Summary: Often I see this bumper sticker... I always want to say: “Really? Have you even investigated the “teachings” of each religion represented?” In reality this bumper sticker flows out of tolerance without "Truth" (quotes from Ravi Zacharias.
In Jesus Holy Name June 5, 2016
Text: Acts 4:12 Series: The Story Confirmation Redeemer
(Note the title uses the bumper sticker "COEXIST"
Every so often I see this bumper sticker on someone’s car. I always want to say: “Really? You must live in a dream world. Have you even investigated the “teachings” of each religion represented?”
In reality this bumper sticker flows out of a culture that wants to believe in “tolerance” without “truth”. Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true. Morally you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim that it is a “better” way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it.
“All religions, plainly and simply, cannot be true. Some beliefs are false and we know them to be false. So it does no good to put a halo on the notion of tolerance as if everything could be equally true. To deem all beliefs equally true is sheer nonsense…..” . When a religion claims to be “true”, or contain “truth”, then requires teachings of other religion’s on that doctrine to be utterly false.
In post Christian America where “western” values are being substituted for “eastern” religious teachings or the theology of “tolerance”, thus any individual can walk into a “church” and mock its carryings on, its liturgy, its cross, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from the (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc). Such is the mood of the 21st century in post Christian America.
Jesus unequivocally stated that God is the author of life and that the meaning to life is found in coming to Him. This is categorically denied by Buddhism. Buddha was a Hindu before he believed that fundamental doctrines of Hinduism were false. Jesus revealed Himself as the Son of God who led the way to the Father, guaranteed by His resurrection from the dead. Islam considers that claim to be blasphemous. God cannot have a son!
The “eastern” religions of India maybe interesting… because one never faces an eternity in hell….when life on this planet comes to a close….one simply is transformed and born again into a different body. Could be animal? Could be human? It is no accident that in the culture of India where Hinduism & Buddhism are the dominant religions, the “caste system was created. All-inclusive philosophies only come at the cost of truth. Into that Indian culture came “Mother Teresa”, as she imitated Jesus with love, care and touch for the “outcast.”
The question in the 1st century and the 21st century remains the same. How does one communicate the truth of Jesus Christ in a culture there truth and absoluteness are not welcomed? This is the “post-Christian” world our confirmands are living. It is what they encounter in school, in life. How then are they too pass the teachings of Jesus to the next generation?
Confirmation instruction is to be a continuation of instruction that happened in the home. Confirmation Day is the student’s public profession that the teachings of Jesus & the major creeds of Christianity is truth upon which they will stand.
There are legitimate reasons for believing the Bible is historically reliable. Archeology has verified historical events in the Bible. There are legitimate reasons for believing Jesus was a real person that was executed by the Roman government by crucifixion and was seen raised from the dead three days later. There are legitimate reasons for believing that there is a God and that all that exists came into existence by that God. The Christian worldview is not built on shifting sand that will wash it away if you dig too deep. Rather it is built on solid rock which stands firm no matter the battle waged!
Ravi Zacharias who grew up in India, in a Hindu family, now a Christian, All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not and thus life’s purpose. An one who claims that all religions are the same, or that they can co exists, betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a false view of even the best known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.
Rev. Dale Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary wrote the following words. “America has changed so much in ways we could not have imagined a few decades ago.” The culture surrounding my confirmation day in Missouri was one where we all wore new suits, answered 20 questions in front of the congregation, followed by a dinner and gifts. 90% of my community were Christians. Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Baptists and Methodists. We knew that there were a few people who did not attend church, but there were no atheist, no Hindus, no Buddhists, and stores were usually closed on Easter, Christmas and Sunday’s. I did not have to deal with “transgender” bathrooms… and “gay marriage”, as a matter of fact I did not even know what a “transgender” person looked like.