elephantfaceblogAren’t all religions the same? How can you say there’s only one name?

“I’m a Christian but I don’t buy into the idea that everyone else is wrong”

I’m sure Oprah is not the only one who feels this way.

Perhaps we are content that Jesus indeed offers us salvation; that he is unique in many ways, but we are not able to wholeheartedly assert with confidence that Jesus is THE way. Much less our kids.

The old Indian proverb

Six blind men are told that there is an elephant in the village.

They go to investigate, each touching different parts of the same elephant. As they touch only one part of the elephant, each can only describe a small area, not the whole.

The proverb is used by some to illustrate that each religion is part of the ultimate truth, but not the whole truth by itself. Consequently, if true, then no one religion can lay claim to having the only truth or path to God.

How can my kids be confident that all other religions are false and that Jesus is the ONLY way? 

I’ve put together a fantastic video packed with tips for parents and a bonus goodie for your kids called: ‘What’s Truth?’ Just click on the graphic below to sign up for the FREE videos:

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Why religious pluralism is attractive to us

Religious pluralism, as it is known, is a pretty appealing position to take, allowing us to remain uncommitted to anything.

What’s truth?’

Since all religions hold some truth that lead to the ultimate truth, we can be the judges of what to take and what to leave. Alternatively, we may remain devoted to ‘our’ religion without bothering or caring to persuade others to follow our lead as in the end…’all roads lead to Rome’.

If we accept religious pluralism as a true description of man’s attempts to grasp the same ultimate reality, there can be no one ‘reckoning’ of our souls since we are all merely grasping at different ends of the same beast. You can see the appeal here…no-one can hold me to account.

Aren’t we all touching different parts of the same elephant in the room?

Why can’t all religions be equal?

How can my kids be confident that all other religions are false and that Jesus is the ONLY way?

Why religious pluralism fails to be a true description of ultimate reality

1.Irreconcilable differences between beliefs

First, while religions may have some common teachings (love your neighbor) or agreement such as there being only one God, (Islam, Judaism, Christianity), they have immense differences that are not easily reconciled or ‘fused’. Christ Jesus is no messiah, but a blasphemer, for the Jew. For the Muslim, Jesus didn’t really die. For the Christian, he is the resurrected king of all. How can these three versions of Jesus be reconciled into ‘one path’ to ultimate reality. Unlike the blind men who made different but not irreconcilable observations about the one elephant, religious pluralists make competing, contradictory and irreconcilable claims about God.

As parents we need to help our kids understand some of these big contradictions so they are not as easily ‘muted’ by the pluralist claim to higher moral ground on the basis that ‘all religions are basically the same’.

2. Absolution from moral guilt

Pluralism also absolves us of taking any responsibility for our moral actions. Our actions, according to our pluralistic mindset, will not be judged by anyone as there is no ‘one truth’ or ‘standard’ by which we will be judged. Pluralists like to have their cake and eat it. On the one hand, there’s no single standard by which we’ll be held to account, though we might see common threads of accountability in each religion. On the other hand, we can’t be punished since we can’t be blamed for missing all the detail as all the detail wasn’t clear to all.

Our kids need to see this excuse for what it is. No-one likes the idea of some over-riding truth laying claim to us all. That’s why Pilate said to Jesus, ‘What’s Truth?’ It’s preferable to absolve ourselves of accountability. John’s gospel puts it like this… ‘light has come into the world, but people loved darkness because their deeds were evil’ (John 3:19).

The Bible won’t let us be pluralists

The Indian proverb at least acknowledges we don’t have the full faculty to properly comprehend God, but nonetheless we do understand something of God by our efforts to reach out to Him.

The Bible’s teaching is a whole lot starker, skeptical even.

First, man does not seek out God, God seeks out man. Man does not reveal God, God reveals himself. In contrast, man runs away from God, avoiding Him.

Yet, according the Bible, this does not make God less knowable...here's the good news:

Second, God has revealed himself clearly.

Note how the pluralist requires the elephant to remain silent. Consequently, we, like the blind men are depicted as fondling in the dark feeling the same essence, only from different angles and through different means.

But the Bible says that the 'elephant in the room' has spoken

The New Testament shows us the historical figure of Jesus and preserves eyewitness accounts about his miracles, teaching, death and resurrection.

The New Testament claims that the ‘elephant’ has spoken to us through this Son of God, Jesus.

The letters of Colossians and Hebrews says that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being; He is not just another human being.

He is not a deity, but the deity, the son of the Father of all that has been made.

We as parents need to draw our kids back to the Bible, to look closer together at the person of Jesus, what he did and said about himself.

In the soon to be published 'What's Truth?' kids video course from Anton's Antics I've written some Bonus resources that will help you dig deeper with your kids into God's word on this subject. You'll also get a peek inside during the What's Truth Parent Training Video that's Freely available for a limited time.

What’s Truth?

Said Pontius Pilate, at the trial of Jesus.

I wonder sometimes what might have happened if Pilate had stopped to hear an answer or conducted a proper trial and searched for real witnesses, real testimony.

He would have discovered endless claims from the populace of Jesus’ miraculous activity pointing to his kingly status over our world.

He would have heard testimony of how people had concluded that he was God’s messiah.

He would have heard Jesus’ own testimony about his unique ability to offer eternal life.

It’s this character, Pilate, that is the focus of the FREE video I’ve made for parents called ‘What’s Truth?’

The video is a set of parenting tips, built around the story of Pilate and his handling of Jesus on trial. Through that account we learn a great deal about how to equip our kids to know ‘What’s Truth?’ and how to respond to those who like to be ‘pluralistic’.

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Note: A useful book that drew my attention to the Indian proverb was ‘Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side’ by Natasha Crain.

 

Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash