Have you heard this view lately? All religions are basically the same. It doesn’t matter if you pick Jesus or Buddha or you worship trees, it’s all good. In fact, you can pick a little of each, if you like.
Religion du jur has become the menu specialty of the day, but the fact that it has a wide appeal doesn’t mean it actually works.
Prevailing worldviews have significant differences in their notions about God, the afterlife, the value of human beings, the meaning of person-hood, and so on.
- Hinduism teaches there are many versions of God.
- Buddhism teaches that whatever God is, it is beyond naming.
- Islam teaches there is one God who must be strictly obeyed according to the Koran.
- Pantheism teaches that God is not a person, but rather a force in every living thing.
We are already running into some problems here, before even discussing Christianity. If all religions are the same, how can all of these notions be simultaneously true?
Is there one God, or multiple versions? Is God a person, or a divine sense in everything?
It makes no sense to say that all of these contradicting thoughts are true. A choice must be made — and that choice reveals the heart.
Stitching together a patchwork of beliefs may be convenient, but let’s be honest: Ultimately it’s a way to say “I am god.”
Ever since mankind fell into sin, we have struggled with arrogance. We want to prove that we are good in our own efforts and that we do not need a savior, thank you very much.
But there is something most people do want. We want to avoid pain. We want to feel good about ourselves. And we want to replace our stress with serenity.
This is the appeal of Eastern religions and today’s spiritual synchronization: These worldviews offer a sense of peace.
How is this different from Christianity? you may ask. Isn’t Jesus called the Prince of Peace? Don’t we have peace with God? Doesn’t his supernatural peace guard our hearts and minds?
Absolutely. Christians have peace with God through Jesus Christ, securing their relationship with him, as well as the peace of God for daily life.
Jesus has made supernatural peace available to us, and it is ours for eternity. But here’s the difference:
Peace is not the goal of Christianity.
It may often be an outcome, but serenity is not the objective of our faith.
Christians are not all about seeking a stress-free life. Rather, our goal is holiness and obedience to God for the sake of his glory. And sometimes that goal increases our stress and our suffering.
At this very moment, Christians languish in prison all over the world, arrested for the crime of worshiping Christ. Others have been yanked from their families, lost their jobs, or been beaten and even killed for their faith.
Things haven’t changed that much over a couple of millenia. There have always been Christians willing to suffer for their faith.
It goes with the territory of believing that truth is truth.
These believers know their faith can’t be snipped up into slices and stitched together with others. They know it can’t be treated as one more ingredient in a spiritual salad.
They take Jesus at his word when he says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
I want to be like my precious, suffering brothers and sisters, honoring the Prince of Peace above seeking short-term serenity.
How do you see the goal of your faith?