According to the best estimates that exist, there are approximately 4,200 different religions and spiritual traditions in the world today. These religions each derive their own set of morality, ethics, and religious laws from their distinct beliefs about the cosmos and human nature. Each one claims to be a superior way of experiencing life, and for most of them, they claim that their specific set of values came from a supernatural being, force, or power. And even though, by definition, each one of these religions contradicts each other to a greater or lesser extent, our amorphous culture claims that they’re all valid, correct, and point to the same God, simply in different ways. “What is true for you isn’t necessarily true for me” is the slogan of our cultural context And we’re taught that an extreme tolerance of all these different viewpoints is our only option.
In a sense, tolerance has become the highest of all virtues in the world today. Its definition is specifically, “the willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.” Now a measure of tolerance is good thing, in the sense that no one should be oppressed because of their race, religion, or cultural differences, especially when it comes to spheres of life in which we interact with people who maintain different beliefs than our own on a daily basis. However, the unfortunate truth is that our culture has taken tolerance to a completely unhealthy place; everyone must not simply tolerate, but we’re forced to “accept” everyone else’s beliefs systems, habits, and choices as good, right, and on par with our own. In fact, our culture has become so tolerant that we’re completely intolerant of anyone saying that someone or some group is “wrong”.
That’s what brings us the unwelcome gift of ridiculous “Oprah-like” statements such as: “We all worship the same God, just in different ways” or, “All religions are the same, they’re all headed to the same destination, we’re all just taking different paths.”
This is where we must step in to faithfully and gently proclaim that not only are all religions not equally valid or true, but that Christianity is the exact and complete opposite of all of them. Right down to its core.