Religions in Conflict: Radio Program
Stephen: How do most of people view religion?
- Religion is just a preference.
- Religion is cultural.
- Religion is a crutch that weak people lean on.
- Religion is the reason we have so much fighting in the world.
- All religions are equally valid ways to explain and approach God.
- All religions are true to the person who embraces it.
- One’s religious system is the only true religious system, and all others are perversions of the truth.
Stephen: Could we says that all religious systems are equally or reasonably valid?
Pastor Eric: No, because the truth is one.
Biological laws: A dog cannot produce a fish
Mathematical laws: 2+2=4 not 3 or 5
Physical laws: The acceleration of gravity on earth is 9.8 m/s squared not 15 or 25 m/s squared
Moral laws: It is morally wrong to worship an idol. There are no circumstances that make idolatry acceptable.
Exclusive Religious statements: There is no God but Allah and Mohamed is his prophet. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me. Jesus said, unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. The apostle John said, As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name.
Stephen: Would you like to refute, add to, or summarize what has been said?
Victor: Two systems in genuine conflict cannot both be exclusively true.
- Islam and Christianity cannot both be true, because exclusive statements made by both religious systems form dogmas that cannot be harmonized.
- All religious systems can be wrong, but two or more cannot be correct when they have such irreconcilable differences.
- All can have elements of truth, because all truth is God’s truth.
Stephen: But does not the presence of similarities make all religions equally valid or equally invalid?
Pastor Joel: No
- Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic: But there definitions are radically different.
- Islam and Christianity revere Jesus of Nazareth: But Christians worship Him as God, Muslims call that worship blasphemous.
- Islam and Christianity talk about Adam, Noah, and Abraham: But their view of Israel and Abraham’s descendents are radically different.
- Islam and Christianity believe in a final judgment of our works: But Christians believes that the work of Christ alone gives a righteous verdict on the judgment day, and that by the works of the Law, no flesh will be justified in God’s sight.
- Traditional religions and Christianity believe in a supreme God who created all things: But Christians believe that only Christ should be prayed to and is the acceptable mediator between God and man.
- Every major religious system has very similar moral codes: Most religions believe you should love your neighbor, but that is simply one element among many other important religious dogmas.
- Which documents are holy scripture?
- Which prophets are the true prophets of God?
- Is Christ God in flesh or a prophet?
- Is triune doctrine presenting polytheism or monotheism?
- What is the ultimate basis of a righteous legal verdict at the final judgment?
- Was Jesus of Nazareth really crucified by the Romans as the sin bearing substitute for mankind or not?
- Did Jesus of Nazareth really rise form the dead?
Stephen: How do you explain these similarities?
- Natural revelation
- Moral legal codes.
- Ancient cultural Proverbs.
Practical examples: We hate being lied to. We hate being stolen from. We believe in defending human life. We believe in justice.
Romans 1:19 That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
Romans 2:1-5 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things…after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Romans 2:15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
- The creation of Adam from the ground.
- Noah and the flood.
- The call of Abraham.
- The fall of humanity
Stephen: So if only one religion is the correct one, how do the scriptures view other religious systems?
Pastor Eric: Scripture teaches that all religious systems competing with God’s revelation represents rebellion and suppression of truth, not a search for truth.
Romans 1:18-32For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…they did not like to retain God in their knowledge…haters of God…Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Stephen: What do the scriptures teach about people who have never heard the Gospel? Will they be judged for rejecting what they did not know?
Victor: All men are without excuse.
Psalm 19:1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Romans 1:19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
- Rejection of God’s self revelation in creation is enough to make a man guilty before God.
Stephen: Final thoughts summarizing the broadcast.
- While we believe that all truth is God’s truth and that the major world religions have overlap in many areas, especially in their understanding of history, interpretation of creation, and moral law, they cannot all be right.
- Each religious system or world view has made claims that are exclusive and keep them from being complementary with one another.
- Scripture teaches that all men no matter their exposure to the gospel are without excuse and will be condemned on the basis of this accountability if they reject the gospel.