Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

Just read a great post over at Wintery Knight’s blog.  Hat tip to Truth 2 Freedom blog for linking to it in my reader feed.

Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

Excerpt:

So, everyone knows that there a huge number of different religions in the world. This is called religious pluralism. Some people infer from the large number of different religions that there must be no religion that is correct. After all, they say, there are people in many different religions who are sincere, so that must mean that they are not wrong. (Sincerity = not mistaken) Or, some say that because different religions disagree, then that must mean that no religion is correct. (Disagreement = no right answer) Or, some say that because different religions make different groups of people feel happy, then no religion is wrong. (Makes you happy = not mistaken) Or, one I see among Hindus a lot: “my family and my nation are Hindu, so it cannot be wrong or else my family and nation would be wrong”. (family pride and national pride = can’t be mistaken). There are probably other variants, but the common factor is this – religion is not like math or science or engineering or technology, where we do have right answers and wrong answers. Religion is something else – it’s more like clothing conventions, or culinary preferences, or taste in art or music. It’s more about a person’s likes and dislikes, not about claims being made about reality.

How should truth-seekers respond to religious pluralism?

The law of non-contradiction

Readers, you must read it all HERE!!!

 

Within the post, Wintery Knight asks:

How do postmodernists reinterpret religious claims as non-propositional?

There are three answers, but the “syncretism” answer applies to my recent discussions with someone who likes Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” teachings.

syncretism: you re-interpret truth claims of the different religions so that claims that are absolutely central, such as “was Jesus God?” are reinterpreted as being peripheral issues, and then the religions can all agree on the core of religious belief, such as advocacy of socialism, global warming and abortion.

 

I have dealt with the idea of syncretism in a previous post entitled, Syncretism Stew.

Non-believers often see the differences between the various denominations and offshoots of Christianity. The fact is, that those who have drifted away from the absolute truth of the Bible and use syncretism excuses for rejecting the Cross of Christ being needed for redemption; are no better off than non-believers! It isn’t “politically correct” to write, but it’s the truth.

My comment there (may still be in moderation):

This is a great post!  Besides the fact that “all religions cannot possibly be true,” it is also a fact that branches of Christianity can (and have) fallen by the wayside when it comes to the truth contained in God’s Word.  I am in the process of “politely debating” an individual on his agreement with Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” book vs. my born again beliefs regarding biblical Christianity.

I already know the errors of Tolle’s beliefs (when it comes to comparing what he has espoused vs. what the Bible reveals), but I have (thus far) been cautious not to “turn off” this young man by stating outright that Tolle (and by extension, the young man) is wrong in several areas of his religious beliefs.  He has already gained an increased respect for Jesus Christ, but Tolle’s teachings combine pantheism, Buddhism, and Gnosticism.  I suspect that the Buddhism aspects of Tolle’s beliefs appeal to this young man.  It has been an interesting discussion…to say the least!

In a recent discussion, I noticed that when I shared Bible verses and quotes by Jesus, the young man had not heard of them before.  He said he has read the Bible, but just reading it once and not studying it can lead a person to take another person’s “word for it” (e.g. Tolle) when it comes to truth and doctrine.  Many Christian denominations have “fallen off the rails” too; as they dismiss the truth of the Bible for man’s errors and imaginations.  I call this “syncretism stew” and the book of Jude warns us that the closer we get to the end times, the greater chance there is for anyone, (including some who call themselves Christians!) to fall for non-biblical beliefs within Christianity. End Times prophecy reveals that there will be a great falling away; while at the same time  the absolute truth of the Bible will reach others and will build Christ’s church!

Anyone interesting in reading about Eckhardt Tolle (so that you will know how he skews away from biblical Christianity), here is a post over at my blog Talk Wisdom:  What do you think about Eckhart Tolle?

Hat tip:

Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

 

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2 Responses to “Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?”

  1. christinewjc Says:

    The history of my talks with this young man would be too long to post here. He has shown greater respect for Jesus Christ, but he seems very interested in showing me that our beliefs “are not very different” from each other. So, I have been sharing what Jesus has said in the gospels and situations (like the two thieves on the cross next to Him) where repentance has been the key issue. The young man liked the story of Mary and Martha – how one was scurrying around and worried about so many things while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to his teachings – which He said was far better.

    I am hoping that the young man will consider “listening to Jesus’ teachings” from the Bible rather than automatically taking Tolle’s explanations as ultimate truth. It has been an interesting, ongoing discussion!

    Like

  2. GMpilot Says:

    Okay, I’ve read it. I’m not impressed.

    First, he gives his own meaning to “postmodernism”, giving it an exclusively religious spin. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word as

    A late 20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism, which represents a departure from modernism and is characterized by the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions, a mixing of different artistic styles and media, and a general distrust of theories.

    The ‘general distrust of theories’ phrase is the closest it ever comes to religion at all.

    Second, he does a wonderful job of poisoning the well with this:

    Why would postmodernists want to treat religious claims as nonsense?
    In addition to the desperate desire to keep God from having authority over our moral decision-making (i.e. – sin, rebellion, etc.), there are 3 reasons why people try to treat religious claims as non-propositional nonsense.
    1. Ignorance: people do not know the conflicting truth claims that different religions make
    2. Laziness: people do not want to have to spend time evaluating the competing truth claims
    3. Cowardice: people do not want to investigate and debate truth claims: it makes them unpopular

    If there is a God—and IF he/she/it actually has authority over our moral decision-making, then WK has a case. He has not shown this; he’s only claimed that to be so, and assumes that everyone acknowledges it. If you can define your own parameters of postmodernists, then it’s possible to define them as hedonistic, lazy and seekers of popularity…which is exactly what WK has done. I disagree.

    But regarding his main question “Are All Religions Basically the Same?”, my answer is yes.
    I regard all religions as attempts to show humanity a better way of living. All have had varying degrees of success. What works for one often does not work for others, hence the religious plurality he (and you) are so on about. Implicit in this argument (having looked at his blog) is the belief that his (and your) religion is the only valid one.
    Interestingly, he knows exactly how to demonstrate that:

    The answer is to treat religion the exact same way as any other area of knowledge. We can tolerate people’s right to disagree, disagree while still being polite, and resolving disputes using logic, and evidence supplied from disciplines such as analytical philosophy, scientific investigation, and historical analysis.

    Okay, have at it, hostess.

    Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

    Like

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