Do All Religions Lead to God?From hot topic Inter-faith Understanding.
A devout Muslim kneels down on his worn, intricately woven prayer rug, carefully pointing it towards Mecca. Closing his eyes, he begins to pray …
Who is he communicating with? In its original meaning, ‘religion’ constitutes faith in the supernatural. Our culture and history inevitably shape how we perceive this supernatural entity. Who’s to say that the Muslim kneeling in prayer five times a day, or the Sikh deep in meditation aren’t both connecting with God?
It’s a comforting thought to assume that they do. Yet Jesus says ‘no one comes to the Father’ except through Him (John 14:16). He says ‘I am the way … ’ suggesting that there is no other (John 14:16).
If we believe that Jesus Christ was who He said He was, then sadly not all religions can lead to God. Jesus said He is the ‘truth’ and that God’s word is ‘truth’ (John 14:16, see also 2 Timothy 3:16).
So how do we to discuss this topic with our next-door neighbour who believes firmly in subjective truth?
I don’t believe we’re in a position to judge whether or not members of other religions will receive salvation. God is in charge of that. Nor do I believe that other religions are void of truth. All of them, as C.S.Lewis says, ‘even the queerest one,’ possess ‘some hint of truth’ (Lewis, Mere Christianity).
However, there is a dangerous assumption made by many in our society that truth is whatever is true for you. In an after-dinner conversation with university friends around this subject, I pointed to the clock on the wall, suggesting that the time – half past ten – was true whether or not we believed it to be.
If we assume there is an absolute truth, we can draw our friends to the miracle of the cross. The bible says that ‘Christ died for sins once for all,’ in order to ‘bring you to God’ (1 Peter 3:18). It is a hopeful prospect that Jesus Christ is the ‘radiance of God’s glory’ and the ‘exact representation of his being’ (Hebrews 1:3).
It might sound harsh to say not all religions lead to God, but it’s not if only one truth is able to set us free (John 8:32). Reading a book called ‘I Dared To Call Him Father,’ by Bilquis Sheikh opened my eyes to the potential bondage other religions can cause. Once a Muslim, Bilquis comes to know Jesus through a series of dreams and finds the ‘truth’ that is worth giving up everything for.
What do you think - can other religions can lead to God?
If it is true that only Jesus leads us to God, what are some of the implications of that?