I bet you've heard some version of this myth about Jesus. I would guess it's most often repeated by people who don't really want to come to terms with the fact that claims about religious truth aren't all equal or the same.
The versions I've heard of this myth kind of go along these tired and cozy lines:
"Well, Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha, the Hindus and all the religions teach the same thing--love one another."
"All the world religions are just different parts of the same truth."
"It doesn't really matter what you believe, as long as you believe in God."
Because of the present geopolitical situation, more people are questioning this homespun religious tolerance and are wondering how true it ever was. But it's a good thing that we stop and recognize the many exclusive claims that Christ made about himself.
Here are a few, all from the gospel of John:
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me." John 14:6
"Before Abraham was, I am." John 8:58
"I and the Father are one.”
Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10:30-33
I list only these, and there are many others beside, because Jesus claimed a unique significance to himself and claimed in many different ways that he was both divine and eternal.
Beyond these kind of ways that Jesus clearly distinguished himself, the material content that Jesus taught is clearly different from what other religions have to say about Jesus. Either they are wrong and he is right or he is right and they are wrong.
Islam teaches that Jesus never truly died on the cross, and therefore never rose again. This is the central tenant of the Christian faith.
Buddhism teaches does not have a belief in a supreme Creator; this is central to the teachings of Jesus.
Hinduism teaches a belief of reincarnation; Jesus taught that after one life is either an eternity in heaven or hell.
It's not only a myth to say that all the religions profess the same core belief or ethic, it is intellectually dishonest and actually diminishes the claims of Jesus that he is greater than any other person who has ever lived and is God.
If you've been telling yourself some version of the myth that Jesus and all the other religions are the same, take another look at the claims of Jesus and recognize that telling the truth about him requires acknowledging that either he was right or wrong about himself, but he certainly has no equals.
Share this post today to help people in your life who are resisting Jesus by repeating this old myth about him. You can learn more about the 21 Myths in 21 Days blog series by clicking here!
Labels: 21 myths, apologetics, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jesus Christ, world religions