Aren’t all religions equally valid?

These days people react to any claims that Christians might make for Christianity being the only way to God. Even though it was Jesus himself who said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me” (John 14:6), people want there to be many ways to God. Often this is expressed by saying that all religions are equally valid.

This sounds like a humble thing to say, but it is just too vague to make much sense. Do people really think that all religions are equally valid? What about those religions that practice child abuse; just as valid as religions which teach self-sacrificial love? Are those religions which practice child sacrifice as valid as those which teach people to love and respect other people? Nobody would say that all these religions are equally valid.

Perhaps people are talking about the major world religions when they say that all religions are equally valid and basically teach the same thing. The problem is that nobody who practices any of these religions with any degree of seriousness thinks that they basically teach the same thing. Hinduism has hundreds (or thousands) of gods, Christianity has one God in three persons, in Buddhism there is no god at all; these are not basically the same thing. Christianity teaches that Jesus was the Messiah, Judaism insists that the Messiah has not yet come; this is not basically the same thing. Islam worships Allah, the god who is not moved; Christianity worships Jesus, the man of sorrows who not only moved to earth, but was moved to tears when he had to bear the sins of the world. Again, these are not basically the same thing. It is true that there are some similar ethical aspects to world religions, especially in terms of loving, serving and respecting other people, but to ignore the major differences in belief is to basically ignore the religion. A Steve Turner poem called “Creed” has a playful way of saying it,

We believe that all religions are basically the same, at least the one we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation sin heaven hell God and salvation…

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