Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What is truth?

Once I was discussing the Bible at a big city train station in Germany when a young spiritual idealist wanted to join the discussion.

To him, it was pointless to discuss Bible teachings, to distinguish between truth and error. 

He Enthusiastically proclaimed that all religions were different ways of understanding the one spiritual reality. All religions were ways of finding God.

He was stunned and confused by my answer. 

If all religions are ways to the same God, why does not one single one of the great religions teach this idea? 

The founders of each of the main religions claimed to teach the one and only true path to God or to spiritual reality.

He didn’t have an answer. 

A confused mixture of half understood spiritual teachings has become popular in Europe since about the time of the French Revolution over 200 years ago. 

The majority of people in the First World now are little interested in deep spiritual teachings. They ignore religion or they dabble in this religion and flirt with that spiritual experience. 

I once met a brilliant young man who graduated from university with a degree in Comparative Religion. Getting a job was a problem. Who wants a comparative priest?

If you say you believe in everything, perhaps you don’t believe in anything. 

Real faith requires commitment. In Western society commitment is a big problem. So many people want to just do their thing and keep their options open.

There are two religions in the spotlight around the world today, Islam and Christianity.

Some say they are more or less the same and we should just chill out and get on with harmonious living.

What do they believe?

By reciting in Arabic the Shahada, a person is considered to be converted to Islam. 

“Confession of faith, the first pillar of Islam, without which all the other pillars are of no value. This formula is to be repeated: 
"Ashhadu an la ilaha illa 'llah; ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulu 'llah" :

 "I witness that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." Taken from Muhammad 47:19 and al-Fath 48:29.”

‘Isa did not die on a cross

Christians and Jews have corrupted their scriptures. (Âl 'Imran 3:74-77, 113) Although Christians believe ‘Isa died on a cross, and Jews claim they killed him, in reality he was not killed or crucified, and those who said he was crucified lied (An-Nisa’ 4:157).

 ‘Isa did not die, but ascended to Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:158)

On the day of Resurrection ‘Isa himself will be a witness against Jews and Christians for believing in his death. (An-Nisa’ 4:159)

Christian beliefs

Christians are commanded not to believe that ‘Isa is the son of God: ‘It is far removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son’. (An-Nisa’ 4:171; Al-Furqan 25:2) 

‘Isa was simply a created human being, and a slave of Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:172; Âl 'Imran 3:59)

What did Jesus say in the Bible?

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV) 

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." John 14:6-7 (NIV) 

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6 (NIV) 

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