Do all religions lead to the same God?

Some people say that God is so vast in his characteristics that no religion gets the whole picture but all the different religions contain one part of the picture. But are they right? How do we know? What makes people think this?

A modern idea

Thinking that everyone must be partly right is very much a modern idea which runs parallel with thoughts like – “if it feels good do it” and “what might be right for you might not be right for me!” The idea of something being absolutely true for everyone is a very unpopular idea as it brings with it the concept that some people must be wrong (a not very popular thing to say!)

There are many different faiths and religions in the world and there are similarities and differences between them all. The important question we must all answer is does it matter which one we choose? Is it like going to a supermarket and just selecting the one we like the look of or is it more like choosing from a selection of pills where they are all poison except for one!?

One big difference

There is one thing in particular that is very different about the Christian faith when compared to every other religion. The Christian faith says that no matter what we do or how hard we try, we can’t make ourselves good enough for God. No religious act, no religious words, no amount of attempts to be good will ever be enough to get us in to heaven. We will all fall very short of the standard that God requires – perfection, just like him.

Other faiths teach that if you do the right things or say the right things then you will be able to earn God’s favour and blessing. But Christianity teaches that it is not about what you do or say but about what you believe Jesus said and did. It is only by trusting in Jesus’ actions that we can be forgiven – we must not trust in our own ability and our own good deeds because they will never be good enough to make God like us and forgive us and let us into heaven when we die.

Four things have a big influence…

  1. The beliefs of our close family and friends
  2. The things we have been taught at school
  3. The things we think the majority of people in our country believe
  4. The things we have heard “experts” tell us

These four influences have a huge affect on our beliefs about a person or issue because it takes a really very strong conviction about the issue to decide to be different. We need to be very careful about what we believe and what we decide to reject. The best thing we can do is to think for ourselves and not just follow other people. History has proved that sometimes the majority get it right but other times they are very wrong!

Questions for you…

We have some questions that we would like you to think about, please click the name of the religion that you follow and then come and chat with us and tell us your answers…

Muslim faith
Hindu faith
Jewish faith
Buddhist faith
Catholic faith
Jehovah’s Witness faith
Latter Day Saints (Mormon) faith 
Wicca or Paganism

Questions for followers of the Muslim faith…

Did you know that the oldest surviving fragments of Quranic manuscripts date from the second century AH (about 900AD). They are written in Kufic script showing consonants only – vowel points and other marks were added later. Variants continued to exist until at least the 10th century AD when some Islamic scholars were imprisoned for refusing to abandon their preferred versions. Even in the mid 1900s two versions were still in use. While the majority of the Muslim world had one version, an alternative was still in use in North Africa. We wonder if you have ever heard this before?

The Quran describes itself as “a confirmation of revelations that went before it and a fuller explanation of the Book” (Q10:37-38). It also says that “He (Allah) sent down the law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus before this, as a guide to mankind.” (Q3:3). Many Muslims claim that these previous books and the gospel of Jesus are now corrupt but they say the originals were good. The question is can you be sure that the modern ones are definitely corrupt? Manuscripts have been discovered from the same time as when the Quran was originally written and these manuscripts say the same as modern versions of the Injil. If the modern ones are the same as or almost identical to the ones that the Quran says are a guide to mankind – have you considered reading the injil?

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.

Questions for followers of the Hindu faith…

The Hindu faith teaches that all religions can lead to the ultimate truth of Brahman, but we would like you to consider if this can really be true?

How can that be possible when, for example, Jesus said that he was the ONLY way to God? If we say that Jesus is right then we should only believe and follow him alone (following the Christian faith) BUT if we say Jesus is wrong to say this, then we are forced to say that Hinduism is also wrong because it states that all ways are equally true! (and we have just found one that isn’t)

Can you be certain that Jesus is wrong when he says that he is the only way?

If Jesus could be telling the truth then it is a huge risk to decide not to find out more about him.

What about bad things you do?

When you do something bad you are guilty of going against God and it doesn’t matter how good or devoted you are afterward it will not remove the bad that you have already done. We all need someone who can take the punishment we deserve for being bad. The Bible teaches that Jesus did this for those who would follow Him.

Are you certain that you don’t need Him to get rid of the bad things that you have done?

How sure are you that when you die you will get another chance in another life?

What if you are wrong and there is no second chance?

The Bible says very clearly that you only get one life and then you are judged and sent to one of two places where you will be for ever – it says there is no second chance. What if you were wrong and you missed the only opportunity you had to be forgiven?

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.

Questions for followers of the Jewish faith…

One aspect of the Jewish faith is waiting for the Messiah to come, but how certain are you that you would recognise him?

To recognise the Messiah you would need to have a picture of him in your mind – what he would be like and what he would do. The only information that can be 100% trusted to tell us about the Messiah is the Jewish scriptures. A Rabbi or the Talmund may not get it right but we can trust the scriptures.

Twenty-five Jewish writers, inspired by God, wrote about what the Messiah would be like – his life, work and death. The only way to recognise the Messiah is to know what they wrote. There are more than 100 unique prophecies about the Messiah. Here are just a few for you to read…

Isaiah 7v14 – Messiah will be born of a virgin

Micah 5v2 – Messiah will be born in Bethlehem

Isaiah 53v3 – Messiah would be despised and rejected by men

Isaiah 53v5 – Messiah would suffer to bring peace

Zechariah 11v12 – Messiah would be sold for 30 pieces of silver

Psalm 22v18 – People would cast lots for Messiah’s clothes

Isaiah 53v9 – He would be killed with bad people but buried with the rich

Jeremiah 23v5 – Messiah would be born from the line of King David

The scriptures contains two types of descriptions for the Messiah

– a suffering, servant Messiah

– a ruling, triumphant Messiah

These are not the descriptions of two Messiah’s but descriptions of two different times when the one Messiah will come to the earth.

Did you know that Jesus fits all of the predictions and descriptions for the Messiah?

Jesus came the first time to suffer as the final sacrifice for sins so we can be forgiven and he will come again triumphantly in the future as a ruler and judge. You may not think that Jesus is the Messiah but he does fulfil the Messianic prophecies contained in the Jewish scriptures.

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.

Questions for followers of the Buddhist faith…

Buddhism is about what a person can do to make themselves better & more enlightened, but we would like you to stop and think about how you are going to take care of the bad things you have done?

Have you ever thought about the fact that it doesn’t matter how good we are we cannot get rid of the consequences of the bad things we do?

You may think that should you fail to reach Nirvana you will have the chance to improve yourself in the next life BUT how certain are you that there really will be another life to give you another chance? The Bible says very clearly that you only get one life and then you are judged and sent to one of two places where you will stay for ever – it says there is no second chance.

Just imagine if you have got it wrong and there is only one opportunity to be saved from the consequences of the bad things you have done.

How certain are you that there is not a personal God who created this world and keeps it all going? Just think, he might exist and if he does you are ignoring him by trying to save yourself by your own works and efforts.The Bible tells us that we cannot be saved by our good works – One of the reasons for this is to ensure that we can’t be proud and boastful of our achievements. It says that Jesus, who is God, can save us but we can’t save ourselves!

How certain can you be that Buddhism is the truth when there are so many different branches of Buddhism and some of them contradict each other?

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.

Questions for followers of the Catholic faith…

If you are a Catholic are you definite that you are forgiven and going to Heaven?

You don’t need to live with uncertainty, the Bible says we can know if we are going to Heaven or not – you don’t need to say, “I hope so”, instead you could be able to say, “I know that I am!”

Did you know that sadly the Roman Catholic Church teaches many things that are different to what the Bible teaches? The reason for this is because the RC Church teaches that it’s traditions are of equal importance as the Bible. Many of these differences are to do with Jesus and how we get to Heaven and so they are too important to ignore…

Are we saved because of what we believe or what we do?

The RC Church teaches that we are saved because of what we do, as well as what we believe. It teaches that people can obtain their own salvation and can also co-operate in saving their friends through good works and “indulgences”.  Catechism of the Catholic Church (1477, 1479)

The Bible teaches that doing good or religious works doesn’t help to save us in any way. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” Ephesians 2v8,9

Is the church necessary for Salvation?

The RC Church teaches that the Catholic Church “is necessary for Salvation”. Catechism of the Catholic Church (846)

The Bible clearly teaches that it is Jesus alone that brings Salvation – “Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved” Acts 4v12

Who is the Head of the Church?

The RC Church teaches that the Pope is the head of the church – “by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole church” Catechism of the Catholic Church (882)

The Bible very clearly teaches that Jesus is the head of the Church – Ephesians 1v22,23

Where do we go when we die?

The RC Church teaches that we must do certain religious acts to be saved (eg Baptism) but if we commit “veneal” sins after this then we will go to Purgatory when we die – until we have suffered enough to deserve Heaven. It says that if we commit a “mortal sin” and then die, we will go to Hell. This is different to what the Bible teaches.

The Bible says that if we believe that Jesus died to save us and believe that he has given this free gift to us without us doing anything to deserve it, then we will go to be with Him in Heaven when we die. But the Bible is also very clear that if we do not believe this then when we die we will go to be punished for ever in the Lake of Fire. The Bible does not teach anything about a third place called “Purgatory” where we go and suffer for a while to make ourselves pure and holy. The Bible teaches nothing about some sins being bad enough to send us to Hell and others being not bad enough. The Bible teaches that any sin is bad enough to send us to Hell forever, unless it has been forgiven by Jesus dying on the cross.

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.

Questions about the Jehovah’s Witness faith…

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness please could you spend some time thinking through these questions?

The Watchtower organization has claimed to be the prophet of God (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197) but it has made many false prophecies. How can you trust that the Watchtower is trustworthy when it has been wrong before?

Where does it teach in the Bible that Jesus is Michael the archangel? Why isn’t Jesus called Michael right now since he is in heaven?

Why does the New World Translation insert the word Jehovah in the New Testament when there are absolutely no Greek manuscripts that have it in there?

The Watchtower organization states that through good works and sincere effort only 144,000 elite Jehovah’s Witnesses will go to heaven. The 144,000 are mentioned in two chapters in the Bible: Revelation 7 & 14. The verses says that the 144,000 are Jews of the ancient tribes (7:4-8). They are all males (14:4) and virgins (14:4). If the Watchtower states that the mention of Jewish male virgins is figurative, on what basis do they then say that number of 144,000 is literal?

In Isaiah 42:8 it says, “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory…”. Similarly, Isaiah 48:11 says, “… And to no one else shall I give my own glory.” If Christ is not God, then how could he say in John 17:5, “So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the GLORY that I HAD alongside you before the world was”? Since God said no one else would have the glory that alone belonged to Him, how could Jesus have the same “glory” as God unless of course Jesus is God?

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.

Questions about the Mormon faith…

If you are a part of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ we have some questions that we’d like you to think about…

Why would you trust the Book of Mormon when it teaches that Indians turn white when they become Mormons?

(2 Nephi 30:6, before it was changed in 1981)

If the Book of Mormon is meant to teach the truth why has the Mormon church altered parts of it?

(eg. 1 Nephi 11:21; 19:20; 20:1 and Alma 29:4)

Why did the Nauvoo House not stand forever and ever? (Doc. & Cov. 124:56-60).

Why did Joseph Smith preach against polygamy in October 1843 when he is meant to have had his revelation commanding the practice of polygamy in July 1843? (Doc. & Cov. 132; and History of the Church Vol. 6, page 46, or Teachings of the Prophet, page 324).

How did Joseph Smith carry the golden plates of the Book of Mormon, and how did the witnesses lift them so easily? (They weighed about 230 lbs. Gold, with a density of 19.3 weighs 1204.7 lbs. per cubic foot. The plates were 7″ x 8″ by about 6″. See Articles of Faith, by Talmage, page 262, 34th ed.)

Why isn’t Moroni a God now since he devoutly practiced the Mormon Gospel – why is he an angel? (Doc. & Cov. 132:17,37)

Why does the LDS church ignore the parts of the Word of Wisdom that forbid the eating of meat except in winter, cold or famine? (Doc. & Cov. 89:12,13).

We are told that God rejected the fig leaf aprons which Adam and Eve made (Gen. 3:21). Why do Mormons memorialize the fall by using fig leaf aprons in the secret temple ceremonies?

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.

Questions about Wicca and Paganism…

If you follow the Wicca or Pagan ways how can you be 100% certain that you are following the right way?

There are many reasons why Paganism may appeal to you but are you sure that you are following it because you believe it is the truth or are you just following because their beliefs appeal to you?

Some people find the Wicca and Pagan way very appealing because…

  1. It removes the whole concept of a God that will judge you by comparing us to His perfection? It is very useful and convenient to remove such a Holy God from the universe because then we can just get on with doing whatever we want to do!
  1. We are all naturally selfish and proud? A religion that allows and justifies us doing whatever we want is always going to be appealing!

Do you think that if you had to follow Jesus then you’d have to give up too much?

Christianity is based on one God and one book – it therefore has an outside point of reference to judge it by. Have you ever really looked at why Christians say the Bible must be right? If you haven’t, then can we challenge you to take a look at the Bible and what Christians believe – just in case you are trusting your eternal destiny on Paganism because it’s an easy option to do so.

Please come and chat with us about this and any other questions you have.