Do all religions lead to God?



                               

Many people think this is the case, because they assume that all religions are essentially the same when you get right down to it. But this just isn’t true. If you let each religion speak for itself, you find religions around the world differ greatly on the basic concepts-God, truth, reality, the basic human dilemma and the solution to that dilemma. They differ so much that many of their statements contradict one another. For example, God cannot be both personal, as Christians, Jews and Muslims believe, and impersonal, as Buddhists and Hindus believe. Those are contradictory statements. According to the rules of logic, contradictory statements cannot all be true. Therefore, all religions cannot possibly be true. It is a logical impossibility. And if they are not all true, then not all of them can lead to God.

Some people might question this, saying it is intolerant to think only one religion has things right. But this response shows a misunderstanding of what intolerance really is. Intolerance comes from the word “tolerate.” To tolerate means to allow something, such as a belief, to exist even though we don’t like it or agree with it. Tolerance does not mean never disagreeing with anybody. The word implies disagreement. True tolerance means allowing differing views to coexist without necessarily agreeing with them or claiming that all views are true. Therefore, we can hold that one view is true or better than other views without being intolerant. If we were truly intolerant, we would seek to silence other points of view. But merely engaging in persuasive conversation with someone you disagree with is not intolerance. We show more respect for each other when we take our religious claims seriously than when we clothe them in a patronizing cloak of relativism.

Another thing that often gets confused is whether Christians claim that salvation comes only through adherence to their religion or whether our Saviour, Jesus Christ, is the only way to salvation. In actuality, what we believe is that no religion-not even Christianity-can save us; only Christ can do this. Salvation is not about demographics. Membership in a certain group, such as the Christian church, does not automatically lead to salvation. Neither does having the right thoughts or feelings or holding the right theological beliefs. Christianity’s claim to exclusivity is not for the religion but for Christ. It is a claim that Jesus is the only true Savior.

On what evidence do Christians base this claim? Mainly on Jesus’ own words. Jesus claimed to be the only Savior “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). From His own words, both Jesus’ followers and his opponents recognized that He claimed to be God, the only one able to save us from sin and death (see also John 20:24-29; John 10:31-33).

When someone makes such claims we can react in one of three ways: we can believe him, disbelieve him or withhold belief. Withholding belief is a perfectly legitimate position. But it is only a transitional state. Sooner or later we have to make up our minds one way or the other. Disbelief is also legitimate, providing we have examined the evidence and have good arguments for why it is insufficient as a basis for belief. Finally, we have belief. There are many good reasons to believe that the claims of Christ are true, such as the reliability of the Bible; fulfilled prophecies; the teaching, character, and miracles of Christ; and testimonies from throughout the ages of how Christ has changed people’s lives.

So, Christians believe that if anyone is saved, it is not by Christianity or any other religion but by Jesus alone. At the same time, they believe Christianity contains the clearest presentation of Jesus and His teachings to be found anywhere. You can read more about Jesus here and decide how you will respond to his claims and his offer of salvation.

–Heather

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