Last summer, my sons’ Trail Life troop was having a meeting and activity at a local park. While at the park, a gentleman walked up to our group to see what we were doing. During our conversation, the matter of Trail Life being a Christ-centered outdoor adventure group was mentioned. He responded that he didn’t see the need for such a faith-based group when another, larger, well-established program already exists. As we ended of our dialogue, he was sure to inform me that all faiths worship the same God and no one really knows the truth anyway.
The idea that believers of different faiths are worshiping a common God seems naive. There are many religions in the world which claim to have the correct understanding of the one true God. Among them are Islam, Judaism, Baha’i, Christianity. Many people object to the exclusiveness of these religions. They contend that it is arrogant for anyone (or any group) to claim that they have THE correct understanding of or revelation from God. Instead, like the man in the park, they state that all faiths lead to God.
Imagine people of various faiths being like Dorothy and her companions on their way to see the wizard. But instead of there being only one yellow brick road to the Emerald City, there are multiple roads. One road is traveled by Muslims. A different route is taken by the Jews. And Christians make their trek using yet a different path. When they all get to see the Wizard behind the curtain, they will all be meeting someone entirely different that who they thought they knew. Just as the Wizard was hiding his true identity, a God that reveals himself in different ways to different faith groups is also hiding his true identity.
The idea that God is exclusive and there is only one way to him is difficult for many people. The difficulty lies in the fact that if Christianity or Judaism or Islam is correct, then hell is a real place. And we don’t like that because it means people will be in torment forever. And some of those people we love dearly. But instead of wrestling through this painful concept, many people avoid it by spinning the fairy tale that all roads are paved with yellow bricks and everyone will spend eternity together, worshiping around the throne of Oz.
Do you think all roads lead to God?
How do you talk to someone who disagrees with you?
I’d love to get your feedback on this very important topic.