This is a big area because it affects millions of people around the world. Many people follow a variety of different religions, claiming to be following the correct one and have the truth that other people need to see. So who is right? How can we be sure Christianity if right? Have we got it wrong?
These are all questions we need to think through. Being wise in our answering, to make sure our faith is in the right place.
One way people look at different religions is that, “There are many pathways up to a mountain top but they all lead to the same place”. This is called pluralism, ‘a belief of an attitude or policy regarding the diversity of religious belief systems co-existing in society.’ The basic principle is that there is one God and people believe in the same God but in different ways and therefore we have labelled these different ways of looking at God as different religions.
However this has some big flaws because of how different religions massively contradict each other. For example Hinduism teaches that there are millions of gods in the universe whereas Judaism and Christianity teach that there is one God. On the other hand Buddhists claim that people are reincarnated after this life and then Islam teaches that you live once and die once. Even within Judaism and Christianity, both believe in one God but there is a difference in there beliefs, Judaism teaches that Jesus is not God and Christianity teaches that Jesus is God, which is a fundamental difference.
An example of how this doesn’t work is, imagine that you meet up with two friends who have just been to watch a rugby match. One of your pals says England won, the other says that Wales won, not both these statements can be true. You can be certain that one statement is not true. There cannot be two directly contradicting statement that are both true.
The Bible says this,
John 14 v 6, ‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”’
As well as in …
Acts 4 v 12 ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’
These statements show that there cannot be lots of paths up the same mountain and state the only way to God is through his son, Jesus. This offer is open to everyone but there is only one route to God.
Another challenge people have is ‘There are so many different views, how can i be sure which is right?’ After we have looked at the first issue and can see that not all religions can lead to one God, the next logical question is ‘Which one is correct then?’
Imagine being in a room, this room has no windows or doors, just a blank room. Someone asks “do you think there is anything outside this room?. From this a discussion begins.
A scientist thinks – there must be something out there, these walls have been built.
A wish thinker thinks – i hope there is something out there.
A agnostic (without knowledge) thinks – we just cant be sure or know.
There are many different people, with many different views in the room but how can anyone be sure what is outside the room. The only real way to know is if someone who is outside the room, comes into the room and tells us what is outside the room.
Well this is what Jesus came to do. He broke into this world to make God known and came claiming to be the truth that everyone needs. Jesus has shown what is outside the room and the way to get there. If you never listen to what he has to say you will always remain in the dark and in the room.
One other challenge is the challenge of relativism which is ‘Well thats great for you but I am not the religious type.’ The belief that there is no truth and truth is just relative to what the person wants to believe.
However this is a massively flawed truth because if something is true for one person it is true for all people. Is the world flat or round? No matter what you believe it is round, it doesn’t change just because you want to believe it is flat like they thought in the 4th century. A truth is a truth for all. Just because some people believe in the christian faith and some don’t, doesn’t change the reality of the truth. It cannot be true for one person and not for another. Those who claim there is no absolute truth have contradicted themselves because there are claiming an absolute truth in that statement.
This is why it is so important to look into the Christian faith because if the claims of Jesus are true, then they are true for me and for YOU.
Contact Us with this link if you have any further question or want to post your views.
This post was written by Pete Oram, an intern at Gold Hill and one of the leaders in our youth ministry.
If you've enjoyed this post, please share it around using the buttons below. Also, join the conversation and let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below. If you want to contact us directly about anything, you can do so here.