What do other religions have in common with Bible teaching?
Vatican Council II told us that there are some profound truths we can learn from other religions because God has not left the world in darkness, but has given many valuable insights to people in other religions, too, though he has come to earth in person only once, in Christ.
For instance, from Muhammad we can learn the peace that comes from total submission to the will of God. “Islam, ” the name of Muhammad’s religion, means “peace” and “surrender.” Kind David expressed this idea beautifully in Psalm 131.
From Confucius we can learn how social order and harmony in human relationships is the fulfillment of “the will of heaven, ” and how practical religion is in working out he details of everyday life in the family and the nation. Psalm 133 and Corinthians 14:33 point out that peace and harmony are what God wants for us.
From Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, we can learn the instinctive peaceful wisdom of the “Tao,” or “Way of Nature.” You might enjoy reading the Tao Te Ching, “the Bible of Taoism”: eighty-one short poem about life according to Tao. Parts of it are very similar to the teaching of Jesus, especially in his “Sermon on the Mount.”
From Buddha and Hindu teachers we can learn the importance of meditation and silence and stilling the harsh, loud voice of the ego and selfish desire. Buddhists and Hindus are experts in meditation, and this can be an aid to prayer if used for God and not for our own ends. The Bible commands us to “Be still and know that I am God.” Buddhism cannot teach s to know God as Jesus can, but it can teach us to be still.
We are not told by Jesus or by anything in the Bible how much truth and how much falsehood is to be found in each of the other religions in the world. We are told that pagan polytheism and idolatry are totally wrong and false. We are not told how much of what any other religious teacher said is true. Bu we are told how much of what Jesus said is true: 100 percent.
For Jesus is unique. He is not the only religious teacher, or the only wise man, but his is the only man who was God incarnate. He is the only religious teacher who ever claimed to be God, the Creator of the universe born as a human being. The only other people who ever claimed to be God are not great wise men but insane idiots or blasphemous liars.
Christianity does not mean believing there is no truth in other religions. But it does mean believing Jesus is the One he claims to be. A Christian may believe “there’s something in everything.” But a Christian must believe that there’s everything in something.
What are your thoughts? Did God leave us in the darkness?