Religious Exclusivity

Are religions mutually exclusive? The Arrogance of Christianity. What is your purpose for having a religion? Atheist’s Creed by Steve Turner. What if most of the world isn’t going to go to heaven?

Discussion 2/23: Religious Exclusivity

Are religions mutually exclusive?

Point: All religions are fundamentally the same but superficially different.

Counterpoint: All may be superficially the same but fundamentally different.

If certain religions believe that all are basically the same, then how can those practicing the relation get upset when one converts away to another religion?

The Arrogance of Christianity:

(from The Case for Faith)

“…isn’t it grossly arrogant for Christians to claim Jesus is the one and only way to God? Why do Christians think they’re justified in asserting that they’re right and that everybody else in the world is wrong?”

“First, it’s important to understand that Christianity is not the only religion hat claims exclusivity. For instance, Muslims radically claim exclusivity “” not just theologically, but also linguistically. Muslims believe that the sole, sufficient, and consummate miracle of Islam is the Koran and it’s only recognizable in Arabic…

As for Buddhism, it was born when Gautama Buddha rejected two fundamental assertions of Hinduism “” the ultimate authority of the Vedas, which are their scriptures, and the caste system. Hinduism itself is absolutely uncompromising on two or three issues: the law of karma, which is the law of moral cause and effect…; the authority of the Vedas; and reincarnation.”

“But I’ve heard Hindus say quite nobly that Hinduism is a very tolerant faith.”

“…What it really means is that Hinduism allows you to practice your religion so long as it buys into their notion of truth, which is syncretistic.” (Syncretism is the attempt to blend together different or even opposing beliefs.

“As for Sikhism, it came as a challenge to both Hinduism and Buddhism. Then there are the atheists -they reject the viewpoints of those who believe in God. And even Baha’ism, which claims to be a cosmic embrace of all religions, ends up excluding the exclusivists! Therefore, the statement that Christians are arrogant by claiming exclusivity ignore the reality that every other major religion also does.

Bah’ Statement:

We [Bah’ International Community] believe that all the world’s major religions have proceeded from the same Source, worshiped alike by Bah’, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jew and Muslim… The core teachings of every religion for example, the teaching to love one’s neighbor – are essentially the same, and we submit that they reflect one universal truth.
http://www.bic-un.bahai.org/88-0217.htm

What is your purpose for having a religion?

If truth, then truth requires exclusivity because truth and falsehood cannot coexist.

If to feel good about yourself, have a connection with others, have a way to explain complex human questions, then what you want is something that won’t impose on your (or others) current beliefs, convictions, world view, or perspective. In which case any religion likely will provide the “feel-good” feeling you desire.

Prejudice (Intolerance):

The only thing that is illegitimate in America today is prejudice. If you can brand anything as prejudice that thing is then discounted. Prejudices moved from race to morality.

Atheist’s Creed by Steve Turner

We today believe in Marx Freud and Darwin. We believe everything is O.K. as long as you don’t hurt anyone to the best of your definition of hurt and to the best of your definition of knowledge. We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that taboos are taboo. We believe that everything is getting better despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated, and you can prove anything with evidence. We believe there’s something in horoscopes, UFOs and bent spoons. Jesus was a good man, just like Buddha, Muhammad and ourselves. He was a good teacher, although we think his good morals were really bad. We believe that all religions are basically the same, at least the ones we read were. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God and salvation. We believe that after death comes the nothing – because when you ask the dead what happens, they say,– nothing. If death isn’t the end, and if the dead have lied, then it’s compulsory heaven for all- except Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan… We believe in total disarmament. We believe that there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed. We believe that man is essentially good, it’s only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society; Society is the fault of conditions; and conditions are the fault of society. We believe that each man should find the truth that is right for him and reality will adapt accordingly; the universe will re-adjust, history will alter. We believe that there is no absolute truth, except for the truth that there is no absolute truth. We believe in the rejection of creeds and the flowering of individual thought.

What if most of the world isn’t going to go to heaven?

The Bible claims that many more will die and be condemned to hell than will enter heaven.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) – The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Luke 13:22-35 (NIV) – The Narrow Door
22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, Lord, are only a few people going to be saved? He said to them, 24 Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, “Sir, open the door for us.’

Followup:

How To Be Sure of Heaven: Where will you spend Eternity if you die today?
http://www.heavensoft.com/ministry/heaven.htm

Sermon on the Mount: Narrow is the Way
http://www.ebibleteacher.com/children/lessons/narrow.htm

Only One Way: Jesus Is The Only Way
http://home.gwi.net/~maxswan/only_one_way.htm

About The Author

Jason Lund

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Several thousand years has passed since God the Father choose to reveal himself to mankind in a physical manifestation, aside from his spiritual presence, in the form of his son Jesus Christ.
    As was then and is now, mankind still chooses to reject Christ, and the path to heaven and the forgiveness of sins that he spoke of, which was recorded in his written word, the Holy Scriptures.
    The religious leaders of his day not only observed his physical presence, but his ability to heal the sick and raise the dead and in all of this, they still rejected the fact that he was the physical manifestation of his heavenly Father.
    They too chose to worship other gods in the form of graven images, just as mankind chooses to do today, to obtain heaven by a works religion.
    I must say, for mankind to think that he can gain access to heaven any other way than God has set forth, is quite arrogant.
    I have always been curious, as to why one that would choose to deny God and his Word, would even want to gain access to Heaven, in that Heaven is God’s heavenly abode. Rejecting and ignoring him now, and yet thinking that they might want to spend eternity in his presence. If they are not comfortable around him now, what makes them think that they will ever be comfortable around him?
    On the other hand, being that they are serving Lucifer in this present world, I would think that they would want to serve him and spend eternity in his presence,in the lake of fire.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Religion is exclusive, but God is not. He said in II Peter 3:9 “I am not willing that any should perish, bu that all come to repentance.” Christianity is the only religion that has a martyr, Jesus Christ. Christianity is a relationship with God. Your creed says that Jesus was a good man. He is not in the same class as Buddha and Mohammed because He was martyred, which they were not. Why is it okay for the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. to practice their religions in public, but the ACLU and others reject public prayer at football games, graduations? Why was Bible reading taken out of the schools? Why do you want to take “Under God” out of the pledge? Why is Christianity the point of contention in American society and not another religion? I know why. It’s because you’re afraid of it and if you can beat it, you can have a clean conscience. You can spend your life trying to expunge Christianity and its influence, but you and your atheistic posterity will never beat it. God loves you, even though you reject Him and Jesus and you will never, ever in a million years be able to discount that fact. Read the chapter of John in the Bible and after that see if you still grasp at this atheism. The only person that will save this world from herself is Jesus. It was love that kept Him nailed to that cross. God’s love for us sent Him down from Heaven to die on it for us–every person on the planet.
    Lauri Jones

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