Part 1 of this two part series by Rev Dr Ross Clifford can be read here.
Different Paths, Different Destinies
If we study the teaching of the world’s religions we quickly discover that their claims are mutually exclusive. They cannot all be true because they contradict each other in their basic views about God, humanity, and our final destinies. The Boston philosopher Edgar Sheffield Brightman observed:
A world in which Roman Catholicism and Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science could both be true would be a universal madhouse.
The teaching of Roman Catholicism and Mary Baker Eddy contradict one another about the nature of God, the purpose of our existence and ultimate destiny. Francis Beckwith, a philosopher at the University of Nevada, has highlighted the issue in a poetic way:
All roads lead to God
I’ve heard so many people say
But when they get to Jonestown
They beg to look the other way.
Mortimer Adler in his book Truth in Religion argues that the world’s religions contradict one another. It is impossible for Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism to all be true.
Christianity teaches there is a personal God, Hinduism teachers there is an impersonal God, in classical Buddhism there is no God. It is inconceivable that all three claims about God can be true. Adler then looks at the coherence of truth between the three religions which present evidence for the existence of a personal God. He issues the call:
I would like to hear leading twentieth century theologians speaking as apologists for Judaism, Christianity and Islam engage in a disputation. The question at issue would be which of these three had a greater claim to truth. It being conceded that teach has a claim to some measure of truth, which of the three can rightly claim more truth than the other two? (pp109-110.).
The Truth is a Person
What distinguishes Jesus Christ from all other teachers is He taught that the Truth is a person. Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus came to offer us life in abundance.
He not only made claims about Himself, but also fed, touched and healed people in the midst of dire needs. He offered His life in order that we might receive His love freely and experience the freedom of release from our selfishness.
Jesus demonstrated His love for us by dying on the cross and substantiated His exclusive claim to be God in human flesh on the fact that He rose again from the dead.
All other teachers’ graves are occupied, but Jesus’ grave is empty because He conquered the power of death. You can get to know Jesus by listening to His words as recorded in the Bible and you can experience His presence by inviting Him into your life.
The first step is to put your trust in Him and acknowledge Him as the only one who can rescue us from our selfishness. You can know the release and forgiveness He alone can bring by calling on Him. Jesus wants to give you life. Anytime, anywhere. Free.
Rev Dr Ross Clifford AM is the Principal of Morling College (NSW Baptist) and author of numerous books many of which focus on Christian Apologetics. He is a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance, President of the Asian Baptist Association, an acclaimed international preacher and speaker, a columnist in many Christian publications, winner of many national and international awards and for many years the Sunday evening Sydney Radio 2CH host. Ross is married to Bev, father and grand father.