Do All Religious Paths Lead to God?

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There are new schools of thought that all paths of religion need to God, that they are all different ways to get to the same place, this is the idea behind the idea of universal or interfaith religious beliefs – but is it correct?

The movement toward a universal religion

There are movements that are trying to achieve unity and religious beliefs. These include the religion of Unitarian Universalism, Humanism, The Interfaith Project, The Baháʼí Faith, the New Age movement and others.

Shaped by pluralism

Pluralism is rooted in religious diversity and asserts that all spiritual paths are equal in validity. This position is called “Oneism or All-theism.” Not only does it allow for the idea that there can be more than one supreme or sole being (God), but there can be multiple deities (God’s) or even no such being (Buddhism, atheism).

Religions advancing universalism

Unitarian Universalism draws on beliefs from world religions, as well as from science, nature, philosophy, ancient tradition and personal experience.

There is no specific creed, instead, they are guided by a “living tradition” which is summarized by the Six Sources and Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.

Another belief system that is closely related to Unitarian Universalism is humanism, as acknowledged by the American Humanist Association.

The Interfaith Project, which has created The Abrahamic Family House, a trio of new multifaith temples in the UAE that is trying to find common ground between the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The word interfaith describes an interaction between people of different religions or faith traditions, according to the United Religions Initiative. Interfaith, generally speaking, is focused around that idea that every human being deserves respect, regardless of their belief tradition or religion.

According to Wikipedia: “The Baháʼí Faith is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people.”

The New Age movement

The New Age movement embraces almost all forms of spirituality except the Abrahamic religions, since they are monotheistic, making them naturally contrary to New Age views. The spiritual views of New Age movement are closely related to The Baháʼí Faith.

Can there be multiple paths leading to God?

Many religions believe that their god or gods are the only true God. They cannot all be right. Therefore, such beliefs are something that cannot be mixed and matched, or at least brought together in a universal way that can be genuine. Something will have to be compromised. And if it is compromised, then did it really have any value in the first place?

The problem with universalism

In the book, The Second Coming of the New Age, authors Josh Peck and Stephen Bancarz, two former New Agers themselves who converted to Christianity, point out the contradictions that the movement ignores for the sake of achieving universalism: “The problem with religious pluralism is that two opposing views can’t be true at the same time. We could say that Christianity is false, Buddhism is false, or both are false. But to say both are true is a logical impossibility. Same for Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Chinese religions, African religions and Wicca, all have radically opposing views on sin, the afterlife, nature of God, moral will of God, God’s plan, purpose and meaning of life, ethics and self conduct, salvation/liberation, and the nature of the soul. All religions cannot be valid paths to God if they contradict one another in telling us how to get there.”

Their observation is not only correct for the New Age movement, but for all of the universal religions.

Further, Peck and Bancarz point out distinctions about The Interfaith Project that are in direct opposition: “How can Jesus and Mohammed be prophets of the same God if the Bible tells us Jesus died on the cross for our sins and Islam tells us that Jesus never died on the cross in the first place?”

Peck and Bancarz give us the reason these universal faiths fail: “Religious pluralism is rendered invalid when we examine the teachings of each religion.”

What sets Christianity apart

Besides a belief in a single, supreme God who created the universe and everything in it, Christianity is unique in the scope of all world religions when we consider the prophetic writings of the Bible. One-third of the Bible is prophecy. Many of these have already come true and have been verified as historically correct outside of the Bible.

Secondly, archaeology has proven that many of the locations, buildings and events described in the Bible are real. Very recent finds in Israel are continually proving the veracity of the New Testament, as places undiscovered before now reinforce the claims of Scripture.

Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr., is a former pastor, author, professor, who serves as Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, points out that there have been over 23,000 archaeological digs that have corroborated the biblical record – without one disapproving find. The Bible is comprised of 66 books in 3 languages and was written by 40 authors spanning three continents over 1,500 years.