Do All Religions Lead to God?
Are the gods of Hinduism and Islam merely another expression of the Christian God? Does biblical Christianity advocate an overtly tolerant attitude toward other religions and faiths?
The Scriptures speak candidly concerning the gods of other religions. The Old Testament demonstrates a profound intolerance for false worship and for the gods of the nations (Exodus 20:1-6). Even throughout the poetic writings, this demeanor does not change, with the psalmist calling the gods of the nations “idols” (Psalm 96:4-5).
The New Testament does not pacify this sentiment but intensifies the distinction between the God of the Bible and all other “gods.” Jesus Himself claims that He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6), and He also proclaims that He is the truth and the life! Through this claim to exclusivity, Jesus indicates that apart from Him, religion leads to death and deception.
The biblical presentation of salvation is incredibly unique. While the religions of the world boast great persons of morality and piety, each belief system demands the earning of salvation. Christianity’s concept of grace (unmerited favor) clearly sets it apart from all other religions.
We are saved by grace through faith in the accomplished life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we are united to Christ in faith, we are saved apart from any of our own perceived merits. Salvation, from start to finish, is a gift that brings about a changed heart and a new behavior (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Even with these glaring differences, our attitude toward other faiths should be one of love and compassion. Yet, we must lovingly affirm that true salvation is found in the one God of the Bible and His salvific provision.