When discussing religious or moral issues, you often hear someone say, “Your truth is not my truth. I’m glad that your religion works for you, but it’s not for me. I prefer my religion, or lack thereof. So, you have no right to impose your morals onto me.” But, is truth malleable? Is right and wrong to be determined by each person? How can all religions be equally valid when there are major differences between them? Some serve one God, while others try to appease multiple gods. Some religious systems have no deity at all.
There are three common denominators in religions. Colossians 2:23 states, “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Like a mirage in the desert, these religions have an APPEARANCE of wisdom. But Paul’s conclusion is that they don’t deliver on their promise. Let’s look at each of the three similarities.
FIRST, they contain self-imposed worship. It is left up to the individual how and what he or she is to worship. Some worship a single Deity. In some religions, there are multiple deities to appease. Some worship nature, while others worship themselves. Regardless, though, everyone WORSHIPS something.
SECOND, they promote a false humility. We all like it better to be surrounded by humble people than to be around arrogant individuals. False humility is a show we put on in order to make others think better of us. People can appear to be humble in their religious endeavors. But Paul says that it is a false humility, a hidden pride.
THIRD, they mistreat the body. Some people go to extremes to control or disregard the natural desires of the body. There seems to be the thought that the more I suffer, the more my deity will be impressed. As a result, some have whipped themselves as punishment for some sin. Others have participated in painful pilgrimages to display their devotion. They seem to think that the more they suffer, the happier their deity will be with them.
In a world of such diverse religious beliefs, there are two significant reasons why I believe Christianity is in a league all its own and has God’s exclusive stamp of approval.
ONE, the basis of every religion except Christianity is this: “It’s up to me, my efforts, whether I make it to the afterlife I want.” Christianity teaches that you and I can never do enough to warrant God’s acceptance. Our sin has created a chasm between us and God that only Jesus could bridge. He did so when He died on the cross and paid the full penalty for our sin. He now offers each of us eternal life and Heaven as a GIFT, not something to be earned.
TWO, only Christianity has a resurrected Leader. No one else in all of history has been able to overcome death and rise again. Maybe in the movies, but not in real life. Jesus, deader than a doornail, rose again on the third day and came forth out of His tomb. It was He who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
You won’t be sorry if you choose to ask Jesus to forgive you and live within you. When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, not only does He promise to welcome you into Heaven when this life is over, but He’ll walk with you through the rest of your life, as well.