One thing you do not need to believe, if you are a Christian, that all the other religions are simply wrong all the time.
If you are an atheist, you do need to believe, that all the religions, through all the time, everywhere, have always been wrong.
And that all the faith people profess and have professed through the history has been simple one huge mistake.
In C. S. Lewis’s word “If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all those religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of the truth”.
But being Christian means thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong.
We, the Christians, can see how people around the world have always sought the truth.
There is something in people that makes them to look for something higher and bigger than themselves.
Something that cannot be calmed down, that tells us that there is something more, that we are missing an integral part of who we are.
Do you think there is a Natural law that we all can feel in our hearts?
And, as Christians, we believe that the men, and women, were made to be in communion with God.
We were made to need God and seek the truth.
As Christians, we can see that the religions stem from this need to find God.
And we can see that some of them are closer to finding the truth than others.
But at the same time, like in mathematics, there can be only one right answer.
Even though some wrong answers are closer to the truth than others.
Do you believe in a Moral law?
The first big division
The first big division of humanity comes from believing or not in some kind of deity.
Here Christianity goes with the vast majority of people throughout the history.
Christians stand together with ancient Greeks and Romans, modern savages, Muslims, Hindus, New Age, and every other religion, in the belief that there is some kind of God or gods.
Against all these religions stand the modern Western European materialists who have come to believe that all religion is a myth, a non-true myth, and a lie.
And thus deny the existence of God.
They believe that people have developed enough to grow up and leave religion behind.
But are people really that different from what we were five hundreds, or a thousand, or even two or three thousand years ago?
People were inventing, living, thriving or suffering, and all the time seeking the truth, trying to fill the hole in their being.
Trying to fill the void with religion and gods.
Trying to find out the truth.
Just like we do today.
“When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most”, C. S. Lewis.
The second big division
Being a Christian means believing in God, believing in existence of a god.
But it also means thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong.
Being a Christian means that you believe that you have found the Truth, and that truth is Jesus.
That is what being a Christian is about.
People who believe in a kind of god can be divided according to the sort of god or gods they believe in.
Do you think We needGod?
There are people, called Pantheist, like most modern Hindus, that believe that god is beyond good and evil.
They believe that god animates the universe, the universe is, in a way, god, and we are all part of god.
Christianity, Jews and Islam, have a quite different view on things.
The three religions are also called religions of a book.
For Christians this book is the Bible, for Islam the Koran and for the Jews, the Tanakh, where Christian Old Testament stems from.
All these three religions believe that “God invented and made the universe – like a man making a picture or composing a tune. A painter is not a picture, and he does not die if his picture is destroyed. You may say, “He’s put a lot of himself into it”, but you only mean that all its beauty and interest has come out of his head. His skill is not in the picture in the same way that it is in his head, or even in his hand”, C. S. Lewis.
Pantheism believes that everything you find in this world is a part of God.
But if you think that God is really good, that God is goodness, nothing that is evil can be part of Him.
To believe that God is good, to believe in Christian God, you need to believe that God is separate from the world.
That some of the things we see in the world, what we perceive as unjust and evil, are contrary to His will.
“For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world – that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God “made up out of His head” as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again”, C. S. Lewis.
This is part of on-going series that I write every Sunday.
The links in the text are to previous posts.