Isn’t Christianity fundamentally similar to other religions? Well, today, I want to explore what sets Christianity apart from the rest. If we were to simplify it, could we find commonalities in beliefs, practices, and values with Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and others?
What Makes Christianity Different From All Other Religions?
What is religion? Just as we refer to our minds as being thoughts and ideas beyond the electrical impulses of our physical brain. The major religions propose that the human’s true essence is their soul instead of their physical body, but just like our physical bodies the soul also has needs or it will starve. Each religion proposes to be a guidebook of that spiritual plane that helps lead our starving souls to soul bread. Aren’t these guidebooks all the same?
The historical Jesus of Nazareth told a story about a father, two sons, and a family business. It was custom that the sons would split the business when their father died. but the younger son said to his father, “I can’t wait for you to die!” “Give me my money now!” Seeing his son’s true heart the father gave it up to him the son turned his back on his family and hit the road far away he partied like an animal eating and drinking and paying prostitutes until suddenly his pockets were empty in desperation, he found a job feeding pig.
But the country’s economy crashed and he couldn’t even make enough to feed himself now broke and starving he found himself craving the pig’s slop. when it suddenly hit him that there was probably food back home. What do you think? Should this father let him back into the house? As long as the son works hard to pay his father back then he should be able to get a place at the family table again. right? Let’s see how Jesus ended this story.
The son decided to return, admit his wrong and ask his father for a minimum-wage job but still a ways from home, his father spotted him and ran out to him and wrapped him in a bear hug Remorseful, the son began his plea, “Dad, you shouldn’t even call me your son anymore.” But the father put a fine robe on him and a ring with a family crest He told his workers “Get the best meat and prepare a welcome home feast for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again he was lost and has been found”
Although Jesus told this as a story he was actually presenting his view of the truth. In the story, the father represents God. So is Jesus seriously teaching that forgives selfish gluttons before they’ve repaid their wrongs against him and others? Judaism teaches that one can atone for their wrongs by changing their behavior praying and doing good deeds. Islam says we can move towards paradise by performing the five pillars. Hinduism claims that if we store up enough good karma we will reunite with Brahman.
Buddhism says we can enlighten and discipline ourselves into Nirvana by practicing the Eightfold Path. But in this story, the father embraced his son and fed him before he did any work. Why? Because in Jesus’ view it’s impossible for a person to repay God for their bad deeds. God is a perfect judge who cannot be bought off with anything that we have to offer. Jesus said that when we die we will face God with all of our deeds laid out none of us is completely morally perfect and none of us will stand a chance of justifying ourselves.
Then there hope for us? Jesus believed so and staked his life on it. He claimed to be God in human form who came to pay our moral debt with his innocent life so that if anyone truly believed and surrendered to him they would receive a full pardon from God and the power to change how they live.
Other religions teach that our own self-sacrifice can pay our debt but Jesus taught that only God’s own self-sacrifice can pay our debt. All other religious founders claim to be guided to lead our starving souls to bread Jesus claimed to be the bread our souls starve for.