Thursday, February 24, 2005

Why So Many Gods?

One of the common misperceptions of young people today is that all people of faith worship the same God but in different ways. There’s a movement afoot to host ecumenical services and forums, bringing Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and others together. That’s fine for certain purposes. But theologically, their beliefs are quite different. And their gods are distinctly different.

(Jews and Christians do worship the same God, but Jews do not recognize the deity of Jesus Christ, hence they have an incomplete view of the God of Christianity.) Biblical Christians are evangelically motivated precisely because they see such a chasm between followers of other faiths and the one true God.

Our daughter picked up an interesting book recently that addresses this topic. It’s called “Why So Many Gods?” by Tim Baker and Kate Etue. Based on the colorful graphics and vocabulary, I’d say it is aimed at your generation. It’s easy to read and not too deep. Might be worth a look in your church library or public library to find this book as it gives an overview of lots of belief systems.

The authors take the position that Christianity is the only true religion and compares it to many other “faiths” in four categories: World Religions, Secular Worldviews, Occult Religions, and Cults. So you can read about everything from Hare Krishna to Ouija Boards to Mormonism. Even a couple I’ve never heard of like Rosicrucianism and dowsing.

One overarching theme of the book: “Christianity is the only religion where God is really God, because it’s the only one where God saves the people instead of the people saving themselves.”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6