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Religions will always differ

Roger Marshall

Religions will always differ

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IN A RECENT article titled: Religions Can Work Together (Daily Nation, Monday January 25) Archbishop of the West Indies and Anglican Bishop of Barbados, Dr John Holder, is quoted as saying: “We’re all religious people and we have different ways of doing things, whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Rastafarian or whatever. We all meet at a given point in time but we move off at different roads . . .

He continued: It’s a part of our understanding of other religions and how other religions use their understanding of God to take their own paths towards God” (emphasis mine).

By these statements is the goodly archbishop implying that all paths lead to God? If so what does he make of Jesus’ statement when he said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6, NIV)?

Hindus believe in millions of gods; Jews, Christians and Muslims proclaim there is only one God while the end of suffering is more important than God in Buddhism. In fact some Buddhists don’t even believe in God. Christians believe in the deity of Jesus, while Jews, Muslims and Rastafarians deny his deity. Are we seriously to believe that these, sometimes drastically different, conflicting and opposing paths are equally valid and true and will lead to God? The Bible clearly states that God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14: 33).

The law of non-contradiction states that “A” cannot be both “A” and “non-A” at the same time and in the same relationship. All the world’s theologically conflicting religions cannot be equally true leading their adherents to the same destination.

Either all religions are equally false in their understanding of God or only one religion is absolutely true without any contamination in its understanding of God. Christianity through its founder Jesus Christ proclaims itself to be that religion. As the Apostle Peter proclaimed: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12, NIV). To be sure such teaching is indeed “narrow” but Jesus himself did say: “. . . strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14, KJV).

People from different faiths can, should and often do work together on various social issues but for the serious minded Christian there can never be any compromise on the message of the gospel which states that Jesus is the only way to eternal salvation.

– Roger Marshall