The belief that all religions lead to God has become popular in our culture. This idea is known as pluralism. Pluralism teaches that multiple religions are equally truthful and acceptable because the core of any religion is to worship a god. This makes any form of worship directed toward any god of any religion just as valid as another.
For example, pluralism would suggest that Buddhists worship the same god as Christians, Muslims, and Hindus because there is a greater deity that accepts all forms of worship, not caring what beliefs you hold to as long as it leads to you worshiping the deity you believe to be correct. Pluralism has found its way into the churches of America and if Christians are unable to give a Biblical response to this growing trend, then Biblical doctrine will be diminished and may cause non-believers to hold a wrong view of God.
Why is Pluralism Incorrect?
Before noting the incompatibility of different religions, it is important to note the core issue of pluralistic thinking–relative truth. Relative truth is the denial of an absolute and ultimate truth. There is much to write about regarding relative truth; however, I will not go into much depth. The key principle to understanding relativism is that it is an endless cycle of contradiction. To state, “All truth is relative” is making an absolute claim that there are no absolutes.
Moral relativism simply offers a way out of reckoning absolute truth with reality, allowing all religions to be equally true. Moral relativism not only contradicts Scripture’s teaching, but logically does not make sense because it claims that all religions are equally true. From the Christian standpoint, there are key doctrines that other religions do not adhere to. This means that other religions are lacking the knowledge of God as He has revealed Himself through Scripture.
For example, Buddhists deny a personal god while Hindus believe in many gods. Mormons also believe in many different gods and only worship a few of those gods. The belief that the God of the Bible is triune in person while singular in being, has sent His only Son for the forgiveness of sin through His death, and was raised on the third day is a truth that cannot be sacrificed at the price of being loving, tolerant, and accepting of other religions. It is the key doctrinal element of Christianity that makes it unique.
In comparison to other monotheistic religions such as Islam and Judaism, there are fundamental doctrinal differences that separate them from Christianity, such as God’s attributes, character, and nature. It is simply illogical to state that all religions can lead to God when nearly every religion in history contradicts another one. Even from the perspective of a moral relativist, it is impossible for all religions to be equally true simply due to the numerous contradictions between them.
Why is the God of the Bible the only God?
The differences between Biblical Christianity and other religions are vast. Christianity is the only religion that gives a realistic view of who we are as humans (sinful), while other religions talk about salvation coming by human effort and inward goodness. Christianity is the only religion to teach that man is totally depraved and wicked from birth, yet has a Savior who offers grace freely based upon faith in Christ and not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christianity is the only religion that teaches that the deity figure offered Himself up to bear the punishment of human sin and rose again so that we may be a new creation through Christ.
Biblically speaking, two verses give the explicit mention of Jesus being the only way. John 14:6 states, “Jesus said to [Thomas], I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Acts 4:12 states, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved (Jesus).” The pinnacle of the gospel is that God, being rich in mercy, provided what He demanded of us so that we can stand forgiven–the shed blood of Christ for sin. Christianity is based entirely upon the idea that everything needed for salvation has already been done for those who will believe and trust in Christ. Christianity says done while other religions say do. This is what distinguishes Christianity from any other religion.
Do all people who claim to be Christians worship Christ?
A final recognition still remains–one that I believe is more dangerous than believing in another religion. A rather harsh reality is that there are some people who claim to be Christians who do not worship God. Instead, they worship an idol. I cannot express enough that you are not a born-again believer simply because you claim the name of Christ. There are many people and denominations we consider under the umbrella of Christianity who do not know God. We share meals with these people. We have conversations with these people. We do life with these people. And all the while, we offer them false assurance of their relationship with Christ while they are on their way to eternal damnation because we neglected to tell them the truth of the gospel and of God.
This much is true–Christ, the second person of trinity, equal with the Father and the Spirit, was with the Father in creation (Col. 1:16-17), became the incarnate God-man, being fully God yet fully man, living a sinless and perfect life (Heb. 4:15), dying on a cross for the sins of those who believe (John 3:16), and raising on the third day to secure eternal salvation for those the Father had chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1: 4). Christianity is not about claiming a christ. Christianity is about knowing the Christ and His gospel. Friends, we must make Christ and the gospel clear.
Know Christ. Worship Christ. Follow Christ.
Pray that the Father, through the working of the Holy Spirit, will grant you the boldness and confidence to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for in him “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).