Are All Religions Basically The Same?

“All the religions of the world are true because they’re all basically the same.” This refrain, commonly repeated by people, reflects a fundamental ignorance of the world’s religions. The religions are not the same because their core beliefs contradict each other. Here are a few examples:

-most Hindus believe in the existence of an atman (i.e. soul) that is reincarnated after death; Buddhism denies this
-Islam teaches that Jesus Christ never died on a cross; Christianity teaches that if Jesus never died and rose again, the whole Christian faith is worthless (1 Corinthians 15)
-Hinduism affirms (or permits) the worship of many gods; Judaism strictly prohibits this and requires that only one God be worshipped

Given the contradictions in the world religions, all of them cannot be true. The most important question then becomes which, if any of them, accurately describe the true nature of reality?

Rabi Maharaj, a convert to Christianity from Hinduism, describes the reaction he got from a liberal “pastor” when he articulated the clear differences between the religions.
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“Expressing his disapproval of my lecture on comparative religions, he said: “I was a missionary in India for 20 years, and I saw the Indian worshipping his stone god. I believe that when the Indian worships his idols he is worshipping the God of the Bible. You are not helping the understanding we need between religions by making out that there are these drastic differences!”

“Reverend,” I replied. “I was that Indian worshipping stone gods. Today I worship the God of the Bible, and I think that I am qualified to tell you that they are not the same – they are worlds apart!”

(Maharaj, Rabi. Death of a Guru. (Harvest House Publishers, 1984.) p.197, 198)

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