I’ve been looking at the most popular religions in the world lately with some folks at church. I am firmly in the Christian camp, and the more I look at other religions, the firmer I become. I suppose this would be arrogance to some, but it’s just honesty.
I believe Christianity is from God, is revealed in the New Testament (while “progressing” out of the Old Testament), and can be biblically seen and obeyed. I believe other religions are from people’s brains.
People tend to think alike, therefore, there is an amazing similarity between man-made religion. Unfortunately, Christianity has been corrupted by human thinking. Much of visible Christianity is just as man-made as man-made religion is.
Biblical Christianity is from God and is different because it is based on God’s wisdom, not man’s.
Here is my take on the top religions of the world. Know that any adherent to these religions would probably reject my two-line summation of their religion, but this is my understanding of them.
Our problem: our free will does really bad things.
Their Solution: submit to God and do His will, or else. Islam means “submit.”
Our Problem: we do bad stuff
Their Solution: do better stuff and your next life will be better, until you reach the High Life
Our Problem: we want too much stuff and this causes suffering
Their Solution: stop wanting stuff and achieve enlightenment
Our Problem: we are religious and religion makes people irrational and unscientific
Their Solution: stop being religious, there is no God, do what rationality and/or feeling says
Our Problem: we don’t obey God
Their Solution: obey God
In each case, our problem is solved by us doing something different. And, in each case, we will realize we can’t do anything different, but your salvation is up to you entirely. Human religion boils down to this: fix yourself by yourself.
Christianity has trying in it, it has effort, discipline, and work, it does. But the work comes after something that makes all the difference.
Our Problem: we can’t stop sinning and sin is an offense to God
Their Solution: God loved us and sent His Son, believe in His Gospel and God will raise you up to new life, equipped to do what God desires
Only Christianity shows a God of Love demonstrating His love toward us, and then actually doing something in us to “fix” us. We’re not on our own.
This all sounds fantastical. Every religion believes weird stuff, even atheism. Believing that God can raise the dead and can raise you up to new spiritual life is bizarre. Yet it’s the only religion that offers help up-front. You don’t work your way in. You don’t have to rely on someone else to intercede. You don’t have to follow the dictates of some other struggling guy.
Again, it’s a shame that so much of Christianity does offer works as a means of salvation, that so much of it covers the Gospel under other initiations, that so much of it makes you dependent on other fallen people. But the fact that some have ruined a good thing, doesn’t mean there isn’t a good thing to begin with! God loves you and wants to help you.
Christianity is different. And, when done right, offers the only solution to our problem. It’s all about new life in Christ.