Are All Religions the Same? Apologetics Talk
Last Friday, Ronke and Casey gave a special apologetics talk about the major world religions in comparison to Christianity. The question we covered was: "are all religions the same?"
When sharing the gospel with different people, you might hear responses like: "all religions say the same thing. What matters is that you choose the one that makes you personally happy."
But is that true? Can we just choose our religion based on our personal preferences? And do they really all say the same thing? Let's see how we answered those questions!
Ronke and Casey answered the question in 3 points:
1) Objective vs. Subjective claims: All religions make objective truth claims that are either true or untrue (i.e. the sky is blue; heaven/hell are real). A person's religious beliefs can't be compared to something like their favorite ice cream flavor, which is based purely on subjective preference. Therefore, one shouldn't choose to follow a certain religion just because it suits his/her lifestyle better or makes them happier, but because it's claims are actually true to reality.
2) Who is Jesus? Not all religions are the same because they say very different things about Jesus. Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism all say Jesus was just an enlightened man or a prophet, but only Christianity states that Jesus was the Son of God.
3) Do vs. Done: Most religions claim that the way to solve our problems depends on us DOING things. Buddhism says that we must reach a state of emotional numbness to overcome suffering/pain, while Islam and Judaism say that if we follow the commands of Allah/God, He will love us and save us from the bad things in the world. Christianity is the only religion that focuses on what has already been DONE to solve man's greatest problem, which is sin. The gospel says that the world is indeed full of suffering, and that suffering is caused by our sinfulness. But because Jesus died for our sins, if we choose to believe in him, we can all look forward to eternal life in heaven--a place with no more sin, death, sorrow, or pain.
When you guys get home, please be sure to rehearse to yourself the main points from this apologetics talk! It's very likely that you'll meet someone one day that will say that all religions are the same, or that religious choice is just a preference and we shouldn't try to convince people to believe in something else. Some people may even try to make you feel guilty or ashamed for sharing your faith! But because we ourselves know what is true, we have a responsibility to share that with others. The truths we have come to believe--that heaven/hell are real, that we're sinners who have offended a holy God, that Jesus died for our sins, that God loves us and wants to restore a relationship with us--these are things that can save our friends for eternity.
2 Corinthians 4: 1-4
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Let's work hard to show people the glory of the gospel! And as always, PLEASE be super respectful and polite when discussing religion with other people! The point is never to show them that they're wrong and that you're right, but to give them a new perspective and an opportunity to re-think their prior assumptions. Let's be winsome friends so that people will want to ask us about these big questions!