Monday, February 23, 2015

All Religions Alike?

Some people take a more open stance on religion. They feel that in the end, while competing religions don't seem to agree, they all actually lead to the same place. That is the opinion of one reader, but Billy Graham doesn't agree...
Q: I think it's wrong for any religion to claim that it's the only way to God. In my view, all religions lead to the same place. Don't you think we ought to be more tolerant toward people of different religions? -- S.L.
I agree with SL. People ought to be more tolerant of people simply belonging to a different religion or none at all. He is also correct that all religions are equal... at least in one way. None have met the burden of proof required to prove that their claims are true.
A: Freedom of religion is written into our nation's constitution, and I certainly hope and pray this never changes. Over the years, I've visited countries that don't have religious freedom, and it almost always has led to persecution for those in the minority. Intolerance and religious hatred have no place in civilized society. The Bible says, "Show proper respect to everyone" (1 Peter 2:17).
I fully agree that our freedom of religion and separation of church and state are integral to the success and freedoms we enjoy. Yet while Billy talks in favor of these rights, why do so many like him wish to see them torn down so that they can force their version of their religion on all?
But I respectfully disagree with your view that all religions are alike, and all lead to the same place. Have you honestly ever studied the major religions of the world? If you do, you'll discover they often contradict each other, so how can they all be true? For example, some claim there are thousands of gods and goddesses, but how can that be reconciled with those who believe in only one God? It can't -- not logically.
True, they all can't be true if taken completely literally. The great majority contradict each other. The very act of accepting that one religion is literally true would automatically mean that certain other religions (or all other religions) can't be true.

But I think the point that SL is getting at is that if you don't take every religion 100% literally, they are actually just different paths or interpretations to God/the gods. I don't personally agree with this opinion, but it seems that the actual nature of SL's question was lost on Billy.

And yet there is one way in which all religions are the same... There is no evidence that actually supports them being true!
This is why I urge you to look at Jesus Christ as He is found in the pages of the New Testament. He made a startling claim -- that He was God, who came down from heaven to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.
And why not a different savior or god from some other equally unevidenced holy book?
Was Jesus a liar? No, because He backed up His claim by breaking the bonds of death and coming back from the grave. He came because He loves us, and He knew this was the only way we could be saved. Don't be deceived, but open your heart and mind to Jesus Christ. His words are true: "No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). 
Sigh... Does Billy not realize that the Bible saying it happened doesn't mean that it actually did? The Bible saying that Jesus rose from the dead is no more proof of that that the Qur'an is proof that Muhammad actually rode/flew a winged horse to Heaven.

As Billy pointed out, all religions can't be literally true, but they all can be wrong. And since none are supported by the facts, perhaps that's a little notion he should ponder.

-Brain Hulk

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