Is everything equal when it comes to spiritual things? We need to take a careful look at this important topic because our world is deeply steeped in philosophies and ideas that have spiritual roots.
We hear that all religions are the same. Well, what do religions provide?
- Moral guidance
- Behaviour modification
- Care for self
- Care for others
- Provides community
Pretty much every religious and worldview system tries to accomplish this. In fact, you don’t have to be religious to find this.
When we look into the Bible, our guide and authority as Christians, we find all of this. There are different ways of accomplishing this, and even within the different faith systems there are differences. Nevertheless, the goals are the same.
So, what is the difference? Let’s go a bit deeper into religious and spiritual teaching. It is said that all religions are the same:
- Explanation of the unexplained (supernatural, miracles)
- Explanation of origins
- Purpose for life and ultimate destiny
- The Great Cause (“God”)
This second part brings us to the differences.
The Unexplained: While all religious systems have explanations of the unexplained, these explanations vary widely.
Origins: Every thought system and faith have a view of origins, but they are markedly different from one another.
Purpose and destiny: again, every faith system attempts to answer the big “why” question with huge variances in answers.
Truth: every religious, philosophical and worldview system has a distinct definition, origin and authority for truth. There is no agreement on what establishes, defines and maintains reality.
Finally: the cause of all things, god or gods. Herein lies the great divide with all world views. This is the foundation issue that must be addressed. For upon this foundation rests everything else.
Isaiah 44:6-8 (NKJV)
6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. 7 And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them. 8 Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’ “
The God we worship has no limits and is able to be the Lord over all things ·
The Bible is filled with predictions and prophecy. We see throughout history that these have been fulfilled. So God is capable of doing what He has claimed and promised.
Two of the greatest prophecies God has made has been the foretelling of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection thousands of years before it happened. And it all came true. Over 100 verses in the Old Testament. As well, God told Abraham that he would become the father of a great nation that would bless the whole world. Israel was that nation. Israel and the Jewish people remain to this very day. The blessing of Israel? The saviour, Jesus Christ.
All other gods, deities and ideas come from us, from our limited understanding as well as our rebellion against God.
Isaiah 6:10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20
10 Who would form a god or mold an image That profits him nothing?
13 The craftsman stretches out his rule, He marks one out with chalk; He fashions it with a plane, He marks it out with the compass, And makes it like the figure of a man, According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.
16 He burns half of it in the fire; With this half he eats meat; He roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, His carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, Prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
19 And no one considers in his heart, Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; A deceived heart has turned him aside; And he cannot deliver his soul, Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
Here is a description of the other gods:
- Created by the imaginations of people
- Created in the image of its creator
- Ineffective and dependent upon the loyalty and imagination of their creators
- Their followers are left eternally deceived and vulnerable
As Chris Tomlin says in his song, “Our God”, “Our God is greater, Our God is stronger, Our God is Higher than any other.”
Our God, the God of the Bible did not come from our imagination, He is the God who is the Great Cause, the Reason, the Truth and the giver of life. He also has given us eternal life by coming to us. We did not have to reach out to him, he came to us to save us.