From the way some people talk you’d think that there was a passel of them. But the fact is, there is only one.
“Only one? Only one WHAT?”
Only one way to God. Namely, His way.
“OK, but perhaps His way is varied and inclusive.”
What on earth are you talking about?
“You know—it’s like a wagon wheel; all the spokes run toward the center, which is God. Just so, His way would be varied so that all religions lead to Him.”
Certainly! If that were true then God would be either 1) confused or 2) deliberately confusing us!
The point is simply understood if you know anything about various religions. The problem is that those who think your way don’t know what they are talking about.
“What do you mean?”
You think that God’s way might be to provide various ways to come to Him—Islam, Mormonism, Christianity, Judaism, and so forth.”
“Yes, that’s it. Why not?”
Because He’s God. If he’s really the Source of truth, knowledge and goodness, He would never do such a thing.
Because religions differ radically enough in their views of God and how to reach Him, that if all were given by God, He would prove to be either confused or deliberately confusing us.
“Do they differ that much? Don’t all religions promote love, kindness, etc.?”
No. We’ll get to that. But, first, think about this—Jesus said, “I am the way . . . nobody comes to the Father but by Me.” Now, if He was saying what God planned for Him to say as the Founder of Christianity, then God is confused or confusing us, by having Him say this when He has provided other ways to Himself. Similarly, other religions make claims to exclusivity. You can’t have it both ways. Do you believe in a God who lies, deceives, or is so confused that He doesn’t know what He is doing by giving us various religions that contradict one another?
“Of course not!”
Then think a minute about what I’ve just said. Is there only one God—or are the Mormons correct in saying that there is an infinite number of Gods? Are they right when they say that they restored the true faith to the earth in 1830 when their church was founded? Was there no religion from apostolic times until then? Or is true Christianity, as it claims, one of the religions that existed during the supposed interval?
“I’m not sure about that. But what about the fact that they all believe in love and so on.”
But only Christians—according to their view—think that they know what love is: “This is love, not that we loved Him, but that He loved us and gave Himself for us.” Love only is that which Christ exhibited—and that is hardly the love of the Muslims! Moreover, Christians believe that love, joy, peace—all of the virtues others claim to believe in—are the product solely of God’s Spirit working within believers. Other religions claim that that people can produce love, etc., apart from the Spirit. Is God confusing us again, or is He confused about this? And so it goes. Your wagon-wheel-view is old hat—refuted from way back! Long ago the spokes of that wagon rotted away.
“Hmmmmm . . . . .”