Have you ever heard someone say, “All religions teach the same thing”?
I know I have. Here is a response that I find helpful. It comes in a few different segments. First, it is good to validate the argument, you know, show that you understand where the person is coming from and that you can relate to why he or she might feel this way. Don’t validate the argument, unless you will provide the appropriate rebuttal. Here you can spoon feed the correct answer to the person, or you can ask a bunch of questions that lead the person the fault in professing that all religions have the same doctrines. It’s good to know a few Scripture verses to support what you are saying from God’s Word and it’s always the goal to present the Gospel in any apologetic endeavor.
I think many religions agree on certain points, such as there is life after death, or that there is some sort of higher power or entity in the universe, and most religions have similar moral laws, so I can see where people can come to this conclusion. I think the real reason people come to this conclusion is because they don’t want to exclude anyone from having the best existence possible after this life. We don’t want to say anyone is wrong and we want to avoid drawing lines of division which lead to segregation, elitism, and at times hate and violence.
It might be possible to squeeze the world’s religions into teaching the same thing on secondary, or superficial, levels, but on the primary, or fundamental, doctrines, they contradict each other. For instance, Christians believe that Jesus is God and the Savior of the world, where as Muslims believe that Jesus is just a prophet who should not be worshiped, and Jews, at least conservative Jews, would say that Jesus was a false prophet. These are just the views of three religions concerning one person in history! Clearly, they don’t all teach the same thing and they can’t all be true due to their contradictory teachings.
“How do they all teach the same thing?”
“On what doctrine do they all agree?”
“Do they all teach the same thing concerning the afterlife?”
“Do they all agree on what mankind’s ultimate problem is and how that problem can be overcome?”
“Do they all agree on who, or what, God is? Do they all even believe in an eternal, transcendent God?”
“How do Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism teach the same thing?”
1 Timothy 4:1 – “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Back to the Gospel:
Let’s look at what Christianity teaches concerning the way of salvation. Romans 4:4-5 says, “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” In Christianity, salvation is free for men. God steps into redeem and rescue mankind through the work of Jesus Christ. None of us can save ourselves by our own work, or merit, because we are all sinful people who do evil. In all other religions, people must work to earn a good afterlife. In Hinduism, a person must practice yoga and have good karma. In Buddhism, a person must follow the eight-fold path. In Islam, a person must excel in the five pillars of the Islamic faith. In Judaism, Jews have rejected Jesus their Messiah and have chosen to justify themselves through observance of the Law. All religions do not teach the same thing. In Christianity, salvation is free. In all other religions, salvation, if they call it salvation is not free and must be earned through personal works.