Do all religions lead to God?

Do all roads from Chicago lead to Atlanta? Do all religions lead to God?

The answer to both questions should be obvious.

Yet when religion is discussed, I am surprised by the number of people who think all religions are basically the same.

Many actually think that the religions of the world are simply different paths to the same God. I’ve even heard people say that the names for deities are just different titles for the same God.

  • Are Krishna, Mohammed, and Jesus really identical?
  • Can we equate the Buddha, Allah, and Jehovah?

No. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

It’s deeply misguided to think that all religions and their deities are the same.

Yes, different religions often have overlapping ideas, but to suggest, for example, that Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians share the same major beliefs is misguided.

 Some people actually believe that each religion can be considered equally true despite the vast differences they teach. 

But how can religions that deny Jesus is God and those that affirm he is God both be right? 

A remarkable trend has developed in our nation over the past several decades. We have moved from recognition and respect for the diverse and multicultural makeup of society (which is important), to an insistence that all religions representing this diversity be treated as equally true.

Perhaps people hold these thoughts for fear that allowing any group to claim the truth and try to convert others could lead to the religious imperialism our Founding Fathers refused.

  • But is the alternative to be found in a type of tolerance which does not allow rational debate? Is this what the Fathers had in mind?
  • Why isn’t it possible to maintain each other’s freedom to follow, express, and defend our beliefs without considering each belief system equally true?
  • Isn’t it possible to tolerate (as we should) two opposing religious opinions without viewing both as correct?

“In the popular mind open-mindedness is no longer connected with a willingness to consider alternative views but with a dogmatic relativizing of all views. It no longer focuses on the virtues of rational discourse among persons of disparate beliefs, as a means to pursuing the truth, but on the conclusions of the discourse. It reflects massive built-in assumptions about the inadmissibility of any religion claiming a truth status above another religion. It forecloses on open-mindedness in the same breath by which it extols the virtues of open-mindedness. Both the irony and the tragedy of this fierce intolerance stem from the fact that it is done in the name of tolerance. It is fundamentalistic dogmatism in the worst sense.” (D. A. Carson, God and Culture)

We may like to believe we are showing respect for our fellow humans by telling them that their religion is as true as anyone else’s, but this is really quite cruel if we are wrong. It could be compared to telling a blind man standing on the edge of a cliff that any way he walks will be equally safe. Why did Jesus speak of a narrow gate that leads to life and a broad road leading to destruction? Why did he say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).

  • Are all religions the same?
  • Does toleration of all religions demand that each be considered equally true?
  • Is it arrogant for one religion to proclaim itself true and others false?

Leslie Newbigin offers a compelling summary of the Christian viewpoint.

“If, in fact, it is true that Almighty God, creator and sustainer of all that exists in heaven and on earth, has — at a known time and place in human history — so humbled himself as to become part of our sinful humanity, and to suffer and die a shameful death to take away our sin, and to rise from the dead as the first-fruit of a new creation, if this is a fact, then to affirm it is not arrogance. To remain quiet about it is treason to our fellow human beings. If it is really true, as it is, that ‘the Son of God loved me and gave himself up for me’, how can I agree that this amazing act of matchless grace should merely become part of a syllabus for the ‘comparative study of religions’?”

Steve Cornell

This entry was posted in All religions the same?, Christianity, Diversity, Gospel, Jesus Christ, Philosophy, Religion, Religion-not the answer, Salvation, Tolerance and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Do all religions lead to God?

  1. Josh says:

    Here’s a great, short clip of Deepak Chopra stating there are many ways to heaven vs John MacArthur who states there is only one Way.

    http://bloodtippedears.blogspot.com/2007/07/john-macarthur-on-biblical-authority.html

  2. kaspari says:

    God is the ultimate judge.
    Get over it.

  3. kaspari says:

    I believe we will never know the answer, if theres only one way, or if theres many. So I dont think preaching that there is only one way is very wise- its judgement upon others.

    • trs says:

      John 3:16-19 These are the words of Jesus and when we speak of judgment, we have to understand that in speaking the truth, we are not judging anyone. We are simple presenting the truth so a clear decision might be made. Jesus did not come to judge the world! So, believing God causes all the evil and destructive things in life is incorrect. The World is under the curses of sin and death and those curses operate through the kingdom of satan. What people often call God’s judgment, is actually the distruction that evil brings with it. Evil finds an open door into the lives of people through the heardness of their heart towards truth, God and Jesus Christ.

      If you read the passage in St. John 3; 17-19 you will find that men are judged because they reject the truth. They condemn themselves by rejecting the truth. Truth is the lifeline into eternity. Taking hold of it is always our choice. God loved us enough to send the lifeline. He will not force us to take hold of it.

      Freedom comes from truth and is the escape from fear.
      Blessings

      • thinkpoint says:

        Two truths we must honor:

        God is unconditionally sovereign
        Humans are responsible and accountable

        These two truths are presented repeatedly in Scripture as authentic and compatible realities. If we teach either one in a way that diminishes the other, we do not faithfully represent Biblical truth. But the mystery behind this compatibility is not fully known. It is simply and clearly taught and we are called to honor all that the Bible teaches and to live faithfully within what is to us a tension. Passages most illustrative on this include: Genesis 45:1-8; 50:19-20; II Samuel 24; Isaiah 10:5-19; John 6:37-40; Philippians 2:12-13; Acts 4:23-30; 13:38; 18:9-10.

        “The Bible insists that God is sovereign, so sovereign that nothing that takes place in the universe can escape the outermost boundary of his control; yet the Bible insists God is good, unreservedly good, the very standard of goodness. We are driven to conclude that God does not stand behind good and evil in exactly the same way. In other words, he stands behind good in such a way that the good can ultimately be credited to him; he stands behind evil in such a way that what is evil is inevitably credited to secondary agents and all their malignant effects. “ (D. A. Carson)

        

One might ask, “If God controls everything that happens — is he not a cosmic puppeteer pulling our strings when he wants us to dance?” This is simply not the way the Bible describes God. Scripture will not tolerate any view of God’s sovereign control that diminishes human responsibility. New Testament scholar, D.A. Carson wrote, “At no point whatsoever does the remarkable emphasis on the absoluteness of God’s sovereignty mitigate the responsibility of human beings who, like everything else in the universe, fall under God’s sway. We tend to use one to diminish the other; we tend to emphasize one at the expense of the other. But responsible reading of the Scripture prohibits such reductionism.”

        Jesus spoke of both the sovereignty God of and the responsibility of man in relation to salvation (Jn. 5:40; 6:44).

        Commenting on Jesus’ “will not/cannot,” John R. W. Stott wrote, “Why is it that people do not come to Christ? Is it that they cannot, or is it that they will not? Jesus taught both. And in this “cannot” and “will not” lies the ultimate antimony between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. But however we state it, we must not eliminate either part. Our responsibility before God is an inalienable aspect of our human dignity. Its final expression will be on the Day of judgment. Nobody will be sentenced without trial. All people, great and small, irrespective of their social class, will stand before God’s throne, not crushed or browbeaten, but given this final token of respect for human responsibility, as each gives an account of what he or she has done” (John Stott, pp. 95-96, The Cross of Christ).

        Others helpful comments:



        “The unbeliever has preferred to be by himself, without God, defying God, having God against him, and he shall have his preference. Nobody stands under the wrath of God save those who have chosen to do so. The essence of God’s action in wrath is to give men what they choose, in all its implications: nothing more, and equally nothing less. God’s readiness to respect human choice to this extent may appear disconcerting and even terrifying, but it is plain that His attitude here is supremely just, and poles apart from the wanton and irresponsible inflicting of pain which is what we mean by cruelty . . . what God is hereby doing is no more than to ratify and confirm judgments which those whom He visits have already passed on themselves by the course they have chosen to follow” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 139).

        We can be sure of this, “No one will ever be able to stand before God and say, ‘I wanted to be saved but was unable to do so because I was not elected’” (John Walvoord, Major Bible Themes, P. 234,). Like God’s sovereignty, human responsibility is soberingly inclusive. “I say to you,” Jesus declared, “that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).

        According to Scripture, our decisions constitute real causes that produce real effects — for which we will be authentically held accountable. The wise teacher wrote, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

        Steve Cornell

    • Vehsara says:

      If you are a true Christian and believe in the word of God aka the Bible…he lets us know pretty clearly that we DO REALLY KNOW. And that is that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. If you believe that everybody is right….you don’t really believe in anything specifically. It is always important to actually take a stand in what you believe in, otherwise nothing is important anymore. If you are lukewarm you might as well be cold.

      You will be held accountable for your true beliefs in your heart. I am scared for those who would rely on their own understanding (or lack thereof) rather than have faith based on Truth that is undeniable on so many levels. The belief that every religion is the truth is exactly what evil wants…it makes so much sense but yet it will lead to the fall of millions after death.

      Christians have a responsibility to inform fellow people of the Truth and that is all they can do for those people. True Christians are NOT supposed to be judging…they are passing along the message that will become the fate to your soul. Yes, God is the ultimate judge and it is HE that will judge you upon your faith alone! True Christians know that they are not the judge, they want to help others be saved from the FINAL TRUE JUDGEMENT. God Bless.

  4. Matt says:

    “Jesus is the one true saviour, he is the son of God and he is God, Jesus came to earth an died to save us from our sins and I am sorry for that”

    I bet you can’t say that if you are not a Christian, try saying it, if you can’t my advice is start asking why, hopefully you will find the truth, the truth is looking for you.

  5. lindalreese55 says:

    Remembering the word – babble ( we all talking all over the world) but who is listening!!!

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