The Christian Difference
It seems that in their bid to treat people fair and with love, many Christians have been swooped up into religious pluralism without even being aware of it. We are so careful not to step on the toes of our friend or co-worker that we have washed away the essentials of our own faith.
What is religious pluralism and why do some embrace it? Basically, it is the yellow brick road. Follow it and you will reach the wizard; God, as it were. No matter how you walk the road or what you believe about the “wizard” you are still all getting there and that’s what counts. To expand, let’s say that you are Dorothy the Christian. You have received information that God can be found by following the yellow brick road. Your Bible is your friend, Toto. You bring it along in your basket. Along the way you encounter a Tin man. He also wants to follow the road and find the wizard. He brings along his axe which is the Koran. He seems harmless enough. You are both on the yellow brick road, so, it must be alright. Along comes the Cowardly Lion. The lion is very unsure of himself and cannot decide any belief, so he comes along with his emotions on his sleeve, but a big heart. The scarecrow carries the five Pillars of Islam and is sure that his path to the wizard will ultimately prove to be the only path. Dorothy desires to build relationships with her companions. She does not want to be judged, even though she knows in her heart that Jesus is the only way. She believes Christianity teaches that God is three persons in one. She chooses not to argue with her compatriots. Who is she to know what is truly the one path to God for each of them?
Is Dorothy tolerant? Is religious pluralism tolerant and accepting? Not really. Its very nature is to prove that its own way is the right way and therefore boastful. This isn’t tolerance; it’s a power play. When asserting all religions lead to God, the distinctive and very different views of God and how to reach the divine in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam are brushed aside in one powerful swoop.[i]
Jesus Himself was humble and accepting of others. However, He never wavered from the message of “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[ii]
The Christian difference might be summed up with these three components. First, other religions teach that a follower must earn their way to God. Romans 5:8 reveals that we are still sinners and Christ died for us. Next, some religions have numerous rules to follow to find their way to God. Christianity fulfills our desires and saves if we believe and have faith in the fact that Jesus died for our sins. And, last but surely not least, we have the cross and the resurrection. The empty tomb speaks for itself of the difference.[iii]
The belief that religious pluralism is the GPS on the yellow brick road will surely not lead to God. Christians, we are called to lead the way.
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[i] https://www.gospelproject.com/what-is-unique-about-christianity-among-the-world-religions/ [ii] John 14:6 NIV [iii] https://newspring.cc/articles/3-ways-christianity-is-different-from-other-religions