Thursday, May 15, 2014

Response to Skeptics: "Religious Pluralism"

Growing up in a confused Korean household, with Christian influences, my parents believed and told me of a religious pluralism, or a belief that all religions are true. Growing up in the Church, there was distinct difference between what the Church was telling me and what my parents were telling me. The Church was saying that Christ was the only way, yet my parents were telling me different.

In The Reason for God, Timothy Keller says this:
"If Christians are right about Jesus being God, then Muslims and Jews fail in a serious way to love God as God really is, but if Muslims and Jews are right that Jesus is not God but rather a teacher or prophet, then Christians fail in a serious way to love God as God really is.'" The bottom line was - we couldn't all be equally right about the nature of God. 
Bottom line is, there is no such thing as religious pluralism. In fact, everyone believes that there is an inferiority of certain beliefs over others. For example, atheists believe that a supernatural worldview is inferior to that of a naturalist worldview. Additionally, if one claimed that the Earth was flat, most would consider his/her idea as inferior to the view that the Earth is round. Most would agree that a religion that requires the murdering of children, rape, and incest are inferior to any other major faith. In fact, when most think of the equality of religions, they think of major world religions, contending that the differences between, for example, Christianity and Buddhism was insignificant and that they basically taught the same things. But you cannot truly believe that Christianity and Buddhism teach the same things! Christianity teaches that there is a deeply personal, just, loving God while Buddhism doesn't teach about a personal god. While Christianity teaches that Jesus is the one who perfects us, Buddhism teaches that one must give up fleshly desires in order to become Enlightened. There is a clear distinction between those teachings. Also, by saying that there is an all-encompassing loving god that is present in all religious systems which teach essentially the same thing, one creates a doctrine of their own which insists that the doctrines in other religious systems aren't all that important. By doing so, one asserts that ones beliefs are superior to the beliefs of those who believe in other religions, which in turn breaks down the construct of religious pluralism.

I will be addressing apologetics as well in future blog posts. All of my writing in this post is heavily influenced by Dr. Timothy Keller's writings.

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