Friday, May 27, 2011

Religions are NOT equal

All religions are not equal expressions of the Divine nature. The trap of relativism, or the desire to condense diverse mediums of human expression into equal forms, causes us to question that understanding. If God is real, then all methods of expression, understanding, and relating to Him cannot be valid.

Why does it matter, how you view God? Because How we understand God necessarily affects how we will relate to Him. If we believe that God is loving, then love is our highest virtue. If we believe that God demands retribution for all slights of faith, then we will be violent against unbelievers. If we believe God likes necklaces made from baby fingers, then things quickly get twisted. Therefore, a proper understanding of who God is, and the proper way to relate to Him, not only for our faith, but also for our spiritual fulfillment and maturity.

The first tenant of orthodoxy must be that there is a single Truth AND it is knowable. The first part, a single truth, is vital because a rejection of truth is a rejection of all reality. Quite simply, we either live in a real and objective reality, or I am a brain in a vat. Because if there is no single reality, then every individual lives in a dream world. Additionally, one must also accept that reality can be grasped, understood, and/or realized. This is a simple concept that we are all intelligent beings, and we are capable of interacting and knowing our environment, both physically and spiritually.

If this is true, then we must accept that there is only one faith, one religion, that could or does, express the fullness of Truth. To keep it short, some religions may hold SOME truth, but not the FULLNESS of Truth (meaning the rest is fallacy, opinion, or deceit). Certainly, all cultures contain the natural human desire to search, know, and have a relationship with God, but there being only a single Truth, and all religions differ in what that Truth is, there can be only one true faith.

For a Christian, only Christianity can be that True expression of the Divine reality. We, as Christians, believe that Jesus is God, and His words are a guide to this Truth. In the Bible, Jesus tells us about this single Truth:

John 14 

5 Thomas said to him: Lord, we know not whither you go. And how can we know the way? 6 Jesus said to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me. 7 If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him.

In effect, He says, I am the way to God, because I AM God. You can't reject God, and still expect to be with God after this life.

Even within Christianity, however, not all 'denominations' can hold the fullness of this Truth. One denomination may be very secular, believing that a general concept of God is enough for our spiritual lives, while the opposite end may believe that God has already determined your fate, no matter your convictions. The only thing that makes these denominations considered 'Christian' is that they maintain a faith in Jesus. Even then, the understanding of who Jesus is and what His message means, differs. Again, if there is a Truth, and it is knowable, then they cannot all be valid expressions of faith.

I have tried, in this post, to keep the topic generic to a single Truth. I haven't attempted to proclaim that Truth. However, to find that Truth, one is greatly aided by knowing history. How can that be? Why can finding God be this hard? Because there are real forces that do not desire you to follow God, and you must often follow that desire with a determined effort to find God. Christian history will quickly reveal the fallacy of Protestant positions, often leaving a determination between the Catholic faiths (Roman, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox). When you study, you must remember, men are sinners, but the Church is Divinely installed by God Himself (Jesus). This perspective can help you sift through the 2,000 years of human interaction within Christian history.

To end with some humor, I leave you with this video from Andrew Klavan. He expresses that all religions can't be good. After all, if all religions are good and worth expressing, then Satanism, the worship of sin and evil, is good, too.

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