique, and this uniqueness cannot be denied.
Although there are some similarities between the religions, it is really where they are different that is the most important.  It is the differences that count.

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