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    Are all religions the same?

    Are all religions the same?

    Phil Cooke has a great post today that brings up a question that you hear all the time.  A question than only has one politically correct answer.  Phil writes:

    No matter what you think about religion, the statement, “All religions are just the same” is just a dismissive line, intended to squelch debate about the subject.  In an age of supposed “toleration,” the one thing we don’t tolerate is the possibility that one type of religious belief trumps all others.  It’s amazing actually – we evaluate doctors, schools, political ideas, movies, food, books, business, art – everything else.  But the idea of actually saying that “I’ve seriously evaluated the options and have come to the conclusion that _______ is the one true faith” pretty much makes you a crazy person.  Perhaps it’s because we live under the threat of radical Islam.  Most people don’t commit violence over evaluating a piece of art; but religion?  We’re scared to death of offending someone.  But the truth is, what could be more important than coming to terms with the biggest questions?  Who am I?  Where did I come from?  Why am I here?  Is there a God out there?

    Continue reading Phil's thoughts here at his blog...  He has an assignment for you.

    Most the the audience here at MMI would agree that all religions are NOT the same.  Many of us grew up with Christianity.  Some did not.

    As a pastor, what is your answer to this question when you're asked?

    Just for fun... Let's pretend it's YOU on the Piers Morgan show (instead of Joel Osteen, who we talked about earlier this week).  Piers is asking you in front of millions of people:  How can you say that Christianity is the one true way?  What if he said, "what if my good Scientologist friend Tom Cruise was sitting here?  You'd tell him he's going to hell?"

    You have one chance to answer the question.  Leave a comment below with what you'd say.


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    1. Spica on Thu, January 27, 2011

      It’s funny how I just answered this very question on my blog a couple of days ago (even the picture I made to illustrate it is so similar to the one that illustrates your post ! :
      What started it was a powerpoint file I received from a relative about “what’s the best religion ?” that wame to the conclusion, that whatever the religion, the important point is that it makes you a better person…
      Well, my answer was not that consensual, and I chose to share it not only with the one who sent me the mail in the first place, but with my other contacts : what’s important is not the label you put on your faith, it’s the fact that it is based on Jesus and his word, and that you accepted his work on the cross as the only basis for your salvation.

      And yes, Tom Cruise needs to repent, turn away from the scientologists beliefs and accept the only true Jesus to be saved.

    2. Peter Hamm on Thu, January 27, 2011

      I don’t know what I’d do on National TV (those of us who think we know are probably wrong) but if someone asks me a question like that in everyday life (far more likely to happen)... I might ask this.

      “Do you want me to tell you what I believe or do you really want me to embrace something called ‘tolerance’ which is merely making a statement that everybody is equally right?”

      I’d turn the question around, like Christ often did.

    3. Leonard on Thu, January 27, 2011

      I am often asked something like this.  In my simple brain, I say that religion is man’s attempt to strike a deal with God. 

      This often leads us to a conversation about how that is going these days.  How are we doing in striking a deal with God?  How are we doing in keeping our end of the bargain?  How do we know when we have made an acceptable deal when God is either silent or harsh? 

      Because of this religion is one sided and fear based.  If I do enough…  If I do not…

      Then I talk about Christ and His grace.  This has led to many open doors and I have seen people come to Christ this way.  It is not combative.

    4. Brian L. on Thu, January 27, 2011

      First of all, if I was asked this on national TV, I would probably get all red in the face, because that’s what I do when I’m stressed.  Or maybe the make-up will be so thick no one will notice.

      When I have this question, I simply tell them that Jesus said he was the only way, recorded by an eyewitness to the conversation, in front of at least 12 other guys.  And that no one I’ve ever heard of has called Jesus a liar.  So if He’s not a liar, then we need to believe Him, no matter what society says we should believe.

      I have to admit, though, that most of the people who ask me this question have grown up in nominally Christian homes, and they’re not so much looking for answers as they are looking for an excuse to not follow Jesus.

      Rick Warren (I know - Beelzebub to many of you!), answered this very well on a Larry King show a few years back.  A lady called in to ask if he really believed Jesus was the only way, and pointed to Jesus’ words.

      King said, “That’s a pompous claim.”  (meaning the claim of Jesus to be the only way.)

      Rick said, “It IS a pompous claim - if He’s wrong.”  And then I think he said something like, “But I don’t think He is wrong, so that’s what I believe.”

    5. Matt @ The Church of No People on Sat, January 29, 2011

      I really liked Phil’s post, but it got me thinking of just how similar most religions really are. I’m not usually the guy that name drops himself, but I wrote a post, not really in response to Phil, but taking the topic in a different direction.

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