There is a Hindu saying, “The truth is One, but different sages call it by different names.”
This is a common misconception that is held by many non-Hindus, as well.
But it can’t be true that “all paths lead to God” for the simple reason that they point in different directions!
If I said to you that I am planning to go to Washington D.C. tomorrow from Nepal and that to get there I am just going to board any airplane and start flying in any direction I please, you would think I am crazy. We all know that you have to follow the right path or you will never arrive at your intended destination.
Likewise, the only way to get to heaven is to follow the right road, and Jesus Christ claims to be that Road. If He is not, he was either a liar, a lunatic, or a deceived man.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Consider four ways that the major religions teach different doctrines about the most important things:
The religions do not teach the same morality.
For example, Hinduism has a caste system that locks men into a certain status from birth, and the low caste are considered inferior to the high. In places where Hinduism is still followed in its purest forms, such as Nepal and rural India, the caste system is very strong. In Nepal, low castes are not even allowed into the homes of high castes. In many villages, the low castes are not allowed to drink out of the same wells and fountains as the high caste. In parts of India there is even an “unseeable caste” whose members are required to work at night. Though some Hindu scholars claim that the caste system is not an integral part of Hinduism, it has been practiced by Hindus for thousands of years and has support from the Hindu scriptures.
The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that all men are the same “caste.” We came from the same original father and mother, and God commands us to treat all men alike. God’s law as given in the Bible is, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14). If I love my neighbor as myself, I will not treat him as an inferior and try to “keep him down.” The Bible commands men to treat one another with perfect justice. “Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's” (Deuteronomy 1:17).
In Hinduism, morality is largely relative. Take lying, for example. Even the Hindu gods themselves lie. Yet the Bible teaches that lying is a great sin. Consider the following commandment:
“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).
The Bible says that God hates the lying tongue (Prov. 6:16-17). It says that the liar is a wicked person (Prov. 11:18). It says that Satan is the father of lies and those who tell lies are following in his evil ways (John 8:44). The Bible even says that all liars who die without salvation will be punished in eternal hell.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, AND ALL LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Obviously, what Hinduism teaches about lying and what the Bible teaches are different and contradictory. If one is right, the other is wrong.
The religions also do not teach the same things about God.
The Bible teaches that God had no beginning; He is eternal. He made all things, but He is not all things. It teaches that God is not to be worshipped in the form of idols. It says that God is Almighty and omnipotent, that he can do anything, and he is omniscient, meaning he knows all things. The Bible says God knows the names of every star, how many hairs are on man’s head, and the thoughts of every man’s heart. The Bible teaches that God is holy. He never commits any wrong deed, never lies, never cheats, never commits fornication, never steals another man’s wife, never acts foolishly in a rage, never gets high on drugs. The Bible says God is love, that even though men have sinned against him and broken his law and turned to their own way, that God loves them and provided salvation for them by coming into the world and dying on the cross. The Bible says that God is “meek and lowly in heart.” He is not proud. He treats men equally and does not look down on some of them as “peons.”
No other religion believes in a God like this. Consider Hinduism. Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, is said to be “God Himself” (Upadhyay, Hindu Gods and Goddesses, p. 51). He is deceitful, disobedient, and lascivious. “As a child Krishna was playful and mischievous. Innocent and obedient in his mother’s presence, he missed no opportunity for mischief when her back was turned. He ... mocked and laughed at his elders and teased little babies until they cried, urinated in neighbours’ houses and stole butter and sweets. But Yasodha and Nanda, who had no control over him, just laughed at his antics. ... As a youth, Krishna enchanted and intoxicated the cowherd women with his flute playing. He teased them and made love to them” (Indian Gods, Kent: Grange Books, 1998, p. 45, 47). Krishna’s flute playing is said to “pull virtuous women from their homes and drag them to Krishna” and to make “chaste ladies forget their lords” (David Kinsley, The Sword and the Flute).
Since the religions’ teaching about God is different, how can it be possible that they all lead to the same God?
The religions also do not teach the same thing about Jesus.
The Bible says Jesus is the eternal God who created all things. He came into the world 2,000 years ago by the virgin birth. He lived a sinless life, died on the cross for man’s sins, spent three days in the grave, and rose from the dead. He ascended back to heaven and is coming again to rule the world.
The Islamic religion believes in a Jesus named Isa, but he is not God, did not die for man’s sins, and did not rise from the dead.
Hinduism teaches that Jesus was a great guru who learned religious wisdom and attained to an exalted status, but Hindus do not believe that Jesus is the only God and Creator and the only Saviour from sin.
Judaism teaches that Jesus was a deceived Jewish rabbi who falsely claimed to be the Messiah and who was crucified for his lies.
It is obvious that the various major religious do not teach the same thing about Jesus.
The religions also do not teach the same thing about salvation.
All religions except Bible Christianity, teach that salvation is by works. In Hinduism, the goal of salvation is to be released from the cycles of reincarnation (the “wheel of life”), and this is achieved in one of three ways: through working out one’s karma by rituals, giving alms, good deeds, etc., through yogic meditation and “self knowledge,” or through devotion to the Hindu gods by private devotions, temple rituals and pilgrimages. In Islam, salvation is achieved through praying five times a day toward Mecca, celebrating Ramadan, giving alms, going on a pilgrimage to Mecca, etc.
The Bible’s teaching on salvation is entirely different. According to the Bible, salvation is not what man does for God; it is what God has done for man. According to the Bible, man cannot be saved by his “good works,” because he is a sinner and he cannot do the perfect works that God’s holy law requires. God Himself has provided salvation as a gift by coming into the world and dying on the cross to suffer the punishment that men deserve. According to the Bible, there is no reincarnation and no nirvana. There is either heaven or hell. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
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