Summary: I talk about what makes Christ & Christianity unique from other religions.
“All Religions Promise Eternal Immunity”
One of the most popular television shows this year was Survivor—The Australian Outback. Millions and millions of viewers watched this show every week. Over a dozen folks were stranded in the middle of nowhere where they were divided up into two teams and competed against each other for 1,000,000 dollars. There was much at stake during these competitions because the winners or winner would get “immunity” where they were promised they would not get voted off the outback during tribal council that night. That immunity “idol” meant life to them. It meant they couldn’t be harmed—they were promised another day.
Another reason why some people aren’t interested in the God of the Bible or Christianity is because they think that Christianity is just like any other religion. Whether it is Christianity or Buddhism or Mormonism it is all the same. It has no appeal to many because the thought is that Christianity leads me to the same place that New Age or Hinduism, etc. promises. This could not be further from the truth.
This is very dangerous and harmful thinking to believe that all religions lead you to the same place. This is easy to say if you do not have some sort of grasp of the basic beliefs of these religions. The more you study them the more you see how different they are.
Their beliefs about the nature of God, the human dilemma, and fate after death vary in pretty huge ways.
Time limits me to go into great detail into the doctrines of these religions but it is important to see where they stand on crucial theological issues. There are major differences between all of these religions. Each religious tradition makes a truth claim. All of them will swear that they are true. So, how can many totally different truth claims all be true? They can’t. You see, the laws of logic state that 2 contradictory statements both cannot be true. Either one out of the group is correct or all of them are incorrect. That’s why it is so crucial to see how reasonable it was for Jesus to say the statement, “I am the way, the truth and the Life. No man can come to the Father except through me.” It is more logical to say all religions are wrong than to say all religions are right.
You may say, “but these are very sincere people who believe and base their entire lives on their system of beliefs.” I respect that very much but that still does not make them right.
ILLUSTRATION: What if your science professor announces that your first experiment will involve studying the properties of acids. She places a 500 ML Pyrex beaker containing clear liquid on the lab table and says, "This is sulfuric acid." In response to her explanation, imagine your lab partner, Jim blurts out, "I don’t believe this is sulfuric acid. It looks like water to me." Jim, you discover, is so sincere about his belief that the Pyrex beaker contains water, that he decides to drink it. What will happen to Jim? Despite his sincerity, Jim’s belief that the beaker contained water did not change the nature of its contents. He may believe with all of his heart that the beaker only contains water but the acid will still kill him. One may be sincere and yet sincerly wrong.
How can we hold to a belief that all religions give us the same eternal immunity when they fundamentally don’t teach us the same thing? So, what makes Christianity so unique from other religions? Since Christianity means a belief in the life and teachings of Jesus, what makes Christ unique from all the other religious figures. Here are some things that one of my favorite apologists—Ravi Zacharias, pointed out in one of his lectures.
I. Jesus’ description of what is wrong with man
As you read the gospels you will read how the writers would display Jesus as understanding what was in the hearts of man. Jesus said, “Don’t you understand?” Jesus asked him. Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes out of the body. But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander. These are what defile you.” Matthew 15:17-20
What is wrong with man is that he has a heart problem. We are sinners in need of an inward change that can only come through an encounter with Jesus himself. Jesus laid down his life to give man a change of heart.
Jesus is also unique from all other religious leaders because of what he taught about genuine worship.
II. Jesus rescued us from a worship restricted to geographic places, buildings and form