There are many beliefs and religions out there with elements in common. There could be a divine being, a set of rules for how you live your life, pictures of the afterlife, and heroes of the religion from the past. It’s tempting to think they are the same and maybe just have different names, but that can’t be true. It’s not true.
The difficult part of this is that most of us aren’t willing to do some research. We typically don’t really look into what a particular religion practices or why. Instead, we choose the easy road of something we have heard from someone else and then choose what we believe based off of what we prefer. We pick whatever is the easiest path that doesn’t include us having to change our lives if we don’t want to.
Let’s look at some examples of religions out there and see if they line up to be the same or not. I’d encourage you to read and give this some thought. After all, if one of these are right (which I believe one of them is), don’t you think it’s worth looking into?
In Islam, you have Muslims who believe in a prophet named Muhammad who they say is god’s messenger. As a follower of this belief, it is mandatory to practice the five pillars of Islam. Every follower must:
- Declare there is no god except god, and Muhammad is god’s messenger.
- Pray 5 times a day.
- Practice fasting and self-control during the month of Ramadan.
- Give 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy.
- Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.
Ultimately, if you’re good enough, you will get to paradise.
There are multiple problems with this religion. As a follower, you wouldn’t be able to claim facts about Muhammad being a messenger of God, prove the Qur’an to be true or reliable, and you would never ultimately know if you were good enough or performed enough acts to make it to paradise. It would be pretty unfulfilling to walk around never knowing what is going to happen when you die.
Lastly, it puts all the effort and work of you making it to paradise on your own shoulders. Not only would you never have assurance of what is to come in the future, but you would constantly be working yourself to death to ensure you at least have a chance.
With Hinduism, followers believe in samsara, which is the cycle of death and rebirth, that is also known as reincarnation. The goal is for you to rack up positive karma (good works) during your lifetime that will outlast the negative karma. However much karma you have, it affects the soul as you are reborn into your next life. This cycle just continues and continues until you reach the ultimate goal of moksha, which means salvation from samsara.
So basically, again like Islam and many other religions, your goal is to do as many good works as possible. You desire is to have a great afterlife as you are born into another life (that’s not confusing at all), and finally you want to break the cycle and be free.
The problem with this religion is how would you ever know if you did enough? You couldn’t. On top of literally there being millions of gods within this religion, you never know what awaits for you in the next life…if there’s even another life waiting for you. There is no one ultimately driving the ship in this belief and it’s every man for himself to rack up enough karma to ultimately be broken of this cycle.
Christianity falls into a religion category, but the point of Christianity is not being a religion, but rather it’s about a relationship.
In fact, it is opposite of all other religions out there because we can’t be good enough. We’ll never be good enough. It has nothing to do with how much we can do, but what has already been done for us. There are no rituals to practice or pillars to follow in order to be righteous. The main point between all other religions is Jesus.
Typically the assumption is that we should follow the teachings of Jesus and that is all we do. I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t follow the teachings of Jesus (we obviously should), but be careful not to fall into thinking that it is the only thing we do. Let’s not miss the main point here.
Christianity is factual. It can be proven true through the Bible and history with overwhelming evidence. Jesus, who is the Son of God, took human form and came into this world as a baby, lived a perfect life, died on the Cross to pay the price for all our past, present, and future sins, then rose from the dead. This isn’t just an inspirational story. These things really happened. We need Jesus because we are sinful and have been forever.
For those who choose to believe in Jesus and follow Him, they are immediately righteous and forgiven for all their sins only because of what Jesus did for them, never about what they will do. We have a right relationship with God not because of our good works or practices, but because of what His Son did for us. Christians do follow the teachings of Jesus and the Bible, not to obtain salvation, but out of obedience and gratitude from what has already been done.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
So are all religions the same? Absolutely not. In fact, they are pretty different from what you can tell. Are all religions right? Do they lead to the same place? Again, you can see that would be impossible. So which one is right? What is the answer?
Jesus is everything. He paid it all. He is the reason anyone can know the one and only true God and have a relationship with Him. He is the only way you can have eternal life. He is perfect, holy, and blameless.
Jesus is the main point and the reason that all religions are not the same.
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.