This most recent exercise, Do all Religions lead to God?, has brought forth so many questions that I never thought of in such great detail, it only verifies the necessity to be studying apologetics in the first place.
Religion is a touchy subject for most; it brings feelings of discomfort, misunderstanding, confusion, complete withdrawal, pain, and yet, a tremendous amount of joy for a large percentage of the world’s population. With such a large percentage of the world believing in something, it brings forth the question, are all religions true? And better still, why does it matter?
Not all religions are seeking to understand or know God, despite what many people believe. This common misassumption, known as religious pluralism, is simply not true; this is made clear to us when we begin to analyze the major worldview’s available to us. For example, when we begin to analyze Buddhism, founded by Siddhartha (563-483BC), we see that the goal is to extinguish all hunger and desire and reach a state of Nirvana and to cease to exist – no God.
So are all religions true? This question is fundamentally important to the world because all religions are formed upon the basis of making truth claims – claims about how reality really is. For the case of this post we will call this an assumptive truth claim. An assumptive truth claim is a statement someone has made known to be true. If an audience buys into the underlying truth claim that is being made they run the risk of forming a personal view around that idea, or with that idea in mind, often times without understanding it. What’s troubling is that as humans, when we believe something is real, we act upon that reality. Therefore, this is not only fundamentally important to the world, but it is fundamentally important to you as a person because you act upon what you believe to be true.
With so many religions and ideological systems available to us, how do we know what is true? To quote Dr. Ravi Zacharias, “there are fundamental differences with world religions and at best there are superficial differences”. It’s not logically possible that all religions are true, there has to be one absolute truth. For example, if we have an atheist who claims that there is no God and a Muslim who claims that there is a God we have a contradiction, and the laws of non-contradiction tell us “that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense and at the same time”.
Furthermore, in our pursuit of truth, Dr. Ravi Zacharias provides us with a framework to test religious worldview’s by examining their origin, meaning, morality and destiny. He states that, “every particular answer has to correspond to truth through either an empirical form of measurement or through a logical reasoning process, and when put together, these answers have to form corresponding truth’s and a coherence of a worldview”. Otherwise the result is a worldview that collapses on itself and cannot be held as reasonably truthful based upon the evidence.
This is why I believe Christianity to be the absolute truth: the truth claims of the gospel explicitly answer the questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny to form a testable and concrete worldview.
In Genesis 1:26,27 we see that God said” Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…so God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”. Previously, we looked at the subject of meaning where we discovered that the meaning of life is to know and be in relationship with God. It is by design that we are relationally created beings and this can be found within the very nature of the Christian Godhead itself. Next, Jesus provides us with the actual yard stick for our objective moral values, it is quite simple: if God exists, life has objective meaning and thus objective moral values given to it by God. Lastly, the answer of destiny comes in the form of eternal relationship with God; his very truth claim states the answer to eternal life in John 17:3 – “that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”.
Finally, to quote Steiger, “Jesus didn’t claim to have discovered God; he claimed to be the way. He did not claim to learn the truth about God; he claimed to be truth. He did not claim to have found life; he claimed to be life.”
Peace and Love.