Author: Dave Mann – Shining Lights Trust
Title: Don’t All Roads Lead to God?
To some people the idea that all religions are basically the same seems a nice idea – and certainly, some people look at the similarities that do exist at a surface level and take this as evidence that the religions must be essentially all the same.
However, I suggest to you that as nice as these ideas might seem this simply isn’t the case.
If we were to take a look at the world’s major religions and consider them one by one, it wouldn’t take long to realise that the differences aren’t in the superficial things.
They are in the big things like whether or not there is a God, whether humans are created special or not, whether evil even exists or not, what is our purpose in life, and then with regard to salvation – what is it, and how do we get it?
For example, if grouped, the religions fall into three main categories. First theism – belief in a God, then pantheism – belief in a universal force, and finally atheism – belief that there is no God.
Theism – the belief that there is a God, is the view of the Jews, the Christians, and Muslims, while Pantheism – the belief that there is no God – rather, just a universal force or higher power, is what many eastern religions believe such as Hinduism and Taoism, as well as many people in the West today also.
Now there cannot be a personal God who is also an impersonal force. Either God is personal and knowable – or not. And either he is a God or he is a force. These views are majorly different. It can’t be both.
So, we have theism – a belief in a God. Pantheism – a belief in a higher power or universal force. And a third group – atheism – belief that there is no God, such as is believed by atheists and by many Buddhists.
Again, it doesn’t take much to work out that there is either a God or no God. God cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. In all cases, it’s either one or the other. And if one is true then that makes the other – false!
Yes – every religion will have some truth in it – and there are probably honourable things in all the world’s religions that we can esteem and learn from.
But to suggest that this makes them all equally true is a big claim. Because the differences aren’t in the small things.
The question is – could all roads lead to God? Let me put it this way: Most of the world’s religions don’t even believe that a single knowable creator God exists..
So it might sound like a nice idea, but really it doesn’t make sense.
And this raises a question: Which view is most true? A search for the truth is the greatest of human quests right? I encourage you to take the journey – because answers are waiting to be found!