theology

Considering the Hard Questions

I recently wrote a post about an exercise I took some of the youth group kids through. They were being really squirmy as we were going through the lesson so I asked them why we study the Bible in the first place. You can read their answers here, but I want to focus now on my own thoughts on the matter.

There are so many religions in the world, but I think that Christians sometimes oversimplify the matter. I have often heard a pastor suggest, “All other religions are based on works, but our religion is based on grace and mercy.” Why do pastors say such ignorant things? For the Hindu, their religion is part of their everyday lives attempting to find communion with their gods who is only a shadow of the true Brahman. For the Muslim, there is not greater honor than serving Allah as the one true living God. They worship him because he is the all-powerful deity. They would not suggest they could somehow “earn” the love of Allah–the all powerful other who is changed by no man. So why do we oversimplify the matter?

We are so quick to categorize all the other religions, but should we be? Why are so we so afraid of other religions? Why are we so afraid of our students studying them? We really ought to consider them a little before we write them off.

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One thought on “Considering the Hard Questions

  1. it’s not just ignorant to make a claim like “All other religions are based on works, but our religion is based on grace and mercy” it’s also misleading. What happens when someone who has thought this way all their life, because their pastor said so, discovers that it’s just not true? Now we’re faced with a choice between truth and Christianity. We shouldn’t have to face this choice. We should be honest from the beginning. If we believe this Christianity is true, we should have faith that it can hold water in the midst of challenging truths.
    Also, this statement is ignorant in two directions. like you said, not all other religions are based on works. And, in the other direction, who said Christianity wasn’t about works? It truly is. Not the kind of works that earn you something, but “faith without works is dead.”

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