In spite of my name @spiritual matters, one of the most difficult topics for me to write on is, of all things, religion. I am a person who wants to believe that people of varying faiths will all experience heaven; and, that God honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).
And, in all this wanting to believe, every time I come into this discussion, I realize that Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace on earth; but, a sword to sever the Truth from unbelievers (Matthew 10:34-36).
To this end, I found myself having to severely edit a recent post about a gunman, and the Muslims he massacred. As always, when I write from emotion, instead of from the spirit, I end with regret. You know, kinda’ like talking from anger without bridling that old wicked tongue (James 1:26)…smh…rme.
In the post I rudely and, in partial accuracy (an obvious falsity in there somewhere), said there is one God, many faiths, and that He, the Creator of every human being, wouldn’t lead so many down a wrong road leading to hell.
All of these statements are true; but, the missing ingredient, the one that would change the recipe totally, is that, according to my Christian belief, He has called disciples to teach the Truth to the whole world about His Son Jesus being the way to Him. The internet has allowed the Gospel to be spread worldwide.
In the post, I bumbled my Christian belief, for lack of a better word, that John 3:16 clearly states that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believed on Him would be saved." Christians believe that receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior, following His teachings, is the only pathway to receiving eternal life, and being with God in heaven.
According to statistics, there are 2.9 billion Christians worldwide. The recent gaffe, to clump every faith under one big happy umbrella singing Kumbaya, proves a disservice, and insult to all faiths; for which I humbly apologize and ask forgiveness for.
Needless to say, God doesn’t let shoddy work go unchecked. It became a case of Him plucking me by the scruff of my neck, and plopping me into a little corner to gain insight to the tenets of the leading three monotheistic faiths, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
To add to the obvious fact that everyone’s beliefs are not the same; and essentially quite different, I added a discussion about Buddhism. I focused on each faith’s beliefs about eternal life, heaven, and who they say Jesus is/was.
After emerging from my stint with time out, when it’s all said and done, there may be only one God; but beyond this agreement, the beliefs disperse into extremely incongruous directions.
So, with all this said, and to avoid building a dissertation, I will spend the next three posts discussing basic tenets of the aforementioned faiths.
I will end this post, with the primary beliefs of Christianity:
As noted, in the words of John 3:16, Christians believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved. More specifically, to be saved means to be saved from the eternal fires of hell for which, according to 1Corinthians 6:9-10, a select, though very large swath of the human population shall call home, unless they repent and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That’s a pretty concise and clear statement which Christians profess...no one gets to heaven without Jesus.
Christians are taught that Jesus was hated to the point of a brutal death, ending in being hung on a Cross. So, we should not consider it strange that such atrocities of being beheaded and burned alive are subjected to His followers (Matthew 27:32-56, John 15:20).
And as mentioned, unique to Christianity is the belief that “No man can come to the Father except by Him, Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
To add one last point: Christianity is definitely not the same as the other faiths, and the other faiths are definitely not Christianity. Christians believe that on the day of Judgment, every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
In the next three posts, I will make an attempt to show the clear disparities of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and why there may be only one God; but, many beliefs about heaven, eternal life, and Who Jesus is.
I can end with one Quantifier in each of the faiths, which sets the Christian apart from all others. It is that Christians believe 100% that Jesus is the Son of God; immaculately conceived by a Virgin, and, that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and without Him eternal life in heaven will not exist for non-believers. It’s too crystal clear for me to parse in any other watered-down explanations.
As a Christian, I am reminded that I am not here to save souls; but to speak the Truth as the Spirit leads; with the hope that God will turn the hearts of the world, in the pathway to eternal life with Him, as He so chooses.
In the 2nd post in the series, I will discuss the next religion in alphabetical order, Buddhism; their beliefs about eternal life, how and if it is attainable; and their religious teachings as to who Jesus Christ is/was.