Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is Christianity the only 'Exclusive' religion?

Sometimes people claim that Christians are so intolerant because they believe that they are the only ones that can have a relationship with God--they are exclusive. And the implication is that 'all religions are basically the same.' This is an oft repeated slogan, but it is deeply flawed. Ravi Zacharias helpfully shows why:

“The truth is that all religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. In fact, some religions do not even believe in God. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not. Buddhism, for example, was based on Buddha’s rejection of two of Hinduism’s fundamental doctrines. Islam rejects both Buddhism and Hinduism. So it does no good to put a halo on the notion of tolerance and act as if everything is equally true. In fact, even all-inclusive religions such as Bahaism end up being exclusivistic by excluding the exclusivists!”

1 comment:

Jim Clark said...

The thing is that the Christian doctrine of exclusivity states that all those that die "unsaved" will suffer eternally in Hell.

The New Age with it's doctrine of Reincarnation propsoses alteratively that it is not so much what Religion you define yourself as belonging to as that is important, as much as how you live your life, how you act, think and feel. This doctrine is supported by a large percentage of NDE accounts, also by mediumship, direct perception of Mystics and the traditional scriptures of many different cultures. Reincarnation allows Justice and Mercy to exist in balance, contrary to the Christian doctrine which inevatably throws these concepts out the window in proposing an infinite punishment for a finite crime.

You do not have to state that "All religions are the same" to reject exclusivity. I believe that there are Absolute Divine principles and Laws which can be found to varying degrees within different Religious and Philosophical systems.

Beleiving it tolerance and inclusivity will naturally put one against those that you see as intolerant. A human rights activist does not go soft on a tyrant concluding "It is his right to abuse others", this is basic common sense and exposed the clear fallacy of that argument.

I welcome dialogue, please feel free to respond to me. I also have a blog:

I'm currently working on two posts which you might have interest in, the first is on the doctrine of Sin, Salvation and Hell, and the second will be on basic Apologetics, Jesus and the Bible.

Take care,
God Bless,
Jim Clark