Many people believe that all world religions are somehow related and that we all worship the same God by ‘different channels’. This seemingly benign concept is blissful, heart-warming and does seem to answer many questions about the coincidental similarities. This idea could even allow for religious tolerance and possibly world peace. I’ve come to learn that many Christians also hold this idea. After comparing the various world religions with each other in more detail, I could not endorse this universal concept.
While at a glance, many religions seem to contain the same teachings as they all endorse the belief in a supernatural being while teaching kindness, love and peace. The fact is, though the broader teachings seem universal, the core teachings defining the fundamental dogma are quite different, extremely different, in many cases. For example, Hinduism is the belief and worship of a pantheon of many gods where as Buddhism is centered on belief of the self, not a god, and achieving personal enlightenment. Other religions such as Jainism will overtly denounce the existence of a deity, while Shintoism and other traditional religions will incorporate worship of ancestors and spirits in nature. There is no doubt that these Eastern religions mentioned are quite different to each other, from a belief in many gods to a belief in the self, to a belief in ancestral spirits. It goes without saying that many eastern religions are inherently different to the more common monotheistic religions of the world.
As for the monotheistic religions, it’s easy to assume that there must be a common deity. What about Islam? Islam is a monotheistic religion based on revelations to Muhammad, Allah’s foremost prophet. This is echoed in the ‘shahada’, the proclamation of the Islamic faith (There is no other god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger). Though the Muslims will hold Jesus as a prophet, he is not equal to Muhammad. In addition, Muslims do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which happens to be the Core Belief of the Christian faith. Just as we Christians may not endorse the Prophet Muhammad as the ‘shahada’ proclaims, the Muslims cannot proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. As neither faith can affirm (nor even vocally proclaim) either’s central belief, as well as many other differences too numerous to mention, they are both distinct religions following separate faiths in their own right.
In conclusion, I trust that at this point, we can all concur that each religion follows a distinct deity. The idea amongst many Christians today that all religions are trained to the same God is one of the biggest threats facing Christendom in this age. This idea makes Christian more likely to deviate from their Faith. We Christians must be strongly rooted in our faith, lest we’re swept away and confused by the different faiths. The bible teaches that it is wrong to receive and listen to ‘un-Christian’ teachings [2 John 9-11]. Remember that we wrestle not against the flesh and blood but against forces we cannot see. Be well informed and stay vigilant.