In the so-called post-modern world, it is very common to hear that there are no absolute truths and that everything is a matter of perspective. What is true for you may not be for me, they say.
In this line of thought, we see many people arguing that all religions lead to God, since all of them could be considered true. Similarly, they also say it would be intolerant to argue that there was only one true religion, and that among the many religions only one would truly lead to God.
This is where we have the first problem: some people are confusing truth with intolerance. Tolerance does not mean accepting that all positions can be equally true. Tolerance is having the position that everyone has the equal right to express and defend their views, whatever they may be.
Furthermore, it should be clear that tolerance does not make another person’s saying true. In the same manner, intolerance does not make does not make another person’s statement false. Contrary opinions may exist; contrary truths, however, by the force of logic–cannot exist.
In the specific case of Christianity, we have the clearest example of this: we speak here of a system of thought that claims to be the absolute truth and, at the same time, is extremely tolerant.
In the title of the article, “Isn’t it intolerant to say that Christianity is the only true religion?“, I clarify this point in more detail:
Christianity declares that it is the only true religion, and yet this has nothing to do with the analysis of whether or not it is a tolerant religion. We realize that Christianity is tolerant when we see that it doesn’t propose for anyone to be forced into the faith. According to the Bible, we should respect what others say and even defend their right to think freely and express their thoughts. Christianity differs from other worldviews because it gives a scientific basis for the investigation of its claims. This makes Christianity, in addition to being exclusivist like other religions, the only one that does not only accept but even encourages people to examine and investigate the truths it exposes (Tassos Lycurgo).
We have seen, therefore, that tolerance has nothing to do with the truth of what is said. Thus, we conclude that in order to be tolerant we must respect the right of all religions to present their points of view and arguments in defense of their religion.
A truly secular and tolerant country, just to be clear, is not an anti-religious country, but one in which religious freedom is wide and everyone has the right to express their beliefs, while respecting the beliefs of others as well.
Similarly, public universities must make room for the religious debate, where they can discuss, in a respectful manner, which thought system is true.
Would being open to religious expression and respecting other people’s right to express their beliefs imply that all religions lead to God? The answer is no, as a matter of logic.
The claim that religions are systems of thought that bring irreconcilable statements among each other is not an opinion but a fact. Just to take a brief example, see that one of the pillars of Christianity is the statement that “Jesus is God”, a statement that other systems of thought do not accept, such as Judaism, Islam, or even minor religions such as Spiritism.
By force of logic, it’s not possible to affirm that Jesus can and cannot be God at the same time. Therefore, neither can Christianity and other religions be true at the same time. A false religion cannot lead to a true God; therefore, saying that all religions lead to God–is a logic error.
So, in conclusion, we can say that:
- Only true religions lead to the true God;
- Incompatible systems of thought cannot be all true;
- Religions are irreconcilable systems of thought.
- Therefore, religions cannot be all true and, as a consequence, all lead to the true God.
I’d like to invite you to examine Christianity’s claims. I’m sure you’ll realize that being a Christian is no more than having a strong commitment with the truth, a strong commitment with the only way to God.