Are There Many Paths to God?

Why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world (John 10:16, NLT).

Have you heard someone say, “There are many paths to heaven; just pick one”? Some consider life a mountain with a Buddhist path, an Islamic path, a Hindu path—you get the point: many paths.

Is Christianity just one path of many? Are all religions the same?

A moment of honesty: In 49 years as a pastor, I’ve heard this “many paths” theory many times, and typically it’s used to justify a path of greed, lust, illicit actions, or pride. The advocates think, “Well, if there are many paths, I can do what I want.”

But let’s focus on the “multiple paths” as a legitimate theology. Is it true or not?

If we gathered a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, and Jew in the same room, they wouldn’t agree with multiple paths. We would realize while listening to their debate that their religions aren’t similar paths—but completely different mountains.

Jews believe in the Law, Islam teaches five pillars, Buddhism the eightfold path, and Hindus the teachings of the Vedas. It’s true that a Bahaist would agree with all the above and say, “All mountains are true, climb each one.” 

But how tiring would that be?

Can we claim all religions as the same path when the adherents themselves disagree?

It’s time for the OG (Old Guy, that’s me) to pontificate, “I believe all religions are the same in one aspect to which Christianity differs.”

The teachings of the New Testament claim that Jesus is the Son of God.

C.S. Lewis (an Oxford scholar who penned The Chronicles of Narnia) wrote…

If you had gone to Buddha and asked him, ‘Are you the son of Brahma?’ he would have said, ‘My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.’ If you had gone to Socrates and asked, ‘Are you Zeus?’ he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammad and asked, ‘Are you Allah?’ he would first have rent his clothes then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, ‘Are you Heaven?’ I think he would have probably replied, ‘Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.’ 

When the Bible claims Jesus as the Son of God, it’s the same as calling Him God.  

All other religions teach a path on a different mountain. But Christianity claims Jesus is the mountain! All other religions focus on the works needed to climb the mountain. But Christianity teaches grace; we don’t need to climb at all.

The mountain, in a sense, comes to us.

Jesus is God, resurrected, and telling all of us, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, ESV).

I like the path of grace and mercy. How about you? It’s better than climbing impossible mountains.

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