I recently overheard someone say that all religions are the same. On the outside looking in, I suppose that could seem true. However, as one who is on the inside looking out, I have a different perspective, and it was good for me to give it some thought and articulate it this week.
I am fascinated with different cultures’ stories of creation, a global flood, and heaven. There are a lot of similarities, and I can see how someone would conclude that they are all basically the same, with minor variations. So what sets Christianity apart? What makes it so appealing to those who have embraced it to the exclusion of all others? Why do I reject all other beliefs and cling to this one?
Many times, neatly dressed strangers have come to my door and asked me to discuss God with them. I have studied most of their teachings and read their holy books, and welcome the opportunity. But time after time I have been told that I should not attempt to interpret their doctrine myself. They say I need their church leaders to explain it.
That doesn’t work for me.
The Bible encourages everyone to explore it on their own. It says that even children are capable of understanding Scripture, that every part of the Bible is useful for teaching, and that we have free and unlimited access to God ourselves, with no need for anyone to intercede on our behalf or interpret God’s words for us.
I attend church and listen to sermons regularly, with the intention of gaining a fresh perspective or a spiritual challenge. My responsibility is to examine what I hear in the light of Scripture and decide for myself what I believe.
Some religions discourage their followers from questioning their teachings. The Bible encourages everyone to study and arrive at their own conclusions. Nowhere does it say that we are to blindly adhere to the tenets of Christianity without understanding.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 says “Test all things and hold on to what is good”. Psalm 34:8 says “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. Matthew 7:7 tells us that all who seek shall find what they are looking for. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to study the Scriptures so that we will not be ashamed and will be able to understand what is truth and what is not.
If you want to know God, open His book and read it for yourself. Test, study, taste. God doesn’t hide behind any church leader, and will be found by all who seek.